Training Requirements and Opportunities

Didactic Training

Research fellows in this program will have access to a large variety of didactic training options through select courses, research forums, and degree-granting programs offered at Duke University. The ultimate didactic training plan for each trainee will be developed in conjunction with their principal research mentor along with Drs. Ginsburg and Haga to provide a truly personalized approach to training that will balance specific coursework and experiential training. The proposed required coursework is intended to provide the next generation of genomic medicine researchers  with a strong foundation in clinical research, biostatistics, and responsible conduct of research.  The elective course is intended to complement trainees' genomic medicine research focus.  We anticipate that formal training in genetics/genomics and clinical research will vary substantially between trainees as some trainees will have a strong background in the foundational coursework and therefore, can opt-out of the core courses or enroll in more advanced training (formal or informal) to further their knowledge or skill set relevant to their research or clinical goals in genomic medicine. 

Required Courses (These courses are offered in the Duke University Medical Center’s Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP). Trainees have the option to pursue the degree option associated with this training program, a Master of Health Sciences in Clinical Research.)

  • Principles of Clinical Research (CRP 242) (FALL)
  • Introduction to Statistical Methods (CRP 241) (FALL)
  • Research Ethics & Responsible Conduct in Research (CRP 253) (SPRING)

Elective Courses

*Note: Not a comprehensive list - check the course catalog and CRTP curricula for additional courses

Graduate Courses

  • AAAS 569: Understanding Sickle Cell Disease: A Biopsychosocial Approach (spring)
  • BIOCHEM 634: Metabolic Genetic Disease
  • BIOCHEM 667: Biochemical Genetics I: DNA and Genome Stability (spring)
  • BIOCHEM 668: RNA Biology: Co-Transcriptional and Post-Transcriptional Control of Gene Expression (spring)
  • BIOETHIC 607: Introduction to Genetics and Genomics (fall)
  • BIOLOGY 554: Genomic Perspectives on Human Evolution (occasionally)
  • BIOLOGY 554: 588S: Macroevolution (occasionally)
  • BIOLOGY 650: Molecular Population Genetics (occasionally)
  • BIOLOGY 660: Evolution from a Coalescence Perspective (fall)
  • BIOLOGY 715S: Population Genetics Seminar
  • BIOLOGY 728: Genetic Approaches to the Solution of Biological Problems (fall)
  • BIOLOGY 782: Mechanisms of Development/Developmental Genetics (fall)
  • BIOLOGY 783: Developmental Genetics (fall)
  • BIOSTAT 710: Statistical Genetics and Genetics Epidemiology
  • BME 524: Nanotechnology in Medicine (GE, BB, MC)
  • BME 560: Molecular Basis of Membrane Transport (spring)
  • BME 561L: Genome Science and Technology Lab (GE, MC) (fall and/or spring)
  • BME 570L: Introduction to Biomolecular Engineering (occasionally)
  • BME 574: Modeling and Engineering Gene Circuits (GE, MC) (occasionally)
  • CBB 520: Genome Tools and Technologies (fall)
  • CBB 541: Statistical Genetics (fall)
  • CBB 561L: Genome Science and Technology Lab (GE, MC) (fall and/or spring)
  • CBB 574: Modeling and Engineering Gene Circuits (GE, MC) (occasionally)
  • CBB 612: Ethics and Policy in Genomics (spring)
  • CBB 720: Applications of High-throughput Sequencing for Genomic Analysis (fall)
  • CBB 724L: Differential Expression Proteomics
  • CELLBIO 551: Cell and Molecular Biology (fall)
  • CELLBIO 668: RNA Biology: Co-Transcriptional and Post-Transcriptional Control of Gene Expression (fall)
  • CELLBIO 680: Molecular Cardiovascular Biology
  • CELLBIO 810: Mechanisms of Development/Developmental Genetics (fall)
  • CELLBIO 820: Developmental Genetics (fall)
  • CMB 551: Cell and Molecular Biology (fall)
  • CMB 733: Experimental Design and Biostatistics for Basic Biomedical Scientists (fall and/or spring)
  • CMB 778: Genetic Approaches to the Solution of Biological Problems (fall)
  • COMPSCI 260: Introduction to Computational Genomics (occasionally)
  • CRP 243: Introduction to Medical Genetics (spring)
  • CRP 245: Statistical Analysis (spring)
  • CRP 247: Clinical Research Seminar (spring)
  • CRP 248: Clinical Trials (fall)
  • CRP 249: Health Services Research (spring)
  • CRP 252 and 258: Principles of Clinical Pharmacology I and II
  • CRP 253: Research Ethics and Responsible Conduct of Research
  • CRP 254: Research Management (spring)
  • CRP 257: Proteomics and Protein Biology in Medicine (fall)
  • CRP 259: Decision Sciences in Clinical Research (fall)
  • CRP 261: SAS Programming for Data Management
  • CRP 262: Systematic Reviews and Meta Analysis (spring)
  • CRP 263: Longitudinal Data Analysis
  • CRP 265: Molecular Biology Techniques (summer)
  • CRP 267: Special Topics in Clinical Research
  • CRP 272: R Programing Boot Camp
  • CRP 273: Implementation and Dissemination of Health Care Research (fall)
  • CRP 282: (Study Away at UNC) Pharmacogenomics (must be enrolled in CRTP Clinical Pharmacology track)
  • ENVIRON 750: Genomics of Microbial Diversity
  • ENVIRON 799S: Topics in Ecological Genomics
  • ENVIRON 875A: Conservation Genetics
  • EVANTH 514: Genomic Perspectives of Human Evolution (occasionally)
  • MEDPHY 764: Fundamentals of Radiomics, Genomics and Informatics (fall and/or spring)
  • MEDPHY: 764K: Fundamentals of Radiomics, Genomics and Big Data Analytics (fall)
  • MGM 522: Critical Readings in Genetics and Genomics (spring)
  • MGM 532: Human Genetics (spring)
  • MGM 552: Virology (spring)
  • MGM 582: Microbial Pathogenesis (spring)
  • MGM 700: Gene Regulation (fall)
  • MGM 701: Foundations of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology (fall and/or spring)
  • MGM 720: Computational Tools in Next Generation Genomic Analysis
  • MGM 724: Topics in Molecular Genetics
  • MGM 732: Human Genetics (spring)
  • MGM 778: Genetic Approaches to the Solution of Biological Problems (fall)
  • MGM 790S: Topics in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
  • NURSING 562: Applied Genomics and Personalized Medicine in Clinical Care (fall and/or spring)
  • NURSING 563: Trends in Genetics and Genomics for Health Care and Society (fall and summer)
  • PEDS 220C: Clinical Genetics and Metabolism
  • PEDS 434C: Clinical Genetics/Metabolism
  • PHIL 538S: Problems in the Philosophy and Policy of Genomics
  • PHYASST 339: Genetics
  • PSY 681S: Genetics and Environment in Abnormal Behavior (spring)
  • PSY 681S: Genetics and Environment in Abnormal Behavior (spring)
  • PSY 739: Ethical Issues in Research and Clinical Practice (fall)
  • PUBPOL 634: Ethics and Policy in Genomics (spring)
  • SCISOC 417S: Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (fall)
  • SCISOC 490: Special Topics in Genome Sciences (occasionally)
  • SCISOC 590S: Special Topics in Genome Sciences (occasionally)
  • SCISOC 612: Ethics and Policy in Genomics (spring)
  • SCISOC 750: Genomics of Microbial Diversity
  • SCISOC 799S: Topics in Ecological Genomics
  • SOM 230B: Fundamental Concepts in Clinical Research
  • SOM 240B: Fundamental Concepts of Biostats
  • STAT 504: Statistical Genetics (fall)
  • SURGERY 226C: Modern Cardiac Surgery: From CABG to Gene Therapy
  • UPGEN 522: Critical Readings in Genetics and Genomics (spring)
  • UPGEN 532 Human Genetics (spring)
  • UPGEN 585S Ecological Genetics
  • UPGEN 668 RNA Biology: Co-Transcriptional and Post-Transcriptional Control of Gene Expression (fall)
  • UPGEN 701: Advanced Topics in Genetics and Genomics (fall and/or spring)
  • UPGEN 716S: Genetics Student Research (fall and/or spring)
  • UPGEN 724: Fundamentals of Human and Mouse Genetics
  • UPGEN 725S: Critical Readings in Classical Human Statistical Genetics (occasionally)
  • UPGEN 732: Human Genetics (spring)
  • UPGEN 750S: Genetics Colloquium (fall and/or spring)
  • UPGEN 778: Genetic Approaches to the Solution of Biological Problems (fall)
  • UPGEN 778A: University Program in Genetics and Genomics Biological Solutions Module I (fall)
  • UPGEN 778B: University Program in Genetics and Genomics Biological Solutions Module II (fall)
  • UPGEN 778C: University Program in Genetics and Genomics Biological Solutions Module III (fall)
  • UPGEN 778D: University Program in Genetics and Genomics Biological Solutions Module IV (fall)
  • UPGEN 778E: University Program in Genetics and Genomics Biological Solutions Module V (fall)
  • UPGEN 778F: University Program in Genetics and Genomics Biological Solutions Module VI (fall)
  • UPGEN 786: Complex Traits and Evolutionary Genetics (occasionally)
  • UPGEN 787: Evolutionary Genetics (spring)
  • UPGEN 788: Mathematical Population Genetics

Required Informal Education/Training

All trainees will be required to attend a yearly retreat and select at least one regular informal seminar series offered through Duke University or Duke University Medical Center to supplement their coursework and research in an area of interest to them (see options below). In addition, several additional learning opportunities are available for trainees to pursue that have been developed by Duke faculty to enhance skills and knowledge in genomic medicine research and practice. The CAGPM coordinates or participates in numerous educational activities that the trainees will be required to participate (e.g., journal clubs, retreats, seminars).

  • CAGPM Retreat: To strengthen the cohesiveness the Center's faculty, staff, and initiatives, including the training program, the CAGPM sponsors a yearly retreat.  All trainees and mentors are expected to attend. The retreat provides both a learning and networking opportunity amongst faculty and trainees and offers trainees a chance to present their work, learn from others, and develop collaborative relationships between trainees.
  • Genomic and Precision Medicine Forum. A weekly seminar series (Fall/Spring) organized by the CAGPM. Speakers include Duke faculty and national and international distinguished scientists on an array of basic and applied genomics topics.
  • ELSI Point/CounterPoint Series. Trainees will be required to participate in a monthly series devoted to exploring a range of ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) raised by genomic sciences and medicine. Trainees will be required to review the literature about a given topic (a recommended reading list provided in advance) and be prepared to engage in a debate-style discussion to consider different viewpoints on the issue. This interactive series will focus on current ELSI issues pertaining to both research and clinical applications of genomic medicine.
  • Coursera’s Genomic & Precision Medicine. A massively open online course (MOOC) online course entitled “Genomic & Precision Medicine” was co-developed by Duke’s Dr Jeannette McCarthy. The course aims to provide participants with some baseline knowledge of genomics, an overview of the clinical applications of genomic medicine, the skills to evaluate the clinical validity and utility of new tests, and an appreciation of the associated ethical and social issues inherent in this field. This 7-week course is targeted towards promoting knowledge of genomic medicine for practicing health care providers. This free course is offered twice a year through Coursera.

Optional Learning Opportunities

  • Computational Biology Seminar Series. A weekly series of seminars on topics in computational biology presented by invited speakers coordinated by the Duke Center for Genomics & Computational Biology.
  • Duke Scholars in Molecular Medicine program.  This Duke training program emphasizes cross-training of all trainees. The M.D. trainees will gain substantial research skills and knowledge through the program. To provide opportunities for Ph.D. trainees to gain exposure to clinical areas, we will strongly encourage our trainees to apply to the Duke Scholars in Molecular Medicine (DSMM) program. This program was created to provide Ph.D. candidates and postdoctoral associates with hands-on experience in clinical areas related to their field of research. It currently has five tracks based on strengths at the Duke School of Medicine and overlap with many of our mentors’ research areas and clinical focus: infectious diseases, cardiovascular medicine, neurosciences, nutrition and metabolism, and oncology and regenerative sciences. Each track in the program accepts 4-10 scholars. The program entails 8-10 hours per month for 9 months (~6% effort for 9-month period); scholars will participate in clinical rounds, journal clubs about clinical trials, clinical case studies, and special interactive sessions with highly accomplished translational scientists.  
  • Data Science and Analytics workshop. The Data Science and Analytics Workshop aims to train clinician scientists and data scientists to better interface with each other while advancing discrete projects for the purposes of publication and subsequent grant applications. This will be accomplished through a workshop series in which clinician scientists and data scientists come together to advance pre-defined scientific questions. Clinician scientists would gain access to the methodologies necessary to understand highly complex data and in doing so, become more proficient in framing their questions, sample collection, and data generation. The workshop will be divided into several modules, each subsequently building on foundations developed in previous modules. Modules will include an introduction to analysis software; normalization; batch effect detection and correction; exploratory analyses; univariate testing; classifier derivation; classifier validation, and quantitative pathway analyses. Each module will consist of a lecture session to provide background knowledge and context for the analytical tools and techniques, as well as a practical session where clinician scientists will gain hands-on experience with genomic data.

Core Lab Rotations

To provide trainees with the opportunity to become familiar with core genome science applications, trainees will be required to rotate through 2 core laboratories that are relevant to their research for a minimum of 2 weeks during the first year of their training. These rotations are intended to provide trainees with first-hand knowledge/experience with data generation in the core genomic sciences. Trainees will gain, from “soup to nuts,” the practical issues that underlie sample generation, processing/preparation, and primary data generation. The core laboratories available for rotations are housed by the Duke Center for Genomic and Computational Biology:

  • Genome Sequencing Shared Resource
  • Microarray Shared Resource
  • Functional Genomics Shared Resource
  •  Integrative Genomic Analysis Shared Resource
  • Proteomics and Metabolomics Shared Resource (trainees seeking additional exposure to this topic should consider elective courses CRP 265 and CRP 257 described above).

Clinical Rotations

To provide MD trainees with the foundation for practicing genomic medicine we have designed the following clinical training experience for all trainees. Each trainee will complete a one month rotation through each of the existing Duke genomic medicine clinics: