Yeast Genetics & Genomics (CANCELED)
July 21 - August 10, 2020
Application & Materials Deadline: April 1, 2020


Grant Brown, University of Toronto, Canada
Elçin Ünal, University of California Berkeley
Gregory Lang, Lehigh University
Maitreya Dunham, University of Washington


COVID-19: UPDATE April 9, 2020: It is with considerable regret that we announce the cancellation of this course for 2020 but it will be rescheduled to similar dates in 2021.


See the roll of honor - who's taken the course in the past.

The Yeast Genetics & Genomics course is a modern and intensive laboratory course that teaches students the full repertoire of genetic and genomic approaches needed to dissect complex problems using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Both of classical and modern approaches are emphasized, including the isolation and characterization of mutants, tetrad analysis, and complementation. Synthetic biology is explored through CRISPR/Cas9-directed engineering of heterologous biosynthetic pathways in yeast.

Students will learn genome-based methods of analysis facilitated by the Saccharomyces Genome Database, yeast genome sequences, the gene deletion collection, and other genomic resources available to the community. Molecular genetic techniques, including yeast transformation, gene replacement by PCR, construction and analysis of gene fusions, and generation of mutations, are also emphasized.

Students will combine classical approaches with whole genome sequencing to gain experience in identifying and interpreting genetic interactions, including suppression and synthetic lethality.

Students will perform genome-scale screens using the synthetic genetic array (SGA) methodology.

Students will be immersed in yeast genomics and computation methods for analyzing genome-scale data.

Students will perform and interpret experiments using PCR-amplicon and whole genome sequencing.

Students will gain first-hand experience in modern cytological approaches such as epitope tagging and imaging yeast cells using fluorescence microscopy with GFP-protein fusions and fluorescent indicators for different subcellular structures and organelles. Lectures on fundamental aspects of yeast genetics and genomics will be presented along with seminars given by prominent experts in the field on topics of current interest.

Please note that students are expected to attend the entire course, which spans evenings and weekends.

Topics for 2020:
  • Transformation & genome engineering
  • Microscopy
  • Manipulating yeast
  • Dissecting tetrads
  • Isolating mutants
  • Working with essential genes
  • Synthetic genetic arrays
  • Fluctuation assays
  • Whole genome sequencing & analysis
  • Deep mutational scanning

2020 Confirmed Speakers:

Frank Albert, University of Minnesota
Lu Bai, Penn State University
Camilla Björkegren, Karolinska Institute
John Diffley, The Francis Crick Institute
Meleah Hickman, Emory University
Sue Jaspersen, Stowers Institute 
Ahmad Khalil, Boston University 
Christian Landry, Université Laval
Rob Nash, Stanford University
Celia Payen, DuPont Nutrition and Biosciences
Paul Rowley, University of Idaho
Anna Selmecki, University of Minnesota
Peter Stirling, University of British Columbia
Hilla Weidberg, University of British Columbia

Applications are especially welcome from:

  • Professors and instructors who wish to incorporate yeast into their undergraduate genetics classrooms
  • Scientists trained in mathematical, computational, and/or engineering disciplines who are transitioning into bench science
  • Researchers from small labs or institutions where it would otherwise be difficult to learn the fundamentals of yeast genetics/genomics

Support & Stipends

Major support provided by: National Science Foundation

We would like to acknowledge the following companies that provided invaluable support:
Morrell Instruments Co, Inc
BD Life Sciences, Singer Instruments, Thermo Fisher Scientific
GenScript Biotech, Sunrise Science Products, Takara Bio USA

Stipends are available to offset tuition costs as follows:


Please indicate your eligibility for funding in your stipend request submitted when you apply to the course. Stipend requests do not affect selection decisions made by the  instructors. 

Cost (including board and lodging): $5,140

No fees are due until you have completed the full application process and are accepted into the course. Students accepted into the course should plan to arrive by early evening on July 20 and plan to depart after lunch on August 10.

Before applying, ensure you have (all due April 1):
  1. Personal statement/essay;
  2. Letter(s) of recommendation;
  3. Curriculum vitae/resume (optional);
  4. Financial aid request (optional).
    More details.

If you are not ready to fully apply but wish to express interest in applying, receive a reminder two weeks prior to the deadline, and tell us about your financial aid requirements, click below: