St George’s, University of London
Genomic medicine is a rapidly evolving discipline that is already making an impact in the fields of oncology, pharmacology, cardiovascular disease, neuroscience, infectious disease and biomedical research. The science behind improvements to patients’ clinical care and health outcomes is supporting the development of personalised or precision medicine, ultimately saving lives.
This Master’s degree follows a curriculum designed by NHS England and is taught in partnership with King’s College London, giving you access to experts with different specialisms in, for example, bioinformatics and cardiovascular genomics. Both institutions are part of the South East Genomic Laboratory Hub, one of the largest providers of genomic testing in the UK and a national centre for specialist testing for cardiology, gastro-hepatology, haematology, neurology, respiratory and skin conditions.
Of all the life sciences, genomics is one of the most dynamic areas. The past 20 years have seen an explosion in our ability to explore the structure, function and evolution of the human genome, with mapping and editing of gene variants now possible due to technological advances, including next-generation sequencing.
In seeking to identify how alterations to our genomes directly affect disease and health, genomics is also leading a revolution in healthcare by giving a better understanding of how drugs affect people differently and thus allowing for focused, effective, treatment or ‘personalised medicine’.
Under the umbrella term of genomic medicine, there are many different areas that are covered. We look at the transcriptome – the total set of RNA molecules which represents the genes active in a given organism or particular cell type at a given point in time. Changes to the transcriptome can both reflect and cause diseases such as cancer.
We also consider the ‘epigenome’, heritable chemical modifications to DNA and DNA-associated proteins in the cell, which alter gene expression as a result of natural development and tissue differentiation or in response to disease or environmental exposures. In both instances, we seek to identify how these changes directly affect disease and ill health.
You will learn how recent technological advances have transformed how genomic data is generated, analyzed and presented; how bioinformatics is enabling us to handle and make sense of big data and its impact across healthcare. In doing so, you will consider its relevance to a range of clinical scenarios, such as the spread of specific infections across hospitals, the Covid-19 pandemic, and identification of biomarkers of response to targeted therapies.
This master’s degree, awarded by St George’s, University of London, is taught in partnership with King’s College London. You will benefit from the combined teaching and research expertise, and the comprehensive and specialist resources provided by these two institutions, as both specialist health universities, and two of the UK’s top research universities.
This course is designed for students and healthcare professionals who wish to acquire training in genomic technologies and their interpretation within a medical context. Genomics is an area of rapid change, with a particular skills shortage in the area of bioinformatics, an area you can specialise in through this programme.
An MSc in Genomic Medicine will provide career opportunities for a range of professions, from laboratory-based researchers to diagnostic and healthcare professionals. Our graduates have gone on to work in clinical diagnostics, clinical trials, scientist training programme, bioinformatics, laboratory research assistant, and have continued on to study postgraduate medicine and PhDs.
Students must have the equivalent of a bachelor degree to intercalate a Master’s. This will usually require you to have a BSc degree or have completed the first three years of your medical programme.
Applications typically open in November and close in July. Early applications are recommended.