Students in this certificate program will learn new techniques and applications of current biotechnology databases to DNA and protein analysis. The coursework for the Integrative Genomics Certificate examines the interface between biology and computational sciences and introduces students to the skills needed for interpretation and evaluation of the most up-to-date scientific information in molecular and cellular biology and genetics as it is being generated and deposited into public databases. By considering the link between genomics and proteomics, the relationship between gene regulation, protein conformation and biological activity, incorporation of proteins in signaling pathways, and association of disrupted protein folding and/or expression in disease, students will tie together the foundation concepts from their courses to gain a more thorough understanding of translational science.
The Human Genome Project gave rise to the field of genomics by providing a platform for scientists to monitor the simultaneous expression of all genes in a cell (genome). Immediately in parallel, a more ambitious goal arose and scientists are now focused on the development of technologies that allow for the real-time measurement of abundance, location, modification, and activity of the corresponding proteins (proteome).
As new information is being revealed publicly, a wealth of insight into signaling pathways and disease relevance is becoming available. Coursework will allow students to explore the regulation of gene expression as well as the temporal and spatial arrangement of expressed proteins in a given cell. Basic skills in informatics will also expand students’ knowledge of how the National Center for Biotechnology Information public databases (www.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov) can provide cutting-edge, useful information about genes and proteins to all levels of scientists from teachers to researchers to clinicians. Familiarity with such databases will enable students to begin to familiarize themselves with the emerging enterprise of bioinformatics. Exposure to current technology further benefits those students currently in industry and research by providing current understanding of the translational application of genomics and proteomics to medicine as well as better prepares them for upper level courses and/or professional programs.
New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education