Online ExpertTrack in Science, Engineering & Maths

DNA, Genetics, and Genomics: Understanding their Importance in Health and Cancer

4.9 (65 reviews)

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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The University of GlasgowThe University of Glasgow

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Learn how genomics is transforming the treatment of genetic disorders

Genetic disorders, including cancer, affect all of us in one way or another, whether directly or indirectly. That’s why it’s important to understand how they develop, how they are diagnosed, and the treatments available.

This ExpertTrack from the University of Glasgow will introduce you to the fundamentals of genomic and cancer science, as well as the connection between genetics and health.

The first course in this ExpertTrack will explore the science behind our genetics and health, and how this empowers those with genetic disorders to make more informed health choices.

You’ll discover the molecular basis of selected inherited conditions and how to draw and analyse a pedigree and calculate genetic risk.

Discover how genomic medicine is changing the way we treat medical disorders

In the second course, you’ll use the latest genomics research to discover how genomic technologies are changing our understanding and treatment of medical conditions.

You’ll examine the composition, structure, and 3D organisation of the human genome, including the various ways in which genetic variants can disturb its function and cause disease.

Explore the developing methods for detection and treatment of cancer

In the final course of this ExpertTrack, you’ll discover how genetics is revolutionising the detection and treatment of cancer.

This course will examine three key questions about cancer diagnosis and treatment:

  • Where have we come from?
  • Where are we now?
  • And where are we going?

You’ll study the biological basis of cancer, influences on causation, how it is detected and treated, and the development of new treatment strategies.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds The rapidly advancing fields of genetics and genomics are revolutionizing healthcare across many specialties. The amazing advances made include improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of a growing number of conditions and, in particular, therapies for different types of cancer, which unfortunately will affect many of us at some point. This programme allows you to greatly advance your understanding of the tremendously exciting areas of Human Genetics, Genomic Medicine and cancer genomics, whilst learning together with a group of individuals who are all interested in the same topics. With our series of interactive steps, which should be easy to follow and enjoyable, you will learn a lot about the commonly used professional terminology as well as the latest developments. These include bioinformatics, epigenetics, and immunotherapy.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 seconds You’ll also gain guided hands-on experience in using incredibly powerful online resources and build your skills in using international scientific databases to find real molecular and clinical data yourself. You’ll hear about the cutting- edge laboratory technologies, and how being able to analyze all of our genes at once is now making it easier to select the most effective specific treatment or precision medicine for each individual patient. With the rapid growth in the use of these methods and treatments in laboratories and hospitals around the world, there’s never been a better time to learn about and really understand these fascinating areas.

Key skills you will learn

  • Evaluate health information from the internet
  • Draw and analyse a family tree
  • Understand the basis of a range of genetic disorders
  • Use complex online genomic databases
  • Explore cancer causation, detection and treatment genomics

Learning outcomes

By the end of the ExpertTrack, you’ll be able to...

  • Discuss the molecular basis of selected inherited conditions that illustrate the main patterns of inheritance
  • Understand how to draw and analyse a pedigree and calculate genetic risk
  • Describe how laboratories can use the latest technologies to identify genetic variants that have led to the patient's condition
  • Explore how an understanding of the genetic basis of disease can facilitate improved management and therapies of genetic conditions
  • Explore ways in which clinicians and genetic counsellors help patients to understand the implications of genetics for themselves and other family members and explore the options available to them
  • 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
  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic cell biology as it relates to the development of cancer
  • Discuss factors contributing to the development of cancer including environmental and genetic aspects
  • Identify current approaches used to identify and treat cancer
  • Reflect on strategies which may be used in future cancer therapies and the implications for society

Experience required

As this ExpertTrack is an introductory level, you do not need any prior knowledge to benefit from the course, though it would be useful if you are familiar with basic biological concepts.

Getting started

This ExpertTrack is designed for anyone with an interest in biology, health, genomics, or genetic disorders.

It will be especially useful to healthcare professionals, patients, and carer groups.

ExpertTrack course overview

  • Course 1

    4.8 (13 reviews)

    Explore the science behind our genetics and health and empower those with genetics disorders to make more informed health choices.

    4 weeks

    4 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Inheritance and Genetic Disease
      • Welcome!
      • Exploring Chromosomes
      • Genetic Traits and Inheritance
      • Genetic Case Study (Part 1)
      • What Have You Learned?
    • Week 2

      DNA, Genes and Variants
      • Genotype To Phenotype
      • Why Are We All Different?
      • How And Why Do Gene Variants Have Different Effects?
      • Genetic Case Study (Part 2)
      • What Have You Learned?
    • Week 3

      Getting a Genetic Diagnosis
      • Test samples and cytogenetics analysis
      • Molecular (DNA) testing of single (or a few) genes
      • Molecular (DNA) testing for whole genome (or many genes together)
      • Genetic Case Study (Part 3)
      • What Have You Learned?
    • Week 4

      What Does Genetics Offer Patients?
      • Genetic Counselling
      • Approaches to genetic testing during (or before) pregnancy
      • Ethics And Genetics
      • Therapy And Management
      • Genetic Case Study: Part 4
      • What Have You Learned?
  • Course 2

    5.0 (25 reviews)

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

    4 weeks

    4 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Genomics: From Molecule to Medicine
      • The Power of Genomics
      • Genome: Structure And Function
      • Exploring The Genome Using a Genome Browser
      • Summary And Looking Forward
    • Week 2

      Genomic Variants
      • What Are Variants?
      • Naming Genetic Variants
      • Using Online Tools To Explore Variants
      • Summary And Looking Forward
    • Week 3

      Genome Analysis and Diagnostics
      • An Overview Of Genome Sequencing
      • NGS Data Analysis
      • Classifying Variants
      • Summary And Looking Forward
    • Week 4

      Genomics In Medical Management
      • Personalised Medicine
      • Genomics And Research
      • Using Genomics To Guide Cancer Therapeutics
      • Final Review
  • Course 3

    4.8 (27 reviews)

    Discover how genetics is revolutionising the detection and treatment of the different types of cancer.

    4 weeks

    4 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Where Have We Come From? The 'Normal' Cell And Beyond
      • Starting Off!
      • The Normal Cell - How and Why Things Go Wrong
      • Cancer Subtypes
      • Evaluating Sources On The Internet: Can You Believe What You Read About Cancer?
      • Week 1 Summary
    • Week 2

      Where Are We Now?
      • Introduction To Week 2
      • Tumour Suppressor Genes And Oncogenes
      • The Hallmarks Of Cancer
      • Cancer Diagnosis and Screening
      • Inherited Predisposition To Cancer and Genetic Counselling
      • Week 2 Summary
    • Week 3

      Cancer Treatment And Management: From Traditional To Precision Medicine
      • Introduction To Week 3
      • Current Cancer Treatments
      • The Beginnings of Precision Medicine: Breast Cancer, Leukaemia and Lung Cancer
      • Week 3 summary
    • Week 4

      Where are We Going? The Genomic Revolution
      • Introduction To Week 4
      • The Bigger Picture: Precision Cancer Medicine And The Tools To Explore It
      • New Horizons In Cancer Therapy
      • Can We Afford It?
      • Week 4 Summary

Prove you're job ready

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  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
  • Impress employers with learning outcomes you can add to your CV.
  • Make your career dreams a reality.

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Join an ExpertTrack to master new skills in your chosen specialist area. Work through a series of topic-focused courses at your own pace, and pass the final assessment to earn a digital certificate award which proves your expertise.

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World-class learning with 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

Meet your instructors

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.

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

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.

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ExpertTracks are a series of online courses designed to help you master new skills in specialist areas. You pay a monthly subscription fee which includes access to all courses within the ExpertTrack, as well as assessments and the final digital certificate.

Each ExpertTrack comes with a 7-day free trial period. You may cancel your subscription at any time and your subscription will automatically cancel when you finish the courses and assessments in your chosen ExpertTrack.

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