UCL Institute of Neurology


Short course in Advanced Genetic Technologies and their Clinical Applications (CLNEG051)

Module Convenors: Prof Michael Hanna and Dr Haiyan Zhou

Advanced Genetics short course

The short course gives an introduction to genetic testing and research technologies from classic Sanger sequencing to next generation sequencing and genome wide association studies. These methods are crucial for understanding the potential and significance of genetic research into neuromuscular diseases, over 60% of which are hereditary diseases. The course will also give attendants the opportunity to acquire the knowledge to understand the uses and limitations of new cutting edge genetic technologies. We also give considerations to how and which gene therapy approaches can lead to clinical applications. Our students will also have an introduction into ethical considerations in the context of genetic research and genetic counselling.

This course took place from 26 February - 2 March 2018

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module students will understand the different genetic research methods from Sanger sequencing to next generation sequencing. Students will develop a critical understanding of limitations and the potential of these techniques in clinical research. Our students will also be able to understand strengths and weaknesses of different disease models, the use of induced pluripotent stem cells and their suitability for research.

Grant writing exercise 

Within the frame of the Advanced Genetic Technologies module, participants have an opportunity to get acquainted with the process of competitive grant application- a fundamental process to fund and maintain clinical and basic research activity. Most of our participants will become active researchers who at some point in their career will rely on grant funding to conduct their research. In this exercise guidance and general advice is given about various aspects of grant writing and participants who choose to, have to submit a grant proposal as coursework.

Examples of lecture topics in the Advanced Genetic Technologies and Clinical applications short course:

  • Patient-derived stem cells
  • Gene therapy- the use of antisense oligonucleotides
  • Mouse genetics
  • Future of Genetics
  • Genetic counselling

Assessment schedule

If a student chooses to participate in the assessments, they will take place as follows: 

  • 2 hour unseen essay exam (85%) - provisionally scheduled for the 23rd March 2018
  • Grant writing assignment (15%)