Genome Integrity


Effective maintenance and interpretation of the genome is essential for normal cell division, tissue homeostasis, and cellular and organismal fitness. DNA damage and errors in DNA replication, recombination and repair, and epigenetic mechanisms all contribute to genomic instability and tumor progression. Many of the basic aspects of genome integrity such as how cells sense and process damage and how epigenetic marks are propagated, are still not understood. Insights into these processes will require a fundamental understanding of genome biology along with the use of model systems.

The genome integrity training program will harness the growing strength in genome research at the NYU SOM and the NYU downtown campus to prepare students for modern research in genome biology and its application to human disease. The program aims at a) providing in depth understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which cells detect, signal, and repair DNA damage to ensure faithful chromosome propagation and b) understanding how these mechanisms function in the context of tissue homeostasis and cellular and organismal fitness. The program builds on a strong core of researchers with expertise in multiple aspects of genome biology across a broad range of research areas including Cancer biology, Immunology, and Stem Cell research.


susan smith
agnel sfeir
Susan Smith, PhD
Program Director
Professor of Pathology
Agnel Sfeir, PhD
Graduate Advisor
Assistant Professor of Cell Biology
Hannah Klein, PhD
Program Co-Director
Interim Chair Professor Biochemistry
& Molecular Pharmacology


Sample Courses


  • Topics in Molecular Biology
  • Biostatistics & Bioinformatics
  • Genome Integrity Lecture Course
  • Journal Club - Current Topics in Genome Integrity
  • Scientific Integrity and the Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Individual Development plan
  • Grant Writing
  • Works in Progress - Genome Integrity

Recommended Elective Courses

  • Genetics
  • Advance Cell Biology –The Nucleus (NYU downtown campus)
  • Molecular Oncology
  • Stem Cell Biology
  • Principles of Protein Modifications in Health and Disease
  • Molecular Virology

Qualifying Exam

When: End of Year 2

  • Written: Thesis proposal in NIH format
  • Oral: Presentation and defense of written thesis in front of committee