This proposal is for a renewal of NIH funding for Washington University's Genome Analysis Training Program (GATP). The overall goal of the GATP is to train a diverse group of multidisciplinary, quantitatively sophisticated leaders in genomic technology, science, and medicine. In this renewal, we are focusing exclusively on training predoctoral students, because Washington University has an outstanding pool of highly talented PhD and MD/PhD students from which we can recruit the very best for the GATP. We are requesting funds to support 6 predoctoral trainees at a time. If we are granted these slots the university will provide matching funds to support another four. The training program is designed to produce trainees who are sophisticated in their knowledge of both the experimental and the mathematical / computational aspects of genome science. This is achieved through a rigorous set of required classes and through research-based training. We have an outstanding group of 26 training faculty who run world-class research labs and provide careful mentoring to our trainees. Our PhD programs in Computational Biology and Genetics/Genomics were jointly ranked #5 in the nation in the 2014 US News & World Report analysis, after Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, and the University of Washington. We have also designed a number of special opportunities aimed at cultivating the leadership capability of our trainees and fostering a broad understanding of the different work environments and career paths in which genomics plays an important role. These include two one-week mini-internships, one in a small bioinformatics company, and another in Washington University's Genome Pathology Service, a CAP / CLIA certified facility that provides clinical genomics service.
Genome sequencing and analysis is playing an increasingly important role in medicine, particularly in cancer treatment. The proposed program will train students in PhD and MD/PhD programs to make new discoveries in genome science and technology and to apply these discoveries to improving patient outcomes.
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