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Graduate program in the Department of Human Genetics

The Graduate program in the Department of Human Genetics focuses on the study of basic principles of genetics and genomics as applied to human disease. We provide broad training in experimental genetics and genomics, statistical and population genetics, bioinformatics, and clinical genetics. A common theme throughout our research is the application of basic genetic principles and strategies to the study of disease mechanism, disease susceptibility, and the genetic architecture of complex traits. 




Spotlight: Renee Fonesca

I am a Human Genetics PhD Candidate in the Dahl lab building methods to improve the portability of polygenic scores (PGS) across populations. PGS are poised to make personalized, preventive medicine a reality by using genetic data to predict a person’s disease risk. Unfortunately, PGS are less accurate predictors across populations of non-European ancestry due to Eurocentric biases in genetic studies. Despite this bias, clinical trials of PGS are underway with applications in cancer and cardiovascular disease. Interest in PGS is growing despite their limitations, so my work aims to mitigate the harm caused by premature applications of PGS and combat current inequities in genetics. I was drawn to UChicago by the vibrant scientific community and healthy work-life balance that exist here. Our department is full of talented, dedicated scientists who also value creating time and space for rest and community-building. My time here has taught me how to build a fulfilling, sustainable relationship with my research which will serve me well in my future.

Renee Fonseca

Renee Fonseca

Human Genetics PhD Graduate Student