Sep 12th 2016

The Genomics Era: the Future of Genetics in Medicine (FutureLearn)

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Learn about the growing role of genomics in healthcare, for patient diagnoses and treatment, with this free online course.

This free online course will provide healthcare professionals with a basic grounding in genomic medicine. It will introduce you to the new genomic technologies that are revolutionising medicine and will, in time, provide the mainstay of patient diagnosis, treatment and disease prevention.

Explore the rise of genomic medicine

Over the last decade, the landscape of genomic medicine has been revolutionised by next generation sequencing technologies. In the past, genetic testing was limited to sequencing one gene at a time. However, next generation sequencing technologies permit the parallel sequencing of many or all genes.

While these new technologies have greatly enhanced the chances of diagnosis for rare conditions; are beginning to provide a real chance of personalised medicine; and, in time, are likely to improve our understanding and treatment of complex disease, they are also associated with a number of challenges.

These challenges include a much greater chance of identifying genomic variants, the significance of which can be uncertain; the identification of incidental findings; genomic privacy; and the storage and use of big data sets.

In this new genomic era, it is essential that healthcare professionals understand the power and all the challenges associated with the information generated by these new multiple parallel sequencing technologies, in order to make appropriate referrals and evidence-based management decisions.

Discover the potential of genetics in healthcare

This course will give you an awareness of genomic technologies and the data they generate. With ready access to genomic data promised by NHS transformational initiatives such as the 100,000 Genomes Project, genomic data will be integral to all sectors of medicine and will be used in the prevention, diagnosis and personalised treatment of human disease.

During this course, you will learn how to utilise these genomic results for patient benefit and without compromising patient safety.