HGC 715: Human Genetics
This course provides an advanced look at human genetics concepts including Mendelian and non-Mendelian inheritance, the molecular basis of human variation and disease susceptibility, normal/abnormal chromosome variation, and immunogenetics. Population and quantitative genetics will be covered, including pedigree and risk assessment using Bayesian statistics.
Fall I – 3 credits
HGC 725: Developmental Biology and Human Malformation
Primary concepts to be covered in this course include: principles of developmental genetics, human reproduction, and normal/abnormal embryological development. The relationship between human development and clinical topics such as congenital anomalies, human disease, teratogens, and infertility will be reviewed in addition to assistive reproductive technologies and fetal therapy. Development will be covered by major organ system, with emphasis on associated birth defects including etiology, ultrasound findings, and recurrence risks.
Fall I – 2 credits
HGC 745: Medical Genetics
This course will introduce the student to the basic elements of a medical genetics evaluation including concepts involved in dysmorphology, physical assessment, and differential diagnosis. The clinical features, natural history, and management strategies for major pediatric and adult genetic diagnoses/syndromes will be reviewed including: chromosome anomalies; bone dysplasias; hemoglobinopathies; trinucleotide repeat, connective tissue, neurogenetic, and opthalmological disorders, as well as other single gene disorders by organ system. The course will also cover methods and procedures associated with newborn screening, carrier testing and prenatal screening/diagnosis.
Spring I – 3 credits
HGC 755: Current Topics in Clinical Genetic Testing
This course utilizes a case-based approach to clinical and laboratory aspects of cytogenetics, biochemical genetics, and molecular genetics testing. Testing methodologies, measures of analytic and clinical validity, and test interpretation will be discussed. The course is designed to prepare the student to select appropriate genetic tests for clients and provide accurate counseling based on possible test results.
Spring I – 3 credits
HGC 760: Genetics of Common Diseases
Using cancer as a model, this course will focus on the genetic aspects of common diseases, including epidemiological concepts and levels of disease susceptibility. The clinical and molecular aspects of hereditary cancer syndromes will be emphasized, and issues related to cardiovascular genetics, psychiatric genetics, neuro/developmental genetics, and diseases such as diabetes, asthma, etc, will also be addressed. The course will provide a framework to address aspects unique to genetic counseling for common chronic diseases including risk assessment, genetic testing options and screening/prevention strategies.
Spring I – 3 credits
HGC 805: Public Health Genomics (online course): This course will provide a basic overview of public health, societal and public policy issues, community-based interventions, and healthcare delivery systems. Public health genetics activities and perspectives at the local, state and federal level, as well as academia and industry will be illustrated using existing programs and projects as examples.
Online: 2 credits (Summer II)
HGC 820: Hot Topics in Genomics: The focus of this course will be the analysis of evolving and future genetic/genomic technologies and topics including: genetic epidemiology, genome-wide association studies, pharmacogenomics, next-generation/whole-genome sequencing, proteomics, genomic profiling/personalized medicine, direct-to-consumer genetic testing, gene patenting, and ethical legal and social issues (ELSI).
Spring II – 3 credits
HGC 705: Introduction to Genetic Counseling
This course will introduce students to the historical aspects and goals of the genetic counseling profession. The basic principles and tools of genetic counseling will be discussed and illustrated, including collecting a family history and constructing a pedigree, components of the genetic counseling interaction, and counseling contexts/situations. Practice-based competencies, scope of practice, NSGC position statements and code of ethics, will be explored.
Summer I – 2 credits
HGC 710: Introduction to the Genetic Counseling Profession:
This series of introductory modules will occur over a 6 week summer session. It designed to provide students with an overview of practice settings, specialties, roles, and responsibilities encountered in the field of genetic counseling and medical genetics. It will focus on four main areas: clinical, public health, research and laboratory practice. Presentations will be given by genetics and other professionals practicing in these settings. Students will tour related facilities, meet for one-on-one interviews with the professionals involved, shadow counselors on the job, and explore possible capstone project topics with designated mentors. At the completion of the four modules, students will be required to prepare written and oral summaries of their experiences for group discussion. The course is intended to assist students in making a determination regarding their focus selection for the training program. (See HGC 740).
Summer I – 7 credits
HGC 720: Genetic Counseling Theory and Practice I
This course will provide students with a fundamental understanding of basic counseling theory and techniques. Goals and tools of interviewing, listening skills, and counselor-client dynamics will be addressed. Psychosocial counseling will be introduced utilizing genetic counseling case discussions to explore concepts such as patient autonomy, empathy, giving bad news, transference/counter transference, and non-directiveness. Psychosocial aspects of obtaining a family history, and use of the pedigree as a psychosocial assessment tool will be addressed.
Fall I – 2 credits
HG 750 Genetic Counseling Theory and Practice II
This course will explore in more detail psychosocial issues relevant to genetic counseling encounters. Topics covered will include: individual psychosocial development, impact of chronic illness and disability, family dynamics, grief and bereavement, crises intervention, multi-cultural sensitivity and competency, community/regional/national resources.
Spring I – 2 credits
HGC 810: Genetic Counseling Theory and Practice III
This course will focus on advanced concepts encountered in the practice of genetic counseling including teaching principles and methodologies, health literacy, counseling individuals with intellectual disabilities, and clinical supervision. The US healthcare system, issues of billing, reimbursement and licensure, genetic service delivery models, and the business/marketing aspects of genetic services will be presented. Identification of appropriate patient research opportunities, provision of informed consent, and barriers to participation will be explored. Preparing for the job-market and professional growth opportunities will be addressed. Case-based and literature discussions will be utilized to enforce the concepts covered.
Fall II – 2 credits
HGC 730: Genetic Counseling Seminar
Students will take this course throughout their program experience. During their first year, case discussion and sharing will be emphasized to enhance development of students’ counseling skills and techniques. Students will also explore genetics resources, databases, and computerized tools and be introduced to concepts involved in writing research/grant proposals. The second year will continue with case presentations, but place an additional focus on critical review and synthesis of genetics literature, research methods (qualitative and quantitative), IRBs/clinical research, and abstract/manuscript preparation. Journal club will be held monthly throughout both years.
Fall I/II, Spring I/II
1 credit each
EPI 552: Human Genome Epidemiology
This course will introduce students to applications of epidemiologic methods and approaches to evaluating the use of human genetic discoveries in the practice of medicine and public health in the 21st century. With the completion of the human genome project, the epidemiologic approach is now urgently needed to assess the prevalence of genetic variation in the population, to characterize the burden of disease associated with genetic variation and with gene- environment interaction, and to evaluate the impact of genetic tests in reducing morbidity and mortality. At the end of the course, participants should be able to identify types of information needed to translate genetic discoveries into medicine and public health and be able to review and evaluate such information in the scientific literature. The course is designed for public health students interested in the intersection of epidemiology, genetics, preventive medicine, and health policy.
Spring II - 1 credit
PA 622: Intro to Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Basic concepts of descriptive, analytic, and experimental epidemiology. Topics covered will include measures of disease frequency, measures of data quality, probability, samples, populations, estimation, hypothesis testing, tests of significance, p-values and the universal decision rule, confidence intervals, proportions, chi-square tests, linear regression and correlation, overview of study designs, and bias in epidemiology studies, with an emphasis on flaws and fallacies in medical literature.
Fall I - 4 credits
PA 625: Biomedical Ethics
Examination of ethical rules, principles, and theories as they relate to health care delivery issues using a case presentation format and discussion of the ethical issues.
Fall II - 2 credits
HGC 735: Clinical Practicum
Students will complete a sequence of clinical rotations throughout their program experience. The rotations will take place under the supervision of a board certified genetic counselor and/or clinical/medical geneticist. Students will begin with observations of genetic counseling sessions conducted by an experienced counselor, in addition to role-play and simulation activities. Starting half-way through their first semester, students will spend two days/week in an assigned clinical genetics setting. The core rotations will be 8 weeks each and include prenatal, cancer, general-pediatrics focus, and general-adult focus. Students will take increasing responsibility for the preparation and conduction of the genetic counseling sessions as they progress through the program. A minimum of 50 clinical cases in core rotations will be required where the students participate in a significant portion of the case management and counseling.
Fall I, II/Spring I, II/Summer II - 2 credits each, total of 4 clinical practicum credits required each semester
Following completion of HG502, students will be asked to select their area of focus from one of the following: Expanded Clinical Genetics Practice, Public Health Genetics, Clinical Genetics Research, Genetics Laboratory Practice and Counseling. Beginning in their first fall semester, students will spend 1 day per week at their identified focus site. A mentor(s) will be identified to guide the student’s experience and select a major project they will be involved with for the duration of their program. During the interim summer between their 1st and 2nd years, students will spend 3 days/week for 12 weeks (summer internship) working at their focus site. They will continue 1 day per week on their focus activities during their 2nd year. The focus experience is intended to provide the students with a rich and in-depth non-traditional experience, enhancing their ability to obtain an optimal position upon graduation and add to the expansion of the profession. The focus experience will also provide the basis for their Capstone project, which will include completion of a grant-proposal related to their focus project (year 1) and use of existing or accumulated data to write a paper suitable for publication and submit an abstract for presentation at a national meeting (year 2).
Fall I, II/Spring I, II - 1 credit each; Summer II - 6 credits
HGC 815: Genetic Counseling Research
Independent study. Students will develop draft and final manuscripts, meeting abstracts, and presentations based on focus experience capstone project. Presentations will be given at Grand Rounds during their final semester.
Fall II – 1 credit; Spring II - 1 credit