Welcome to the Genetics and Epigenetics program!

G&E is now accepting applications (no application fee)

We focus on…
  • human genetics
  • model organism genetics
  • epigenetics
  • bioinformatics
  • genomics 
  • gene regulation
Check our 100+ faculty in…
Our program includes…
  • Extensive course offerings
  • Every student is fully supported
  • Additional support from NIH-funded Predoctoral Training Grants
  • Long-term mentorship from faculty and senior students
  • Annual retreats by Department of Genetics and Epigenetics Institute
  • Annual symposia by CAMB, Department of Genetics and Epigenetics Institute 
  • No requirement to TA, but opportunities for both teaching and outreach

G&E Resources

Departments, Centers, and BGS Graduate Groups with a Genetics Focus
More CAMB-wide resources can be found here.


Advising and Academic Review

The Advising and Academic Review Committee (AAR) provides advising to all students prior to their Preliminary Exam. The AAR committee meets three times per year, around the beginning of the Fall, Winter and Spring semesters. The purpose of the AAR is to review each student’s performance and address any concerns from the previous semester and to help finalize plans for the upcoming semester.

The AAR consists of G&E faculty and G&E senior student peer mentors. The Committee is divided into five advisory subgroups, each consisting of two faculty and one student representative. Each subgroup advises an assigned subset of incoming students from the Fall semester of their first year until their Preliminary Exam Committees are formed (Spring semester of 2nd year PhD students, 3rd year for CD students). Each advisee is assigned an advisory subgroup to serve as a consistent point of contact during this time.

The meetings scheduled around the beginning of the Fall, Winter and Spring semesters include ~15-min sessions with each student and the appropriate advisory subgroup. Students should come to these meetings with a carefully considered plan for course and laboratory work. These meetings are organized as follows. First, the AAR student peer mentor leaves the room so the advisee's academic file and other potentially sensitive issues can be discussed. Next, the student peer mentor returns to the room and the full subgroup discusses with the advisee plans for course and laboratory work in the upcoming semester. The subgroups are designed to include members with a wide range of experiences and expertise. Finally, an AAR Meeting Form is filled out and returned to the G&E Coordinator. It is understood that not all course and rotation decisions will be finalized at this meeting. Students will have an additional two weeks to finalize their schedule and inform the G&E Coordinator, who registers students for all courses.

The AAR also provides feedback and approval for the Specific Aims page proposed by 2nd year PhD and 3rd year CD students (March-April), reviews the Preliminary Exam performance of all G&E students (May-June), and is available to consult on any other academic-related issues for dissertation-level students. Student peer mentors provide feedback and organize practice of preliminary exams for 2nd year PhD and 3rd year CD students (March-April).


Teaching and Outreach Opportunities

G&E students are not required to teach, but interested dissertation-stage students can gain teaching experience via Teaching Assistantships (TAs). Courses that need TAs include: Cell Biology (BIOM 6000); Eukaryotic Gene Expression (BIOM 5550); Epigenetics (CAMB 4830); and Molecular Biology and Genetics (BIOL 2210), which is an undergraduate course. Students also have opportunities to work with undergraduates in the lab through the Summer Undergraduate Internship Program (SUIP) or through individual lab initiatives. Senior students can also work as private tutors. Contact course directors, BGS (Compensation for Teaching Assistantships and Other Supplemental Activities), or the CAMB office for more information.

Outreach opportunities in Genetics

G&E students can participate in a variety of community outreach activities, including running a booth at the annual Philadelphia Science Festival or mentoring high school students in local science fairs through iPraxis.


G&E Committees

Dr. John Murray, Committee Chair
Dr. Rebecca Ahrens-Nicklas
Dr. Naiara Aquizu
Dr. Gerd Blobel
Dr. Doug Epstein
Dr. Tom Jongens
Dr. Jennifer Kalish
Dr. Eileen Shore
Dr. Katalin Susztak
Dr. Zhaolan (Joe) Zhou, Program Chair


Dr. Hao Wu - G&E Representative to CAMB Curriculum Committee
Tania Perez - G&E Student Representative to CAMB Curriculum Committee


Dr. Yoseph Barash, Committee Chair
Dr. Brian Capell
Dr. Michael Hart
Dr. Elizabeth Heller
Dr. Zhaolan (Joe) Zhou, Program Chair


Dr. Marisa Bartolomei
Dr. Doug Epstein
Dr. Tom Jongens
Dr. Zhaolan (Joe) Zhou, Program Chair


Liz Kraeutler
Emily Lubin
Kiara Rodriguez-Acevedo
Lexie Schneider



Awards in Genetics

The Kaushal Family Awards in Genetics were established in 2016 to recognize pre-doctoral and post-doctoral scholars for excellence in Genetics research as evidenced by a notable publication.

Nominations for the Kaushal Awards are solicited each summer. Each prize includes a $1000 monetary award and a public seminar to be presented to the Genetics Department. The awards are open to BGS students and PSOM postdocs working in any area of Genetics. Applicants may nominate one of their first-author (or co-first author) publications from the current or prior academic year.


Kaushal Family Award: Pre-Doc Kaushal Family Award: Post-Doc
2016 Sumeet Khetarpal (Rader lab) Yao Yao (Epstein lab)
2017 Alan Tang (Kahn lab) Daniel Bose (Berger lab)
2018 Yong Hoon Kim (Lazar lab) Takashi Akera (Lampson lab)
2019 Jeremy Grevet (Blobel lab) Hui Chen (Good lab)
2020 Jennifer Luppino (Joyce lab) and
Eduardo Torre (Raj lab)
Qi Qiu (Wu lab)
2021 Kamen Simeonov (Lengner lab) Tingfang Chen (Epstein lab)
2022 Joel Rurik (J. Epstein lab) Yi (Joey) Zhou (H. Song lab)
2023 Daniel Park (Joyce lab) Karl Glastad (Berger lab)


In 2011, the Department of Genetics established the "Tom Kadesch Prize in Genetics" to honor the legacy of our friend and colleague Dr. Tom Kadesch. Dr. Kadesch was a member of the Genetics department from 1984 until his death in 2011, and served as Interim Chairman for his final 4 years. He was not only an excellent scientist, but also a tremendously dedicated mentor, teacher and University citizen whose contributions inspired those around him. In his memory, with the help of many generous donors, we were able to set up an endowed fund that will support in perpetuity an annual award to "a graduate student demonstrating excellence in research achievement and citizenship".

Nominations for the Tom Kadesch Prize in Genetics are solicited each summer. This prize includes a $1000 monetary award and a public seminar to be presented to the Genetics Department. Eligible students can be members of any BGS graduate group. Students should be conducting research in the broad area of Genetics and should have received or anticipate receiving their PhD degree within a year of the application deadline.

Year Kadesch Prize Awardee Graduate Group Thesis Advisor
2011 Andrew Edmondson CAMB/GTV Dan Rader
2012 Ishmail Abdus-Saboor CAMB/G&E Meera Sundaram
2013 Maria Elena De Obaldia IGG Avinash Bhandoola
2014 Judy I-Ting Wang NGG Zhaolan Zhou
2015 Derek Oldridge GCB John Maris
2016 Celine Santiago CAMB/DSRB Greg Bashaw
2017 Philipp Mews CAMB/G&E Shelley Berger
2018 Katherine Palozola CAMB/G&E Kenneth Zaret
2019 co-winner Enrique Lin Shiao BMB Shelley Berger
2019 co-winner Camille Syrett CAMB/DSRB Montserrat Anguera
2020 Marco Carpenter PGG Elizabeth Heller
2021 Qin Zhu GCB Kai Tan and Junhyong Kim
2022 Kiara Berríos Adorno BMB Rahul Kohli
2023 Rina Kim IGG Robert Vonderheide


Genetic Societies and Conferences