The objectives of the Predoctoral Training Program in Genetics and Development are: to provide a solid and broad education in genetics, including molecular genetics, developmental genetics, and human genetics, to provide rigorous training in scientific research, and to develop a scholarly, ethical and professional attitude in the trainees. The program emphasizes experimental skills and critical thinking, as well as written and oral presentation of ideas and research findings. We teach our students a rigorous scientific approach in the design of experiments and evaluation of data, and provide them with the tools to maintain the highest ethical standards in their work. We encourage students to give and receive constructive criticism and challenge them to be self-critical in order to become capable, independent scholars. The program aims to recruit 5-8 new trainees each year. The training grant supports eligible students in their first and second year and occasionally in later years on a competitive basis. The entire program typically consists of between 30 and 35 trainees at all stages of training and the duration of training is typically 6-6.5 years. A Training Committee consisting of five faculty oversees admissions and administration of the program and meets regularly with students. This committee monitors each student's progress through written reports of rotations, qualifying exams and thesis research advisory committees. Training consists of two years of didactic course work in prokaryotic and eukaryotic molecular genetics, biochemistry, developmental genetics, statistics, genetic approaches to biomedical problems, and responsible conduct in research. Three research rotations are done in the first year followed by research in a laboratory of choice. Students have a wide range of research opportunities across the entire Columbia University Medical Center campus as well as the main Columbia campus. A two-part qualifying examination in the second and third years takes the form of a research proposal that is defended in a written and oral examination, followed approximately 6 months later by a progress report, similarly defended in a written and oral examination. Students run their own internal seminar program and also participate in the regular departmental seminar series by inviting outside speakers. There is an annual departmental retreat where all trainees are expected to present their work either as a platform presentation or a poster. During the course of training there are milestones at which the MA and MPhil degrees are awarded. With the successful defense of a research thesis, the PhD degree is awarded.

Public Health Relevance

The main objective of this training program is to train the next generation of biomedical researchers in areas of genetics and developmental biology with special reference to genetic influences on human health, development and disease. The research training includes a variety of basic and diseases-related areas including cancer, diabetes, congenital defects, and heart, lung and kidney disease. Genetics is central to all of biology and the training program is guided by the principle that understanding the genetic control of development and physiology is a fundamental goal of biomedical research.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Type
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
2T32GM007088-42
Application #
8997393
Study Section
Training and Workforce Development Subcommittee - D (TWD)
Program Officer
Haynes, Susan R
Project Start
1975-07-01
Project End
2021-06-30
Budget Start
2016-07-01
Budget End
2017-06-30
Support Year
42
Fiscal Year
2016
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Columbia University (N.Y.)
Department
Genetics
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
621889815
City
New York
State
NY
Country
United States
Zip Code
10032
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