The Genetic Dissection of Cells and Organisms Training Program (GDTP) provides trainees with advanced multidisciplinary PhD training in the design and execution of experimental genetics, quantitative analysis of genetic datasets, and understanding of the public issues and concerns among which their careers will play out. GDTP is the only program at UC Berkeley that provides integrated training across the full range of experimental genetics, from phage to human, integrating the most advanced technologies with the training and opportunities available through the new School of Data Science. GDTP's 37 training faculty are recognized scientific leaders, drawn from three departments, Molecular & Cell Biology (MCB), Plant & Microbial Biology (PMB), and Integrative Biology (IB), and from the Graduate Group in Microbiology. This proposal requests support for 16 trainees in their second and third years of PhD training after they have selected genetics as the focus of their research. GDTP provides early and persistent student-centered training within a flexible structure. All students must take graduate-level courses in experimental genetics; data analysis, coding, and statistics; genome editing; and responsible conduct and reproducibility in research. GDTP's signature Weekly Genetics Immersion is required across both years. It includes direct interaction with leading geneticists; critical evaluation of contemporary papers in genetics, including those that published major mistakes in the field and how those mistakes were made and then uncovered; and interweaving of timely topics in ethics and responsible conduct in research. Annual events include a trainee orientation and an Annual Retreat which will prepare students for presenting their work at regional and national meetings. The program provides professional career counseling and a suite of professional development programs in science communication, teaching, grant-writing and publishing, teamwork, management, and leadership. All trainees will receive extensive individual advising and mentoring tailored to their career objectives. Close tracking of student progress ensures that trainees who are struggling receive timely support. GDTP's evaluation process solicits internal and external input throughout the year, ensuring continuous program improvement. An ambitious recruitment and retention plan?involving the active participation of all training faculty?will be employed to ensure participation and full inclusion of members of underrepresented minorities, women, and disabled or otherwise disadvantaged students.

Public Health Relevance

The Genetic Dissection of Cells and Organisms Training Program (GDTP) will provide predoctoral students with a solid foundation in experimental genetics from which many of the most important advances in public health have come. These advances include a wide variety of medicines, diagnostics, and treatments made possible by recombinant DNA techniques. The GDTP will also provide rigorous training in data science, which is essential for understanding the ever-expanding volume, quality, and diversity of data that drive genetics research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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NIGMS Initial Review Group (TWD)
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Bender, Michael T
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University of California Berkeley
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United States
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