The Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology (GMB) is a well-established and highly-ranked interdepartmental PhD program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). For more than 50 years this program has provided cutting-edge research opportunities to trainees. In addition to our ongoing expertise in key areas in genetics (e.g., genetics of model microbes, plants, and animals) and molecular biology (e.g., signal transduction, gene expression, and virology), we have added strengths in epigenetics, clinical and translational genetics, systems genetics, quantitative genetics, computational genetics, and genomics. Extensive interaction between researchers in diverse areas is promoted by the interdepartmental and inter-school nature of the program, as well as many faculty centers, and is facilitated by the physical proximity of the different units on a single campus. Our mission is to train students from diverse backgrounds to conduct responsible research leading to a PhD, while also providing training and acquisition of skills for them to enter a variety of careers in research and research-related fields. We continuously update our program, based on our own studies and best practices throughout the field to ensure that it is modern and innovative. Several years ago we added ?modular? 5-week courses that allow students to tailor their coursework more closely to their needs. We offer numerous career information and training events, as well as internships in industry, academia, and non-profit sectors. We compete nationally for the top students and have successfully recruit students from a variety of backgrounds, with about 20% belonging to one of the NIH-defined diversity groups. Our students are successful in obtaining competitive external funding, and every student publishes at least one first-authored research paper in a peer-reviewed journal. The vast majority of our students remain in scientific careers after they graduate. Most initially do postdoctoral research in academia, government labs, or private research foundations. Some remain in academic/government research, but others go into industry, science teaching, or science policy.
Genetics and genomics are among the most important fields in basic biomedical research, contributing to essentially all medical applications. The Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology is a highly-ranked doctoral program that trains students broadly in these fields. This proposal seeks NIGMS support for training these students for research and research-related careers in academic, industry, government, and non-profit settings. .