Students must be doctoral students in the department of Biostatistics or Epidemiology, have strong quantitative abilities and interest in the curriculum for interdisciplinary training program.
A Biostatistics Ph.D. student is required to satisfy all degree requirements as specified in the Department’s Graduate Student Handbook. As part of their program, students with an emphasis in quantitative genomics are required to follow the program described below and satisfy the 8 credits (GSAS credit hours) for a cognate field in an area related to quantitative genomics. Students are expected to take at least one course in the category of Data Structures and Programming and one course in the category of Molecular Biology, Physiology, and Genetics. Through a careful selection of courses, most of the courses will be useful towards satisfying Ph.D. degree requirements.
The suggested schedule contains courses that are required for Epidemiology students supported by the training grant in quantitative genomics. This schedule satisfies the epidemiology requirement that all students take 10 credit hours in two minors (here: biostatistics and genetic epidemiology). Students still need to satisfy other requirements for the epidemiology doctoral degree (e.g. they should choose electives so they are prepared for the substantive portion of the screening exam; they should ensure they have 20 credit hours in epidemiology courses; and they should complete EPI205, which is typically taken in the Fall of Year 3, after completion of the written exam).
Students are expected to complete three lab rotations in their first two years (including summer), including a wet lab rotation and two dry lab rotations.
Wet Lab Rotation
For the wet lab rotation in molecular biology, students are required to register for BST 316 (Quantitative Genomics Lab Rotation) for 2.5 credits. This requires 5-7 hours of work per week for 16 weeks or about 12 hours of work per week for 8 weeks. Students should identify a wet lab which can host the lab rotation. Faculty who can host web lab rotations can be found in the list below. Students are encouraged to discuss planning of their wet lab rotation with members of the PQG Executive Committee. This wet lab rotation offers hands-on experimental methods of research in the biological sciences. This experience will help to evolve interests for interdisciplinary dissertation projects as well as the suitability of mentors and research environments. Students perform individualized and original laboratory work, including participation in seminars, journal clubs, and assigned readings.
Dry Lab Rotations
Students are required to complete two dry lab rotations to gain practical experience on the quantitative and computational aspects of designing and analyzing “omics” studies by choosing two out of three types of dry labs: statistical genetics and “omics”, bioinformatics and computational biology, and genetic epidemiology. During an academic year, students can register for BST 316 for a dry lab rotation for 2.5 credits. The required work hours are the same as for the wet lab rotation listed above. Faculty who can host dry lab rotations can be found in the list below. Students are encouraged to discuss their dry lab rotations with their advisors and the members of the PQG Executive Committee.
Lab Rotation Procedure
For each lab rotation, students need to fill out a Quantitative Genomics Lab Registration Rotation form and submit it to Jelena Follweiler before the rotation. The student must also complete a 2-page report summarizing the activities of the lab rotation after the rotation (before grades are due for the semester). The faculty mentors are required to complete a Quantitative Genomics Lab Rotation Evaluation form, and students should make sure to remind them of this requirement.
Students in biostatistics who are counting their first-year summer independent research project as one of their dry labs should fill out and submit all the required paperwork, but to receive academic credit for the rotation they should enroll in a section of BIO 316 in Fall 1 of the academic year following the summer that section of their project is completed (see section 2.3.8 in the department’s PhD handbook for details on the independent research project).
Individual Development Plan
The training program provides trainees with a wealth of career development support and opportunities, with the goal of helping trainees explore potential career paths that best meet their career objectives. To engage trainees in this planning process, we will require trainees to take responsibility for setting and tracking their individual goals and plans through the Individual Development Plan (IDP) on how to achieve core competencies. All trainees will develop the ICDP through discussions, input and review from their faculty mentors and the Program Directors, and update their IDP annually.
Section 1: Wet Lab Rotation
Section 2: Dry Lab Rotations
2.1 Statistical Genetics and “Omics”
2.2 Bioinformatics and Computational Biology