2nd Year and Beyond

GGB 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, bioinformatics, 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 GGB Upper-Level electives are listed below.          

GBSC 711-Advanced Genetics Study (offered Fall, Spring and Summer Semesters). Individualized training, communicate with theme director for more information.

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. 

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

GGB students also participate in the following activities:

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

Seminar: All GGB 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.

Student-led seminar series: GGB 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.

  • UAB’s Undiagnosed Diseases Program is the court of last resort for those with baffling diseases that have never been diagnosed.Bruce Korf, M.D., Ph.D., Wayne H. and Sara Crews Finley Chair in Medical Genetics, Professor and Chair, Department of GeneticsFor a medical mystery that defies explanation or diagnosis, the Undiagnosed Diseases Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham is the court of last resort. Launched in October 2013, the program aims to unravel the most perplexing medical cases in which a diagnosis has not previously been made. “Undiagnosed diseases present a critical unmet need, with patients often cycling through the medical...

  • Haydeh Payami, Ph.D., a leading geneticist recruited to the UAB-Hudson Alpha Center for Genomic Medicine and UAB Personalized Medicine Institute, is exploring the protective power of coffee and nicotine — and the mysteries of the microbiome — in Parkinson’s disease.Written by Matt WindsorWhen you hear the phrase “good genes,” you probably picture a supermodel like Kate Upton, or a sports superstar like Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper. People, in other words, who may have worked hard for their success, but were blessed with some helpful genes as well. Superstar geneticist Haydeh Payami, Ph.D., has spent the past two decades searching for...

  • Hundreds of students will present academic pursuits in cutting-edge research topics.Hundreds of UAB students will present academic pursuits in cutting edge research topics.The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Office of Undergraduate Research will host nearly 200 student presentations during its Summer Expo on Friday, July 24.  The EXPO celebrates excellence in research, creative activity and scholarship by showcasing the academic endeavors of undergraduate students covering more than three-quarters of the majors offered at UAB. Undergraduates will have the opportunity to present what they have learned through their research experiences to an audience. This event also provides a forum for students, faculty and the community to...

  • UAB’s Korf recognized for contributions in the field of genetics with election to fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.Bruce Korf, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Genetics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.  This year, 401 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. As part of the Section on Biological Sciences,...

  • “Twitch,” a film about a young woman’s journey as she is tested for Huntington’s disease, will be previewed on campus.Kristen Powers“Twitch,” a documentary film chronicling the emotional journey of an 18-year-old as she is tested for a degenerative genetic disease, will be screened on the campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham at 1 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 10, at Volker Hall, 1670 University Blvd. Kristen Powers, the producer and star of the film, will be at the screening of her movie, which follows her genetic testing for Huntington’s disease, a neurological brain disorder that led to the death of her...