Genomics technology is sufficiently advanced to measure DNA sequence variation and RNA expression in clinical samples. However, the integration of genomic measurements into healthcare is outpacing the training of physicians and scientists, and many are ill-equipped to use this information to improve the health of patients. Thus, it is imperative to train the next generation of physician and scientist leaders in Genomic Medicine. At the University of Pennsylvania, we propose a post-doctoral training program in Genomic Medicine, focused on translational medicine and informatics, to be led by Drs. Jason Moore, Edward Rose Professor of Informatics, and Director of the Penn Institute for Biomedical Informatics, and Katherine Nathanson, Professor of Medicine and Genetics, and Associate Director of Population Sciences, Abramson Cancer Center. A challenge for this program is providing a foundation for training in Genomic Medicine, applicable to both MD and PhD trained fellows, recognizing that each may enter the program with different skill sets and experiences. It is thus essential to provide all fellows with a strong background framework so that they can develop exciting and relevant projects in Genomic Medicine. The trainees will enroll in a two year program, including didactic courses, clinical and laboratories rotations, interactive learning experiences and research training. We require a balanced portfolio of courses, which will cover the latest advances in genomics, focused on the role of genomics in disease processes, quantitative sciences, including biomedical informatics and biostatistics, scientific writing and ELSI issues. The 32 trainers have been selected based on their expertise in Genomic Medicine and come from multiple departments, which is further enlarged with clinicians experience in the provision of Genomic Medicine. The trainees will be dually mentored in a research project by a balanced team (e.g. clinician and basic scientist) experienced in Genomic Medicine. Trainees will participate in clinical rotations designed to give them experiences that range from the generation of massively parallel sequence data to data analysis to reporting back the results to patients. Trainees also will participate in interactive activities, which include a journal club, research in progress presentations, clinical genetics rounds and retreats. This combination of coursework, experiential clinical rotations, participation in interactive activities, and mentored research experience will prepare our physicians and scientists for careers in Genomic Medicine. The applicant pool at the University of Pennsylvania is exceptionally strong and diverse, and we anticipate being able to attract outstanding candidates. We plan to enroll two trainees per year for the first two years, and three in the latter three years.
The provision of health care is undergoing a genomics revolution. With massively parallel sequencing as a disruptive technology, our understanding of the genetics and genomics underlying human disease is taking an exponential leap forward. However, few physicians and scientists have been trained to understand these data, let alone take advantage of them to translate into improvements in patient care. We propose a training program for the next generation of leaders in Genomic Medicine at the Penn Medicine, the Perelman School of Medicine and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The program draws upon the extraordinary strengths at these institutions in the areas of genomics, translational medicine and bioinformatics, and will prepare the trainees to embark upon careers applying Genomic Medicine to the improvement of health care through advances in diagnosis, therapeutics and prevention.
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