The Genomic Sciences Training Program (GSTP) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison aims to train the New Biologists, enabling them to gain strengths bridging multiple disciplines needed for gaining an integrated approach to solving complex problems in genomics research. GSTP faculty trainers are in 14 different departments spanning physical, chemical, biological, and computational approaches. GSTP is supported by an institutional training grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute (T32HG002760).
The University of Wisconsin-Madison has built on its core of genomic scientists, laying the foundation for GSTP, which educates and supports both predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows. GSTP was further advanced by a cluster hiring initiative in the genomic sciences, which brought together outstanding faculty spanning across many disciplines. This effort was also synergized by the construction of a building dedicated to genomic science and genetics, designed to foster collaborations and to project a tangible presence on campus. Accordingly, our program is training the next generation of genomicists in multiple disciplines. These disciplines include chemistry, engineering, computer science, biostatistics, genetics, biochemistry, molecular medicine and systems biology.
Many of the GSTP faculty trainers are innovators in creating new technologies for advancing genomic analysis as well as pioneers in probing complex biological problems on a genomic level. The University has strengths across many of its departments and is one of the top universities in the country. It ranks sixth in the U.S. in research expenditure. UW-Madison has one of the largest university biological research communities, with over 700 faculty, 1,500 academic staff, 700 postdoctoral fellows, 2,500 graduate students, and tens of thousands of undergraduates. It is known for interactive and communicative exchanges among many departments, laying the foundation for a nurturing yet challenging intellectual environment in which to develop and pursue a research career.
The genomic sciences are defining the “New Biology” for this century. A key feature of this New Biology (Schwartz, Nat’l. Acad. Press 2004) is the acquisition and interpretation of staggeringly large data sets (implying high-throughput measurement) that are becoming increasingly multi-dimensional. A key challenge is to maintain clear biological focus on important problems in the face of increasingly complex experimental systems and the requirement for sophisticated means for their analysis. Clearly, we have an on-going paradigm shift in the way we think about biological problems and the way that we go about solving them. This thinking requires that universities must train the new biologists to operate within this new intellectual space.
Invention and Innovation: We are witnessing an important waypoint in the maturation of the genomic sciences. The current genomic landscape features very large, high dimensional data sets, generated by large-scale efforts in genome sequencing, transcriptional profiling, structural genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and the like. We derive rich biological and genetic insights from such data sets by both local and global considerations using analysis approaches that span from knowledgeable hunches to established pathways, or networks. However, significant and somewhat “complete” answers to important biological problems do not necessarily scale with the breadth and depth of relevant data sets, and often evade knowledgeable hypotheses generation.
Given the above, a critical mission for GSTP is training young scientists to innovate more effectively, in far reaching ways, perhaps to engender the next revolution built on contemporary, yet cutting- edge ideas drawn from the genomic sciences. Discoveries in human biology/genomics stem from innovation, but must also effectively touch the clinic. GSTP places special emphasis on supporting and training innovators who will create new tools, especially those who will blur the boundaries between experimental (instrumentation, devices, imaging, cell biology) and theoretical (statistics, computer science, mathematics) investigation through fine – grained integration, or invention. GSTP training also emphasize the role that invention plays in the genomic sciences and engages trainees to be active learners in their pursuit of understanding the process of invention as it relates to research efforts.
Apply for GSTP Traineeships: GSTP is recruiting pre- and postdoctoral trainees who will create the new paradigms in genomic sciences. Invention is the poetry of science featuring rigorous scientific thinking and technological innovation that combine to address grand challenges through unusually creative research endeavors. GSTP is seeking applications from graduate students and postdoctoral researchers pursuing projects featuring innovative thinking that will usher in new ways to conceive biological/genetic investigations through invention. Write firstname.lastname@example.org to request application materials and more information.
GSTP Seminar Series
Genomic Sciences Program Seminar Series
Thursdays, 4:45 p.m. (unless noted otherwise)
- Feb. 1
Evan Eichler, PhD, Univ. Washington; Karin Miga, PhD, U Calif., Santa Cruz; moderator, Eric Green, MD, PhD, Director, NHGRI, NHGRI Bold Predictions for Human Genomics by 2030, Bold Prediction #1: Generating and analyzing a complete human genome sequence will be routine for any research laboratory, becoming as straightforward as carrying out a DNA purification, 2:00 pm.
- Feb. 11
Andrew Lynch, GSTP predoctoral fellow (Cellular and Molecular Pathology PhD Program), Quantifying Chromosomal Instability from Intratumoral Karyotype Diversity and Structure
- Feb. 18
Julia Nepper, PhD, GSTP postdoctoral fellow (Wisconsin Institute for Discovery), The Hammer of THOR: Determining Roles of Secondary Metabolites in a Soil Microbiome
- Feb. 24
Jason Tennessen, PhD, Associate Professor (Dept. of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington), Cancer, Fruit Flies, and Rotting Bananas – Exploring the Metabolism of Tumor Growth Using Drosophila melanogaster as a Model System
- Mar. 4
Gene E. Robinson, PhD, Prof. of Integrative Biol. & Entomology (Univ. Illinois, Urbana Champaign; Co-chair, Earth Biogenome Project), Sociogenomics: The Molecular Biology that Links Nature and Nurture
- Mar. 8
Nancy Cox, PhD, Vanderbilt Univ., Neville Sanjana, PhD, NY Genome Center; Moderator, Carolyn Hutter, PhD, NHGRI, NHGRI Bold Predictions for Human Genomics by 2030, Bold Prediction #2: The biological function(s) of every human gene will be known; for non-coding elements in the human genome, such knowledge will be the rule rather than the exception, 2:000 pm
- March 18
GSTP seminar rescheduled for Fall ), Title TBA
- March 25
Jaime Cordova, GSTP predoctoral fellow (Genetics Graduate Program), Understanding the Extent of and Drivers of Diversity in the Bacterial Response to Oxygen Availability
- April 1
Stefan Pietrzak, GSTP predoctoral trainee (Cellular and Molecular Biology Graduate Program), Investigating the Regulatory Dynamics of Somatic Cell Reprogramming to Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs)
- April 7
Valentina Lo Sardo, PhD, Ass’t. Professor (Cell Regenerative Biology, UW-Madison), Deciphering the Non-coding Genome with iPSCs and Genome Editing, 3:30 pm
- April 9
Stefan Pietrzak, GSTP predoctoral fellow (Wisconsin Institute for Discovery), Title TBA, 1360 Biotech Center
- April 12
Tom Gingeras, Cold Spring Harbor Lab; Tuuli Lappalainen, NYU Genome Center; Moderator, Paul Liu, MD, PhD, NHGRI, NHGRI Bold Predictions for Human Genomics by 2030, Bold Prediction #3: The general features of the epigenetic landscape and transcriptional output will be routinely incorporated into predictive models of the impact of genotype on phenotype, 2:00 pm
- April 22
No GSTP seminar (week of NHGRI Research Training and Career Development Conference)
- April 28
Anita Corbett, PhD, Professor (Dept. of Biology, Emory University, The RNA Exosome and Human Disease: Using Model Systems to Explore Disease Mechanism
- Feb. 1
David C. Schwartz (Departments of Chemistry and Genetics; Biotechnology Center);