Programs - Postdoctoral Training Program in Genomic Medicine

Principal Investigators/Program Directors: Patricia Dickson, MD and Jorge Di Paola MD, PhD
Research Fellow/Junior Faculty Support: two postdocs (MDs or PhDs)

This is a NIGMS-funded program to support physician-scientists who are engaging in medical genetics research. There are too few medical geneticists to meet the growing need for our services. As a result, much of medical genetics testing, diagnosis, counseling and management occurs outside of our field and is instead practiced by physicians who receive little specific training. Our goals are, therefore, twofold. First, to mentor future medical geneticists who are embarking on a career in academic medicine and grow the medical genetics workforce, and second, to provide medical genetics training to physician-scientists in other fields who engage in medical genetics-related research, which will enhance the clinical knowledge-base of those specialists who may be most likely to use genetic testing or treatments in their practices. Trainees may choose from four focus areas, which represent patient care needs with particularly rapid growth: cancer, rare and undiagnosed diseases, gene-environment interaction and neurodegeneration. Major strengths of this program include active medical and laboratory genetics training programs, in-house clinical cytogenetics laboratory, biochemical laboratory and sequencing capability, a large number of centers and groups performing genomic studies, including Undiagnosed Diseases Network clinical and model organism screening center sites, the McDonnell Genome Institute, the Cancer Atlas Network, the Edison Family Center for Genome Sciences & Systems Biology, and others. Washington University provides an outstanding mentorship environment and infrastructure for genetics research with an emphasis on collaboration and a superb track record of producing physician-scientists. This programs takes advantage of the wealth of genetics research, clinical and research training and mentorship that is thriving on our campus to train those scientists who will bring innovative diagnostics, therapeutics and data-driven practice to the clinic.

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