2nd Year and Beyond

GGS students are required to complete 3 advanced courses in 2nd year and beyond. There are many different advanced courses available for you to choose from. A number of classes focus on topics in specialized areas of genetics and genomic sciences, including medical genetics, epigenetics, statistical genetics, and others. You be able to select courses from the other UAB Graduate Biomedical Science themes that will enhance and benefit your own research training in your mentor's laboratory. These classes will be selected with the help of your thesis advisor and your committee.  Currently-offered GGS Upper-Level electives are listed below.          

GBS 724 – Principles of Genetics (mid-November through mid-December). This course addresses the basic principles of epigenetics and its involvement in many different biological/pathological processes. Epigenetic regulation refers to mechanisms that regulate gene expression without altering DNA sequences. Elucidation of epigenetic regulatory mechanisms has received great attention in the post genomic era. Topics include imprinting, X-inactivation, epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation, and cancer epigenetics. Click herefor syllabus.

GBS 725 – GGS Grantwriting (Fall Semester Year 3). This a required course and does not count as one of the 3 advanced classes.  The objective of this course is to teach students how to effectively write grant proposals. This course will provide hands-on training in the preparation of a grant application and demonstrate effective strategies for assembling a successful proposal. With guidance from the faculty, the students will write a NIH-style proposal on their dissertation research topic. After the proposal is complete, each grant will be reviewed in a mock NIH study section. See syllabus here.

GBS 726
– Advanced Medical Genetics (Fall Semester). The focus of this course is on the medical application of advances in genetics and genomics. Topics include chromosome structure and function and major types of chromosomal abnormalities, cancer genetics and cytogenetics, inborn errors of metabolism, current strategies for detection of mutations associates with genetic disorders, genetic risk assessment and population genetics, and genomic approaches to diagnosis and risk stratification.  See syllabus here.

GBS 727 – Advanced Human Genomics (Spring Semester). This course will cover the conceptual basis, major discoveries and unsolved problems in human genomics, with an emphasis on disease applications. See syllabus here.

GBS 798 – Non-dissertation research. Lab hours for students who have not yet entered candidacy.

GBS 799 – Dissertation research. Lab hours for students who have entered candidacy.

GBS Curriculum & Courses - click here

GGS students also participate in the following activities:

Journal Club: GGS students register for and participate in/attend a journal club each Fall and Spring semester.

Seminar: All GGS students attend the Department of Genetics Seminar Series, which occur Fridays at noon from September through May of the academic year. These seminars cover a wide range of relevant topics, including genetic analyses of simple and complex diseases, state-of-the-art genomic analyses. Many seminar speakers come from prestigious universities/laboratories. Click here to see the current seminar schedule (add link).

Student-led seminar series: GGS students attend the joint GGS; Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology; and Cancer Biology Theme student-led seminar series, held once a month, September – May. Students who have passed the qualifying exam from these themes present their research.

Qualifying Exam (Spring Semester Year 3): All students take a single qualifying exam for admission to candidacy. The format is relatively simple, with each student first writing a thesis proposal in the format of an NIH grant proposal as part of the required grant writing class (GBS 725). The graduate student's thesis committee members serve as the qualifying exam team. During the exam, which takes place in the spring semester of Year 3, each student will be asked questions about their proposed thesis work, as well as general knowledge questions as appropriate.