University of California, Riverside

Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics


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The Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics (GGB) Graduate Program leads to conferral of a Ph.D. in GGB, with a subspecialization in one of three curricular tracks: Molecular Genetics, Evolution and Population Genetics, and Genomics/Bioinformatics. The GGB Program also administers a full undergraduate curriculum in Genomics/Bioinformatics within the Biological Sciences major.

Our program is diverse, with research opportunities in areas ranging from plant breeding to population/evolutionary genetics to molecular biology and bioinformatics. Our students have access to cutting-edge bioinformatics, high-throughput genomics, microscopy, and proteomics facilities. Robust cross-disciplinary interactions are fostered, with genetics as the central, unifying theme. These collaborations often bridge fundamental and applied genetics that merge the basic and agricultural life sciences with statistics and computer sciences. This same intellectual diversity also offers incoming students a wide variety of choices for conducting their dissertation research. Students are able to choose among one of three curricular tracks. Regardless of which track they select, each student pursues an academic program that is custom tailored to their needs and goals.

Molecular Genetics Track

The Molecular Genetics track provides the opportunity for students to carry out their dissertation research choosing among a wide variety of experimental systems ranging from microbes to plants to animals. Core classes are delivered by faculty from traditional Biology and Biochemistry departments along with representatives from our agricultural departments. As such, our students receive a broad training that fosters new perspectives on their own research.

Evolution and Population Genetics Track

The Evolution and Population Genetics track is administered by faculty with interest in evolution and ecology. Research opportunities for interested trainees include quantitative genetics, population structure and dynamics, systematics and mechanisms of molecular evolution, and conservation biology; importantly, students will find that microbial, plant and animal systems are studied within each of these broad categories.

Genomics and Bioinformatics Track

The Genomics & Bioinformatics track melds relevant Statistics, Computer Science and Life Science courses into a flexible curriculum that would appeal to computationally-oriented informaticians or to "wet-bench" -oriented genomicists. This curricular track has helped the GGB retain its unique identity in an environment of rapid programmatic expansion in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.

Our program is student-oriented. The students identify and host outside speakers at our spring quarter seminar series. Students also organize the Annual Graduate Student Research Symposium. These responsibilities have enabled new networking opportunities as our students look to their futures. The students freely discuss issues confronting the GGB Program and convey their findings and recommendations to the faculty.

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