Graduate Group in Genomics and Computational Biology

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Governance of the Graduate Group and Committee Membership


Governance of the Graduate Group

The Graduate Group is overseen by the Chair and the Executive Committee with additional Advising, Curriculum, Admissions, and Preliminary Exam Committees.  Two student representatives serve on each committee.


The Chairperson is the individual responsible for governance of GCB. The GCB Chair oversees all committees of the GCB and selects Course Directors for all courses. The Chair convenes meetings of the Executive Committee and sets the agenda for these meetings. The Chair sets the agenda and presides over annual Faculty Meetings.

In addition to these responsibilities, the Chair also:

The Chair serves a three-year renewable term. In the Spring semester of the third year of a term, the Executive Committee requests nominations for the Chair and then contacts the nominees to determine if they would agree to serve. After the first three-year term, the Executive Committee may reappoint the chair though a committee vote, and a member of the committee of the committee should inform the faculty and students.  Nominations must be of senior level (Associate or Full Professor) individuals from the Standing Faculty of the University. The Chair is expected to be experienced in training Ph.D. level students.

Executive committee:

The Executive committee consists of the chairs of the other committees as well as other GCB faculty that wish to serve. It is responsible for:

The Executive Committee functions as an advisory committee to the Chair. It is composed of the GCB Chair and other faculty selected from senior membership of the GCB. The membership will represent the concerns of the Advising, Curriculum, and Admissions Committees. Its responsibilities are to maintain integration of the various graduate group programs and to review significant changes in policy, direction, or intent as recommended by GCB Committees or members, prior to final approval by the membership at large. Like the Advising Committee, the membership should always broadly represent each aspect of the students’ training program. The Chair of the Executive Committee is the GCB Chair, who is responsible for leading meetings and organizing the agenda.

The Executive Committee also evaluates faculty applications for membership in GCB. This committee reviews applications and votes for nomination and election to membership. This Committee also solicits nominations for GCB Chair and tabulates votes from the membership.

Curriculum committee:

The Curriculum Committee is primarily composed of course co-directors for GCB courses (GCB 531, GCB 535, GCB 537, and GCB 752).  This committee reviews the existing curriculum and evaluates how the students’ needs are met by the available courses. Modifications to the existing curriculum are initiated by this Committee and approved by the Executive Committee and then by the membership of the GCB. Two GCB students will serve on this Committee

The Chair of this committee prepares the agenda and runs committee meetings and sits on the GCB Executive Committee.  The Chair of the committee, along with the graduate group Chair, attends BGS Curriculum Committee meetings.  The Curriculum Committee reviews the existing curriculum and evaluates how the students’ needs are met by the available courses. Modifications to the existing curriculum are initiated by this Committee and approved by the Executive Committee and then by the GCB faculty body. The Chair of this committee prepares the agenda and runs committee meetings and sits on the Executive Committee.

Admissions committee:

Responsible for:

The Chair of the Admissions Committee sits on the BGS Admissions Committee and represents GCB. He or she also serves as a member of the GCB Executive Committee, and works with the graduate group coordinator to prepare admissions materials and reports for committee meetings.

Advising committee:        

This committee consists of 5 members who meet with first and second year students at the beginning of each semester to advise and approve of each student’s course and rotation choices.  If some members are unable to attend the meeting, special effort is made to have representatives from different areas of the curriculum (biology, statistics, computer science, etc.).  Members of the Advising committee also meet with first year students at the end of their second semester or in the summer prior to the second year to review the students’ progress, rotations, and plans for the coming year. In addition, the Advising Committee is responsible for monitoring the progress of students via their thesis committees. Student members of the advising committee will offer their advice but not be privy to their colleagues’ transcripts (with grades) and other formal evaluations. Student representation should include a 2nd and 3rd year student to provide recent feedback on courses.

Candidacy Exam Committee:

Responsible for:

The Candidacy Exam Committee consists of faculty members who remain on the committee for several years, as well as a rotating group of advisors of third year students.  The committee works closely with the Curriculum and Advising Committees to ensure that the exam tests candidates’ knowledge in the areas of experimental and computational sciences, as well as statistical methods.  After the exam is administered, the Committee meets to discuss individual scores and recommend whether a student should advance to full candidacy in the PhD program.

Current GCB Committee Membership

GCB Executive Committee GCB Advising Committee
Li-San Wang Graduate Group Chair Mark Goulian Chair, Advising Committee
Maja Bucan   Li-San Wang ex officio
Sharon Diskin   Casey Brown  
Mark Goulian   Susan Davidson  
John Holmes   Brian Gregory  
Sampath Kannan   Nancy Zhang  
Junhyong Kim   Jackie Meisel Student Representative
John Murray   Sarah Middleton Student Representative
Chris Stoeckert      
Varun Aggarwala Student Representative    
Krishna Vijayendran Student Representative    
GCB Admissions Committee GCB Candidacy Exam Committee
Chris Stoeckert Chair, Admissions Committee Hongzhe Li Chair, Exam Committee
John Maris Chair, MD/PhD Admissions    
Li-San Wang ex officio    
Blanca Himes      
Hongzhe Li      
Arjun Raj      
Gerard Schellenberg      
Rajashree Mishra Student Representative    
Katherine Siewert Student Representative    
Amber Weiner Student Representative    
GCB Curriculum Committee    
John Murray Chair, Curriculum Committee    
Li-San Wang ex officio    
Yoseph Barash      
Casey Brown      
Sharon Diskin      
Shane Jensen      
Junhyong Kim      
Ben Voight