The Department of Human Genetics was formed in 1997 to bring together faculty whose research addresses problems related to human developmental genetics, disease mapping, and evolution from a variety of different perspectives. The department is comprised of faculty from a diversity of fields such as cytogenetics, neurogenetics, molecular genetics, population and statistical genetics, anthropology, and clinical genetics. Research in the department involves a wide spectrum of experimental approaches, which include mouse models, comparative genomics, pharmacogenomics, and microarray analysis, as well as a strong emphasis on theory and methods development. Specific research areas include brain abnormalities and developmental disorders, and common diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, autism, and cardiovascular disease. Faculty members are also actively engaged in innovative collaborative efforts that seek to improve and extend research methods.
The curriculum is aimed at graduate students who are planning to pursue research careers in modern biology and genomics as well as teaching at the graduate (including medical school) and undergraduate levels. The doctoral program in Human Genetics provides students with an excellent background in classical human genetics, human variations, molecular genetics, and statistical and population genetics. Through close mentorship provided by faculty members, students accepted into the program have the opportunity to study many areas of human genetics including human disease genetics, classical genetics, neurogenetics, mouse genetics, pharmacogenetics, functional genomics, statistical genetics, complex trait genetics, and population/evolutionary genetics.