The Developmental Genetics (DG) Training Program at New York University joins faculty from two different entities within the NYU system, the Department of Biology at NYU and NYU School of Medicne (SOM). The goal of the DG Program is to enhance and broaden the research perspective given to students with strong interest in Developmental Genetics. Developmental Genetics has become one of the most successful and exciting disciplines in biology. This success is largely due to the realization of the degree of conservation in the molecular mechanism that control development in evolutionary seemingly separate organisms. A long- term goal of this program is to seed an interactive environment that combines research in the basic principles of developmental genetics with the understanding of the molecular mechanisms that are affected by disease. This goal is enhanced by the proximity of the training site to a vibrant Medical Center. The Program consists presently of a group of 27 outstanding faculty, who are using molecular, cellular and genetic approaches to study embryonic development in a variety of organisms (Arabidopsis, Drosophila, C. elegans, mouse, zebrafish, yeast and bacteria). This program receives strong support from NYUSOM and the Dep. of Biology at NYU in terms of state of the art facilities and recruitment of first-rate faculty at all levels. Aggressive recruitment efforts by the open graduate programs at the Sackler School of Graduate studies at NYUSOM and the Dep. of Biology at NYU has lead to the attraction of high caliber graduate students including underrepresented minority students. 32 students graduated from the program during the last funding period and are now pursuing careers in Science and Medicine. Presently, 50 students are trained by DG training program faculty members and four of these students are supported by this training grant. Four positions for graduate student training (Ph.D. and MD/Ph.D.) are requested. Training in the DG program includes (a) rigorous research training in the laboratories of DG faculty members, (b) a two semester lecture and laboratory course in developmental biology, (c) broad education in the principles of biochemistry, genetics and cell biology, (d) opportunity for extended training in stem cell biology, computational biology and disease-oriented research e) active participation in the Developmental Genetics seminar series and journal clubs (f) a bi-annual Developmental Genetics Student Symposium as well as in graduate school, institute and departmental "retreats", (g) discussion groups and lectures focusing on issues of ethical conduct in science and career options for biology graduates, (h) a three-tiered mentoring system.
This training grant proposes to train graduate students in the principles of developmental biology. Using model organisms, such as mice, fish, of flies students discover the principles that govern normal development including the role of stem cells in tissue growth, maintenance and regeneration. Due to broad evolutionary conservation of the genetic networks used during development and tissue homeostasis, these studies have a direct impact for the understanding of the mechanisms underlying disease.
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