The Genomics Education Partnership (GEP) is a nationwide faculty-driven collaboration that, through training, mentorship, and outreach enables a broad range of institutions to introduce bioinformatics into the undergraduate curriculum. Bioinformatics training extends the teaching of molecular biology, strengthens students' computer science and math skills, and emphasizes the power of computational approaches to explore biological systems. Inquiry-driven genomics research engages students in scientific discovery while maintaining a widely distributed network of teacher-scientists proficient in cutting edge experimental techniques. To date the GEP has trained hundreds of faculty and impacted thousands of undergraduates. A majority of participating faculty and students are women, and a third of GEP participant institutions are minority-serving. From the start, the GEP has sought to: 1. Introduce bioinformatics into the undergraduate curriculum through research 2. Create a scalable system to tackle big projects with many students working in parallel 3. Model ?team science? through collaboration of a widely dispersed team 4. Publish results in the scientific literature with faculty and student authors co-authors 5. Publish assessment results to contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning. The GEP engages undergraduates in meaningful genomics research regardless of the selectivity, location, or research focus of their institution, as supported by our published assessments of education outcomes. This IPERT proposal will further enhance the GEP's commitment to inclusive training of the scientific workforce.
Specific Aim 1 will develop regional nodes to recruit, train, and mentor inclusive local communities of faculty and students engaged in genomics teaching and research. New faculty recruitment locally and at equity-promoting national STEM conferences will focus on institutions that serve students from underrepresented groups. Regional symposia will enable undergraduate students' direct dissemination of their research and participation in the scientific community.
Specific Aim 2 will broaden the GEP's scientific scope, capacity, and dissemination by creating a new investigator-initiated, undergraduate-powered gene annotation workflow, with an associated genomics curriculum, that will enable community annotation projects for any eukaryotic genome, driving scalable team science approaches to novel and emerging genomics questions. This new platform incorporates rapid open-access micropublication of gene reports by undergraduate authors, further engaging students in their science.
To fulfill the promise of precision medicine, the US biomedical workforce needs scientists from diverse backgrounds trained in computational analysis of complex genetic and genomic data. Over the past decade the Genomics Education Partnership has trained thousands of undergraduates across the US in genomics by creating and implementing curriculum and by building a collaborative undergraduate-powered genomics research project. This proposal seeks to expand the GEP with a focus on recruiting faculty from community colleges and minority-serving institutions, to broaden our scientific scope by creating a platform for community annotation of newly sequenced genomes, and to accelerate dissemination of undergraduate research findings through micropublications. !