Research training at a University takes place by means of student participation in research programmes designed to develop the necessary skills, understanding and motivation that are required to undertake research. The research programme is therefore the key to research training. The most important elements of such a research programme are discussed and include a strong emphasis on those projects that are relevant and interesting and have a wide technological and subject basis.
The requirements for research training in molecular genetics stems from the rapidly expanding use of a variety of molecular approaches in the research carried out in the different biological disciplines. These aplications have increased strongly with the development of recombinant DNA technology which has enabled researchers to manipulate, clone, characterize, modify and express individual genes. This has resulted in the development of methods for the large scale synthesis of peptides and proteins of medical, commercial and scientific interest. It has also resulted in the development of transgenic plants and animals in which the species barriers are crossed by experiments such as the cloning of bacterial genes in plants. The technology and principles which underlie most of these developments can be incorporated in a research programme that can be carried out at a university. In the Genetics Department this programme concentrates on the study of the molecular biology of a group of double-stranded RNA viruses. The programme incorporates ascpects of cloning, sequencing, modification and expression of viral genes. One of the most important applications of this research is the development of a single protein subunit vaccine expressed in insect cells by means of a recombinant baculovirus.
There is a promising future for research in this particular field and it should be able to fulfil the requirements of a good research training programme.