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18
October
2016

New Manchester-Beijing Healthcare Genomics postgraduate training course launched in China

  • Strategic collaboration between Manchester Academic Health Science Centre and Peking University Health Sciences Centre
  • Clinical genetics was only formally agreed as a specialist area of medicine this year in China
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A pioneering partnership between The University of Manchester and Peking University has resulted in the development of a formal post-graduate level training course in healthcare genomics for China-based doctors.

Genomic testing and precision medicine are playing increasingly important roles in diagnosing and treating conditions in clinical practice; however, the general level of knowledge of healthcare genomics is low among many medical practitioners – in the UK as well as China.

In the UK, clinical genetics has been a recognised medical specialty for over three decades with a formal training and career pathway for doctors who diagnose and manage families with genetic disorders. However in China, clinical genetics was only formally agreed as a specialist area of medicine this year, creating a need for formal training for doctors, genetic counsellors and clinical scientists to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to deliver patient care in this rapidly expanding field.

The course – a year-long study programme conducted both online and through intensive face-to-face teaching blocks in Beijing – is specifically designed for practicing doctors in China. It will be taught by leading genetic specialists from The University of Manchester led by Professors Graeme Black, Bill Newman, Lauren Kerzin-Storrar, and Dr Tao Wang, with contributions from our collaborators at Peking University, led by Professor Yuwu Jiang, The course aims to provide leading edge knowledge and skills for doctors delivering genomic healthcare to patients and families across China.

The course is facilitated by the current strategic collaboration between Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) and Peking University Health Sciences Centre (PUHSC). The collaboration focuses on rare inherited diseases and cancer genetics in the context of advances in genomic testing. PUHSC is one of the leading medical schools and research institutions in China.

Several years ago we took the step to partner with Peking University to deliver the Centre of Excellence in Genomic Medicine. The news that it will be helping hundreds of doctors across China access the latest genomic healthcare advances is a testament to the far-reaching wisdom of our vision
President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell

The collaboration with Peking University was strongly supported by Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, who has visited PUHSC and hosted a delegation here in Manchester led by Professor Weigang Fang, Vice President for PUHSC.

“Several years ago we took the step to partner with Peking University to deliver the Centre of Excellence in Genomic Medicine. The news that it will be helping hundreds of doctors across China access the latest genomic healthcare advances is a testament to the far-reaching wisdom of our vision,” she said.

The course comprises four modules: Human genetics and genomics; Common and rare inherited disease; Principles and practice of genetic counselling; and Workplace based genomic medicine practice.

“We are delighted that the first cohort of 20 students includes paediatricians, obstetricians, oncologist, cardiologists, neurologists and clinical laboratory specialists from Beijing and across China, many of whom are senior clinicians and academics who will be able to transfer the knowledge and skills gained from the course to develop genomic services in their own hospitals,” said Course Director Professor Lauren Kerzin-Storrrar.

Although this programme is brand new, Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine (MCGM) has over 30 years’ experience of delivering training in clinical genetics and genetic counselling in the UK and Europe. Students enrolled on the course in Beijing will be taught by clinical academics who themselves are experienced clinical geneticists, genetic counsellors, clinical and research scientists who also deliver clinical care in our internationally renowned integrated genomic medicine hospital service.

For further information about the course or the wider collaboration with PUHSC, please contact the Project Manager, Dr Sarah George: sarah.george-2@manchester.ac.uk

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