March 31, 2006

Bio Sci students able to specialize in genetics

Administrators recently decided to allow biological science concentrators to specialize in genetics if they complete specific course requirements.

The new genetics specialization “mirrors a graduate program that [the University has] in genetics,” said Jocelyn Malamy, the director of the new specialization and assistant professor in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology and the Biological Sciences Collegiate Division.

The specialization was added because both faculty and students have a strong interest in genetics, according to Doug Bishop, associate professor in Radiation and Cellular Oncology, who works with Malamy.

In addition to receiving training in genetics, Malamy said that students would benefit from working with model genetic systems, taking courses in human genetics, and using sophisticated statistical tools that are invaluable in upper-level genetics analyses. Additionally, students will be able to participate in supplementary seminar programs. The genetics program will also help students find labs in which to do independent research and assist them in pursuing graduate degrees.

Biological sciences concentrators must receive a B or better in seven specialization classes to earn a Genetics specialization. The classes include one introductory genetics course, one in ecology and evolution, one in statistics, two in advanced genetics on model organisms and human genetics, and two other advanced genetics classes. Students are also required to complete an independent research project.