Genetics

The study of heredity and gene action is one of the most rapidly developing fields of biology. Genetics is essential to understanding all aspects of biology, and this field has driven many of the modern advances in medicine, agriculture, and the pharmaceutical industry. Analysis of genetic sequences has yielded deep insights into cellular and developmental processes, and is rapidly becoming a major tool in tracing evolutionary lineages and in reassessing biological classification. The goal of the Concentration in Genetics is to provide biology majors with an in-depth exposure to modern aspects of genetics, including research experience in a genetics laboratory.

The concentration in genetics provides a solid foundation for those planning careers in medicine, and there is a growing demand for geneticists in pure and applied research. Developments in biotechnology have shown the potential for using genetic techniques to synthesize complex proteins for medical and commercial use, for developing new drugs and chemotherapeutic agents for cancer and other diseases, for improving crop plants and animals, and for understanding and controlling pathogenic organisms, including fungi and bacteria. In addition, gene therapy that replaces defective genes with intact copies is becoming a medical reality. Many students are now choosing to combine their studies of genetics with related fields such as business or public policy, with a view to managerial positions in biotechnology fields, or positions in government or law.

Students fulfilling the requirements of the Area of Concentration in Genetics will receive a note on their official transcript.

Area Advisor

Area Advisors Area Faculty

Dr. Amy Bejsovec, Department of Biology, Developmental, Cell & Molecular Biology Group
phone: 618-8162 e-mail: bejsovec@duke.edu

 

Molecular and Developmental Genetics:
Baugh, Bejsovec, Benfey, Bhandawat, Dong, Haase, Kiehart, Pei, D. Sherwood, N. Sherwood, Spana, Sun, Volkan

Population and Evolutionary Genetics:
Cunningham, Donohue, Magwene, Mitchell-Olds, Noor, Rausher, Uyenoyama, Vilgalys, Willis, Wray

 

Pre/Corequisites

Chemistry

  • CHEM 101DL Core Concepts in Chemistry OR
  • CHEM 110DL Honors Chemistry: Core Concepts in Context OR
  • CHEM 21 General Chemistry Credit

AND

  • CHEM 201DL Organic Chemistry
  • CHEM 202L Organic Chemistry

NOTE: CHEM 210DL is also recommended for pre-med, pre-vet, biochem and pharm students.

Math

  • MATH 111L Laboratory Calculus I OR
  • MATH 121 Introductory Calculus I OR
  • MATH 21 Introductory Calculus I OR
  • BOTH MATH 105L/106L Laboratory Calculus and Functions I and II

AND

  • MATH 112L Laboratory Calculus II OR
  • MATH 122L Introductory Calculus II OR
  • MATH 22 Introductory Calculus II OR
  • STA 101 Data Analy/Sta Infer or 102 Introductory Biostatistics OR
  • BIOLOGY 304 Biological Data Analysis (cannot also count as an elective)

Physics

  • PHYSICS 141L General Physics I OR
  • PHYSICS 151L Introductory Mechanics OR
  • PHYSICS 161L Introductory Experimental Physics I OR
  • PHYSICS 25 (AP credit)

AND

NOTE: PHYSICS 142L is also recommended for pre-med, pre-vet, biochem and pharm students.

Biology Major Requirements (10 Courses)

Gateway Courses

Biology Area Requirements

Select 1 course from EACH of the following three areas. Courses listed in more than one area may only be used to meet one area requirement.

Genetics Concentration Electives (5 Courses)

Lab Experience Requirement

Students are required to take 2 full lab courses in addition to the gateway courses BIOLOGY 201L/202L. For the Genetics Concentration Area, this requirement is fulfilled by taking BIO 214L or 414LS and Research Independent Study (BIO 293/493 or MGM 293.493, etc.)

Capstone Course Requirement

You must take at least 1 full 400-level or higher biology 'Capstone' course or other approved capstone course. Independent study can count towards this requirement if it is a second semester continuation.