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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Renee Agatsuma
PHG 301
Seattle Campus

Introduction to Genetic Epidemiology

Explores basic approaches that are used to identify genetic and environmental factors in health and disease, and how application of this information can be used to improve population health. Discusses the relevant ethical, legal, and social implications that occur in research and translation to practice. Offered: W.

Class description

This course offered by the Institute for Public Health Genetics will survey a wide range of approaches for investigating the genetic and environmental causes of disease, and provide examples of how genetic epidemiologic research findings can be used in public health and clinical practice to improve the health of individuals and populations. We will also touch on the ethical, societal, political and legal dimensions that can arise when using information on genetic and environmental factors in research and practice. This course will develop students’ ability to understand the basic approaches used to identify genetic and environmental factors in health and disease, and how the application of this information can be used improve population health, as well as to appreciate the ethical, legal and social implications that can arise in both research and translation to practice

Student learning goals

Define genetic epidemiology and the fundamental concepts critical to genetic epidemiology

Describe the major study designs used in genetic epidemiology

Be able to collect family health information and draw a pedigree using a software program

Describe the relationship and impacts of genetic epidemiology on public health

Describe the benefits and harms of direct to consumer genetic testing

Explain how genetic epidemiologic findings can be applied in public health using current examples

Critically analyze media presentations that present genetic science and its applications

General method of instruction

The class will be lecture based, as well as critical media presentations.

Recommended preparation

There are no pre-requisites for this course

Class assignments and grading

The course grade will be based upon a midterm, final examination, and a weekly set of responses to discussion questions and / or problem sets based on the readings.

The midterm will account for 25% of your grade, the final exam for 40%, and the discussion question responses, 30%. The midterm and the final exam will be a combination of complex multiple choice and true/false questions. Both exams will be administered using the Catalyst web-based testing system.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Renee Agatsuma
Date: 01/04/2013