• University of Glasgow

Genomic Medicine: Harnessing the Power of the Human Genome

Using the latest genomics research, discover how genomic technologies are changing how we understand and treat medical conditions.

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  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours
  • 100% online

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  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 2 of 3
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Explore cutting-edge genomics data analysis tools and technology

This course will advance your understanding of the rapidly growing use of genomics in the research, diagnosis, and treatment of clinical conditions.

Discover the practical application of genomics in medicine

As medical technology advances, new hugely powerful genomics technologies enable an individual’s full gene set – and even whole genome – to be analysed rapidly and simultaneously, with the aim of identifying pathogenic DNA variants.

On this course, you’ll develop your understanding of the structure, organisation, and function of the human genome, and learn how genetic variants can disturb this function and cause disease.

Learn how to make sense of genomic data

Alongside leading academics from the University of Glasgow, you’ll explore how genomic analysis enables scientists to extract medically important findings.

You’ll get to grips with genomic data analysis and build your skills in using sophisticated online databases and tools to analyse the latest human genomic datasets.

You’ll also learn common terminology used in global genomic analysis and explore how genomic technologies can be applied in guided therapy for specific medical conditions.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 23 seconds Hello. Genomics in Medicine has developed at an amazing speed. Genomic technologies can now analyze all of our genes at once and even the rest of our DNA too! This is making it increasingly possible not only to diagnose and understand medical conditions, but also in some cases, to treat them, for example particular rare diseases and specific cancers. In this course we will be explaining some of the key genomic concepts and terminology. We will also be discussing what is now possible in medical genomics, plus some key aspects of how the human genome works, how it can be analyzed, the types of variants that it may contain, and how it can guide treatment of human conditions.

Skip to 1 minute and 19 seconds Importantly, we will give learners hands-on experience in using amazing online genomic databases. These include Ensembl, based near Cambridge in the UK, and another called NCBI close to Washington DC. Learners in this course will use these databases to find real data, themselves. I find databases like these to be particularly useful in my own clinical work, in my research and in my teaching,for example, on the award-winning Medical Genetics and Genomics Masters at the University of Glasgow. With the increasing power and availability of methods for analyzing multiple genes and genomic regions at the same time and with the rapid growth in the use of these methods in labs around the world, there’s never been a better time to learn about genomics in medicine.

Skip to 2 minutes and 3 seconds Our aim is that you’ll not only learn a great deal from this course, but that you will also enjoy it!


  • Week 1

    Genomics: From Molecule to Medicine

    • The Power of Genomics

      In this activity you'll get the chance to introduce yourself and meet the course team and your fellow learners. You''ll also get an overview of the field of genomics and how it can be used.

    • Genome: Structure And Function

      In the next couple of steps you will learn about the building blocks of the genome and how we study it.

    • Exploring The Genome Using a Genome Browser

      In this activity we introduce the Ensembl Genome Browser, a powerful tool which will allow you to begin your exploration of the genome.

    • Summary And Looking Forward

      You can review how you got on this week here and we'll take a look at what is coming next week.

  • Week 2

    Genomic Variants

    • What Are Variants?

      In this activity we explore the different types of variant that are present in the genome and the effect they can have on health and disease.

    • Naming Genetic Variants

      It's vital that we are able to use a common language to refer to genetic variants. In this activity we discuss how variant naming ensures we're all talking about the same thing!

    • Using Online Tools To Explore Variants

      Now for the practical activity: In the next few steps you will learn how to use online tools to help solve a clinical problem.

    • Summary And Looking Forward

      You can review how you got on this week here and we'll take a look at what is coming next week.

  • Week 3

    Genome Analysis and Diagnostics

    • An Overview Of Genome Sequencing

      The first activity this week will cover one of the most important topics in genomics - how the genome can be sequenced.

    • NGS Data Analysis

      In the previous activity we learned about how the genome can be sequenced. With this in mind we'll now move on to look at how all this data can be interpreted.

    • Classifying Variants

      To bring the information you've learned in the last two steps together we now need to look at how to classify the variants we've just investigated. Are they harmful or not?

    • Summary And Looking Forward

      You can review how you got on this week here and we'll take a look at what is coming next week.

  • Week 4

    Genomics In Medical Management

    • Personalised Medicine

      In the first activity this week we will focus on how a knowledge of genomics can be used to guide treatment of a range of conditions.

    • Genomics And Research

      In the second half of this week we will look at how genomics can guide research into disease - before moving on to look at how it can inform therapy.

    • Using Genomics To Guide Cancer Therapeutics

      We've previously looked at using genomics in researching cancer - in this activity we move on to examine how it can be used in cancer treatment.

    • Final Review

      In the final activity of the the course, you will have the opportunity to test your knowledge and share your highlights and challenges of the past few weeks.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Discuss the principal ways in which genomics can be used: to improve our understanding and diagnosis of medical conditions
  • Describe the composition, structure and 3D organisation of the human genome; how that relates to its function; and the various ways in which genetic variants can disturb this and cause disease
  • Understand the technologies & terminology commonly used in genomic analysis worldwide
  • Explore how enormous genomic datasets can be analysed and learn how to use sophisticated online genome browsers and analysis tools to extract medically important findings
  • Describe how genomic technologies can be applied in guiding therapy for human conditions, including precision medicine

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in genomic medicine and the clinical impact of differences in our DNA.

The course will be particularly useful for healthcare professionals, patients, and carer groups.

Who will you learn with?

Prof. Ed. Tobias PhD FRCP enjoys genomic research, teaching & seeing patients. Runs EuroGEMS.org & the Clinical Genomics course on Univ of Glasgow's multi-award-winning MSc in Med. Genetics & Genomics

My PhD was in Developmental Medicine and I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Medical Genetics at the University of Glasgow. I have also been a Senior Fellow of the HEA since 2016.

My PhD was undertaken in the Genetics Department at the University of Leicester, and I'm currently a Senior Lecturer in Medical Genetics at the University of Glasgow. I'm a Senior Fellow of the HEA.

Gerhard is from South Germany and moved to Glasgow in 1990 after completing a PhD in Bacterial Genetics. He is a lecturer in Medical Genetics at the University of Glasgow.

Who developed the course?

The University of Glasgow

Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world. It is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities.

  • Established

  • Location

    Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 70Source: QS World University Rankings 2020

About this ExpertTrack

Enhance your understanding of the role genetics plays in shaping our health, and how this insight can help us treat disease.

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