Genetics Concentration

NOTE: This page is for detailed information about the Genetics Advanced Concentration only. All inquiries concerning admission to the BMS Admissions office at More information on admissions is also available on the Admissions Page.

Program Areas of Research | Program of Study | Program Contacts


The Advanced Concentration in Genetics is one of eight advanced concentrations leading to the Ph.D. degree under the auspices of the Graduate Program (BMS) in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Florida College of Medicine.

Genetics is the basis for all of biology and is the most rapidly evolving field in biomedical research, applicable from the most simple organism to humans. Genetics can include simply using tools to manipulate nucleic acids or employing a genetic strategy to develop and test hypotheses and translational resources. In our concentration, the goal is to use genetics to advance understanding of disease processes and potential therapies. Nearly 70 faculty are affiliated with the concentration, from six colleges, providing broad opportunities for graduate training involving genetics.

The Genetics concentration is highly flexible, allowing students/mentors to completely tailor all optional coursework, lab training, and other opportunities (e.g. professional development, community service, teaching, collaboration) for each student’s project and long-term goals. There are no specific required courses, and students may choose to take a different journal club in the spring of each year, to personalize their focus of study. Any graded journal clubs will count toward the coursework requirement after the first year.

With genetics and genomics being ubiquitous, Genetics dissertation projects are highly diverse and interdisciplinary.  Thus, our students graduate with a depth of skills and approaches that allow them to successfully pursue a variety of career paths.  Because many of our students have chosen the biotechnology/pharmaceutical path, our concentration has been given access to local biotechnology companies via an annual private tour, to learn firsthand about the facets of private industry, specific companies, and to make connections


Wordcloud of 86 most recent Genetics dissertation title key words

Areas of Research

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  • Gene therapy
  • Vector development
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Animal models of disorders and physiological systems
  • Cancer genetics and biology
  • Human genetics – Mendelian and multifactorial traits
  • Bioinformatics/computational biology
  • Structure/function mutation pathogenesis studies
  • Prokaryotic genetics
  • Development
  • Viral pathogenesis
  • Noncoding RNA in disease
  • Epigenetics and genetic imprinting
  • Stem cells and iPS cells in development and disease

Learn about the UF Center for NeuroGenetics.

Laura Ranum, Ph.D., Director of Center for NeuroGenetics

Program of Study

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Year One

Fall SemesterSpring Semester
BMS Required CoursesBMS Required Courses
GMS 6001: Fundamentals of Biomedical Research, 5 credit hours GMS 7877: Responsible Conduct of Biomedical Research, 1 credit hour
GMS 6003: Essentials of Graduate Research & Professional Development, 1 credit hour GMS 6090: Rotation #3, 1 credit hour
GMS 6090: Rotation #1, 1 credit hour GMS 6895: Journal Club, 1 credit hour
GMS 6090: Rotation #2, 1 credit hour Plus 6 hours of coursework: Based on discussion with potential mentors, other advisors and interest for thesis project. Examples of recommended spring first-year courses:
GMS 6895: Journal Club, 1 credit hour GMS 6012: Human Genetics
For students entering the program with a relevant Master’s degree, exceptions to the first semester curriculum may be granted with transfer of credit for equivalent coursework.GMS 6014: Applications of Bioinformatics to Genetics
BCH 6415: Advanced Molecular and Cell Biology
GMS 6065: Cancer Biology
GMS 6034-6: One or more of three 1-credit courses in Advanced Virology
GMS 6140: Principles of Immunology
One or more of 1-credit courses in Molecular Therapy

Beyond the First Year Students must earn at least 6 credits in graded graduate courses, which can include graduate credits transferred in from prior work (such as from a Master’s degree) with permission of concentration coordinators.  Many Genetics students opt to take more than 6 credits after the first year, which may include working toward additional accomplishments such as a certificate. 

—GMS 6920 Genetics Journal Club (1 credit) in the fall of every year, with option to take a different journal club in the spring semesters.

—All graduate level Statistics and Biostatistics are acceptable, and any UF graduate-level courses not in the BMS curriculum list can be brought to the concentration coordinators for approval.

Courses that Genetics students have taken in recent years:

Stem Cell Biology (GMS6331)

Regenerative Medicine (GMS6334)

Epigenetics of Human Disease and Development (BCH7412)

Advanced Gene Regulation (BCH7410)

Molecular Therapy series (GMS6251-6253)

Fundamentals of Biomedical Science Education (GMS7950)

Mitochondrial Biology and Aging (GMS6622)

Team Science (GMS6945)

Genomics and Bioinformatics (GMS6231)

Biological Drug Development (GMS6506)

Organization of Cells and Tissue (GMS6635)

Advanced Applications of Bioinformatics (GMS6232)

Fundamentals of Neuroscience (GM6007)

Statistical Methods in Res. I (STA6166) or Stat in Health Sciences (PHC6050/6052)

Advanced Molecular Virology (GMS7133)

Translational Research and Therapeutics (GMS6847)

Signal Transduction (GMS6051)

R Functional Genomics (BSC6438)

Cell Biology of Aging (GMS6063)

Principles of Immunology (GMS6140)

Genes and Immunotherapy (GMS6132)

Developmental Genetics (GMS6013)

Mechanisms of Aging (GMS6063)

Recent Advances in Cancer Metastatis (GMS6338)

Advanced Stem Cell Biology: Tissue Engineering (GMS6335)

GMS 5905 Special Topics: Genetics Grant Writing (1 credit) typically taken after the end of the 2nd year, to prepare for the Qualifying Exam written proposal. This is a graded 1-credit course that counts toward the coursework requirement.

Most Genetics students take at least half of the 6 credits in the second year, but they can be spread throughout the training as well.

The Faculty and Their Research

For a list of faculty members in the Genetics advanced program, please click here.

Meet Eric Wang, Ph.D. and learn about his research in RNA regulation.

Alumni Spotlight

Meet Dr. Angela McCall, a 2017 Genetics Concentration graduate:

Student Outcomes

The Genetics concentration has graduated over 100 PhDs in 22 years, with an average of 1.7 first-author papers and 2.7 co-authorships per student.  The average time to graduation is 5.3 years.  Our students have successfully competed for fellowships, such as from the NIH, American Heart Association and UF’s Clinical and Translational TL1 program. In addition, students often attain positions on UF Health Science Center NIH T32 training grants. Students who are awarded an individual fellowship receive a bonus for each semester that he/she holds the award.

From the first 12 years of the program, initial career distribution was about 60% academia (tenure track and non-tenure track), 20% industry, 20% other (e.g. government lab/institute, science law, clinical research, clinical lab director, science policy, science business administration, non-profit foundations). In more recent years, 60-70% of graduates are starting their careers in industry (biotechnology, pharmaceutical companies), with fewer in academia and the other directions. 

What We’re Publishing

Microtubule-based transport is essential to distribute RNA and nascent protein in skeletal muscle.

Denes LT, Kelley CP, Wang ET.Nat Commun. 2021 Oct 27;12(1):6079. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-26383-9

Placental treatment with insulin-like growth factor 1 via nanoparticle differentially impacts vascular remodeling factors in guinea pig sub-placenta/decidua.

Davenport BN, Jones HN, Wilson RL.Front Physiol. 2023 Jan 4;13:1055234. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2022.1055234. eCollection 2022.

RAN proteins in neurodegenerative disease: Repeating themes and unifying therapeutic strategies.

Guo S, Nguyen L, Ranum LPW.Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2022 Feb;72:160-170. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2021.11.001. Epub 2021 Dec 22.PMID: 34953315 

Genetic Control of Splicing at SIRPG Modulates Risk of Type 1 Diabetes.

Smith MJ, Pastor L, Newman JRB, Concannon P.Diabetes. 2022 Feb 1;71(2):350-358. doi: 10.2337/db21-0194.

Machine Learning Prediction and Phyloanatomic Modeling of Viral Neuroadaptive Signatures in the Macaque Model of HIV-Mediated Neuropathology.

Ramirez-Mata AS, Ostrov D, Salemi M, Marini S, Magalis BR.Microbiol Spectr. 2023 Feb 27:e0308622. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.03086-22. Online ahead of print.

Metformin inhibits RAN translation through PKR pathway and mitigates disease in C9orf72 ALS/FTD mice.

Zu T, Guo S, Bardhi O, Ryskamp DA, Li J, Khoramian Tusi S, Engelbrecht A, Klippel K, Chakrabarty P, Nguyen L, Golde TE, Sonenberg N, Ranum LPW.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Aug 4;117(31):18591-18599. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2005748117. Epub 2020 Jul 20.PMID: 32690681 

Sectoral activation of glia in an inducible mouse model of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa.

Massengill MT, Ash NF, Young BM, Ildefonso CJ, Lewin AS.Sci Rep. 2020 Oct 12;10(1):16967. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-73749-y.PMID: 33046772

Concentration Contacts

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Margaret (Peggy) Wallace, Ph.D.
Coordinator, Genetics Advanced Concentration
Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology | (352) 214-7123.

Lei Zhou, Ph.D.
Co-Coordinator, Genetics Advanced Concentration
Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology | (352) 273-8169

Kris Minkoff
Graduate Administrator
Phone: (352) 273-6380 | Email: