The University of Florida Genetics Institute is a multi-college, multi-faceted research center. What sets apart our institute and graduate program is our philosophy: good geneticists are interdisciplinary geneticists, incorporating many different genetic sub-fields into their work. The UFGI is a biomedical research center that promotes collaborative research and includes more than 220 faculty members, representing nine colleges and 51 academic departments. Founded in 2007, the program provides interdisciplinary doctorate training with an emphasis on computational approaches. Students can train in any UFGI member’s laboratory, regardless of their college or departmental affiliation.
“It definitely opened some doors. Through interaction with other students and what they were doing, that’s kind of how I ended up in some of the stem cell courses that were optional. And that’s how I realized I was interested in the field. It more or less shaped what I would do for my PhD.”
“A lot of the research that I did went and actually changed policy in that country in term of drugs that were being implemented on a human population level to treat disease.”
“Because the Institute covers everything from plants to humans, it gave me a broad overview of genetic research. The big thing we do here is training and to think how to work as independent scientists.”
“I was exposed to a lot here that I wouldn’t have if I didn’t create my own company. It was great to have a group of people together with different areas of expertise- faculty and students.”
“I had the opportunity to be exposed to a lot of tremendous role models and leaders. And getting to watch how they interacted with others has informed how I treat my students and the system of values I use in guiding others.”
UFGI faculty represent nine colleges and 51 departments. They conduct an extensive range of genetics research, in fields such as gene therapy, plant genomics, neurogenetics, pharmacogenomics, evolution & development, bioinformatics, and the list goes on. Students are able to interact with these faculty during events, as well as collaborations and mentorship committees.
The UFGI has over 220 faculty members for you to choose from when selecting a mentor. And, should you meet another researcher on campus who is not a member with whom you would like to work, they can easily become a faculty member.
As part of the program, students attend a seminar course on Fridays. This course focuses on enhancing students’ professional skills beyond lab work. Students will give presentations on their research, receive feedback from other students, and have opportunities to ask other students about their work. Program alumni and visiting faculty will also give talks.
During the fall and spring semesters, UFGI sponsors a Wednesday seminar featuring internal and external speakers. Researchers give talks on a variety of research topics related to genetics and genomics, and host a Q&A. Students attend these seminars as part of their professional development coursework. Students also have the opportunity to attend a luncheon with the speaker before the seminar.
The UFGI also hosts two conferences a year. The Phenotypic Prediction Workshop (brainchild of G&G alum Marcio Resende), and the Florida Genetics Symposium, which draws hundreds of researchers from around the world.