Course Description

Foundations in Personalized Health is a survey course designed to introduce students to many facets of this emerging field.

Sponsored by University of Utah Health’s Program in Personalized Health and the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS), the course is offered through the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) program. 

Who Can Take the Course? This course is open to students outside the MSCI program and can be approved as an elective in other degree programs. This course is an approved elective in the medical school curriculum (MDCRC 6150). A Continuing Education section also is available. Faculty, staff and the public are welcome to attend the seminar portion of the course on a drop in basis.

Course Information

Course number:  MDCRC 6150
Academic Credit Hours: 2

CME Credit hours: 1.5
Semester: Fall (Check with course director)
Day & Time: Check with course director
Room: Check with course director
Prerequisites: None

AMA Credit. The University of Utah School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 21.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Course Leader. Amy J. Hawkins, PhD 

Registration Questions. Please contact Amy J. Hawkins, PhD for registration assistance and questions.

Accreditation. The University of Utah School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Eduation to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Nondiscrimination & Disability Accommodation Statement. The University of Utah does not exclude, deny benefits to or otherwise discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, veteran’s status, religion, gender identity/expression, genetic information or sexual orientation in admission to or participation in its programs and activities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request, with reasonable notice. Requests for accommodations or inquiries or complaints about University nondiscrimination and disability access policies may be directed to the Director, OEO./AA, Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator, 201 S Presidents Circle, RM 135, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, 801-581-8365 (Voice/TTY), 801-585-5746 (Fax).

Course Goals

At the completion of this course, students will be able to do the following:

  1. Discuss fundamental elements of personalized health care. 
  2. Consider case studies of preventive and therapeutic applications of personalized health care. 
  3. Consider future developments in personalized health care.
  4. Propose methods for advancing personalized health care locally, nationally, and globally. 

Course Evaluation

Students will receive a letter grade at the end of the semester. This grade will be based on:

  • Class participation (25 percent)
  • Weekly online discussion posts (25 percent)
  • Two written assignments (50 percent)

Class attendance is mandatory, but planned absences are acceptable if discussed with instructors beforehand. 

Course structure. The course is organized into weeks. Each week starts on Tuesday and ends Monday at 11:59PM. All discussion questions and any other work for that week must be turned in before Monday at 11:59 PM. There will be weekly reading assignments that will enhance class lectures. 

Late Policy. Discussion questions responses (and article summaries for missed class) must be submitted before the end of the week to receive full credit. Students can still submit the following week for half-credit but no credit will be given after 2 weeks.

Sample Syllabus

Session 1 Health Literacy and Genomic Education (Amy J. Hawkins, PhD & Kimberly Kaphingst, PhD)
Session 2 History of Genetic Research in Utah, Progress in Rare Disease Genomics and Clinical Diagnostics (Lynn Jorde, PhD & Stephen L. Guthery, MD)
Session 3 Genetic Contributions to Heart Disease and Diabetes (Marcus G. Pezzolesi, PhD, & Marti Tristani-Firouzi, MD)
Session 4 Whole Genome Sequencing in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Josh Bonkowsky, MD, PhD)
Session 5 Pediatric Cancer Care (Luke Maese, DO & former patient’s family)
Session 6 The Role of Genetic Counselors in the Clinical Practice of Personalized Medicine (Wendy Kohlmann, MS, Licensed Genetic Counselor)
Session 7 How to Interpret Clinical Genetic Variant Reports (TBD)
Fall Break – No Class
Session 8 Direct to Consumer Genetic Testing Discussion Panel (TBD)
Session 9 Introduction to DNA Sequencing Technologies and Bioinformatics Analysis (Aaron Quinlan, PhD & Gabor Marth, PhD)
Session 10 Clinical Trials: Design and Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (Will Dere, MD & Jorge Contreras, JD
Session 11 Clinical Diagnostics and Pharmacogenomics: Current Research and Impacts on Care (Yuan Ji, PhD, & Gwen McMillin, PhD)
Session 12 Personalized Maternal-Fetal Medicine/Prenatal Care (Erin Clark, MD)
Session 13 TBD
Session 14 TBD
Session 15 TBD