COVID-19 Update: Information and resources can be found here.

Genetics, Development and Disease Ph.D. Program

Students interested in joining the Genetics, Development and Disease Ph.D. Program should apply to the interdisciplinary umbrella program within the Division of Basic Science.

Basic Biomedical Sciences Umbrella Program; First-year students complete a core curriculum with: Core Course, 2+ Laboratory Rotations; Responsible Conduct of Research Training in Integrity, Ethics, and Excellence. Second-year students take a qualifying exam to enter the Ph.D. program: Collaborative and Cross-Disciplinary

The nationally ranked Genetics, Development and Disease Graduate Program combines biology with the latest technology to enable researchers to delve into the genetic, molecular, and developmental mechanisms underlying basic biology and disease.

Nature Index No. 1 in All Sciences 2020 badge

The Program attracts scientists who are dedicated to pushing the boundaries of DNA research and making discoveries that will impact the prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of genetic disorders.

Faculty members use a wide array of experimental systems, including yeast, C. elegans, Drosophila, zebrafish, mice, and humans, in their quest to understand biological processes.

Research areas in the Genetics, Development, and Disease Graduate Program include:

  • Stem cell development
  • MicroRNAs and gene silencing
  • Cell growth and cell death
  • Genetics of disease
  • Students benefit from the strong tradition of interdisciplinary training at UT Southwestern. They are encouraged to collaborate across disciplines to gain a better understanding of the complexity of genetics and development.
Aarin Jones

“The Genetics, Development and Disease Program gives students several opportunities to present their research, interact with faculty often, and have scientific discussions as a community. All of these things contribute to well-designed research projects and high caliber scientific achievement.”

Aarin Jones

Genetics, Development and Disease Graduate Program

Andres Ramirez-Martinez

“I like how easy it is to establish connections and collaborations. If I want to better understand the translational side of my research, I just need to contact a doctor working with those patients in the hospital across the street.”

Andres Ramirez-Martinez

Genetics, Development and Disease Graduate Program


National Recognition

UT Southwestern’s Graduate School of Biomedical Science’s Genetics, Development and Disease Program has received a number of national recognitions, including:

  • Named one of the top molecular biology programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
  • Ranked No. 1 for public institutions nationally and No. 7 worldwide by Science Watch for the citation impact of the Molecular Biology and Genetics faculty

Meet the Program Chair

Ondine Cleaver, Ph.D.

Graduate School: Ph.D. UT Austin 1999
Postdoctoral Training: Harvard University

“We aim to ask and answer fundamental questions regarding the mechanisms underlying tissue health and disease, and thereby shape the next generation of investigators and clinicians who will translate discoveries into human therapies.” Read Dr. Cleaver’s full message.

Ondine Cleaver, Ph.D.