Continued advances in molecular biology, the vast data generated, and the complexity of the phenotypes being studied have made acute the need for sophisticated, creative, and ultimately rigorously validated novel methods and the simultaneous shortage of individuals well trained in statistical genetics/genomics. Our structured but flexible training program offers 2-3 year fellowships to prepare post-doctoral scientists for careers in statistical genetics/genomics and heart, lung and blood (HLB) related research and emphasizes growth of an independent and creative research program. Trainees must have a future goal of an investigative career. The program aims to develop independent rigorous investigative skills through regular participation in research, courses, and didactic seminars. Training is provided in foundations of statistical genetics/genomics and state-of-the-art computational tools in genetic/genomic analysis. Applied experience is provided via HLB-related investigative programs at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). We will provide HLB training through newly planned workshops in cardiovascular diseases, lungs and blood related diseases. UAB has invested heavily in development of a Section on Statistical Genetics and consequently has an unusually strong consolidated concentration of statistical geneticists offering a unique training environment. The proposed program has several notable strengths including: (1) A statistical genetics/genomic and genetic epidemiology faculty that is large in number and has expertise in topics spanning: (a) study design, (b) analysis of large and complex pedigrees, (c) modeling of twin and family data, (d) mathematical/theoretical statistics, (e) analysis of microarray data, (f) pharmacogenomics;(g) analysis of exome sequencing;(h) analysis of epigenomic data;(i) analysis of next generation sequencing data;and (f) analysis of experimental crosses in model organisms;(2) Close collaborative ties with applied HLB investigators who are producing or in possession of existing data sets to which statistical genetic techniques can be applied;(3) A faculty with substantial enthusiasm and experience in training at an advanced level;(4) Substantial support in both spirit and material are being provided for this effort by our University creating a dynamic, positive, and well-provisioned research environment. Trainees work with faculty in Statistical Genetics and are be jointly mentored by collaborating faculty in HLB research. The collaborating faculty's multidisciplinary nature (physicians, psychologists, statisticians, physiologists, geneticists, epidemiologists, cardiologists, pulmonary disease experts, etc.) allows multidisciplinary experience. Strong collaborative ties among the faculty facilitate this approach.
The proposed training program will offer 2-3 year fellowships to prepare post-doctoral scientists for careers in statistical genetics/genomics and heart, lung and blood (HLB) related research. This program focuses specifically on genomics where there is an acute and growing demand for quantitative scientists to analyze and interpret high-dimensional data produced by next generation sequencing technologies.
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