EEB graduate student, Marcella Baiz, has been awarded the prestigious Michigan Predoctoral Training in Genetics Program Fellowship for the 2014 - 2015 academic year. Baiz is a recent graduate of the U-M EEB Frontiers Master's Program, who enters U-M's EEB Ph.D. program this fall.

“The GTP received a high number of outstanding applications this year and was very impressed with your academic record, the strong genetic component of your thesis research, and your potential for future success as a genetic researcher,” stated the letter Baiz received from the University of Michigan Medical School's Department of Human Genetics. Baiz receives tuition, a $22,476 stipend, and $500 for travel to scientific conferences with a focus on genetics.

“The fellowship will support my research on the genetics of speciation,” said Baiz. “I will use genomic tools to identify loci that underlie the speciation process using a primate hybrid zone system as a model. These loci are involved in maintaining the species boundary (isolation) in the face of gene flow. I am interested in understanding isolating mechanisms and the nature of genes involved in these mechanisms.” Baiz's master's advisor was Professor Elizabeth Tibbetts. Her Ph.D. advisors will be Professors Liliana Cortés Ortiz and Priscilla Tucker.

The GTP has a long-standing tradition of providing outstanding interdisciplinary training in genetics for highly accomplished students from the following departments: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology ; Human Genetics; Microbiology and Immunology; Biological Chemistry; Pharmacology; and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. The National Institutes of Health has supported the GTP continuously for 36 years.

According to the GTP, their goal is to train the future generation of leaders in genetics. Notably, a major strength of the GTP is the interdisciplinary, small group setting of the curriculum. As such, they have carefully crafted an outstanding training program that includes didactic coursework, small group discussions, and interactions with national and international thought leaders in genetics. The GTP provides an intellectually exciting combination of training in genetics in the context of a diverse scientific environment.