Illustration showing basic steps used in microarray technology. (Figure by OCW.)
This course reviews the key genomic technologies and computational approaches that are driving advances in prognostics, diagnostics, and treatment. Throughout the semester, emphasis will return to issues surrounding the context of genomics in medicine including: what does a physician need to know? what sorts of questions will s/he likely encounter from patients? how should s/he respond? Lecturers will guide the student through real world patient-doctor interactions. Outcome considerations and socioeconomic implications of personalized medicine are also discussed. The first part of the course introduces key basic concepts of molecular biology, computational biology, and genomics. Continuing in the informatics applications portion of the course, lecturers begin each lecture block with a scenario, in order to set the stage and engage the student by showing: why is this important to know? how will the information presented be brought to bear on medical practice? The final section presents the ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding genomic medicine. A vision of how genomic medicine relates to preventative care and public health is presented in a discussion forum with the students where the following questions are explored: what is your level of preparedness now? what challenges must be met by the healthcare industry to get to where it needs to be?
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