Today, I was appointed to the WashU Genome Analysis Training Program (GATP). The program name may be unfamiliar as it’s specific to the institution, but the this program is funded by the NHGRI grant T32 which is officially titled “Institutional training grant in genomic science”. Now, let’s just note what this appointment actually entails.
As this grant is for training students for genome analysis, it expects appointees take courses that fulfill requirements in computer programming, probability and statistics, cell and molecular biology, and genome technologies and computational biology. The first two I should already have satisfied with courses taken in my undergraduate university. However, because I have not taken an actual college-level biology course, I will need to take courses here at WashU to fulfill the latter two requirements.
What’s also interesting is that this grant sponsors attendance of the annual NHGRI Research Training and Career Development Annual Meeting which happens each spring. The next one is in a few weeks at Duke University. They expect that trainees give poster presentations and considering the deadline to submit a PDF poster is in less than a week, it’s a little daunting.
I think this appointment is going to be a good opportunity for me. It’s been about 9 months since I’ve joined the Brent Lab and I have noticed my limited knowledge of biology and genomics holding me back occasionally. The required courses and opportunities to communicate my project ideas and results with experts in the area will be useful in setting my foot in the field.