We propose to continue the Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics (BIG) pre-doctoral training program at Harvard Medical School. Since its inception in 2000, this program has provided rigorous multidisciplinary education in genome sciences for those students with proven excellence in quantitative fields. The gap between the ability to generate large amounts genomic data and the ability to efficiently analyze and interpret them continues to grow. Our program aims to train multi-disciplinary investigators who are capable of both integrating the genome-scale technologies into their experimental investigations and synthesizing the resulting datasets into coherent knowledge frameworks and mathematical models. The BIG training program draws on three significant strengths of the local academic environment: the breadth of talented investigators at Harvard Medical School and its affiliated hospitals and research institutes; the rich variety of quantitatively-oriented courses in bioinformatics and genomics offered at Harvard and MIT; and national leadership of BIG faculty in genome-scale disease research, including harnessing of genomic approaches to clinical applications. The BIG pre-doctoral curriculum includes the following: 1) courses in fundamentals of genetics and molecular biology, taken alongside graduate students in the biological sciences; 2) statistics and machine learning, with focus on their applications to population studies, clinical medicine and basic biology; 3) survey of the larger scope of biomedical sciences, including medical informatics and translational medicine. This training program will continue to produce leaders, both in academia and industry, who are using genomic sciences to advance biomedical research and its application to medicine.

Public Health Relevance

Integrating genomics into the practice of biomedical research and medicine is a primary goal of the National Human Genome Research Institute's strategic plan. The Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics (BIG) Program at Harvard Medical School meets this goal by providing students trained in the quantitative sciences the intellectual tools to integrate genomics with biomedical sciences, access to ?big data? from genome sciences and healthcare systems, and faculty mentors who are experts in genomics and bioinformatics. This program will continue to produce leaders who are using genomic sciences to advance biomedical research and clinical practice.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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National Human Genome Research Institute Initial Review Group (GNOM)
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Gatlin, Tina L
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Harvard Medical School
Schools of Medicine
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