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M.H.Sc. Medical Genomics


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M.H.Sc. Medical Genomics


Medical Genomics: From research to patient care (Credit: Natividad Chen, Chelsea Canlas, Annie Tseng)

Why Medical Genomics?
Genomics is a rapidly growing field, with implications reaching from the bench to bedside. The fast-paced nature of this field is creating a widening knowledge gap between cutting-edge genomics research and current clinical practices. An emerging need for laboratory professionals and clinicians to be able to generate, integrate, and interpret genetic and genomic data is driving a new era of healthcare and patient management. The new clinical field of Medical Genomics is an integral component of this vision for a vibrant academic healthcare system.


A Professional Master’s Degree
The M.H.Sc. in Medical Genomics is a two-year, course-based professional Master’s in Health Sciences that is the first of its kind in Canada. Focused on providing directly actionable skills and knowledge, this program is tailored to a new era of research and clinical science, providing professional skills for a world where genetic and genomic data are routinely collected and analyzed.


Program Content
Our diverse faculty has exceptional strengths ranging from research in genomic method development, data acquisition and analysis to the study of disease mechanisms, oncology, pharmacogenomics and clinical genetics. Drawing on these expert teachers, students learn about all aspects of classical and next-generation genomics in the following fields:

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  • Advanced human genetics

  • Biological statistics

  • Genomic methodologies

  • Communicating genetic information

  • Ethical & legal implications of genomics

  • Practicum


Hands-on Experience
The M.H.Sc. in Medical Genomics culminates in a hands-on Capstone Practicum. Clinical stream and laboratory stream students will take part in required courses in either Patient Management or Practical Modern Genomics, respectively.

These stream-specific practicum options ensure that students complete the program with immediately relevant knowledge and career-enabling experience.


Career Opportunities
The M.H.Sc. in Medical Genomics is a professional Master’s program that is focused on course-based learning, so unlike most graduate programs there is no thesis component. The program is focused on providing directly actionable skills and knowledge to enable graduates of the program to extend their professional practice. It has been developed for a new era of research and clinical science, providing professional and practical skills for a world where genetic and genomic data are routinely collected and analyzed across a wide range of patient populations and medical indications.

The program addresses students with either a medical or a laboratory background. Students move through the program as a single cohort, each group will provide different voices and different perspectives in discussions of medical genomics, and the impact of genetics and genomics in the future.

Laboratory Stream
In both research and clinical laboratories, genetic tests are a growing component of the data used to guide clinical treatment and research discovery. These tests have rapidly progressed from single genes and panels of multiple genes to whole-genome data, with concomitant increases in the complexity of understanding and communicating results. Graduates of our program will be ideally suited for employment in clinical and research science labs implementing the tools of genomic medicine. They will also be highly attractive to publicly funded enterprises or private companies that are producing and interpreting genomic data for the health professions as well as for direct-to-consumer testing laboratories. This degree will distinguish graduates, enhance existing professional practice, and enable new career paths.

Clinical Stream
Medical genomics is beginning to touch many different aspects of clinical care, and we are moving rapidly towards a system in which it can be a real value-add in the job market for a clinician who is not a clinical geneticist to have specialized knowledge in genetics and genomics. Additionally, the growing availability and visibility of direct-to-consumer genetic testing means that physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals are now at the front lines of assisting patients in interpreting genetic data. Comprehension of genomic data and the ability to interpret and communicate genetic results will place our graduates at the forefront of practicing healthcare providers and clinical researchers.


The professional Master's in Medical Genomics is a new, ground-breaking program, and the first of its kind. Students learn in a small cohort to prepare for a new era of healthcare.

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Curriculum


Curriculum


The M.H.Sc in Genomic Medicine requires students to sequentially complete the following courses in five consecutive terms. Students are expected to graduate at the completion of the fifth term. 

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As a professional Master’s program, we put an emphasis on helping our students acquire skills necessary to succeed in a professional environment, especially in a rapidly evolving field. We do this by collaborating with the University of Toronto’s Career Centre, Clubs and Leadership Development, as well as the Graduate Centre for Academic Communication. With the expertise of these centres, we offer workshops on relevant topics such as career planning and exploration, working in a collaborative environment, and entrepreneurship.

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Capstone Practicum


Capstone Practicum


Students in the M.H.Sc. in Medical Genomics have a diverse set of backgrounds. To account for the varying interests and needs, the Capstone Practicum is either performed in Clinical or Modern Medical Genomics.


Practicum in Clinical Medical Genomics
The clinical practicum in medical genomics will require clinical-stream students to integrate and apply the theoretical concepts and practical skills they learned via coursework in a clinical and/or research setting. The clinical practicum is a self-directed placement in which clinical-stream students will seek out a placement in an area related to their specific clinical interests, and work full time (>35 hr/week) with a host organization / supervisor for a 12 to 16 week period.

MMG 3007H, Session 5 (Winter 2), 78 hours, 1 FCE

Practicum in Modern Genomics
The capstone practicum in Modern Genomics will require laboratory-stream students to integrate and apply the theoretical concepts and practical skills they learned via coursework in a professional setting. During the laboratory-stream practicum students will work full-time (>35 hr per week) with a host organization / supervisor for a 12 to 16 week period, focusing on a project of significance to the practicum partner in the field of Medical Genomics.

MMG 3008Y, Session 5 (Winter 2), 78 hours, 1 FCE

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Admissions


Admissions


We are now accepting graduate student applications.

The professional Master’s in Medical Genomics program is designed for highly capable students. Admissions will be extended to students from diverse academic backgrounds, and potential for success will be prioritized over any single axis of academic achievement. In addition to meeting the Department of Molecular Genetics admission requirements, applicants must satisfy the following minimal criteria:

 

Laboratory Professional Applicants
An appropriate Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree with high academic standing from a recognized university, with a B+ average or better over the last two years of study. The undergraduate degree should display competence in genetics, molecular biology, or related fields.

OR

Clinical Applicants

  • A PharmD or equivalent degree in Pharmacy or Pharmacology
  • A PDEP accredited B.Sc. in Food & Nutrition. If B.Sc. program was not fully integrated with an internship, applicants must also have completed their dietitians internship / Master's practicum
  • Registration with a recognized College of Nurses, and completion of a College approved Nurse Practitioner graduate program
  • At least 1 year of an undergraduate medical degree from an accredited university

 

Applicants entering the program in either stream who have NOT completed an advanced (graduate level) degree will have obtained a minimum undergraduate B+ grade average. Applicants who are entering the program following the completion of an advanced degree will have obtained a minimum undergraduate B grade average. 


Applicants will complete an application package including:

  • All previous university transcripts
  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Letter of intent (1 to 2 pages maximum), including how this program will have an impact on their future career path
  • Three letters of reference from professional, academic, or other qualified referees

Preferred applicants will have relevant research and/or clinical experience, and who can demonstrate an immediate and substantive use of this degree in professional practice. They will be invited for a 30 minute interview to confirm student excellence. 15 students will be accepted per year.

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Contact


Contact


Our diverse, internationally distinguished faculty has exceptional strengths ranging from research in mechanisms of disease, to oncology, to clinical genetics.

For general requests about the program and admission to the program, contact us at medicalgenomics@utoronto.ca.

Program Director, Medical Genomics
MSB Room 4176
1 King's College Circle
Toronto, ON, M5S 1A8

Tel: 416-978-4481   

Teaching Faculty, Medical Genomics
MSB Room 4386
1 King's College Circle
Toronto, ON, M5S 1A8

Tel: 416-978-3753

       

Chair, Department of Molecular Genetics 
MSB Room 4388
1 King's College Circle
University of Toronto
Toronto, ON, M5S 1A8   

Tel: 416-946-8511

Teaching Faculty, Medical Genomics
MSB Room 4287
1 King's College Circle
Toronto, ON, M5S 1A8

Tel: 416-978-3726

 

 Ramadhani (Rama) Ponda

Ramadhani (Rama) Ponda

Graduate Program Administrator                 
MSB Room 4398
1 King's College Circle
University of Toronto
Toronto ON M5S 1A8

Tel: 416-978-7145

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