MD Courses — Genetics

First year

M30 511 MEDICAL GENETICS
Instructor: Sabrina Nunez, PhD, snunez@dom.wustl.edu, 747-0835
Medical genetics is both a science and a clinical area or specialty of medicine, and the boundary between research and clinical application is increasingly blurred. The pace in which genomic and epigenomic tools are being developed is unprecedented. And these tools result in continual conceptual advancements, which inevitably affect how we approach the study of disease risk, diagnosis and management in all areas of medicine, not just medical genetics. We are moving into a time when the interpretable data from the examination of individual genomes will be incorporated to all other clinical data to assess individual risks and guide clinical management and decision-making. This course is intended as the first step towards life-long training in medical genetics and genomics.

The course begins with a number of sessions devoted to basic principles of genetics. Drawing on this foundation we move on to discuss genomic and epigenomic tools and learn from leaders in their fields about the big questions in genetics and genomics (i.e. microbiome research, cancer genomics, current clinical uses of exome sequencing, etc.) and how the tools are being used to answer these questions. Students are exposed to the use of genetic and genomic databases and information resources; which will allow them to keep up with new information and critically appraise validity and clinical utility. We begin to discuss the implication of this shift to the “genomic era”, particularly regarding ethical aspects, regulatory aspects, equal access, healthcare costs and patient education. Clinical geneticists actively participate in the course and use a series of genetic disorders to help students apply their knowledge; focusing mainly on genetic etiology, pattern of inheritance, inheritance risk and molecular diagnostic testing. Frequent patient interviews further enhance the exposure to clinical genetics. Overall the course aims to enhance genetic and genomic literacy, which is an essential first step in preparing students to participate in the multidisciplinary teams that effectively make cutting edge genetic and genomic research results accessible to patients.

This course is cross listed with L41 (Bio 550).

 

Fourth year

Electives

L41 (Bio) 5285 FUNDAMENTALS OF MAMMALIAN GENETICS
L41 (Bio) 5488 GENOMICS
L41 (Bio) 5491 ADVANCED GENETICS
L41 (Bio) 5495 COMPUTATIONAL MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
L41 (Bio) 5483 HUMAN LINKAGE AND ASSOCIATION ANALYSIS

Special topics courses/journal clubs

For complete descriptions, see Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences.
L41 (Bio) 5235 GENETICS JOURNAL CLUB
L41 (Bio) 5484 GENOMICS AND DEVELOPMENT OF C. ELEGANS JOURNAL CLUB
L41 (Bio) 5487 GENETICS AND GENOMICS OF MEDICINE
L41 (Bio) 5489 HUMAN GENETICS JOURNAL CLUB
L41 (Bio) 5496 SEMINAR IN COMPUTIONAL MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Note — The number preceding the course title indicates that the course carries credit in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.