Training Opportunities

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Bioinformatics: unlocking genomics in healthcare – Explore the world of clinical bioinformatics and its important role in the patient journey

On Monday 26 June the University of Manchester will be delivering its free online course on the Future Learn platform exploring the role of clinical bioinformaticians and genomics in healthcare today.

The course will illustrate how the discipline of clinical bioinformatics provides an important bridge between the cutting-edge science of genomic technologies and the delivery of genomic medicine in clinical practice. Through a range of case studies and interviews, the course allows learners to experience the world of a clinical bioinformatician and brings sequencing techniques and data analysis processes to life.

Making a difference in healthcare

Led by Dr Angela Davies and Professor Andy Brass, the course has been developed in conjunction with colleagues from the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health and the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine.

Week 1 of the course will explore what is meant by clinical genomics and how genomic sequencing technologies are transforming patient care, particularly for patients with rare diseases. It will delve into the world of a clinical bioinformatician, to understand their role in the patient’s journey, what is challenging, why they enjoy it and how they feel they are making a difference in healthcare.

Join the course

Enrolment is free and the course is open to all healthcare professionals who are interested in learning more about clinical bioinformatics, and will also be applicable to people with an interest in the application of genomics in healthcare. It is not essential to have previous experience or knowledge of bioinformatics or genomics, although medical terminology is used.

The course starts this week and will run for five weeks, with a new set of learning resources made available each week. For more information or to join, visit the Future Learn website.

 Free online resources and courses

The Genomics Education Programme has produced a number of resources on genomics for various audiences, all of which are available free of charge and open to anyone who is interested:

  • Primary Care Genetics – free online educational modules for all healthcare professionals working in primary care
  • Introduction to Genomics – (1.5 hours) with new technologies we can now examine the whole of a person’s DNA – their genome – quicker and cheaper than ever before. Learn about the fundamentals of genomics and discover its growing importance for healthcare.
  • Introduction to Bioinformatics– (1.5 hours) discover how bioinformatics is becoming increasingly important to contemporary healthcare research and delivery. Learn about the principles and practices, the challenges and the problems it can help to solve.
  • 100,000 Genomes Project: Preparing for the consent conversation– (1.5 hours) this course guides health professionals in the key steps of the Project’s consent process, what to consider when preparing for the discussion with potential participants, and how to address questions and concerns.
  • Sample Processing and DNA Extraction– (1 hour) to ensure good results from whole genome sequencing, the 100,000 Genomes Project requires staff working in molecular genetics and histopathology laboratories at NHS GMCs to adhere to a set of new protocols for the handling and processing of blood and tumour samples.
  • Factsheets– selected genetic conditions outline the key facts of rare and inherited conditions, clinical features, diagnosis, management and treatment. The ‘Genomics in mainstream medicine’ series outline the context and impact of genomics on key clinical specialisms.
  • Flickr Image library– a collection of free-to-use genetics and genomics images.
  • Blog– Online articles covering a wide spread of topics within genomics in the context of healthcare, with a particular focus on awareness-raising, education for healthcare professionals.
  • Video library– showing case studies, emotive patient stories, communicating peer-to-peer, awareness raising and conveying complex subject matter.