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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Biomedical Sciences : Biomedical Sciences

Postgraduate Course: Precision Oncology I: Multi-omic approaches in oncology (BIME11182)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Biomedical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryMulti-omics approaches have revolutionised our understanding of cancer at an individual tumour level and have the potential to lead to improved patient outcomes. This course will introduce students to the basic technologies that underpin the generation of omic datasets, describe the principles of the different components of a cancer cell in relation to measurement by omics technologies and give an overview of the most commonly used omic approaches (eg genomics (DNA), transcriptomics (RNA), proteomics (protein), metabolomics (metabolites)) both at the theoretical and practical level. Students will also learn about the latest advancements in single cell approaches, which are critical when examining heterogeneous tissue such as cancer, and in liquid biopsy methodology. Finally, they will learn how omics approaches are being integrated to improve overall understanding of tumour biology, identify therapeutic targets and "make precision medicine more precise".
Course description Academic description
An evolution in technologies is allowing scientists an increased ability to quantify the different layers of biological elements that contribute to the emergence and development of malignancies. These "omic" technologies are aimed at providing the universal detection of for example, genes, mRNA, proteins, metabolites and lipids. Multi-omics integrates these technologies, which is very powerful as it gives a holistic molecular understanding of each individual tumour and its microenvironment. Combining this depth of molecular understanding with clinical and treatment outcomes allows scientist to understand why cancers of the same type may differ in their invasive potential, responsiveness to chemotherapy and their ultimate outcome. This understanding can be used to identify new drug targets, stratify patients and improve personalised therapies.

Students will gain a deep understanding of the theory and practical aspects of multi-omics technologies and how data generated from these technologies can be translated to improved patient outcomes.

Outline of content
The course will use videos, illustrated materials and recorded lectures to give the students a practical understanding of the technologies used to generate various omic and multi-omic datasets, both at the bulk and single cell level. It will draw on the literature (by way of journal clubs) and local examples (recorded lectures/interviews) to illustrate how multi-omics data is being directly translated to patient benefit. The importance of liquid biopsies, biobanking and linked electronic health record data to realise the potential of multi-omics, will also be covered.

Student experience
Students will learn from clinician-scientists and academic research scientists who work at the interface between the laboratory and the clinic. The course is delivered online and is divided into five sessions, each lasting a week. Teaching sessions will be composed of recorded lectures, interviews, journal clubs and video presentations, accompanied by guided reading elements (in the form of links to journal articles.) as well as independent literature searches.

Discussion of the content and reading materials will be posted to an online forum (discussion board). Course tutors will moderate discussion boards and to encourage participation the boards will be assessed. Students will further evidence their learning by researching and developing an essay focussed on the subject area

Formative peer and teacher-led feedback will be given throughout the course through the discussion boards, and summative assessment feedback will be provided at the end of the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 19/09/2022
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 15, Online Activities 25, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 58 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% coursework

40% online (eg Reflective blog/discussion board)
60% Written (eg a scientific report (essay))
Feedback Summative assessment consists of a written element, worth 60% of the total mark, and an online element worth 40%. In both cases, comprehensive written feedback is provided individually with 15 working days of the assessment deadline. Students are expected to reflect on their feedback, to seek additional clarification if appropriate, and to use this to improve on future assignments of a similar nature.

Formative assessment consists of discussion around what is expected of each piece of assessed work for the course. This is conducted in an open discussion forum for all students to contribute to and provides an opportunity to clearly understand the key requirements for each assignment before submission.

Any student can post questions about the assignment and a response will be posted on the discussion board by the course tutor within 3 working days.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the principles, theories and concepts behind multi-omic technologies and their application to oncology.
  2. Draw from, and apply knowledge, from a range of discipline specific resources to develop original and creative responses to the challenges of precision oncology.
  3. Communicate, with peers from a range of audiences, with clarity regarding the critical evaluation of a wide range of omics-related data.
Reading List
Much of the focus of this course will be driven through student engagement. Resources will be provided as a starting point from which it is expected that students will begin to develop their own reading lists and share this information with others.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Online discussion with tutors and peers will develop confidence in communicating with others and the skills to engage in high level academic discourse.

The independent study aspect of the course will enhance the student's abilities in time-management, self-motivation and critical thinking.

Students are encouraged to use their personal and intellectual autonomy to evaluate ideas, evidence and experience from an open minded and reasoned perspective.
KeywordsMulti-omics,cancer,oncology,single cell analysis,liquid biopsy,genomics,proteomics
Course organiserMr Alessandro Brombin
Course secretaryMs Deborah Walker
Tel: (0131 6)51 1513
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