Recent advances in genomic technologies have facilitated in the characterization of numerous human diseases, at molecular levels.  Such analyses have facilitated in refining the treatment options at individual levels.  This entire process is now termed, personalized medicine.  The personalized medicine is already implemented in oncologic clinics, whereas it is slowly finding its way into non-cancer disease diagnoses.  

Personalized medicine involves the identification of defects in diseases at the genetic level.  In this course, we will identify some common genetic defects in several human diseases and syndromes such as diabetes, hypertension, neurological disorders, inflammation and cancer. 

First, we will use the online bioinformatics tools and resources to learn the effects of genetic defects leading to diseases and disorders.  Based on this information, we will identify the appropriate diagnostic centers for analyzing the patient’s samples.  Second, we will then learn on the process of patient sample collection and shipping them to appropriate diagnostic centers.   Third, we will learn on how the patient samples are processed, and DNA is isolated.  Following this, we will learn the process of PCR (polymerase chain reaction), to amplify the genes, and specific regions encompassing genetic defects (mutations).  Finally, we will learn how the PCR products are characterized that include DNA sequencing and their alignment with the human genome database. Following this, we will learn about DNA arrays to identify multiple genetic defects in a disease.

Students enrolled in this course will actively participate in reading the literature on each topic, prepare summary document on the course topics and do a formal presentation in the classroom.  Teaching Faculty will continually monitor and evaluate the student’s participation in these activities, which will be used in the final grade.