Genetics, the study of heredity in living organisms, plays an increasingly important role in medicine and our understanding of human disease. The complete DNA sequence has been determined for many organisms, including humans, allowing for comparisons between species and between individuals off the same species. Many genetic studies use laboratory “model organisms,” and these have led to an understanding of how the cell cycle works (Nobel Prize 2001), how genetically programmed cell death is important (Nobel Prize 2002) and how genes are regulated (Nobel Prize Chemistry 2006, Nobel Prize Medicine 2006).
The University of Utah has a proud tradition in research in genetics, which has been supported by the Training Program in Genetics, funded by the National Institutes of Health for more than forty years. The Training Program in Genetics and students trained by this program contributed to landmark discoveries in genetics, including discovery of restriction fragment length polymorphisms, development of a genetic linkage map in humans, and methods for targeted gene disruption in vertebrates.
Faculty members participating in the Training Program in Genetics come from seven different departments at the University: Biochemistry, Biology, Human Genetics, Neurobiology & Anatomy, Oncological Sciences, Pathology, and Pharmacology & Toxicology. The Genetics Interest Group (“GIG”) brings the campus genetics community together for monthly discussions on current topics in Genetics. The Training Program also hosts a yearly Retreat featuring talks from trainees and invited scientists as well as a community poster session. All are invited to attend the GIG seminars and Retreat.
Students interested in pursuing graduate studies in Genetics should apply to the Molecular Biology Program of the University of Utah. A description of the activities and requirements for graduate student trainees supported by the Genetics Training Grant is listed here.