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Cancer Disparities

New Post-Baccalaureate Program in Genomics


The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has provided funding to establish a new Center of Excellence in Genomic Science (CEGS) at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. The DFCI CEGS will examine the effects of genetic and environmental perturbations on human cellular networks using protein-protein interactions mapping, proteomic analysis, and transcriptional profiling.

Our central hypothesis is that both human genetic variations and pathogens such as viruses induce “disease states” by influencing local and global properties of cellular networks.  Our overall goal in this proposal is to develop strategies to test this network hypothesis to probe the structure and dynamics of disease-related networks in response to exogenous perturbations.  The knowledge gained will be used to develop better models to interpret genome-wide genetic variations in the context of human disease.

Our Minority Action Program provides opportunities for under-represented minorities to access training and technologies to assist in a career development in human genome sciences. A primary goal is to increase the number of under-represented minority PhD students interested in genomics.

Our CEGS encompasses a collaboration of eight basic and clinical research groups from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Northeastern University.

Post-Baccalaureate Program:

It is now widely accepted that the traditional approach of “one gene at-a-time” in biology should be combined with genomic approaches and more integrative, systems biology approaches.  Our CEGS Post-Baccalaureate Program will provide a rich, unique and rewarding training environment to introduce students and fellows to this new and rapidly evolving field of biological research.  Each of the participants will be rigorously exposed to an interdisciplinary set of skills and scientific disciplines.  While any one trainee may choose an experimentalist approach to studying genomes and genome biology or a computational and integrative systems approach, all trainees will participate in and be exposed to the full range of technologies, concepts and disciplines employed in this CEGS.

Under the guidance of CEGS scientists, Post-Bac trainees will participate in a 2-year research program where they will conduct cutting edge research in the field of functional genomics. The goal of our Program is to teach and mentor young scientists how to apply emerging technology in genomics and proteomics to the study of interactome networks and how perturbations of these networks contribute to disease.  Program participants will access multiple research environments and gain experience in the following research areas: proteomics, gene expression analysis, protein interaction mapping, bioinformatics, computational biology and laboratory automation. Graduates of the post-bac programs will be expected to enroll in competitive graduate schools with the goal of developing a career in the genomic sciences.

Program Benefits:

  • Competitive salary including benefits
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Scientific and Professional Development Seminars
  • GRE preparation

Program Eligibility:

  • Two-year commitment
  • BS/BA obtained within the past year
  • Competitive academic record
  • US Citizen
  • Two letters of recommendation from undergraduate faculty/mentors

All applicants must be members of a minority group under-represented in genomic sciences (African-American, Hispanic, Native American, or Pacific Islander).

For further information, please contact Karen Burns White by email.Karen_burnswhite@dfci.harvard.edu