The advancement of genome sciences requires a new generation of researchers with strong computational and statistical skills and the ability to effectively interact with experimentalists. CBIOS will prepare a cadre of young investigators to think innovatively and keep pace with the quickly evolving landscape of high throughput genomic technologies. Through the acquisition of discipline-crossing skills CBIOS will make trainees highly competitive for future careers in the rapidly growing fields of comparative, evolutionary, functional, systems, statistical and medical genomics.
The program’s educational objectives are to engender in its trainees the following qualities:
- Thorough understanding of hypothesis testing in the scientific process
- Ability to work from theory to data and back
- Fluency in the use of computational and statistical tools for high throughput data
- Ability to integrate and innovate computational and statistical analysis of high throughput data
- Excellence in cross-disciplinary scientific communication including ethical implications of computational and bioinformatics research
- Ability to lead cross-disciplinary research teams
Participating graduate programs
- Bioinformatics and Genomics Program Option in MCIBS
- Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Biosciences
- Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology
- Computer Science and Engineering
We embrace the goal of the NIGMS Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Predoctoral Training Program to “train a new class of scientists with a primary identity as a computational biologist/bioinformaticist, and whose disciplinary core draws from an emerging set of principles on how to compute, analyze and apply biological data”. PSU has long recognized the importance of this goal, and in 2006 established an intercollegiate IBIOS-BG graduate program. The proposed CBIOS program expands on the curriculum of this and other PSU graduate degree programs, engaging students in a two year interdisciplinary training experience that will equip them to perform world-class research in computation and statistics for genomics and to apply these methods to make substantive advances in basic and biomedical research.
Each calendar year, a minimum of three trainees will be admitted and engaged in a two year schedule of targeted course work, guided and independent experiential learning, and training in written and oral communication to interdisciplinary audiences. Our program will provide an effective venue to engage young scientists in the interdisciplinary and team-based research that has become the staple of genomics. Trainees from different backgrounds will complement each other, and we have seen the excitement of multiple young trainees working together actually synergize to stimulate the discussions and work needed to advance innovation in computational and statistical techniques for the analysis of genomic data. Thus, all trainees will have two mentors, one with active research in computational or statistical genomics, and the other with active research in comparative, medical or systems genomics. Both advisors will serve on the student’s dissertation committee and will supervise the progress of the trainee from the time of admission to the CBIOS program to completion of the PhD.