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 Genomic Medicine  posted by  duggu   on 11/24/2007  Add Courseware to favorites Add To Favorites  
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Kohane, Isaac, HST.512 Genomic Medicine, Spring 2004. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed 09 Jul, 2010). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Illustration showing basic steps used in microarray technology.

Illustration showing basic steps used in microarray technology. (Figure by OCW.)

Course Highlights

Audio of most lecture sessions, in addition to downloadable lecture notes, are available for this course.

Course Description

This course reviews the key genomic technologies and computational approaches that are driving advances in prognostics, diagnostics, and treatment. Throughout the semester, emphasis will return to issues surrounding the context of genomics in medicine including: what does a physician need to know? what sorts of questions will s/he likely encounter from patients? how should s/he respond? Lecturers will guide the student through real world patient-doctor interactions. Outcome considerations and socioeconomic implications of personalized medicine are also discussed. The first part of the course introduces key basic concepts of molecular biology, computational biology, and genomics. Continuing in the informatics applications portion of the course, lecturers begin each lecture block with a scenario, in order to set the stage and engage the student by showing: why is this important to know? how will the information presented be brought to bear on medical practice? The final section presents the ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding genomic medicine. A vision of how genomic medicine relates to preventative care and public health is presented in a discussion forum with the students where the following questions are explored: what is your level of preparedness now? what challenges must be met by the healthcare industry to get to where it needs to be?

Special Features

  • Complete audio lectures

Technical Requirements

RealOne™ Player software is required to run the .rm files found on this course site.

RealOne™ is a trademark or a registered trademark of RealNetworks, Inc.



This course is targeted to medical students, biomedical scientists, biomedical engineers, and instructors of future genomic medicine and related courses. Advanced concepts in the bioinformatics field will be carefully introduced and require no advanced math/statistics background. Where computation is needed, the students will be provided with working tools and relevant data sets from real world examples.

Some of the questions addressed in the course include:

  • What real benefits of genomics can be anticipated in the near future in terms of new drugs and treatments?
  • Which strategies to date have been the most successful?
  • How can diagnosis and the diagnostic process be changed today?
  • How do our prognostic abilities change?
  • How does one manage the deluge of clinically relevant genomic data?
  • What constitutes a genomic clinical trial?
  • What are the useful features of alternative genomic technologies today and for the near future?
  • What are the different kinds of genomic informational resources and databases? Are they useful and how?
  • How can the drug discovery process make better use of genomic information?
  • What are the ethical individual and corporate challenges ahead?
  • What are the key limitations we face?


Molecular Biology and Genetics in Modern Medicine (HST.160) or basic introductory genetics, facility with a programming language (e.g., Perl), or instructor's permission.


Brown, Terence A. Genomes. 2nd ed. Wiley-Liss, June 15, 2002. ISBN: 0471250465.

Kohane, Isaac S., Alvin Kho, and Atul J. Butte. Microarrays for an Integrative Genomics. MIT Press, August 21, 2002. ISBN: 026211271X.

Dhanda, Rahul K. Guiding Icarus: Merging Bioethics with Corporate Interests. 1st ed. Wiley-Liss, April 5, 2002. ISBN: 0471223808.

Course Requirements

Course meets for 2 lectures/week (1.5 hours/lecture); 3 problem sets assigned. In addition, students are required to give a 20-minute oral presentation and complete a scientific, publication-quality paper, approximately 10 pages long.



1 Genomic Introduction  
2 Introduction to Biology and Genomic Measurement  
3 Measurement Techniques - Butte  
4 Microarray - Massively Parrallel Measuremment  
5 Limits of Technologies  
6 Information Science at the Center of Genomic Medicine  
7 Informational Resources  
8 Complex Traits: What to Believe  
9 Machine-learning Approach  
10 Association with Markers  
11 The Importance of Data Representation  
12 Pharmacogenomics  
13 Case Hx: Complex Traits  
14 Individualized Pharmacology  
15 Microarray Disease Classification  
16 Microarray Disease Classification II  
17 Direct Prediction of Outcome / Mortality  
18 Case Hx: Cancer Diagnostics  
19 Modelling and Reverse Engineering  
20 Practical Genomic Medicine     Tell A Friend