PHG 551 - Human Genomics: Science, Ethics, and Society

Alternate Course Number 

BH 551

Course Description 

This course aims to provide an overview of recent topics in human genetics and genomics while simultaneously placing those topics in a broader social and ethical context.  The approach to learning is unstructured and collaborative.  Students will explore, in a sustained manner, the science involved in recent research advances, ranging from next gen sequencing to mitochondrial gene transfer.  They will also use a range of ethical arguments to assess the implications of such advances for scientists, clinicians, research participants, and society at large.

Course Objectives 

At the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Describe and discuss key molecular genetic approaches to the identification of genes and genetic variants relevant to health and disease;
  2. Identify the ways in which human genomic investigation both determines, and is determined by, prevailing social norms and values;
  3. Apply scientific insights to the critical assessment of current ethical debates in human genetics and genomics.

Example Syllabus 

Quarter(s) Offered 



AW H 504/B H 514/PHG 512 or permission of instructor.

Fundamental Areas of Study 

Human Genetics