Over the past decades, the field of human genetics has expanded beyond anyone's expectations. The faculty in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (BSPH) and School of Medicine (SOM), as well as colleagues at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), realize that to accomplish new discovery and to translate that into further biological understanding, counseling applications, treatment potentials, or prognostic metrics, researchers of the future must be multi-lingual, able to think and "speak the language" of multiple disciplines including epidemiology, genetics, medicine, and biostatistics. It will no longer be efficient for a laboratory scientist to rely solely on an epidemiologic collaborator to design and implement data collection and statistical analyses, as these are now intimately related to the planned biological measurements and their interpretation. In reverse, population scientists cannot continue to simply send samples "off for testing" and receive back numbers in a dataset to analyze without the full context of how they were generated and without a plan in place for what laboratory validation or follow-up will be most appropriate depending on their results. With this in mind, we believe this training program will establish new investigators ready to tackle the cross-disciplinary challenges.
This pre-doctoral training program provides opportunities such as journal clubs, seminars, and didactic courses spanning public health and medicine. Trainees will have hands-on experience in the laboratory, such as next-generation sequencing, high-throughput genotyping, copy number variant analysis, genome-scale methylation analysis, and examination of the functional significance of genetic findings. As part of this training, participants will also work with population based studies to develop skills in epidemiologic design, causal inference methodology, statistical genetics, bioinformatics, programming, quality control assessment, measurement issues, and consortium practices. Finally, participants will work with clinical experts to consider the application of genetic findings to individuals and populations. This may include ethical considerations, screening, dissemination of results, and interpretation of findings from both the practitioner and patient perspectives. This training program offers two options 1) within the Genetic Epidemiology track in the School of Public Health, and 2) within the Institute for Genetic Medicine PhD program in the School of Medicine, leveraging the already established curriculum and faculty expertise of both programs.
Pre-doctoral students must apply and be accepted into the respective programs (PhD Epidemiology, PhD IGM). During the admissions process interested applicants can express their interest in the program in their personal statement. All qualified applicants will be reviewed and considered for a slot in the training program. Interested applicants can also inquire with Jennifer Deal for the SPH program and Sandy Muscelli for the SOM program.
Sandy Muscelli , Program Administrator, IGM