Genome Biology

  • This is a joint program between EEB, Cell & Systems Biology, and Molecular Genetics.
  • For advising for the Genome Biology Major program (including program forms) consult the CSB Undergraduate Office.

About this Program

Genomics, the study of the structure, functionand evolution of the genome, is among the newest and most rapidlygrowing fields of both basic and applied science, and nearly all of themore traditional disciplines in biology are being revolutionized bygenomic tools. The growing flood of data on the DNA, RNA and proteinsequences of organisms provides unprecedented opportunities to addressfundamental biological questions such as the causes of disease, thegenetic basis of development, the extent and causes of adaptiveevolution, and the nature of gene regulation. Genome biology is a highlyinterdisciplinary field, encompassing concepts and practices from suchdiverse fields as Cell and Molecular Biology, Evolutionary Genetics, andComputer Science. Students in the Genome Biology program will receive auniquely broad training in these concepts and practices, with a keyfocus on conceptual training in molecular biology, bioinformatics andevolutionary genetics, and practical training in both computational andwet-lab genomics research. A key focus of the program is to trainbiologists in the breadth of knowledge and skills required tounderstand, generate, and use results from genomics. A major in GenomeBiology provides a diversity of career options, and given theexponential growth of the field in both the private and public sectors,graduates will have unique skill sets for a wealth of employmentopportunities.

The Genome Biology Major Program begins with a core set of coursesproviding a foundation in biology in the first and second years ofstudy. In the upper years, the departments of Cell and Systems Biology,Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Molecular Genetics offer a rangeof courses that cover various aspects of genomics. These includeadvanced lecture, seminar and laboratory courses in addition to researchproject courses that take students into active labs to pursue their ownresearch. A critical requirement of the Genome Biology Major program isa practical laboratory component that provides hands-on experience withthe collection and/or analysis of genomic datasets. This diverse courseoffering allows students to customize their educational experience tomatch their personal interests.