Genomics, the study of the structure, function and evolution of the genome, is among the newest and most rapidly growing fields of both basic and applied science, and nearly all of the more traditional disciplines in biology are being revolutionized by genomic tools. The growing flood of data on the DNA, RNA and protein sequences of organisms provides unprecedented opportunities to address fundamental biological questions such as the causes of disease, the genetic basis of development, the extent and causes of adaptive evolution, and the nature of gene regulation. Genome biology is a highly interdisciplinary field, encompassing concepts and practices from such diverse fields as Cell and Molecular Biology, Evolutionary Genetics, and Computer Science. Students in the Genome Biology program will receive a uniquely broad training in these concepts and practices, with a key focus on conceptual training in molecular biology, bioinformatics and evolutionary genetics, and practical training in both computational and wet-lab genomics research. A key focus of the program is to train biologists in the breadth of knowledge and skills required to understand, generate, and use results from genomics. A major in Genome Biology provides a diversity of career options, and given the exponential growth of the field in both the private and public sectors, graduates will have unique skill sets for a wealth of employment opportunities.
The Genome Biology Major Program begins with a core set of courses providing a foundation in biology in the first and second years of study. In the upper years, the departments of Cell and Systems Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Molecular Genetics offer a range of courses that cover various aspects of genomics. These include advanced lecture, seminar and laboratory courses in addition to research project courses that take students into active labs to pursue their own research. A critical requirement of the Genome Biology Major program is a practical laboratory component that provides hands-on experience with the collection and/or analysis of genomic datasets. This diverse course offering allows students to customize their educational experience to match their personal interests.