Educational Opportunities

Educational Opportunities

  • Training and courses for graduate and professional students in pharmacogenomics
  • Research opportunities to undergraduate students interested in biomedical science careers. Contact the PUMA faculty for undergraduate research opportunities in the area of pharmacogenomics.
  • Training opportunities for postdoctoral education (e.g. postdoctoral fellowships). If interested in pursuing postdoctoral training in pharmacogenomics, please contact our individual faculty members.
  • Monthly National Research in Progress Webinars sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and monthly U of M Research in Progress Seminars

Pharmacogenomics Course

Phar 6224 is a 2 credit elective course oriented for 3rd year pharmacy and graduate students. This course consists of lectures and in class discussions designed to introduce the theory and practice of pharmacogenomics. The goal of the course is to give students an understanding of the principles of human genetics and genomics as they apply to improving the problems in drug therapy optimization and patient care. The genetic basis of variability in drug response can contribute to drug efficacy and toxicity, adverse drug reactions and drug-drug interactions. As such, pharmacists need an understanding of the genetic component of patient variability to deliver effective individualized pharmaceutical care. Understanding of the basics of pharmacogenomics will enable students to better understand and manage the new genomics based tools as they become available as well as make best treatment choices. The principles covered in this course will prepare pharmacists and clinical scientists to critically evaluate, interpret and apply this information.

Course Topics

Introduction to human genome, evolving concepts of genes/locus.  Introduction to genetic variation, types of variants, SNPs, coding and cis/trans regulatory variants, insertion/deletions, copy number variants
From DNA to a clinical result.  Whole genome and whole exome sequencing, bioinformatics, creation of reports for clinicians.
Pharmacogenomics in Psychiatry. Variants affecting drugs used for psychiatric indications.
Pharmacogenomic Study Design.  Overview of approaches to conduct and design pharmacogenomic studies (GWAS v. candidate genes).  P-values, low MAF, rare events, interpretation of statistical results
Genetic Counseling.  Counseling on genetic findings, tools to assist in counseling, how to explain genetic and genetic variation to patients, disease risk vs pharmacogenomic variants, future
Pharmacogenomics in Cardiology.  Variants affecting drugs used for cardiovascular indications such as HTN, hyperlipidemia
Pediatric Pharmacogenomics.  Variants affecting common drugs used in children and special considerations of genetics in this population (e.g ADHD, PPIs, codeine, asthma)
Clinical consequences of pharmacogenomic based drug interactions.  The impact of how genetic variants modify the severity of a drug interaction.
Hands on exercise with genomics databases. PharmGKB, NCBI, 1000genomes, hapmap, etc.
PGx cases and interpretation of genetic results/ data results
Oncology. Genetic variation in tumors.  Genetic sequencing and expression of solid tumors. Genetic based selection of therapy.  
Oncology. Genetic variation in tumors and how they affect response or toxicity to anticancer and targeted cancer agents.
Drug development in the post-genomic era.  Use of genetics in development of new therapies in pharmaceutical industry (e.g. imatinib, crizotinib, herceptin). 
Ethical, social and legal issues.  Equity of access, cost of treatments and genetics, possible adverse consequences of knowledge of risk alleles, duties to warn, returning genetic results to patients. ETHICS DEBATE IN CLASS
Warfarin, immune suppressant, breast cancer (e.g Oncotype, tamoxifen).   The influence of genetic variants on drug efficacy and toxicity, pharmacokinetics and its influence on selection of therapy.
Student group presentations on pharmacogenomics topic in class on a drug or class of drugs not covered in class.