This re-revised pre-doctoral training grant application, submitted in response to NIH PA-02-109, requests support to train future Genetic Epidemiologists in a "cross-culture" interdisciplinary environment by integrating biostatistical and computational sciences (genetic epidemiology, biostatistics, statistical genetics, and bioinformatics) with biological sciences (human genetics, molecular biology, and genomics) using a highly successful and effective hands-on approach. Our relatively new pre-doctoral program in "Quantitative Human and Statistical Genetics" blends traditional and non-traditional approaches. The primary objectives of this program are: (1) To train Genetic Epidemiologists and Statistical Geneticists in molecular methods and molecular data analysis techniques, and (2) To train Human Geneticists in statistical genetics approaches and methods so that they can analyze competently the data they generate. We believe that this pre-doctoral program will effectively minimize the culture shock that often inhibits genetic epidemiologists from participating fully in interdisciplinary research. Funding of this training grant will support this newly developed program which will target graduate students whose undergraduate major was in either statistical sciences or biological sciences with some degree of proficiency in the other. We are requesting funds for 4 slots in the first year and 6 thereafter. Our proposal rises to the challenge by blending and integrating carefully chosen didactic training with greater emphasis on a direct hands-on learning format found to be immensely successful at Washington University. One of the great strengths of this training program is that the vast established resources and rich interdisciplinary training environment of the entire DBBS, as well as that of another masters degree training program (GEMS), are also available to all pre-doctoral students in this program. It is our hope that, by exposing our students to the full breadth and depth of the mature DBBS programs and resources, we are ensuring that our students will be fully integrated with the biomedical sciences in a very natural manner thus also ensuring effective "cross-culture" training. We believe that our training program is very much in the spirit of the PA, aspiring to produce future genetic epidemiologists in much demand in the current market place for pursuing collaborative biomedical research.
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