The proposed Research Training Program will train predoctoral students broadly in the discipline of genetics at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Students admitted to the Genetics graduate program at Wisconsin will be supported for two years of graduate studies: the first year and a subsequent year after completing all required coursework and qualifying examinations. The Genetics graduate program presently consists of 79 faculty representing 20 different departments in the biological sciences and 53 students studying with 28 different faculty trainers. The collective research interests of program faculty and students encompass virtually the entire breadth and depth of contemporary genetics. Trainees are selected based on prior academic achievements, research experience, and personal interviews conducted before acceptance into the program. Accepted students identify Genetics as their primary academic pursuit and choose thesis advisors based on their individual research interests The Genetics doctoral program is a campus-wide training program administered by the Laboratory of Genetics, which is housed in a modern state-of-the-art research facility. Supported students complete a rigorous academic program consisting of both formal coursework and individualized mentoring in genetics. Formal coursework includes a core curriculum of required genetics courses, specialized electives identified by students together with their Thesis Advisory Committee, a course in the responsible conduct of research (RCR), and continuing exposure to RCR-related issues throughout the graduate career. Students gain teaching and communication experience by serving for one semester as a Teaching Assistant for an undergraduate Genetics course and by presenting their research in formal settings before faculty and students of the program. Student performance is evaluated by a two-part qualifying examination that tests understanding of broad genetic principles and an ability to propose, execute, and defend a thesis research project. Each student's progress is monitored annually by a Thesis Advisory Committee. The Genetics Training Grant develops young investigators as independent scientists by providing a rigorous and broad education in the science of genetics. Our graduates bring the methods and logic of genetic analysis to bear on contemporary research problems. Our long range goal is to educate new generations of professional geneticists who will advance the biological research sciences using genetic approaches and methodologies.
Genetics is a fundamental discipline of contemporary biomedical research. It is both a tool for discovery and an consistent logic for in-depth understanding of biological mechanisms, especially those that relate to inherited human disease. The University of Wisconsin graduate program in Genetics trains young investigators broadly in the science of genetics and, by doing so, develops future generations of professional biomedical researchers.
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