Biology 641

BIOL 641
Genetics and Genomics for the Health Care Professional

1. Catalog Entry

BIOL 641
Genetics and Genomics for the Health Care Professional

Credit hours (3)
Prerequisites: BIOL 105 or BIOL 231 or permission from the instructor

This online course will provide a basic knowledge of genetic terms and concepts and an understanding of genomics that can provide health care professionals with a foundation that will enable them to provide competent, personalized healthcare.  In this course the student will learn the basic genetic structures and functions, explain cellular and genetic changes, discuss genetic inheritance and describe chromosomal variations. Students will investigate resources available to healthcare providers for the application of genetics and genomics to patient care.

2. Detailed Description of Course

    1) Genetics/genomics and current research, Human Genome Project
        a. Difference between genetics and genomics
        b. The Human Genome Project and its impact on current trends in genetics
        c. Impact of the media on the public’s perceptions about genetics and advances in genomics related research
        d. Identification of the implications of media reports about genetics and genomic related research for health care
    2) Basic genetic concepts and patterns of inheritance review
        a. Review of the differences between chromosomes, DNA and genes
        b. Review of basic genetic concepts and patterns of inheritance
        c. American Nurses Association’s Essential Genetics and Genomics Concepts
        d. Review of pedigree symbols
        e. Punnett squares/branch diagrams
        f. Probability
        g. Identification of patterns of inheritance using pedigrees
        h. Risk assessment using pedigrees
    3) Population Genetics/Quantitative Genetics
        a. Genotype/allele frequency
        b. Natural selection/drift/mutation/migration
        c. Population subdivision
        d. Multigenic traits and heritability
        e. Multifactorial traits
        f. Environmental influence
        g. Race and genetic risk
    4) Influences of gene expression
        a. Factors that can complicate the interpretation of inheritance patterns
        b. Identification of these complicating factors and at-risk family members
        c. Imprinting/DNA Methylation
    5) DNA Structure
        a. Review of DNA and RNA structure, gene structure and genome arrangement
    6) DNA replication Transcription and Translation
        a. DNA Replication
        b. DNA replication, transcription and mRNA translation
        c. DNA repair
        d. Mutations and their results
        e. Identification of errors in DNA replication, transcription, mRNA translation and DNA repair that contribute to
            genetic conditions
    7) Introduction to Genetic Variation
        a. Mutation and polymorphism
        b. SNP, RFLP
        c. Race, ethnicity, and ancestry
        d. Examination of the variation within the human race using online and other resources
            i. Mitochondrial DNA variation research activity to explore the benefits/challenges of human genetic
               variation research
            ii. Search to identify companies that offer genetic testing for race, ethnicity, and/or ancestry
    8) History Taking and Pedigree Analysis
        a. Review of pedigree symbols and patterns of inheritance
        b. Family history taking and pedigree construction
        c. Dysmorphology terms and early identification and referral process/criteria for patients and families
        d. Pedigree analysis including risk assessment; identification of conditions that warrant attention, pattern of inheritance
           and alternative pattern of inheritance
    9) Genetic Testing
        a. Exploration of the different types of genetic tests
        b. Predisposition testing vs. pre-symptomatic testing vs. symptomatic testing
        c. Predictive value
        d. Consideration of sensitivity and specificity of tests
    10) Genetic Therapeutics
        a. Current and proposed genetic therapeutic strategies
            i.   Enzyme replacement
            ii.  Gene therapy
            iii. RNAi
            iv.  Genetic vaccines
            v.   Stem cell transplants
        b. Pharmacogenomics
    11) Cancer Genetics
        a. Proto-oncogenes, oncogenes, suppressor genes and DNA repair genes
        b. Germline vs. somatic cell mutations
        c. Predisposition for cancer development
        d. Two hit hypothesis
        e. Review of pedigree symbols
        f. Healthcare role in cancer
            i. Identify families and family members at high risk for cancer
            ii.Assist clients/families during cancer risk assessment/counseling process
    12) Ethics
        a. Genetic testing in children
        b. Disclosure of genetic information
        c. Non-paternity
        d. Fertility issues
        e. Emotional distress
        f. Discrimination
    13) Patient Resources
        a. Genetics counselors
        b. Genetic specialists
        c. Genetic testing

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will be offered only online.  The course will be facilitated using approaches appropriate to online delivery which may include but are not limited to recorded lectures, faculty and student led seminar discussions, guest speakers, case studies, reading assignments, written projects, problem sets and other strategies as appropriate. Because the course is online, audio or video presentations/lectures, discussion boards, chat rooms and other instructional technology strategies may be used.
4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

Upon successful completion of the course, the student will have the knowledge and skills to:
    1) Distinguish between genetics and genomics and describe the role of each for informing health care decisions,
    2) Draw pedigrees and assess recurrence risks based on family histories.
    3) Calculate allele and genotype frequencies from population data and explain differences in genetic disease prevalence
        and probabilities among populations (“races”).
    4) Identify various types of DNA mutation and predict phenotypic effects.
    5) Describe the diversity of genetic tests available, the predictive value of these tests and their appropriateness for
        various populations.
    6) Explain the role of genetic variation in personal response to pharmaceutical agents.
    7) Identify genetic aspects of cancer and considerations for cancer treatments.
    8) Locate patient centered resources for genetic information.

5. Assessment Measures

May include but are not limited to:  case studies, exams, quizzes, problem sets, simulations, student presentations and written projects.  

6. Other Course Information


Review and Approval

April 11, 2013

April 13, 2015