Genetics Program

The Graduate Program in Genetics was founded in 1980 as an inter-institutional program, combining the strengths in genetics at Stony Brook University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and Brookhaven National Laboratory.  With nearly 100 faculty, the Genetics Program encompasses expertise that ranges from fundamental studies on classical animal, plant, and microbial model systems to cutting-edge research on behavior, cancer, and other human diseases.  Students enjoy superb opportunities for training that reflect the ever-expanding role of genetics in modern biological and biomedical research.  For instance, alongside traditional mutagenic screens with model organisms, the rapidly growing discipline of genomics is producing an explosion of information, which in turn is revealing the genetic circuitry of and relationships among all forms of life.  Data gathered by both traditional and new methodologies underscore the central importance of genetics in delineating the connection among genes, their biological functions, and the evolutionary processes that shape life on earth.  Genetics also gives practical insights into how defects in genes contribute to disease, as well as how gene products and genetic engineering can be used to improve the human condition.

The first-year student experience includes three core courses that establish a foundation for further study. In addition, each student rotates through three laboratories; these rotations furnish a basis for selecting a dissertation research advisor in May of the first year.  All Genetics students further deepen their knowledge and experience by participating in a student seminar series, thematic journal clubs, and elective courses chosen from a wide array of offerings.  The breadth of the Graduate Program in Genetics draws trainees from throughout the world with varied backgrounds and research interests, and the Program provides the options and flexibility to meet each student’s particular needs.