Prerequisites are listed for those courses with such requirements. When no prerequisite is listed in a course description, it is implied that there is no prerequisite.

Required Core Courses

(Total 22.0 quarter-credit hours: 19 core quarter-credit hours and 3.0 Elective quarter-credit hours)

PMGCG 501 Introduction to Genetics and Genomics 

This introductory course presents basic aspects of genetics, genomics, and molecular biology, including DNA variation and mutation. It also covers a range of common analytical techniques for nucleic acids and proteins. Important elements of chromosomal structure are explored as well as concepts related to genetic testing and gene therapy. Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the foundational knowledge necessary for understanding genomic and other ‘omics concepts relevant to completing the remaining required core and elective courses.

2.0 credits

PMGCG 502 Genomics of Rare and Complex Diseases

This course explores the genetic underpinnings of both monogenic and complex diseases.  Dominant versus recessive autosomal diseases as well as X-linked, mitochondrial and cytogenetic diseases are covered. Evolutionary and population genetics are discussed, and methods for studying complex diseases are introduced. Students completing this course will demonstrate a working knowledge of the genetics of monogenic and complex diseases, and an understanding of the relevant analytical methods.

Prerequisite: PMGCG 501

3.0 credits

PMGCG 503 Introduction to Bioinformatics, Statistics, and Data Interpretation

Obtaining patient ‘omics data is a first step in precision medicine. Subsequent computational and analytical methods are required to decipher these data. This course focuses on the analysis of ‘omics data sets using bioinformatics and statistical tools. Students are introduced to the use of open access software to analyze provided data sets and learn to interpret the results. The objective of this course is to provide students with the basic skills needed to work with and derive valuable information from complex data sets produced by ‘omics analyses.

Prerequisites: PMGCG 501, 502

2.0 credits

PMGCG 504 ‘Omics and Biomarkers

This course builds on the use of genomics in medicine by extending knowledge into areas that complement genomics, such as transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics. Students explore how these ‘omics fields can be used in biomarker discovery and health management. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to explain broadly what is meant by ‘omics analyses, describe the technologies involved, and display a specific comprehension of the source and uses of the various biomarkers in medicine.

Prerequisites: PMGCG 501, 502

3.0 credits

PMGCG 601 The Application of Precision Medicine to Cancer

This course explores genetic and other molecular mechanisms involved in cancer development and progression, including assessment of the genomes and transcriptomes of tumor cells as well as the patient’s normal cells. Students examine how this knowledge translates into precision technologies for cancer screening, as well as diagnosing and treating cancer patients. Upon successful completion of this course, students will demonstrate an understanding of the genetic origins and development of cancer, the methods of assessing what is occurring in cancerous cells, and a basic understanding of how knowledge gained from analyses can be used to benefit patients.

Prerequisites: PMGCG 501, 502

3.0 credits

PMGCG 602 Pharmacogenomics

This course discusses the ways in which genomic information can be used to ensure that patients receive the greatest possible benefit from therapeutics while mitigating risk of adverse events. Students explore how genetic variation may alter drug metabolism, disposition, and action, and they discuss how doses may need to be tailored, or drugs altered to account for certain polymorphic differences. Students successfully completing this course will demonstrate a working knowledge of the interaction between a patient’s genetic structure and the safety and efficacy of therapeutic drugs.

Prerequisites: PMGCG 501, 502

2.0 credits

PMGCG 603 Microbial Genetics, the Microbiome, and Infectious Diseases

This course provides information on basic features of microbial genetics that are relevant to health. It covers what is known about the effects of an individual’s microbiome on their health, the consequences of dysbiosis, and the effects of the microbiome on patient treatment, including metabolism of therapeutics. Methods for studying and assessing an individual’s microbiome, or microbiome features of various subject groups are discussed. This course also explores the role of ‘omics information from both patients and infecting microbes in the identification, targeted treatment, and control of infectious diseases in individuals and on a population basis. After successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of health-relevant microbial genetics, will be able to describe the role of the microbiome in health, and will comprehend the usefulness of ‘omics technologies in the management of infectious diseases.

Prerequisites: PMGCG 501, 502

2.0 credits

PMGCG 604 Ethical, Legal and Social Issues of Precision Medicine

This course examines the ethical and legal issues surrounding the use of precision medicine technology, and particularly the potential misuse of genomic information, privacy, ownership of genetic information, open versus informed consent, and accessibility. It also addresses social issues that have developed or may develop in the future as a result of these types of genomic knowledge. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to describe existing and potential future ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of precision medicine technologies.

Prerequisites: PMGCG 501, 502

1.0 credit

PMGCG 605 Counseling and Communication skills for Precision Medicine

This course considers how to effectively communicate genomic or other ‘omics information to patients. Students learn how to tailor complex genomic discussions to a lay audience, become aware of how the information provided may be viewed by patients or their families, and consider how to counsel them about this information to enable patient-centric, optimal health decisions. Upon successful completion of this course, students will demonstrate familiarity with both the sensitive issues that arise when using precision medicine technologies and with methods that can be used for effectively communicating that information to patients and their families.

Prerequisites: PMGCG 501, 502

1.0 credit

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