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)
Room 1360, Genetics/Biotechnology Center
425 Henry Mall
- Jan. 23
Patric Cramer, PhD (Director, Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry), Transcription of the Eukaryote Genome: Mechanisms and Regulatory Strategies, 3:30 pm, Ebling Symposium Center, Microbial Sciences Bldg.
- Jan. 27
Kathryn Wellen, PhD (Assoc. Professor, Dept. of Cancer Biology, U. Penn), Nutrient Signaling: Roles in Systemic Metabolism and Cancer, 3:30 pm, Rm. 1211 DeLuca Biochem. Sci. Bldg.
- Feb. 6
Donna Werling, PhD (Department of Genetics, UW-Madison), Genomic Investigation of Brain Development and Risk for Autism, 1:30 pm, Biotech Center Auditorium
- Feb. 13
Eamon Winden, GSTP predoctoral fellow (Genetics, UW-Madison), Title TBA, 1360 Biotech Center
- Feb. 20
Kieran Sweeney, GSTP predoctoral fellow (Department of Biomedical Engineering, UW-Madison), Title TBA, 1360 Biotech Center
- Feb. 24
Melike Lakadamyali, PhD (Ass’t. Prof., Dept. of Physiology, U. Penn), Visualizing the Inner Life of Cells with Super-Resolution Microscopy, 3:30 pm, 1211 DeLuca Biochem Science Building
- March 12
Rob Millikin, GSTP predoctoral fellow (Chemistry, UW-Madison), Title TBA, 1360 Biotech Centr
- March 5
Scott Topper, PhD, FACMG (VP, Clinical Operations and Laboratory Director, Color Genomics; former GSTP trainee), Massively Scaled Clinical Genomics: Implementing a National Precision Medicine Layer, Lessons from the All of Us Research Program and Other Large-Scale Personal Genomics Programs, 1:30 pm Biotech Center Auditorium
- March 19
No seminar – Spring Break
- March 23
Lori Sussel, PhD (Professor, Pediatrics; Cell & Developmental Biology, Univ. Colorado, Denver), Title TBA, 3:30 pm, 1211 DeLuca Biochemical Sciences Bldg.
- April 2
No seminar, week of NHGRI Research Training and Career Development Meeting
- April 9
Stefan Pietrzak, GSTP predoctoral fellow (Wisconsin Institute for Discovery), Title TBA, 1360 Biotech Center
- April 15
Presentation by Zeba Wunderlich, PhD (Ass’t. Prof., Dept. of Developmental and Cell Biology, Univ. of California, Irvine), The Connections Between Enhancer Architecture and Function, 3:30 pm, Biotechnology Center Auditorium
- April 22
Bérénice Benayoun, PhD (Ass’t. Prof., Gerontology, University of Southern California), Emerging Genomic Regulatory Mechanisms In Vertebrate Aging, 3:30 pm, Biotech Center Auditorium
- April 30
Presentation by TBA, Title TBA
- Jan. 23
David C. Schwartz (Departments of Chemistry and Genetics; Biotechnology Center);
Students who don’t present: Those students who don’t give a presentation will be assigned an S/U letter grade based on participation and attendance. Each student will be required to evaluate the seminar speakers for sufficiency of background, presentation of the problem, understandability, explanation of methodology, suitability of the scope of the presentation for the audience, and to comment on the presentation and on insights learned. Grading will be done by the instructors.
Students who present: Students will present a seminar on their own research or on a relevant article from the scientific literature. The articles chosen for presentations must be approved in advance by the instructors. The students that give a presentation will be assigned a letter grade A-F based on their presentation, in addition to attendance and participation. Their presentation will be evaluated jointly by the instructors, and the grade for the presentation will be based on the quality and clarity of their presentation, taking into account their oral delivery as well as use of visual aids, their ability to explain the research problem, results and its impact to a multi-disciplinary audience and on their ability to answer questions.
A list of articles recommended by presenters will be distributed prior to their seminars.