Myths and Realities of Personalised Medicine: The Genetic Revolution

Learn about the concept of “personalised medicine” and the impact that our enhanced understanding of genetics has had on modern medicine and society.

About The Course

Personalised medicine.  Precision medicine. Individualised medicine. Customised medicine. Targeted medicine. Even bespoke medicine!  All buzzwords of recent years that equally excite, confuse and infuriate the public, researchers and healthcare professionals. What does it all mean, and why should you care?

Broadly speaking, these terms all refer to the idea of tailoring treatment to individual patients based on their genetic code. But is this actually happening, and what are the consequences of this shift in thinking?

The last 10 years have yielded significant and rapid advances in our understanding of the human genome. The impact on human health and clinical practice is already being widely felt. 

This course will discuss both the benefits and controversies surrounding the genetic revolution as it relates to modern medicine and its impact on society. The promise of personalised medicine will likely yield significant benefits for patients, yet raises a number of serious ethical and legal issues for health professionals, patients and the community. 

You will learn how genetic testing is currently used to guide treatment across diseases including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and mental health, and infectious disease. You will also explore the power of genetics to impact disease prevention and diagnosis, and the social, legal, political and ethical implications of this new knowledge.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?

Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.

What resources will I need for this class?

For this course, all you need is an Internet connection, and the time to read, write, discuss, and debate the issues raised by personalised medicine.

What is the coolest thing about this class?

This course will distill the hype around personalised medicine, and allow you to form your own opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of the genetic revolution. Through content delivered by a wide variety of expert clinicians and researchers currently working in the field, you will be equipped with the language and skills to debate the impact of personalised medicine on your own situation.

Recommended Background

No particular background is required. All are welcome.