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Genomic Medicine

Genomic medicine is revolutionising the fields of oncology, pharmacy, rare disorders, mental health and infectious diseases.

Research continues at a rapid pace to develop a better understanding of the relationship between our genes and our health.

Genomics increasingly informs the health care we provide to our patients, and as a healthcare professional you are increasingly likely to talk to your patients and their families about genomics. With the growth of precision medicine made possible, in part, by the study of genomics, it’s more important than ever to inform your understanding of how genomic medicine is impacting your area of clinical practice.

These accessible standalone modules are available to NHS Wales staff. Full tuition fee funding is available from Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) for up to two modules per individual. Each module is worth 20 credits and will be delivered in partnership with the All Wales Medical Genomics Service (AWMGS), Wales Gene Park (WGP) and NHS Wales.

Flexible online delivery

These are interprofessional e-learning programmes. The online format means you can study flexibly, to account for your current commitments. Your online study will be enhanced by interactive features including discussion boards, recordings and a virtual classroom for live online sessions or personal tutor meetings.

For more information or to apply

Please contact the Genomics team for further information and details of how to apply online.

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As genomic technologies are implemented across most clinical specialities, individuals with expertise in genomic medicine are playing a key role in enabling healthcare professionals to learn, understand and integrate genomic data into clinical practice.

This module offers you the opportunity to study and apply the traditional and contemporary strategies and techniques used to identify genes responsible for both rare inherited (Mendelian) disorders and common polygenic diseases.

You will use examples taken from clinical practice of the most frequently encountered disorders to explore the landscape of common and rare inherited diseases. You will develop an appreciation of the utility of genomic approaches in dissecting the underlying biology of genetic disease, including complex disorders, and how this knowledge can be used to improve patient outcomes.

You will also learn about approaches in management and treatment of patients and their families, as well as examining the role of genomics in a care pathway, while considering both patient and family perspectives. The module also provides practical examples that highlight how patients with unmet diagnostic needs can benefit from whole exome or whole genome sequencing.

Module lead: Professor Derek Blake

The WHO defines Public Health as all organised measures (whether public or private) to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong life among the population as a whole.

Within the healthcare system, the application of genomics with respect to infectious disease is best understood in the context of public health. This is because, pathogen genomic data is applicable in many ways, from diagnosis at a patient level, up to the tracking of pandemics at a global level.

This module will provide students with a public-health/clinical led understanding of Infectious disease and clinical pathogen genomics. The module will provide an introduction to pathogen biology, covering pathogen fundamentals, including core pathogen biology, pathogen transmission, pathogen genome structure and drug resistance.

The fundamental understanding of pathogen biology will then enable learners to be introduced to the application of genomics in public health, from patient to population. The module will examine pathogen genomics through the lens of public health and its widespread application, relating infectious disease genomics to the three domains of Public Health - Prevention, Protection and Promotion.

Module lead: Professor Thomas Connor  - working with Dr Fu Meng Khaw

"Omics" describes a range of analytical technologies, including genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics and proteomics, that are used to characterise large pools of biological molecules.

While genomics and transcriptomics often involve the use of next generation sequencing (NGS) there are a range of technologies that can be used to explore the metabolome and proteome. Collectively these technologies can be used to identify genetic variants and biomarkers and can provide functional insights into disease mechanisms and treatment responses.

This module provides a comprehensive introduction to a range of "omics" techniques with an emphasis on the use of NGS in healthcare. Topics covered in this module include:

  • Exome and whole genome sequencing, including comparison of different sequencing platforms and chemistries
  • Approaches to the evaluation of pathogenicity of variants in the context of an NHS clinical report
  • Methods to assess the transcriptome including RNA sequencing and spatial-transcriptomics,
  • A critical appraisal of biomarker discovery and clinical applications of proteomics, metabolomics and lipidomics.

Module lead: Dr Hywel Williams

Over the past decade there have been significant changes to how cancer patients are managed, with increased focus on precision medicine and patient stratification.

These advances would have been impossible without understanding the molecular mechanisms driving tumour initiation and progression, the genomic signatures that expose the common features shared between different cancers, and paradoxically, highlight the uniqueness in each. Genes and genetic alterations are the foundation to cancer development.

This module delivers a critical insight into the molecular mechanisms of cancer initiation and progression, DNA repair and its role in maintaining genome stability, the mechanisms of cancer metastasis and the role of the tumour microenvironment.

You will learn about the molecular basis of cancer, germline and somatic genomic variants that can increase cancer risk and progression, and the ethical considerations of genetic screening. This module highlights how advances in the genomic analysis inform patient stratification and treatment and introduces the concepts of pharmacogenomics and personalised medicine in cancer.

Module lead: Dr Zara Poghosyan

This module aims to equip you with the counselling and communication skills to support patients whose care will be influenced by genomic investigations. You will bring the experience of your current clinical practice, and be taught the knowledge, skills and behaviours to incorporate genomic healthcare into your role.

You will develop your understanding of when genomic testing may be offered in healthcare, and the ethical and social implications of this, including the important of informed consent for testing. You will be taught how to communicate with and provide appropriate support to individuals and their families.

Development of counselling skills will be achieved via theoretical and practical sessions.  You will have the opportunity to learn how to record and interpret a family history, how to discuss genomic testing with your patients, and how to deliver results appropriately.

Module lead: Dr Nicky Tavener

The last decade has seen an exponential increase in genome sequencing that has revolutionised the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of many diseases. These advances in genome medicine are reliant on bioinformatics and computational biology to align sequences to reference genomes and accurately identify clinically-relevant sequence variants.

This module provides a comprehensive introduction to the bioinformatic analysis of genomic data with an emphasis on the use of next generation sequencing (NGS) in healthcare.

Topics covered in this module include:

  • NGS quality control and alignment to a reference genome
  • Variant calling
  • Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertions and deletions (INDELs) from aligned sequence
  • Computational approaches to assess the functional effect of variants and standards for bioinformatics data sharing in healthcare pathways.

Module lead: Dr Rik Anne

Entry requirements

The above modules are available to health professionals and doctors working in the NHS in Wales, including doctors, nurses and allied health professionals.

If you are unsure as to whether your qualifications or professional experience are relevant, please contact