Beatriz Otero Jimenez was selected to participate in the University of Michigan Predoctoral Training Program in Genetics. The interdisciplinary program provides enriched genetics education for students receiving their doctorate degrees in six departments including ecology and evolutionary biology. The program is funded by the National Institutes of Health. The GTP’s goal is to train investigators who can combine disciplinary expertise with the new research opportunities of the genomic era, according to the GTP website.

Otero Jimenez’s two-year position began Sept. 1, 2013 with a stipend of just over $22,000 per year in addition to full tuition and fees.

Otero Jimenez is interested in using genetic tools to understand the role of agricultural systems in tropical biodiversity conservation. She works with the common forest mouse Heteromys desmarestianus in coffee farms in Chiapas, Mexico. Analyzing the genetic population structure of mice populations in coffee farms and adjacent forest patches, it is possible to determine how different coffee management practices promote or impede dispersal of H. desmarestianus across the landscape. The mice, forest specialists, are the most common small mammal in the region and act as important seed dispersers.

Ongoing research projects range from microbial and viral gene regulation to yeast, plant, fly, mouse and human genetics, and functional genomics. University supported core laboratories facilitate trainees' research by providing access to state of the art technology including transgenic models, DNA sequencing, genotyping, and large scale gene expression.

The GTP, one of the oldest NIH supported training programs, continues to be a vital component of graduate education and biomedical research at U-M.