Human Genetics Course Information Guide
HG541, Molecular Genetics, is a course that explores how the information content of the DNA genome is (i) organized, propagated, and altered, and (ii) functionally expressed by regulated transcription into RNA - the core molecular properties and processes of genetic systems that underlie all further investigations of organismal, clinical, and population genetics. As a graduate level course, it is expected that students will enter HG541 with a basic understanding of the nature of biological systems, DNA, RNA, replication, and transcription. HG541 will focus on developing an advanced modern understanding of these molecules and reactions. We will explore what experimental research in model organisms and humans has taught us about the molecular encoding of genetic information while simultaneously exposing gaps in our understanding. Throughout, attention will be given to newer genome-wide analysis methods that are dramatically increasing our understanding of the extent of genetic variation and the many modes of gene expression. Also, students will be introduced to recombinant DNA technologies as one important way that molecular genetic insight is reduced to practice in biological research. Upon completion of HG541, students will appreciate the directions research in molecular genetics is heading and be able to draw on this insight as they pursue further studies and research in diverse areas of genetics and biology.
HG 542 will emphasize important topics, principles, and methods of genetics and molecular genetics as they relate to human variation and disease, using specific genetic disorders to illustrate key points. The course covers the topics of chromosomal and genomic structural variation and disorders, Mendelian inheritance and monogenic traits, non-Mendelian inheritance, complex genetic disorders and cancer genetics. Papers from the current and classic literature will supplement lecture material.
The concepts and analytic methods for studying variation in human populations are the subject matter of this course. The topics covered include the distribution of genetic variation, major forces of genetic stasis and change, quantitative traits, linkage analysis, association tests, and the role of the environment. We take a problem solving approach and present the basic models of population, quantitative, and statistical genetics at a mathematical level appropriate to students in the life sciences. Our focus is on current human genetics research. However, most of what we present is broadly useful and applies to natural populations of other species.
This course consists of a series of seminars and discussions on a special topic of interest to students, presented by invited speakers over several weeks each semester. The seminars are open to the University community. Registration for this course is limited to PIBS students, graduate students in CMB and Human Genetics, and students supported by the Predoctoral Genetics Training Program. These “short courses” are coordinated and sponsored cooperatively by the CMB Program and the Genetics Predoctoral Training Program.
Advanced course in population genetics, focusing on mathematical models and statistical methods for data analysis. Topics include infinite and finite population phenomena, population structure, admixture, mutation models, coalescent methods, recombination, and linkage disequilibrium.
HG 803 is a 2-credit course intended for students who wish to gain further exposure to selected research topics and methods in genetics. The course is organized into four units/topics, each of which is covered in a series of two to four weekly two-hour sessions, supervised by faculty members with expertise in genetics research. Recently published research manuscripts from the genetics field represent the discussion material for each of the weekly sessions, and the discussion places a heavy emphasis on student-led presentations, critical analysis and active participation from all students enrolled in the course. Class size is limited to 12 students.
In order to enhance knowledge of topics in genetics-related research as well as critical thinking and seminar presentation skills, students present papers from the current genetics literature. Students in the Department of Human Genetics are required to register and participate in 4 semesters of HG821/822; presentations are required in two of these semesters. All students participate in weekly practice sessions for the speakers and in post-presentation reviews.