Degree Programs

The UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute supports interdisciplinary endeavors in engineering and science, offering unique opportunities for research and learning in bioinformatics and related fields. The blend of academic programs at UCSC allows students to pursue challenging avenues of study in biomedical research, bioinformatics, environmental toxicology, and related areas at the forefront of discovery. Community studies and philosophy programs address the ethical, social, and legal implications of today’s scientific research. Our students go on to exciting careers in research, industry, and teaching. Many of our undergraduates and most of our graduate students participate in research projects in faculty laboratories.

Blending genomic science with
policy, ethics, and justice

The graduate-level Science & Justice Training Program trains science and engineering students alongside social science and humanities students to identify and respond to moments where research requires attentiveness to questions of policy, ethics, and justice.

Grad programs in biomolecular engineering and bioinformatics

The Department of Biomolecular Engineering (BME) in the Jack Baskin School of Engineering offers MS and PhD degree programs in Biomolecular Engineering and Bioinformatics. BME offers a wide range of exciting research programs, from cancer genomics and DNA sequencing technology to stem cell biology and HIV vaccines. The department combines the rigorous computational analysis of bioinformatics with sophisticated laboratory methods of biomolecular engineering in both its research and its graduate training programs.

Faculty in the department have received several major grants including grants from the National Institutes of Health for AIDS vaccine research, for nanopore technology for DNA analysis, and for a Cancer Genome Data Analysis Center. Funding from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has allowed expansion of a training program in stem cell research for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.

Stem cell training program

The UCSC Training Program in Systems Biology of Stem Cells funds the training of predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows who engage in research projects with faculty mentors from UCSC and also participate in a variety of learning opportunities. The program draws on UCSC’s strengths in basic biological research, such as RNA biology, chromatin biology, early development, and computational genomics. Program scholars will gain a solid understanding of the biology of stem cells, the skills to use stem cells in their own research, and the ability to devise and integrate results from computational analyses. The program will underscore the value of stem cell research in developing therapies and cures for human disease.

The program is made possible by funding from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

Program co-director Camilla Forsberg said, “This program reflects our commitment to interdisciplinary research and education at the interface of science and engineering, and it takes advantage of the fact that many of our faculty regularly work across the divisional boundaries.”

NIH training grants support graduate studies

The Department of Biomolecular Engineering and Department of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental (MCD) Biology at UCSC both benefit from NIH training grants designed to support graduate students involved in specified areas of biomedical research. In addition to directly supporting graduate students, the grants also provide flexible funding departments can use to support graduate training programs.

Under these grants, student training includes a rotation program in which they spend time working in different laboratories with faculty in both biomolecular engineering and MCD biology.