The Master of Genomics and Health, the first such program in Australia, has been designed to prepare a workforce that is knowledgeable and skilled in practical, ethical and socially responsible implementation of genomics in health. Students will gain knowledge about genomics and engage in discourse around the current and potential impact on health and medicine brought about by advances in genomics and genomic technologies.
This course is designed to be available to students at different stages in their careers, including career starters and those with more established careers who wish to further their knowledge, skills and qualifications.
The Master of Genomics and Health requires completion of a total of 200 points of study and allows flexibility in subject choices to suit individual interests and study preferences. Students have the option of enrolling in a Master degree (200 points) or one of the nested awards - Graduate Diploma (100 points), Graduate Certificate (50 points).
Students undertaking the Masters program will be assisted with organising relevant internships and research projects. Successful completion of the research stream will provide adequate training for those who do not have Honours but may wish to undertake a PhD in future.
The program uses a blended learning approach with regular tutorials conducted in the Health Education and Learning Precinct of the Melbourne Children's Campus in Parkville. Students are encouraged to attend relevant seminars, journal clubs and meetings to complement their studies.
Graduates will be well positioned to gain employment across a broad range of fields such as:
Public health genomics is the use of genomic information to benefit public health. The program will provide a grounding for people who are interested in combining genomics knowledge with skills in public health to work in areas of public policy for government or across a range of healthcare sectors. This would suit graduates from science, biomedical science or health sciences who would undertake electives from the Master of Public Health and/or science communication with internships in government, health policy think tanks, hospital settings or community advocacy groups.
Variant curation is a process of examining genomic data results and using literature and databases to provide evidence about whether a patient’s genomic results have clinical significance. There is a need for variant curator scientists working in clinical services or in research. This would suit a graduate of applied science, science or biomedical science who would undertake electives in bioinformatics, the research stream with internships with clinical laboratories including pathology services, or clinical services with a focus on learning hands-on variant curation.
Coordination, patient recruitment and informed consent are critical to the success of clinical trials and research in which patients or the public are involved. This would suit graduates from science, biomedical science or health sciences who would undertake the research stream, electives from the Master of Public Health and/or science communication with internships in research organisations, clinical trials centres, and the pharmaceutical industry.
Health practitioners whose disciplines are at the forefront of the genomics revolution and wish to be better prepared to incorporate this area into their practice. This includes, for example, specialist clinicians and nurses looking to upskill in genomics. In both cases knowledge and skills in genomics can applied to their everyday practice, or prepare them for more research or education based roles.
Given the advances in technology, medical law is an exciting field to be in. Ethical discourse and legal leadership often lag behind the introduction of new medical technologies, yet both are required to ensure safe, equitable and appropriate health system integration. This program will provide those from a law background with a level of specialist genomics knowledge and will allow students to tailor their studies to focus on legal research, or undertake a range of relevant electives to support more applied career paths.
NB Completion of this course does not fulfil the professional requirements for employment as a genetic counsellor. Students who exit with a Graduate Certificate or a Graduate Diploma in Genomics and Health and who wish to apply for the Master of Genetic Counselling will need to meet all eligibility criteria for that program. Their application will need to demonstrate relevant volunteer work/experience and they will be ranked with all other applicants for that year. If they are successful at interview and are accepted into the Master of Genetic Counselling cohort they may receive appropriate credit for some subjects.
The only Master’s specialisation in the Netherlands covering the function of our epigenome, a key factor in regulating gene expression and in a wide range of diseases.
Our skin cells, liver cells and blood cells all contain the same genetic information. Yet these are different types of cells, each performing their own specific tasks. How is this possible? The explanation lies in the epigenome: a heritable, cell-type specific set of chromosomal modifications, which regulates gene expression. Radboud University is specialised in studying the epigenome and is the only university in the Netherlands to offer a Master’s programme in this field of research.
The epigenome consists of small and reversible chemical modifications of the DNA or histone proteins, such as methylation, acetylation and phosphorylation. It changes the spatial structure of DNA, resulting in gene activation or repression. These processes are crucial for our health and also play a role in many diseases, like autoimmune diseases, cancer and neurological disorders. As opposed to modifications of the genome sequence itself, epigenetic modifications are reversible. You can therefore imagine the great potential of drugs that target epigenetic enzymes, so-called epi-drugs.
In this specialisation, you’ll look at a cell as one big and complex system. You’ll study epigenetic mechanisms during development and disease from different angles. This includes studying DNA and RNA by next-generation sequencing (epigenomics) and analysing proteins by mass spectrometry (proteomics). In addition, you‘ll be trained to design computational strategies that allow the integration of these multifaceted, high-throughput data sets into one system.
- Radboud University combines various state-of-the-art technologies – such as quantitative mass spectrometry and next-generation DNA sequencing – with downstream bioinformatics analyses in one department. This is unique in Europe.
- This programme allows you to work with researchers from the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life sciences (RIMLS), one of the leading multidisciplinary research institutes within this field of study worldwide.
- We have close contacts with high-profile medically oriented groups on the Radboud campus and with international institutes (EMBL, Max-Planck, Marie Curie, Cambridge, US-based labs, etc). As a Master’s student, you can choose to perform an internship in one of these related departments.
- Radboud University coordinates BLUEPRINT, a 30 million Euro European project focusing on the epigenomics of leukaemia. Master’s students have the opportunity to participate in this project.
As a Master’s student of Medical Epigenomics you’re trained in using state-of-the art technology in combination with biological software tools to study complete networks in cells in an unbiased manner. For example, you’ll know how to study the effects of drugs in the human body.
When you enter the job market, you’ll have:
- A thorough background of epigenetic mechanisms in health and disease, which is highly relevant in strongly rising field of epi-drug development
- Extensive and partly hands-on experience in state-of-the-art ‘omics’ technologies: next-generation sequencing, quantitative mass spectrometry and single cell technologies;
- Extensive expertise in designing, executing and interpreting scientific experiments in data-driven research;
- The computational skills needed to analyse large ‘omics’ datasets.
With this background, you can become a researcher at a:
- University or research institute;
- Pharmaceutical company, such as Synthon or Johnson & Johnson;
- Food company, like Danone or Unilever;
- Start-up company making use of -omics technology.
Apart from research into genomics and epigenomics, you could also work on topics such as miniaturising workflows, improving experimental devices, the interface between biology and informatics, medicine from a systems approach.
Or you can become a:
- Biological or medical consultant;
- Biology teacher;
- Policy coordinator, regarding genetic or medical issues;
- Patent attorney;
- Clinical research associate;
Each year, the Molecular Biology department (Prof. Henk Stunnenberg, Prof. Michiel Vermeulen) and the Molecular Developmental Biology department (Prof. Gert-Jan Veenstra) at the RIMLS offer between five and ten PhD positions. Of course, many graduates also apply for a PhD position at related departments in the Netherlands, or abroad.
- Systems biology
In the Medical Epigenomics specialisation you won’t zoom in on only one particular gene, protein or signalling pathway. Instead, you’ll regard the cell as one complete system. This comprehensive view allows you to, for example, model the impact of one particular epigenetic mutation on various parts and functions of the cell, or study the effects of a drug in an unbiased manner. One of the challenges of this systems biology approach is the processing and integration of large amounts of data. That’s why you’ll also be trained in computational biology. Once graduated, this will be a great advantage: you’ll be able to bridge the gap between biology, technology and informatics , and thus have a profile that is desperately needed in modern, data-driven biology.
- Multiple OMICS approaches
Studying cells in a systems biology approach means connecting processes at the level of the genome (genomics), epigenome (epigenomics), transcriptome (transcriptomics), proteome (proteomics), etc. In the Medical Epigenomics specialisation, you’ll get acquainted with all these different fields of study.
- Patient and animal samples
Numerous genetic diseases are not caused by genetic mutations, but by epigenetic mutations that influence the structure and function of chromatin. Think of:
- Autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
- Cancer, in the forms of leukaemia, colon cancer, prostate cancer and cervical cancer
- Neurological disorders, like Rett Syndrome, Alzheimer, Parkinson, Multiple Sclerosis, schizophrenia and autism
We investigate these diseases on a cellular level, focusing on the epigenetic mutations and the impact on various pathways in the cell. You’ll get the chance to participate in that research, and work with embryonic stem cell, patient, Xenopus or zebra fish samples.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/medicalbiology/epigenomics
Genomic technologies and information will transform practice across the clinical professions over the next decade.
This MSc is a new programme developed by Health Education England and being offered by a network of centres across England. It includes study of the genomics and informatics of rare and common diseases, cancer and infectious diseases, which can be applied to clinical practice and medical research, and enhance knowledge and skills, in this rapidly evolving field.
What does our MSc provide?
This programme, delivered by the Faculty of Medicine, will provide a comprehensive perspective in genomics applied to clinical practice and medical research, with particular emphasis on the 100,000 Genomes Project. It will equip students to bring benefit to their patients through improved diagnosis and personalised treatment, and disseminate knowledge to peers, patients and the public.
Who should study?
This programme is particularly suitable for health professionals as well as students seeking to make the most of genomics as it applies to their current or future career.
Our modular structure and blended learning formats are delivered flexibly as a one year full-time or two year part-time option, or as individual or grouped modules, to facilitate access from as wide as possible a range of healthcare professionals.
Genomic technologies and information will transform practice across the clinical professions over the next decade. Our MSc Genomic Medicine degree is designed to enhance knowledge and skills in this rapidly evolving field. The masters course has been developed by Health Education England and includes study of the genomics and informatics of rare and common diseases, cancer and infectious diseases, which can be applied to clinical practice and medical research. This degree is suitable for health professionals working in the NHS, as well as students seeking to make the most of genomics as it applies to their current or future career.
This MSc Genomic Medicine has been commissioned by NHS England / Health Education England to provide education and training in genomics for health professionals from different professional backgrounds such as medicine, nursing, public health, science and technology, for whom knowledge of genomics will impact on the way they deliver their service to patients and the public.
This programme can be tailored to meet your career aspirations and enables you to choose your module options, plan your programme route, and choose from October or March to begin your studies.
You can study part-time or undertake smaller numbers of, or even individual, modules to fit your study around your other commitments.
Southampton’s MSc Genomic Medicine comprises eight core modules delivered through intensive face-to-face study and independent learning.
Our core modules include an introduction to the genetics and genomics of rare and common diseases, cancer and infectious disease, informatics analysis, and a laboratory research project or dissertation.
Optional modules within the programme include the Ethics, Counselling Skills and Teaching the Teachers to Teach.
Teaching and learning
Using a mix of learning formats, our modules include two groups of two days' intensive face-to-face teaching interspersed with independent study.
The first core module will include an additional day of student contact to incorporate an induction to the University’s facilities and introduction to basic research skills such as literature searching and critical appraisal of scientific literature).
A variety of learning and teaching methods will be adopted to promote a wide range of skills and meet differing learning styles, including seminars, group work, practical demonstrations and exercises surrounding interpretation of data and clinical scenarios.
Experts from a range of academic and health care professional backgrounds are chosen to ensure a breadth and depth of perspective, giving a good balance between theories and principles, and practical management advice.
Independent study is delivered through a virtual learning environment, delivering a library of study materials including uploaded lectures, virtual patients and independent learning tasks, reference materials, links to online tutorials, student fora, and guest lecturer web chats.
A significant component of your research will comprise either an original project or a literature-based dissertation.
What you will gain
Students who complete the programme will be equipped to harness the unprecedented transformation of the 100,000 Genomes Project, bring benefit to their patients through improved diagnosis and personalised treatment, and disseminate knowledge to peers, patients and the public.