Distance Learning

Stanford Offers New Online Course in Genomics

The Stanford Center for Professional Development has launched a new online course dealing with genomics and genetics. The course, "Personal Genomics and Your Health," will be offered as an elective counted toward the Stanford Genetics and Genomics Certificate.

The new online course will examine the concept of personalized medicine and the role genetics can play in health care. Students will learn about the general methods used to acquire genetic information, how pharmacogenomics can provide more personalized treatment of individual patients and how technology is impacting the fast-growing field.

Stanford Genetics and Genomics Certificate Academic Director Michael Snyder said the hope is that genetics can play a role in creating personalized treatment programs for individuals, sometimes even before they begin to experience symptoms. This course, Snyder said, will help move the field closer to that goal.

"Focusing on individuals, not just the illness, genomic sequencing and analysis can help shift medicine from symptom-based to a model of prevention and early treatment," Snyder said.

The course will be taught by faculty members of Stanford University's School of Medicine. Those who would most benefit from the course would be professionals in science and medical fields.

Other courses in the genetics and genomics certificate program include gene therapy, agricultural biotechnology, genetic engineering, stem cells and understanding cancer.

Acceptance into the certificate program is ongoing and interested candidates can apply through the Stanford Center for Professional Development.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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