Spotlight on Genomics Programs in American Universities

Students in the University of Maine’s Functional Genomics program, and in other similar genomics programs, are learning that knowledge of genomics is essential in the work of all types of research centers and businesses in the areas of biotechnology, healthcare and the environment. In the field of medicine, the study of genomics can aid in:

�· Speeding the discovery of genes related to illnesses such as asthma, cancer, diabetes and heart disease

�· Recognizing changes in genes that can reveal cancerous cells in their earliest stages of development

�· Explaining how various genes interact to create either healthy or diseased cells

Ã?· Designing “custom drugs” based on an individual’s genetic profile

In the fields of biotechnology and environmental science, the study of genomics can aid in:
�· Growing crops that can survive disease, insects and harsh weather conditions

�· Growing produce that is more nutritious

�· Developing pesticides that are better for the environment

�· Breeding farm animals that are healthier and can resist disease

�· Creating vaccines that can be put into food so they can be eaten instead of injected into the skin

�· Developing new fuels and energy sources

�· Locating pollution in the environment

�· Cleaning up toxic waste safely and quickly

As you can see, all areas of biology and medicine are affected by genomics. It is believed that biology will be the foremost science of this century, largely because of the progress in genomics and the how this field can be applied to so many areas of study.

Colleges and universities that offer programs in genomics
If this type of science sounds interesting to you, there are several advanced degree programs in the field of genomics in the United States. The newest program is a Ph.D. in Functional Genomics, the science of how genomes work, at the University of Maine. The goal of this program is to provide students with the opportunities to explore the “command center” of any living cell, which is the DNA, proteins and chemicals that control how that cell develops. The students spend time studying and working in many different areas, since learning about how genomes work requires interaction among the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science and engineering.

Check out the websites of a sampling of schools that offer programs in various areas of genomics:

�· Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Program in Human, Molecular and Developmental Genetics & Genomics
http://genetics.case.edu

�· Duke University, Durham, NC
Department of Bioinformatics & Genome Technology
http://www.cbcb.duke.edu/phdPgrm.htm

�· The George Washington University, Washington, DC
Program in Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics
http://www.gwumc.edu/bioinformatics

�· Mount Sinai School of Medicine of NYU, New York, NY
Genetics & Genomic Sciences Training Area
http://www.mssm.edu/gradschool/ggs/

�· North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Program in Functional Genomics
http://genomics.ncsu.edu

�· Texas A & M University, College Station, TX
Program in Bioinformatics & Genomics
http://gene.tamu.edu

�· University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA
Interdepartmental Program in Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics
http://www.genetics.ucr.edu

�· University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Program in Applied Genomics
http://www.smasters.uconn.edu/appliedgen.htm

�· University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Program in Physiology & Functional Genomics
http://www.med.ufl.edu/phys/gradprog.shtml

�· University of Maine, Orono, ME
Program in Functional Genomics
http://www.umaine.edu/genomics

�· University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge, TN
Program in Genome Science & Technology
http://gst.ornl.gov

�· University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Department of Genome Science
http://www.gs.washington.edu

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