In 1953, two young scientists published the structure of DNA, a Nobel Prize winning discovery that gave birth to the interdisciplinary field of genomics. Beginning in 1990, scientists around the world embarked upon the Human Genome Project, with the goal of determining the composition of the entire human genome. The project is now complete, but there is so much more to learn from the genome: how our bodies function, how to prevent diseases, what makes different species unique, and even how life evolved on earth.
To ensure that future scientists, physicians, and policymakers are prepared to take full advantage of the genomic revolution, the National Research Council (NRC) issued a report (Bio2010) calling upon academic institutions to alter the way undergraduates prepare for post-baccalaureate education. The genomics concentration fulfills NRC recommendations to provide undergraduates with a strong foundation in biological, mathematical, physical, and information sciences. The diverse academic background provided by this concentration in the context of a liberal arts education will help prepare students of all majors for exciting fields such as drug discovery, pharmaceutical industry, biomedical sciences, patent law, and ethics.