MED MS 130
The pace of genetic advances during the last century has been unparalleled scientifically, and these discoveries have already made and are poised to make an incredible impact on the practice of medicine. Currently, OMIM (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man) lists over 3600 identified disease genes, and GeneTests lists over 2900 diseases for which there are molecular tests. Moreover, OMIM lists over 21,000 loci that are associated with particular phenotypes. In this course we will explore the precise molecular determinants of medical conditions and of human phenotypic variation that are being elucidated on a daily basis. Clearly, a detailed understanding of the genetic basis of human disease will lead to more precise molecular assays and diagnostics, better-targeted treatments, and more efficient treatment plans overall. Moreover, these developments will certainly affect all clinical specialties of the medical field since genetic components have a clear influence on a wide variety of human traits and conditions, from height and developmental birth defects to cancer susceptibility and neurological degeneration. In this course, we will prepare students to utilize the knowledge of this rapidly developing field in the context of many clinical specialties.