Genetics Training Program: Genetics Short Course

U-M Buhl Building

HUMGEN 630: Co-sponsored by the Genetics Training Program (GTP) and the Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology (CMB).

Fall and Winter terms, 1 credit each.

In this short course, GTP and CMB students invite outstanding internal and external scientists to give a seminar and to formally and informally interact with students.

The topic of the Winter 2020 Short Course, sponsored by Human Genetics, is “Centromeres, Telomeres, and Transposable Elements, Oh My!" See schedule below.

Seminars are open to the University Community


Fall 2021: Multi-omics in Unique Model Systems

Friday, September 17, 2021

  • Introductory Lecture, Carole Parent, Ph.D., Professor of Cancer Biology and Pharmacology, Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan
    "Dictyostelium discoideum as a model system to study chemotaxis"
  • 3:00pm, In-Person Location: Med Sci I, Room M3330 

Friday, October 1, 2021

  • Sebastian Lourido, Ph.D., Department of Biology, Whitehead Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
    "Defining transitions in a parasitic life cycle"
    3:00pm, Passcode: 558741 Zoom Link: 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

  • Gilles Laurent, Ph.D., Managing Director, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research
    "What can we learn about brain function by studying reptiles and cephalopods?"
    9:00am, Location: Passcode: 254888 Zoom Link: 

Tuesday, October 26, 2021 

  • Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, Ph.D., Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
    "Understanding the sources of regenerative capacity in animals"
    3:00pm, Passcode: 473243 Zoom Link: 

Monday, November 15, 2021 

  • Karen Maruska, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University
    "Visual-acoustic communication in a cichlid fish: genes, brains, and behavior."
    3:00pm, Passcode: 441875 Zoom Link:


Winter 2021: The Intricacies of Transcription:
Coordinating Multiple Layers of Gene Regulation

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

  • Introductory Lecture, Kenneth Cadigan, Ph.D., Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan LSA
    "Welcome to the Exciting World of Tandem and Interspersed DNA Repeats"
  • 3:00pm, ZOOM 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

  • Stephen Montgomery, Ph.D., Departments of Pathology and Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine
    "Common and Rare Regulatory Variation in Genetic Disease"
    3:00pm, ZOOM 

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

  • Karen Adelman, Ph.D., Departments of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School
    "Regulating Transcription and Coding and Non-Coding RNA Loci"
    3:00pm, Location: ZOOM 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021 

  • Hernan Garcia, Ph.D., Departments of Genetics, Genomics, & Development and Physics, University of California, Berkeley
    "Dissecting Transcriptional Dynamics in Development One Burst at a Time"
    3:00pm, ZOOM 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 


Fall 2020: Seeing is Believing: Advancing Research with Scientific Microscopy

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

  • Introductory Lecture, Melanie Ohi, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Cell and Developmental Biology and Life Science Institute, University of Michigan
    “Seeing is Believing: The Power of Microscopy in the Biological Sciences”
    9:30am, Bluejeans Mtg.,

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

  • Margaret Gardel, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Physics, University of Chicago.  
    "Biophysical Control of Epithelial Architecture and Dynamics"
    3:15pm, Bluejeans Mtg.,

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

  • Edward Boyden, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Biological Engineering and Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT  
    “Tools for Analyzing and Controlling Biological Systems”
    3:00pm, Bluejeans Mtg.,

Tuesday, October 29, 2020

  • Julie Canman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pathology & Cell Biology, Columbia University  
    "Title of Talk - TBD"
    3:00pm, Bluejeans Mtg.,

Friday, November 13, 2020

  • Michael Angelo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, Stanford University  
    "Linking Single Cell Function to Tissue Structure in Human Health and Disease with Multiplexed Ion Beam Imaging"
    3:00pm, Bluejeans Mtg. ,


Winter 2020: Centromeres, Telomeres, and Transposable Elements, Oh My!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

  • Introductory Lecture, Jayakrishnan Nandakumar, Ph.D., Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan LSA
    "Welcome to the Exciting World of Tandem and Interspersed DNA Repeats"
  • 3:00pm, Location WLH Med Sci II

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

  • Amanda Larracuente, Ph.D., Department of Biology, University of Rochester
    "Retroelements: Conserved Features of Drosophila Centromeres"
    3:00pm, Location WLH Med Sci II

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

  • Joseph Peters, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology, Cornell University
    "Variant CRISPR/Cas-enabled Transposition Systems in Natural and Programed Genome Modification"
    3:00pm, Location: REMOTE ATTENDANCE ONLY

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - CANCELLED

  • Gary Karpen, Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley
    "Interrogating Roles for Liquidity in Nuclear Organization and Function"
    3:00pm, Location WLH Med Sci II

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - CANCELLED

  • Julie Cooper, Ph.D., Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Colorado School of Medicine
    "Centromeres Impersonating Telomeres, and Other Forms of Deception at the Chromosome End"
    3:00pm, Location WLH Med Sci I

Fall 2019: Messing with the Messenger: The Role of RNA Modification in Biology

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

  • Introductory Lecture, Mats Ljungman, Ph.D., Professor of Radiation Oncology and Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan
    “The Epitranscriptome”
    3:00pm, M3330 Med Sci I

Thursday, October 24, 2019

  • Brenda Bass, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry, University of Utah
    "C. elegans ADARs Antagonize Silencing of Cellular dsRNAs by the Antiviral RNAi Pathway"
    3:00pm, M3330 Med Sci I

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

  • Kate Meyer, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, Duke University School of Medicine
    “Detecting m6A and Its Role in RNA Regulation”
    3:00pm, M3330, Med Sci I

Thursday, November 7, 2019

  • Joshua Rosenthal, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, The Eugene Bell Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, University of Chicago
    "Generation of Plasticity in the Cephalopod Brain by Editing mRNA"
    3:00pm, M3330 Med Sci I

 Thursday, November 14, 2019

  • Stacy Horner, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, Duke University School of Medicine
    "m6A at the Virus-Host Interface"
    3:00pm, M3330 Med Sci I


Winter 2019: Contain Your Cells: Regulatory Design by Chromatin Organization and Phase Separation

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

  • Introductory Lecture, Kaushik Ragunathan, Ph.D., Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan Medical School
    “Phase Separation as an Organizing Principle of Cellular Function”
    3:00pm, West Lecture Hall - Med Sci II

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

  • Victor Corces, Ph.D., Department of Biology, Emory University
    "Mechanisms of Transgenerational Inheritance of Obesity in Mice"
    3:00pm, West Lecture Hall - Med Sci II

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

  • Karen Reddy, Ph.D., Department of Biological Chemistry, John Hopkins Medicine
    "The Nuclear Lamina and Dynamic 3D Genome Organization"
    3:00pm, West Lecture Hall - Med Sci II

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

  • Geeta Narlikar, Ph.D., Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco
    "Phase-Separation and Allostery in Heterochromatin Regulation"
    3:00pm, West Lecture Hall - Med Sci II

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

  • D. Allan Drummond, Ph.D., Departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, University of Chicago
    "Stress or Signal? Rethinking the Cellular Response to Heat Shock"
    3:00pm, West Lecture Hall - Med Sci II

Fall 2018: Bedside to bench: Personalized Medicine through Basic Science

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

  • Introductory Lecture, Zhong Wang, PhD, Associate Professor of Cardiac Surgery, University of Michigan
    “Connecting Epigenetics and Tissue Engineering in Heart Protection and Regeneration”
    3:00pm, M3330 Med Sci I

Thursday, September 27, 2018

  • Michael C. Milone, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
    "Engineered T cell therapy for Cancer and Beyond"
    3:00pm, M3330 Med Sci I

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

  • Ali Khademhosseini, PhD Levi Knight Chair, Professor of Bioengineering, Radiology, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, UCLA
    “Emerging Organ Models and Organ Printing for Regenerative Medicine”
    3:00pm, 3695 North Lecture Hall, Med Sci II

 Tuesday, October 16, 2018

  • David Lillicrap, MD, FRCPC, Professor, Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Queens University
    "Advances in the care of Inherited Bleeding Disorders through the Application of Molecular Science"
    3:00pm, M3330 Med Sci I

 Thursday, October 25, 2018

  • Stephen F. Badylak DVM, PhD, MD, Professor, Department of Surgery, Deputy Director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
    "Matrix Directed Cell Signaling for Regenerative Medicine Applications"
    3:00pm, M3330 Med Sci I

Winter 2018: Host-pathogen interactions: innate immunity and beyond

Thursday, February 22, 2018

  • Introductory Lecture, Mary O'Riordan, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan Medical School
    "Cells on fire: turning stress into inflammation"
    3:00pm, South Lecture Hall

Monday, March 5, 2018

  • Nels Elde, Ph.D., Department of Human Genetics, University of Utah
    "Evolutionary innovations from biological collisions"
    3:00pm, North Lecture Hall

Thursday, March 15, 2018

  • Blossom Damania, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    "Modulation of cell signaling pathways by an oncogenic human herpesvirus"
    3:00pm, North Lecture Hall

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

  • Sara Sawyer, Ph.D., Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado, BioFrontiers Institute
    "Spillover: how viruses adapt at the animal - human interface"
    3:00pm, West Lecture Hall

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

  • Brian Lazzaro, Ph.D., Cornell Institute for Host-Microbe Interactions and Disease, Departments of Entomology and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University
    "Immune depression by mating and reproduction in Drosophila"
    3:00pm, North Lecture Hall

Fall 2017: You’re one in a million: techniques and applications of emerging single cell technologies

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

  • Introductory Lecture, Sue Hammoud, Ph.D., Departments of Human Genetics & Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Michigan Medical School
    3:00pm, M3330 Med Sci I

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

  • Long Cai, Ph.D., Research Professor in Biology, California Institute of Technology
    “Spatial genomics: single cell in situ transcription profiling and lineage analysis”
    3:00pm, M3330 Med Sci I 
    Discussion:  4:00pm, 2813 Med Sci II

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

  • Alex Shalek, MA, A.M., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, MIT School of Science
    "Approaching the immune system as an interacting ensemble of cells"
    3:00pm, M3330 Med Sci I
    Discussion: 4:00pm, 3813 Med Sci II

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

  • Bjorn Kafsack, Ph.D., MHS, Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Weill Cornell Medical College
    "One is the loneliest number: single cell exploration of sexual commitment in malaria parasites"
    3:00pm, M3330 Med Sci I
    Discussion: 4:00pm, 3813 Med Sci II

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

  • Nick Navin, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Genetics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    "Delineating tumor evolution with single cell genomics"
    3:00pm, M3330 Med Sci I
    Discussion: 4:00pm, 3813 Med Sci II

Winter 2017: SEQ-ing the truth: leveraging functional genomics to gain insights into mechanisms of neurological disease

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

  • Introductory Lecture, Kenneth Kwan, Ph.D., Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience Institute and Department of Human Genetics, University of Michigan Medical School
    "Genetics, genomics, and modeling; studying neurological diseases in the age of NGS"

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

  • Genevieve Konopka, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
    "Molecular networks of cognition"

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

  • Andrew McCallion, Ph.D., McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    "Exploring the cellular context of risk variants: neurological disorders, non-coding variation and cellular heterogeneity"

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

  • Gary Bassell, Ph.D., Department of Cell Biology, Emory University School of Medicine
    "Messenger RNA transport, local translation, and Fragile X syndrome"

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

  • Hugo Bellen, D.V.M., Ph.D., Departments of Molecular and Human Genetics & Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine
    "Flies as a diagnostic tool for human disease in the Undiagnosed Disease Network and for deciphering pathogenesis"

Fall 2016: Make yourself at home: how cells and organisms adapt to and define their micro-environments

Thursday, September 22, 2016

  • Introductory Lecture, Marina Pasca di Magliano, Ph.D., University of Michigan

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

  • Erika Matunis, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
    "Stem cell dynamics in the Drosophila testis"

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

  • Raghu Kalluri, M.D., Ph.D., University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    "Exploiting exosomes biology for diagnosis and treatment of cancer"

Thursday, November 10, 2016

  • Lea Goentoro, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology
    "Self-repairing symmetry in jellyfish"

Thursday, November 17, 2016

  • Zena Werb, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
    "Understanding cancer, metastasis and the tumor microenvironment in the age of single-cell genomics"

Winter 2016: Chromosome biology: exploring the impacts of genome architecture

February 25, 2016

  • Jacob Mueller, Ph.D., Department of Human Genetics, University of Michigan Medical School
    “Two faces of the X chromosome: applications to chromosome structure and function”

March 8, 2016

  • Mohamed Noor, Ph.D., Department of Biology, Duke University
    “Recombination rate influences adaptation and speciation: studies in the Drosophila pseudoobscura species group”

March 29, 2016

  • Houra Merrikh, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology, University of Washington
    “Replication-transcription conflicts in bacteria”

April 5, 2016

  • Beth Sullivan, Ph.D., Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, Duke University School of Medicine
    “Epigenetic basis of chromosome inheritance in humans”

April 12, 2016

  • Douglas Koshland, Ph.D., Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology, University of California, Berkeley
    “The good, the bad, and the ugly of chromosome structure”

Fall 2015: Engineering biology from proteins to patients

October 29, 2015

  • Nina Lu, Ph.D., Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan
    “Engineering biology: from proteins to patients”

November 5, 2015

  • Jaquin Niles, M.D., Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    “Designing and integrating synthetic biology tools to study malaria”

November 12, 2015

  • Salil Lachke, Ph.D., University of Delaware
    “iSyTE: an integrative approach to study gene function in eye development”

November 19, 2015

  • Chris Voigt, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    “Cello: a programming language for cells”

December 10, 2015

  • Timothy K. Lu, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    “Engineering living cells for human health applications”

Winter 2015: Manipulating genomes: applications for basic science and disease

February 26, 2015

  • Thomas Saunders, Ph.D., University of Michigan
    "Introduction: principles of genome editing"

March 03, 2015

  • Paula Cannon, Ph.D. , University of Southern California 
    "Giving HIV the [zinc] finger: targeted nucleases and precision gene therapy"

March 17, 2015

  • Dirk Hockemeyer, Ph.D. , University of California, Berkeley 
    "Elucidating telomere function in human tumor biology"

March 27, 2015

  • J. Keith Joung, M.D., Ph.D. , Harvard Medical School 
    "Targeted genome and epigenome editing using CRISPR and TALE technologies"

April 07, 2015

  • Matthew Porteus, M.D., Ph.D. , Stanford School of Medicine 
    "Genome editing as a research and therapeutic tool"

Fall 2014: Movement: from molecule to man

September 23, 2014

  • Kristen J. Verhey, Ph.D., University of Michigan
    “Movement: from molecule to man”

September 30, 2014

  • P. Hande Ozdinler, Ph.D., Northwestern University
    "What do the upper motor neurons tell us about motor neuron diseases: let's listen to what they have to say"

October 9, 2014

  • Keith Burridge,Ph.D., University North Carolina-Chapel Hill
    “From cell adhesion and mechanotransduction to Rho GTPases”

October 30, 2014

  • Jan Lammerding, Ph.D., Cornell University
    “Squish and squeeze: nuclear biomechanics and mechanotransduction in health and disease”

November 18, 2014

  • Lee Sweeney, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania 
    “Design and redesign of the molecular motor, myosin”

Winter 2014: Modern insights into evolutionary genetics

January 28, 2014

  • Patricia Wittkopp, Ph.D., University of Michigan
    "The genomic basis of regulatory evolution"

February 11, 2014

  • Manyuan Long, Ph.D. , University of Chicago  
    "New genes as drivers of phenotypic and functional evolution"

March 25, 2014

  • Harmit Singh Malik, Ph.D. , Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center 
    "Genetic conflicts: the usual suspects and beyond"

April 04, 2014

    • Jeffrey Palmer, Ph.D. , Indiana University, Bloomington 
      "Mitochondrial sex: rampant horizontal gene transfer in mitochondrial genomes"

Fall 2013: Evaluation and development of molecular therapies for cancer

October 1, 2013

  • Judith Leopold, Ph.D., University of Michigan
    “The evolution of MEK inhibitors from early discovery to regulatory approval and beyond”

October 8, 2013

  • Dane Compton, Ph.D., Dartmouth University
    “Mechanisms of chromosomal instability in human cancer cells”

October 24, 2013

  • Brian Ross, Ph.D., University of Michigan
    “Imaging biomarkers of cancer treatment response”

November 12, 2013

  • Frederic de Sauvage, Ph.D., Genentech Inc.
    "Targeting the hedgehog pathway in cancer: from bench to clinic"

November 26, 2013

  • Michael F. Clarke, Ph.D., Stanford University  
    “Translating basic science”

Winter 2013: Frontiers in gene regulation

January 23, 2013

  • Scott Barolo, Ph.D., University of Michigan
    "Gene regulation: why does it have to be so complicated?"

January 29, 2013

  • Luciano Marraffini, Ph.D. , The Rockefeller University  
    "The CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune system of bacteria: mechanism and applications"

February 20, 2013

  • John Stamatoyannopoulos, M.D. , University of Washington 
    "Gene regulation and common disease"

March 19, 2013

  • Karen Adelman, Ph.D., National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences 
    "Promoter-proximal pausing of RNA polymerase II: a window for opportunities"

Fall 2012: Wiring the nervous system in health and disease

September 25, 2012

  • Brian Pierchala, Ph.D., University of Michigan
    “Wiring the nervous system in health and disease”

September 27, 2012

  • Florian Engert, Ph.D., Harvard University
    “Sensory processing and motor control in the larval zebrafish”

November 13, 2012

  • John Flanagan, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
    “Axon guidance and regeneration: transmembrane receptors and RNA-based regulation mechanisms”

November 27, 2012

  • Zhigang He, Ph.D., Children’s Hospital Boston  
    "Re-building neuronal circuits after CNS injury"

December 13, 2012

  • Martine F. Roussel, Ph.D., St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – Univ of Tennessee
    “Molecular networks and cell of origin of pediatric medulloblastoma”