PHPM 507 Genomics and Public Health: Current Issues and Future Trends in Healthcare and Policy

Instructors: Gregory Fowler, PhD; Michael Flower, PhD

Credits: 3
Term offered:  varies (next offering scheduled for Spring 2013)
Pre-requisite: n/a

Course Description:

Genomic science and associated technologies are facilitating an unprecedented rate of discovery of novel insights into the relationship between human genetic variation and health. Genomics is a new discipline that studies the functions and interactions of all the genetic material in the genome, including interaction with environmental factors. The emphasis is on understanding how systems work instead of how the isolated genes make things happen on their own. Public Health Genomics seeks to understand genetic factors that contribute to individual and group variation in disease risk, and to translate that knowledge into actions and practice reflected in the core functions of public health. Understanding the role genomics plays in the health of individuals, families and communities enables public health professionals and clinicians to better advise patients, program planners and policymakers in the best use of this rapidly developing field.

Overview of the Course Framework:
Weeks 1-8 of the course will consist of:


1) Assigned readings drawn from a background essay for each of the six teaching modules, primary research (and review-type) papers and a wide spectrum of professional and popular "resource" articles and electronic tools(videos, web/podcasts) in genome science, clinical application, ethics, and health policy;


2) A weekly "critically-reflective" Weblog of questions drawn from required readings in each teaching module;


3) Two interactive weekly (cyber-) sessions with 1) course instructors to frame the week's work and 2) leading-edge research and clinical faculty to discuss student-generaged questions.


Together these learning tools will be designed to introduce students to the emerging field of public health genomics, with particular focus on:

·Genomics and P4 Medicine (Weeks 1 & 2)

·Social Epidemiology and Health Care Disparities (Week 3)

·Genetic Epidemiology, Pre-Natal and Newborn Screening (Week 4)

·Genetic Testing and Privacy (Weeks 5 & 6)

·Full Genome Sequencing and Personalized Medicine (Week 7)

·Epigenomics and Nutrition (Week 8)


Course Deliverable:

Working together in teams, Weeks 9 and 10 will be dedicated to preparing and facilitating an (invited) "Genomics Forum" targeting a broad spectrum of healthcare providers and policy makers to be convened sometime during finals week.


The Course Syllabus and Evaluation:

Download the 2013 Course Syllabus

Download the Course Overview Flyer 

Download "Things You Need To Know To Successfully Navigate This Course"