East Tennessee State University’s College of Nursing is offering an online graduate certificate in health care genetics and genomics.

The certification is designed to prepare students to utilize knowledge of genetics, genomics, epigenetics, pharmacogenetics, genetic testing and genetic counseling in their practice, a press release from the university said. It will also provide knowledge of how genetic makeup and environment may contribute to the development of common inherited disorders.

Genetics is the study of heredity and the variation of inherited characteristics. Genomics is the study of the entirety of an organism’s genes, or genomes.

While the certificate program is open to any student with a bachelor’s degree and builds upon general knowledge in biology and health-related sciences, Dr. Alex Sargsyan, assistant professor in the College of Nursing and coordinator of the Health Care Genetics and Genomics Program, said, “the certificate should appeal to potential students who have interests in health-related fields such as nursing, medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, speech and communication disorders, and exercise science.”

“Students will learn about the latest trends in genetic testing, genetic concealing, and there will be an opportunity to have a practical experience in a clinical setting,” added Sargsyan.

The genetics and genomics certificate program was designed with working professionals in mind, offering the flexibility and convenience of online coursework, the release said. Four courses include: human genetics and genomics essentials, pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics, advanced human genetics and genomics, and a seminar and practicum in human genetics and genomics, for a total of 12 credit hours.

Content will provide students with foundational concepts in molecular genetics, gene expression, genetic factors affecting the development of health problems, and genomic influences on health, as well as those in pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics, essential for understanding current modalities in optimizing pharmacotherapy and care delivery in the era of precision medicine.

Advanced concepts will include genomic influences affecting the complex disease progression, genomics as a disease management tool and familiarity with global genetic issues.

It concludes in the clinical field with practical and seminar experiences where students can collaborate with professionals who provide genomic care. During the seminar, students will have an opportunity to synthesize information about competencies and the role of nurses and other health care professionals in the genetics and genomics domain, the release said.

For more information about the genetics and genomics graduate certificate or to learn more about admissions and how to apply, visit www.etsu.edu/online/graduate-certificates/nursing.php or email Sargsyan at sargsyan@etsu.edu.

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