Let's Talk Genetics

My Favorite Course in Biology

Name: Tami Gjorgjieva
Country: Macedonia
Year: Class of 2019
Major: Biology
Course: Genetics

The course provides a comprehensive overview on the field of genetics and its applications, via lectures, readings and hands-on exercises. It covers the basic principles in genetics such as genetic variation, models of inheritance and genotype-phenotype relationships and teaches students how to perform simple genetic linkage and association mapping analysis.

Beginning with Mendelian genetics, whose work in the 19th century marked the birth of the field, the class follows the historical development of the science and builds up to the latest advancements in the field.

Why This Course

Genetics is a field that deeply fascinates me with its basic scientific principles and its growing advancements in today’s modern society. I took this class as one of my major electives in biology, not only because I wanted to thoroughly understand the science and applications of the field, but also because I hope to continue my postgraduate education with a PhD in human genetics.

A Typical Day in This Class

The course strikes a perfect balance between theory and applications. At the start of each class, we would often chat about the latest news in the field of genetics. This was incredibly helpful as it expanded our understanding of the field beyond what was taught in class, and into the latest advancements.

Professor Youssef Idaghdour would spend the first half of the class going over the necessary theory to prepare us for the hands-on exercise. These exercises varied depending on the topics of the week. For example, we worked on solving real clinical cases by analyzing the genome of a human patient, studying the relationships between genes and traits by conducting Gene Wide Association Study (GWAS) analysis, and practicing RNA-Seq analysis.

What I Loved About The Class

During a class discussion, we were talking about a recent Nature paper that examined the association between genetics and educational attainment. Everyone in the class had unique opinions on the study, its research design, and its impact on the burgeoning field of social genetics. The conversation transformed into a mini debate, and moved from discussing genetics science to discussing global income inequality as a confounding factor.

To me, that moment was a true testimony to the education at NYU Abu Dhabi, where we talked in-depth about the science while considering the multitude of interdisciplinary factors that surrounded it.


Every semester, I’ve reminded myself that I only have one shot at a liberal arts education and have carefully chosen courses that I have found interesting and challenging.

Tami Gjorgjieva, Class of 2019

Tips On Navigating What Major or Course to Take

1. Take every opportunity to explore as many disciplines as possible that NYUAD offers.  
2. Work out your four-year plan and ensure you are on track with all your major and graduation requirements. With the rest of your course slots, have fun!
3. College is all about the quest for knowledge, so don’t limit yourself to a single discipline.
4. Talk to upperclassmen. We all love to talk about the classes and professors that we have taken.

Why NYU Abu Dhabi?

I wanted something unique and different for my university experience. Coming from a country with a fairly homogeneous population, I was captivated by the diversity of NYUAD and the UAE during Candidate Weekend. Furthermore, I was dazzled by the hybrid concept of a liberal arts curriculum with undergraduate research.