MSc Precision Medicine / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course description

Our Master of Science (MSc) in Precision Medicine will provide training in the principles of precision and stratified medicine and the clinical impact of individual molecular and lifestyle variability. This course replaces the MRes in Translational Medicine.

Our understanding of the molecular basis of disease, drug mechanisms and precision medicine has improved dramatically in recent years, yet there is a distinct shortage of individuals able to translate this knowledge into effective clinical benefit. The aim is to train the next generation of scientists able to fast-track biological and scientific insights into advanced therapies and diagnostic tools.

The MSc course consists of four taught units covering omics principles including genetics, genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics, which together make up the PGCert, plus an extended 35-week project that can be undertaken at the University, the Manchester Cancer Research Centre or a teaching hospital in Greater Manchester. Our teaching integrates different omic technologies to enable you to undertake precision medicine research.

You can choose from a range of projects covering areas such as the use of gene expression profiling, proteomics, metabolomics, stem cell research, tissue culture or pharmacogenetics in the biology of diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, stroke or diabetes.

Completing our course will open up a route into PhD research. You may also pursue a career in academia or the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries, or as a clinical academic.

Aims

We aim to train you in the principles of precision and stratified medicine and the clinical impact of individual molecular and lifestyle variability. You will learn the fundamentals of omics technologies including genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics.

Special features

Janine Lamb

"Our students undertake ambitious research.

"Projects have explored cancer, cardiovascular disease, inflammation or diabetes, using methods including stem cell research, proteomics, metabolomics, or pharmacogenetics."

Janine Lamb / Course Director

Extensive research experience

The 35-week research project for the MSc award offers the chance to conduct ambitious projects in world-leading research groups in areas such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, mental health, infectious diseases, stroke or diabetes, using methods such as stem cell research, proteomics, metabolomics, tissue culture or pharmacogenetics.

Omics technologies in precision medicine

You will learn about multidisciplinary molecular profiling technologies including genetics, genomics, proteomics and metabolomics and their application to the growing area of precision and stratified medicine.

Teaching and learning

The taught units are delivered using a variety of face-to-face, workshop and e-learning approaches. There is also an extended 35-week research project for the MSc award. Examples of past research projects include:

  • Statins in translational cerebral ischemia: systematic review and meta-analysis of pre-clinical studies;
  • Parallel gene expression profiling and histological analysis of tumour tissue microarrays;
  • Development of a New Drug For Alzheimer's Disease by Drug Repositioning;
  • Identification of genetic variants predisposing to autoimmune idiopathic inflammatory myopathies;
  • Effects of differentiating agents on breast cancer stem cells and their sensitivity to DNA-damaging therapies;
  • Molecular characterisation of prostate cancer;
  • Inhibitors of IAPP Aggregation and Toxicity;
  • New Therapies for Type II Diabetes;
  • Identifying novel monotherapy and combination therapies for the treatment of Glioma;
  • Translation of in vitro to in vivo: investigating the utility of in vitro drug transporter assays to predict inductive effects in the clinic;
  • In vivo mechanistic analysis of cancer drug combination therapies;
  • Using silk as a biomaterial for nerve regeneration;
  • The role of the local tissue environment in immune activation following myocardial damage;
  • Identifying genes that drive Breast Cancer to Bone Metastasis;
  • High throughput genetic testing in rare disease: applications of personalised medicine;
  • Drug resistance and heterogeneity in CML following treatment with imatinib and following perturbation caused by nanoparticle delivery of miRNAs;
  • Investigation of a panel of drugs to inhibit the pro-tumourgenic actions of macrophages in breast cancer;
  • 3D anatomical reconstruction and molecular mapping of the atrioventricular ring tissues in human embryonic heart and adult rat heart;
  • Identification of the genetic basis of disorders associated with the presence of intracranial calcification;
  • Species variability in metabolism as a translational factor influencing susceptibility to adverse drug reactions in man.

Find out more about postgraduate teaching and learning at The University of Manchester.

Coursework and assessment

We use a range of assessment methods, including oral and poster presentations, workshops, a literature review, written reports and a journal article dissertation.

Course unit details

The MSc course consists of four taught units - which together make up the PGCert - plus an extended 35-week project.The four taught units run throughout Semester 1, and are taught using a variety of face-to-face, workshop and e-learning approaches. Further details can be found by clicking on the units in the table below.

The research project for the MSc award runs throughout Semester 2 and has two main elements, Research Project 1 (10 weeks) and Research Project 2 (25 weeks). Further details can be found by clicking on the units in the table below.

Clinical Masterclass course unit The Clinical Masterclass course unit is an optional non-credit bearing unit that may be available for intercalated medical students subject to availability. The unit consists of a series of seminars, workshops and e-learning.

This optional unit contributes to personal and professional development in the experience, knowledge and skills training required for effective clinical practice and success, with a strong emphasis on clinical academic research.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Research Project 1 BIOL66121 30 Mandatory
Research Project 2 BIOL66132 90 Mandatory
Genetics, Genetic Epidemiology, Transcriptomics and Functional Genomics BIOL72021 15 Mandatory
Proteomics and Metabolomics BIOL72031 15 Mandatory
Laboratory Skills Unit MEDN66111 15 Mandatory
Research Methods MEDN69910 15 Mandatory

Course collaborators

Our course links clinicians with technology developers and is delivered by discovery scientists and clinical academics from the Faculties of Biology, Medicine and Health, and Science and Engineering.

A partnership between the University and local NHS Trusts aims to accelerate advances in healthcare through clinical integration.

Our course also has partnerships with interdisciplinary organisations, for example, Manchester Cancer Research Centre, Stoller Biomarker Discovery Centre, and Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research, a collaboration between UK pharmaceutical companies and the University.

What our students say

Ilinca Neacsu

After finishing my undergraduate studies, I wanted to develop my research skills and gain more knowledge in omic technologies.

The 6 month laboratory project helped me achieve my aims and enhance my skills. The seminars delivered by lecturers who worked in industry also helped me understand difficult topics. It was an amazing opportunity to discover the latest technologies and was great preparation for a PhD and a career in the industry.

Ilinca Neacsu / Alumni from course formally called Translational Medicine

The lectures and seminars that we had with lecturers from the pharmaceutical industry was a great chance to understand how research is performed outside of the University and what opportunities exist for researchers in industry. Moreover, the emphasis given on proper preparation and organisation of projects, critically reviewing published bibliographies, and effectively communicating research work through verbal and written channels will develop useful skills for the future. Elpida Tsonou

Really interesting and stimulating course which provides a detailed overview and first-hand experience of how systems medicine can be used to advance human healthcare. Jamie Ellingford

The course was amazing. It helped me to become more confident in working in the lab individually. I learnt so many valuable skills and made some good friends along the way. Nadia Iqbal

The course provided me with knowledge of novel techniques that I can now incorporate into my research. I would recommend the course to anybody. William Critchley

I feel the course has given me excellent preparation for my PhD and would greatly recommend it to anyone looking for a research career. Shaun Wood

Please note the opinions above were provided for the precursor to this course, MRes Translational Medicine.

Facilities

Our MSc students are based within state-of-the-art academic research facilities, including the Manchester Institute for Biotechnology (MIB) and Michael Smith, Stopford and AV Hill Buildings.

The MIB is equipped with facilities for training in biotechnologies for medical healthcare.

Research projects are carried out within the University, the Manchester Cancer Research Centre or one of the Greater Manchester teaching hospitals.

You will be able to access a range of facilities throughout the University.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk