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  February 4, 2002

Genomics Degree to be Launched First
By John Wray

The new Sloan Professional Master's Degree in Applied Genomics, approved by the Board of Trustees on Jan. 18, will be a two-year professional graduate degree program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The program is expected to become available in fall 2002 It will be one of the first professional master's degrees in applied genomics in the nation.

The new program is designed to prepare students for a wide range of employment options in the corporate research, scientific and business communities. It will also prepare students for opportunities in the law enforcement, legal, and political communities.

The sequencing of the human genome, completed in the summer of 2000, has resulted in an explosion in the number of new biotechnolog y companies, the rapid expansion of genomics-related activities of well established pharmaceutical corporations, and in other arenas such as law enforcement. These developments have created a growing need for people with in-depth knowledge of applied genomics.

The program, expected to draw up to 10 students per year, will provide students with interdisciplinary competencies in genetics, molecular biology, and computational analysis.

"Interest in this new professional degree program in genomics is very high," says Linda Strausbaugh, professor of molecular and cell biology and director of the new degree program. She says a number of UConn students have already expressed interest in the program, as well as students at several other local universities

The establishment of the new degree program in applied genomics at UConn follows last year's establishment of a Center of Applied Genetics and Technology. Strausbaugh says the new program further strengthens the University's offerings in this burgeoning field.

UConn has more than 20 faculty members who currently conduct genomics-related research and training, most within the department of molecular and cell biology.