IBG GRADUATE TRAINING
INTERDISCIPLINARY CERTIFICATE PROGRAM
A major goal of the training
program at the Institute for Behavioral Genetics (IBG) is to train
scientists in the study of genetic contributions to individual differences
in behavior. This is accomplished by requiring students to obtain
strong training in a primary academic discipline, by instructing them
in the interdisciplinary content of behavioral genetics, and by providing
an atmosphere in which close interactions among scholars with different
perspectives may be established. Another goal of the training program
is to enhance the teaching skills of its graduates by requiring them
to serve as teaching assistants in one or more courses relevant to
their discipline. All trainees in behavioral genetics must be degree
candidates in an academic department of the University. In addition
to the requirements of their academic department, trainees must fulfill
the IBG requirements outlined below. In some cases, a particular requirement
may fulfill both a departmental requirement and an IBG requirement.
Completion of the IBG graduate training program also fulfills the
requirements for the Interdisciplinary Certificate in Behavioral Genetics
granted by the University of Colorado, Boulder, Graduate School.
1. Students must participate
in the weekly journal club and colloquia series at the Institute for
Behavior Genetics. Each student must present at journal club at least
three times during the course of their training but yearly presentations
are encouraged. Two presentations should be made on relevant papers
and the third presentation should be focused on the student’s
2. Genetics (e.g., UCB:
EBIO 2070 or MCDB 2150, 3 credits or UCD: GENETICS 3831, 3 credits).
A student may elect to fulfill this requirement via a written proficiency
examination in general genetics.
3. Behavioral Genetics:
This course is a 4-credit course, 2 credits that are taught through
IPHY (IPHY 5102) and 2 credits taught through PSYC (PSCY 5102).
4. Statistics (e.g., UCB:
Psychology 5751, 4 credits, or 5541, 4 credits). This must be a graduate-level
course in statistics (of at least one semester), approved by the student's
5. Scientific ethics (e.g.
Psychology 5112, 3 credits; Pharmacology 7605)
Students also must
complete two courses from the following:
1. Quantitative Genetics
(UCB: Psychology 5122, 3 credits).
2. Molecular Genetics and
Behavior (e.g., UCB: Psychology 5232, 3 credits; UCB: MCDB 5232, 3
3. Biometrical Methods
in Behavioral Genetics (e.g. UCB: Psychology 5242, 3 credits).
4. Bioinformatics and Genomics
(e.g., Integrative Physiology 6010, 3 credits).
5. Quantitative Trait Loci
Analysis (e.g., Psychology 5112, 3 credits)
Students must complete
one course from the following:
1. Concepts in Behavioral
Genetics (e.g., UCB: Psychology 5112, 3 credits).
In some cases, this course may be cross-listed with an affiliated
department. Examples of concept courses include Genetics of Psychopathology,
Evolutionary Psychology, or other current topics.
2. Molecular Genetics of
Addiction (e.g., Integrative Physiology 6010, 3 credits).
3. Seminar in Behavioral
Genetics (e.g., UCB: Psychology 7102, 2 credits).
Examples of seminar courses
include: Mouse Models for Behavior Genetics, Genetics of Personality,
Genetics and Substance Abuse, and Developmental Psychopathology.
NOTE: As some
courses can only be taught every other year, it is each student's
responsibility to take relevant courses when offered. Some equivalent
courses may be offered at the Health Sciences Center or other venues.
Course substitutions may be requested -- see Petitions below.
Upcoming Graduate Course Offerings
Disclaimer: Please note that these course offerings are tentative and may be changed due to low enrollment or faculty scheduling conflicts.
||Bioinformatics and Genomics
||Molecular Genetics & Behavior
||Quantitative Meth Neuroscience
||BG Seminar: Classic Papers in BG
||Crit Thinking: Genes and Environment
||BG Seminar: Adv Topics Stat Genetics
||Molecular Genetics of Addiction
more to come....
more to come....
Each of the students in
the IBG Training Program must TA for one semester in a course judged
by their advisory committee to be relevant to their professional specialty.
(As part of their general responsibilities for the development of
the student, advisory committees may sometimes require additional
IBG students are required
to conduct their doctoral dissertation research on topics of direct
relevance to animal or human behavioral genetics, under the supervision
of an IBG faculty member. A training file for each student is maintained
in the IBG office for tracking progress toward completion of program
requirements. Each student is to assist in updating this file at least
once per year.
Specific Departmental and
Graduate School requirements in addition to those listed here are
the responsibility of each student, in consultation with his/her advisory
Each student in the training
program is examined at least annually by an advisory committee. Examination
results are to be incorporated into the student's training file by
the Chairperson of each advisory committee.
Deviations from these requirements
may be requested by petition to the student's advisory committee.
Specific requests for course substitution, resolution of an ambiguity,
etc., should be made by written petition. A petition may be approved
by a majority vote of both the advisory committee and the IBG Training
Committee. Disapproval of a petition may be changed to approval by
a majority vote of the IBG faculty.
D. Breed - Professor, Department
of Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology. Professor
Breed's research emphasis is the genetics of social recognition
systems in animals. His current interests include behavioral
and genetic studies of the recognition cues used by honeybees
to discriminate nestmates from non-nestmates. He is presently
engaged in investigating the role of cuticular compounds in
recognition, and the patterns of inheritance of chemical cuticular
Carey - Associate Professor, Department of Psychology. Dr.
Carey's research interests are in the areas of genetics and
human psychopathology. Within these areas, his work concentrates
on the anxiety disorders and on the development of externalizing
behavior (antisocial tendencies, drug abuse, and alcohol abuse)
during adolescence. A second major interest is the use of quantitative
models to represent mechanisms of assortative mating, development,
cultural transmission, and sibling interactions.
C. Collins - Professor of Psychology and Pharmacology, Department
of Psychology. Professor Collins is a biochemical pharmacologist
whose primary research specialization is neurochemistry. His
current research interests include neurochemical correlates
of nicotine use, tolerance development, and withdrawal; neurochemical
bases of alcohol tolerance; biochemical bases of behavior; and
use of genetics as a tool to determine the mechanism of action
Crowley - Professor in Psychiatry, University of Colorado
Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado.
C. DeFries - Professor, Department of Psychology. Professor
DeFries' primary field of specialization is quantitative behavioral
genetics. His current research interests include twin and adoption
studies of human cognitive abilities; the genetics of learning
disabilities; and the use of DNA markers to map quantitative
trait loci (QTLs) that influence behavioral characters.
A. Deitrich - Professor, Department of Pharmacology, University
of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver. Professor Deitrich
is a pharmacologist whose current research concerns the molecular
basis of the actions of alcohol. His research uses genetically
selected lines of mice and rats to discover mechanisms of central
nervous system depression, tolerance and dependence. These data
are used to identify specific genes responsible for these actions
in animals, and eventually to identify similar genes in humans
at risk for development of alcoholism.
Ehringer - Assistant Professor, Department of Integrative
Physiology. Dr. Ehringer is a molecular geneticist who utilizes
the genomics and bioinformatics resources to study behavior
genetics. Her current research involves the study of candidate
genes that may be underlie genetic mechanisms that contribute
to alcohol, tobacco, and substance use.
Gene Erwin - Professor of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy.
Scientific Director of the University of Colorado Alcohol Research
Center, 1992-present. Professor Erwin's research has been in
biochemical neuro-pharmacology. Studies have focused on using
pharmacogenetics as a tool for understanding the neuropharmacology
and neurochemistry of alcohol and cocaine. Recent studies have
focused on genetic correlations and quantitative trait locus
analyses for alcohol- and cocaine-related behaviors and for
brain neurotensin and dopamine receptors.
K. Hewitt - Director of IBG and Professor of Psychology,
CU Boulder; Professor of Psychiatry (Attendant Rank), School
of Medicine, UCHSC; President of the Behavior Genetics Association,
2000-01; Editor-in-Chief, Behavior Genetics. Professor Hewitt
uses cross-sectional and longitudinal studies of twins and families
to study behavioral development, and genetic and environmental
influences on behavior, personality, and health. His recent
research has focused on the development of behavior problems
in childhood and adolescence, vulnerability to drug use, abuse,
and dependence, genetics and health, and linkage and association
studies of behavioral traits.
Hutchison - Professor, Department of Psychology. Dr Hutchison's
research focuses on the examination of mechanisms that underlie
substance abuse and dependence (e.g., craving and drug reinforcement),
the study of individual difference variables that may moderate
these mechanisms, and the exploration of behavioral and pharmacological
treatments that may moderate these mechanisms with the intention
of reducing substance use.
E. Johnson - Professor of Behavioral Genetics, Department
of Psychology. Dr. Johnson received the Kleemeier Award (the
premier award in aging research) for his discovery of the first
gerontogene, age-1, which doubles the life span and opened up
a new area of scientific research. He is also cloning quantitative
trait loci conferring sensitivity to alcohol in mice. His lab
uses multiple techniques: behavioral, biochemical molecular,
pharmacological, quantitative and genetic, to analyze both aging
and the action of genes leading to addiction. For more information
examine his URL http://ibgwww.colorado.edu/tj-lab.
S. Krauter - Professor, Department of Molecular, Cellular
and Developmental Biology. Dr. Krauter's research focuses on
two aspects of human genome research. The first is in the area
of comparative genome analysis. The second is the use of genetic
analysis to identify genes involved in complex traits such as
B. Lynch - Professor, Department of Environmental, Population,
and Organismic Biology. Professor Lynch's research interests
are the genetic basis of evolutionary adaptation and brain mechanisms
underlying adaptive behaviors. Her current research uses a model
system which has been the study of cold adaptation in mice,
with emphasis on nest-building. This involves the use of replicated
genetic lines of mice that have been selectively bred for over
sixty generations for differences in nest-building. These lines
also differ in genetically correlated traits, such as body weight
and litter size, as well as circadian rhythms and brain (hypothalamus)
neurochemistry and neuroanatomy. These lines facilitate studies
of both constraints on adaptive evolution and the path from
genes to behavior.
K. Olson - Professor, Department of Psychology. Professor
Olson is a developmental psychologist whose primary research
is on the varieties, etiology and remediation of learning disorders.
His research has examined the component processes in reading
and related language skills that are associated with both normal
and subnormal development. Heritability of these component processes
is being evaluated through twin analyses. Current projects are
focused on the use of computer speech feedback in the remediation
of reading disabilities.
F. Pennington - Professor, Department of Psychology, and
Director of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Program,
University of Denver. Professor Pennington is a developmental
neuropsychologist whose research focuses on understanding disorders
of cognitive development. The disorders he studies include developmental
dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and several
mental retardation syndromes: early treated phenylketonuria,
fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, and infantile autism. The
long-term goal of this work is to understand how different genetic
influences alter brain development to produce the distinct
profiles of cognitive strengths and weaknesses found in each
of these disorders.
R. Petersen - Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmacogenetics,
School of Pharmacy. Professor Petersen's research concerns biochemical
pharmacology and toxicology of alcohols and aldehydes. This
research focuses on enzyme systems in liver, kidney and brain
that are involved in the biotransformation of endogenous and
exogenous aldehydes. Of particular interest is the interaction
of acute or chronic alcohol consumption with these enzymatic
pathways. His recent research efforts have emphasized the use
of genetics in studying the molecular and biochemical mechanisms
underlying the hepatotoxic potential of various drugs and chemicals.
Radcliffe - Assistant Professor of Pharmacology, Department
of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Dr. Radcliffe's research focuses
on the genetic and molecular basis of drug and alcohol abuse.
Current projects include gene expression microarray analyses
of CNS systems involved in behavioral responses to methamphetamine
and alcohol, QTL mapping of alcohol-related traits, mutagenesis
approaches applied to the study of acute alcohol tolerance,
and studies of the non-linear dynamics of the fear conditioning
Rhee - Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology. Dr. Rhee's
primary research interests are the etiology and development
of childhood disruptive disorders, the etiology and development
of substance use disorders, the causes of comorbidity between
psychiatric disorders and substance use disorders, and the development
of methods discriminating correct models for causes of comorbidity.
Sikela - Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology
and Human Medical Genetics Program, University of Colorado Health
Sciences Center, Denver. Dr. Sikela is a genome scientist and
has been a key pioneer in the development of EST technology
and large-scale human gene mapping. His laboratory was part
of the international gene-mapping consortium that determined
the chromosomal location for the majority of human genes. He
contributed to the discovery of the PSN2 gene that causes Alzheimer's
disease. Currently his research involves applying genomics approaches
to the discovery of genes involved in alcoholism and drug abuse.
His laboratory is also involved in the identification of genes
important to hominoid evolution, including those that are specific
to the human lineage.
Smolen - Research Associate, IBG. Dr. Smolen is a pharmacologist
whose primary interests are in the areas of neurochemistry and
pharmacogenetics. His current research activities include the
assessment of the contribution of specific candidate genes to
complex behaviors such as substance abuse and Attention Deficit
N. Smolen - Research Associate, Assistant Director, IBG.
Dr. Smolen's research interests are in the areas of pharmacogenetics
and neuropharmacology. Her current projects use genetically
inbred and selected lines of mice in studies of biochemical
and neurochemical mechanisms that underlie the development of
drug tolerance and dependence, the role of the adenosine neuromodulatory
system in the mediation of the effects of acute and chronic
alcohol administration, and drug metabolism in young and aging
C. Stallings - Dr. Stallings' research interests include
quantitative genetics, substance abuse, and personality. His
current research utilizes biometrical modeling and quantitative
trait loci (QTL) methodology to understand genetic and environmental
influences on the development of substance use disorders and
A. Stitzel - Assistant Professor, Department of Integrative
Physiology. Dr. Stitzel is a molecular biologist whose primary
interest is the use of genetic strategies to identify the underlying
biological bases for the behavioral and physiological actions
of drugs of abuse with special emphasis on nicotine. Current
projects include the molecular, biochemical and cellular characterization
of naturally occurring variants of neuronal nicotinic receptors
and quantitative trait loci mapping of a nicotine preference
Tabakoff - Professor and Chairman, Department of Pharmacology,
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver. Professor
Tabakoff's research concerns physiological, pharmacological,
and biochemical correlates of alcohol and opiate/cannabinoid
abuse. Current studies focus on behavioral genetic factors mediating
tolerance development; the involvement of brain glutamate receptors
in addiction; and the interaction of addictive drugs with adenylyl
cyclase signaling in brain.
M. Wehner - Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology.
Professor Wehner is a biochemist whose primary research interests
are pharmacogenetics and neurobiology. Current projects include
biochemical and genetic studies of learning and memory, the
role of nicotinic receptors in modulation of learning and the
role of protein kinase C in alcohol's actions.
Willcutt- Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department
of Psychology. Professor Willcutt's current research focuses
on the causes and consequences of attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder, learning disabilities, and their comorbidity. He uses
genetic linkage and association techniques in studies of families
and twins to identify genes that increase susceptibility to