The Interdepartmental Program in Human Genetics and Genomics is a multi-disciplinary program aimed at training scientists broadly in areas of human genetics and genomics relevant to human health and disease. Modern medicine is increasingly dependent on “genomic literacy” among practitioners and patients, and training the scientists who will work in genomics is our aim.
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Dean Pascal Goldschmidt, in his remarks on the opening of the Miami Institute for Human Genomics1 (Miami Herald, November 28, 2007, p. A1) noted:
”Genomic research will change the way we practice medicine by translating the new knowledge of the Human Genome Project into findings that will help our patients survive some of the most common deadly diseases, through very targeted, personalized treatments. Ultimately, our discoveries will allow us to prevent many of these diseases altogether.''
As a compliment to our world-class human genetics and genomics research program, our goal is to offer a broad-based graduate training program. As a graduate student in this program you will be given the unique opportunity to break into the program at the ground level. Human genetics is a multidisciplinary field that requires training in three core competencies: clinical, molecular, and statistical genetics. This broad training differentiates human genetics graduate programs from other programs in molecular biology, biochemistry, epidemiology, or statistics which focus training on just one of the three core areas. Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program in human genetics will be part of a more cohesive community, interacting and taking courses with others who have common academic and research interests in human genetics and genomics. As part of this interdepartmental program, students will have the opportunity to work with faculty from across the university, while being trained under a unified program umbrella.
This program is a perfect fit for students from many scientific disciplines (such as biology, chemistry, biochemistry, mathematics, computer science) who wish to train in molecular or statistical genetics. Our focus on genetics and genomics as applied to human diseases and traits specifically makes this program unique; such focus is currently not present in other departmental or interdepartmental programs. The program includes a clinical training component, whereby students will rotate through medical genetics clinics and observe the application of human genetics in a health care setting. This activity will be coordinated with the existing Medical Genetics residency program and provide an opportunity for Ph.D. students to interact with M.D. medical geneticists.
Only forty Ph.D. programs in Human Genetics are registered with the American Society of Human Genetics. This Ph.D. program focused on human genetics and genomics is the first in Florida, and one of only a handful in the southeastern United States.
1) The Miami Institute for Human Genomics was renamed as the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics effective August 28, 2009