Genetics Concentration

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


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.

Areas of Research

  • Gene therapy

    Wordcloud of 86 most recent Genetics dissertation title key words

    Wordcloud of 86 most recent Genetics dissertation title key words

  • 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 cancer and disease

Learn about the UF Center for NeuroGenetics.

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

Program of Study

Year 1 – Fall Semester Year 1 – Spring Semester
BMS  Required Courses

GMS 6001: Fundamentals of Biomedical Research, 5 credit hours

GMS 6003: Essentials of Graduate Research & Professional Development, 1 credit hour

GMS 6090: Rotation #1, 1 credit hour

GMS 6090: Rotation #2, 1 credit hour

GMS 6895: Journal Club, 1 credit hour

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.

BMS Required Courses

GMS 7877: Responsible Conduct of Biomedical Research, 1 credit hour

GMS 6090: Rotation #3, 1 credit hour

GMS 6895: Journal Club, 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 6012: Human Genetics

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 > 6 graduate credits in courses, which can include graduate credits transferred in with permission of concentration co-directors.

—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 courses are acceptable, and courses not in the BMS curriculum list can be brought to the concentration co-directors for approval.

Courses most commonly chosen by Genetics students:

Human Genetics II (GMS 6015)

Epigenetics of Human Disease and Development (BCH 7412)

Advanced Gene Regulation (BCH 7410)

Special Topics: RNA Interference and MicroRNAs (GMS 5905)

Fundamentals of Biomedical Science Education (GMS 7950)

Advanced Applications of Bioinformatics (GMS 6232)

Genetic Model Systems (GMS 6151)

Stem Cell Biology  (GMS 6331)

Signal Transduction (GMS 6051)

Mitochondrial Biology in Aging and Disease (GMS 6622)

Mechanisms of Aging (GMS 6063)

Recent Advances in Cancer Metastatis (GMS 6338)

Advanced Stem Cell Biology: Tissue Engineering (GMS 6335)

Current Topics in Vision (GMS 6790)


Summer Option: 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.

All grad level Statistics and Biostatistics courses are acceptable; graduate courses not listed in the BMS curriculum must be brought to the co-directors for approval.

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.

Student Outcomes

Over the 20 years of this program, our concentration has graduated over 100 PhDs, with an average of 1.8 first author papers and 2.2 co-authorships.  Students have successfully competed for fellowships from the NIH, American Heart Association and UF’s Clinical and Translational TL1 program. In addition, students often gain positions on UF Health Science Center training grants. Students who are awarded an individual fellowship receive a bonus for each semester he/she holds the award.

Based on students from the first 15 years of the program, career distribution is:  63% academia (tenure track and non-tenure track), 20% private industry, 7% federal positions (CDC, NIH, FDA, etc), 10% other (e.g. science law, clinical research, clinical lab director, science policy, science business administration, non-profit foundations).

What We’re Publishing

Concentration Contacts

Margaret (Peggy) Wallace, Ph.D.
Coordinator, Genetics Advanced Concentration
Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology | (352) 392-3055

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

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