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Jackson Laboratory and Tufts University announce new Ph.D. track in mammalian genetics

BAR HARBOR, MAINE and BOSTON (January 5, 2011) The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts, and Tufts University School of Medicine have unveiled a new mammalian genetics track for PhD students. The joint track offers students in-depth research and training at both JAX and Tufts. Combining the faculty and resources of the genetics program at Tufts, with its emphasis on human disease, and the faculty and resources at JAX, with its emphasis on mouse models and bioinformatics, is expected to help address the growing international need for expertise in mammalian genetics.

The "JAX track" at Tufts provides students with the unique opportunity to conduct research rotations at both institutions and conduct their Ph.D. research at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. Students will also continue their work in the genetics program at the Sackler School through videoconferencing and by attending retreats and other program events. In addition, students will have opportunities to engage with investigators at Tufts and Tufts Medical Center directly studying disease in patients.

According to JAX Senior Research Scientist Mary Ann Handel, Ph.D., director of the Cooperative Predoctoral Training Program, "Combining our institutional strengths with Tufts' provides unparalleled opportunities to leverage mouse models to investigate normal human biology and disease."

The flexible track will allow students to complete required courses and training "while taking advantage of the best of each institution," Handel says.

"Graduate students in the new track will benefit from the resources and faculty of both institutions: the laboratory, didactic and seminar-based courses and the research laboratories working on human disease at Tufts, with the extensive mouse genetics and mouse models research laboratories at JAX," says Erik Selsing, Ph.D, associate professor of pathology at Tufts University School of Medicine and director of the genetics graduate program at the Sackler School.

"These students in genetics also have the opportunity to attend medical genetics rounds at Tufts Medical Center and the Floating Hospital for Children, interacting with physician-trainees. These experiences give students a special appreciation for the genetic diseases that affect people, ultimately helping to foster the collaborative research that will bring us closer to linking basic science research to cures for disease and the development of personalized medicine," he continues.

Trainees begin their studies in Maine in the first week of July, prior to the start of the usual academic year. First-year research rotations will be distributed between the Boston and Maine campuses. Students will conduct their Ph.D. research at JAX, where varied biomedical research opportunities include cancer biology, genetics of complex traits, neurobiology, bioinformatics/computational biology and many other areas.


Contact: Siobhan E. Gallagher
Tufts University, Health Sciences

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