Dr. Michael Sanderson
Program Director

Pennie Liebig
Program Coordinator

IGERT Program in Genomics
University of Arizona
Biosciences West. 328
1041 E. Lowell Street
Tucson, AZ 85721-0088
Tel: 520-626-0988
Fax: 520-621-9190

IGERT Recruitment Program



In addition to the requirements, there are several opportunities available to all IGERT students.

Where appropriate, students are encouraged to take courses from pre-existing course-offerings in each of the three areas. Courses on specific topics are taught by faculty participants according to their area of expertise. The University of Arizona currently has a large number of relevant graduate course offerings, including the following (this is not an exhaustive list):

Evolutionary Genetics
Population Genetics (ECOL 526)
Speciation (ECOL 525)
Phylogenetic Biology (ENTO 565)
Concepts in Developmental Evolution (ECOL 596E)
Molecular Phylogenetics (ECOL 596U)
Fundamentals of Evolution (ECOL 600A)
Phylogenetic Workshop (ENTO 597B)

Functional Genomics
Human Genetics (GENE 533)
Nucleic Acid (BIOC 568)
Proteins and Enzymes (BIOC 565)
Applied Molecular Genetics (BIOC 571)
Cell Regulation (MCB 572)
Advances in Mammalian Genetics (BIOC 574)
Biological Structure (BIOC 585)
Methods in Cell Biology and Genomics (PLS 539)
Plant Pathology (PLP 695B)
Advanced Genetics (PLS 627)
Insect Molecular Biology (ENTO 520)
Microbial Genetics (PLP 528R)
Recombinant DNA Methods and Applications (MCB 573)
Plant Growth and Development (PLS 540)
Molecular Genetics (CBA 570)

Mathematical theory and biological computation

Bioinformatics and Genomic Analysis (ECOL 516)
Advanced Topics in Biological Statistics (ECOL 596Z)
Concepts in Genetic Analysis (MCB 545)
Algorithms for Computational Biology (CSC 650)
Principles of Programming Languages (CSC 520)
Statistics for Research (MATH 509)
Design and Analysis of Algorithms (CSC 545)
Software Tools for Computational Science and Engineering (MATH 589)

Visiting scientists and symposia are important elements of our program. We host a two day symposium each year featuring 4-5 invited speakers who are major contributors in the fields of functional genomics, computational developments, and/or evolutionary theory. The theme of these meetings varies annually to include a wide variety of research topics thus more fully representing the different core areas of our IGERT while still promoting focused group interactions centered on key new research areas. These symposia remain relatively small in size to encourage in depth interaction between IGERT students and visiting speakers. Many of our students have identified prospective post-doctoral mentors through these interactions.

Each meeting includes a poster session in which students present their research from individual projects, or from group projects undertaken as part of the IGERT courses. These poster sessions provide a stimulating environment for discussions and feedback between students and visiting scientists.                     RETURN TO TOP

An important aspect of training for Ph.D. candidates is the teaching and mentoring of other students. By recruiting motivated undergraduates into research laboratories, we encourage their participation in emerging areas of science and also provide training experience for graduate students as mentors. We integrate undergraduate research by pairing qualified undergraduates with IGERT graduate students in individual laboratories. Several excellent mechanisms are in place for this at the University of Arizona, including the Undergraduate Biology Research Program (UBRP), the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) program, and the Summer Institute, a program that places minority undergraduates into research laboratories for the summer. We are particularly enthusiastic about recruiting minority undergraduates into careers in the sciences, and we draw heavily on the Hispanic and Native American populations at the University of Arizona or in nearby community colleges.

Students who so choose have the opportunity to conduct an internship at another academic institution or in industry. The program is flexible concerning the duration of these internships, in recognition of the differing needs of particular students and projects. In many cases, these internships are during the summer or for one-semester, but in some cases it may be more appropriate for students to spend shorter periods of time at a host institution.

The motivation behind these internships is several-fold. First, time spent at a different institution provides students with a unique opportunity to experience a new intellectual environment. Even when students are working on a continuation of the same project, they have the chance to interact with people who offer new perspectives. Second, many of these internships are available at institutions that offer expertise complementary to that available at the University of Arizona. Thus, students have the opportunity for training in a broader array of areas relevant to genomics than would be possible at any single institution. Third, these internships provide perspectives on career opportunities and may help establish valuable professional contacts. Research internships in industry provide professional training, experience with diverse applications in genomics, and exposure to non-academic career options.

In most cases, these research internships develop naturally from existing collaborations between University of Arizona faculty and those at host institutions. In general, these internships take place once a student has advanced to candidacy and is underway with their thesis work (i.e. sometime after their second year in residence). It is the responsibility of the student and the faculty advisor to make arrangements for these internships. These arrangements must be approved by the IGERT steering committee (FORM C).
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The University of Arizona offers many regular seminar series, usually through individual departments. IGERT Fellows are encouraged to regularly attend seminars relevant to genomics; the IGERT web page (www.genomics.arizona.edu) provides links to "IGERT related seminars" each semester. Students are encouraged to check the web page regularly and attend these seminars.