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Geneticist Schools

by Douglas Matus, studioD

Geneticists work at the cutting edge of 21st century science, using their knowledge to formulate medical breakthroughs and further humanity’s understanding of its heritage and development. The sequencing of the human genome opened a wide field of professional opportunities for geneticists in areas like patent law, medicine and research. The best schools for future geneticists have recognition from rankings experts, advanced facilities and dynamic, interdisciplinary research environments.

Stanford University

“U.S. News & World Report” chose Stanford in 2010 as its best school for the study of genetics. The National Research Council also awarded Stanford’s genetics program No. 1 ranking in 2010 for research and scholarly reputation. The Department of Genetics in the Stanford School of Medicine grants students access to the resources of the Stanford Human Genome Center, the Stanford Genome and Technology Center, several genetic databases and the Gene Ontology Consortium, which provides for interdisciplinary biomedical research. Students even receive training on how to present findings to the public, thanks to the Stanford at The Tech project at the Tech Museum of San Jose.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT’s genetics program received the 2010 a No. 2 ranking from “U.S. News & World Report" and top rankings from the National Research Council for research and its reputation among genetics faculty. MIT’s Department of Biology hosts the genetics program, and students have the opportunity to work at more than 60 faculty research labs for a rich interdisciplinary experience. MIT features 31 faculty members employed in genetics research and an additional seven in human genetics. The department of biology also boasts faculty members H. Robert Horvitz, Phillip A. Sharp and Susumu Tonegawa, all of whom won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Harvard University

The Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School achieved the No. 3 ranking from “U.S. News & World Report” among genetics programs for 2010. Harvard also achieved the No. 1 overall rank for biological sciences in the 2013 QS World University rankings. Genetics faculty at Harvard are all members of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program, which unites them with faculty from all of Harvard's basic science departments to create a rich and diverse educational environment. The Program in Genetics and Genomics allows students to specialize in genetic research while working with experts in fields like biophysics and neuroscience. Students in this program also have access to the Biopolymers Facility at Harvard Medical School.

University of California Berkeley

In 2010, the genetics program at University of California Berkeley achieved the fourth-best ranking from “U.S. News & World Report,” along with a top rating for research from the National Research Council. UC Berkeley was also chosen as the sixth-best university worldwide for biological science in the 2013 QS World University Rankings. Genetics research at Berkeley occurs within the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. Students in the genetics division have access to the Center for Integrative Genomics and the opportunity to work with experts in many scientific disciplines through the Computational Biology Initiative. Genetics students at Berkeley also benefit from a weekly seminar series and annual retreat at Lake Tahoe.

About the Author

Douglas Matus is the travel writer for "West Fort Worth Lifestyle" magazine, and spent four years as the Director of Humanities for a college-prep school in Austin. Since 2005, he has published articles on education, travel and culture in such publications as "Nexus," "People's World" and "USA Today." Matus received an Education Pioneers fellowship in 2010 and an MFA from CalArts in 2011.

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