Courses and Curriculum

The training program has developed a curriculum based on the national need for interdisciplinary training, in the general area of RNA in Health and Disease, to prepare students for jobs in academia, industry, government, communication, scientific foundations and other private sector enterprises.

First Year
Students in the program complete a series of core courses required of their home departments, followed by courses on specific topics of interest in subsequent years. Students also undertake research rotations in three labs during their first year and then select a research advisor. Students will be selected for the training program in the Spring (second) semester of their first year.

Trainees will be encouraged to attend and present their research at the Albany Conversation in Biomolecular Stereodynamics, a biennial international conference. An additional summer option is the Writing Workshop, which is held in Saratoga Springs on the Skidmore College Campus.

Second Year
During their second year, trainees will take the two-semester RNA Flagship course, and at least one course in Mathematical fluency. Other departmental electives can be selected. They will also present their work at the RNA Colloquium Program . At each colloquium given by an RNA Fellow they present on a topic that is broadly defined as the role of RNA in their research project or lab’s research area.

Third Year
At this point students can opt for the Entrepreneurship course or the Writing Workshop. Throughout their training, students will attend both their departmental and T32-specific seminars.

Trainees, who are supported by teaching assistantships during their first years, will receive ample opportunities to teach. They can elect to have classroom and/or laboratory teaching experiences. During their research training they will also be called upon to supervise undergraduates, allowing them to develop mentoring skills.