The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recently approved the degree proposal for a doctorate in human genetics for the UTRGV School of Medicine.
The new human genetics Ph.D. program will be a full-time, four-year, 72-credit-hour degree plan. It will focus on applications of human genetics to medicine. The program will also address the growing need for researchers in human genetics and genomics in South Texas.
The program still must now receive final approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. In addition, federal financial aid is not available until the program receives approval from the U.S. Department of Education.
The program is scheduled to begin Fall 2022.
“Human genetics plays such a vital role in how our School of Medicine looks at disease, especially those prevalent in South Texas,” said UTRGV President Guy Bailey. “We are ecstatic the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board supports this program and sees the potential impact it can have in helping our area. Our university thrives in expanding our research and bringing new opportunities to our students.”
The program will admit seven students per year until it reaches a steady state of about 25 students working toward their degrees.
UTRGV School of Medicine’s Department of Human Genetics focuses on common diseases with high prevalence in South Texas. This includes diabetes and obesity as well as fatty liver disease. The South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute conducts a large portion of the department’s research.
STDOI’s resources include the Genomics Computing Center. It is one of the world’s largest computing clusters dedicated to human genetics analysis.