Manchester University announced today it is offering the country's first master's degree in pharmacogenomics at its Fort Wayne campus.
The intensive one-year program is designed to propel graduates into well-paying jobs in the emerging field of pharmacogenomics, also known as PGx, a key component of personalized medicine, the university said in a statement.
PGx relates an individual's genes to his or her response to medications. It empowers physicians and other clinicians to identify correct medications and to optimize an individual's drug therapy early on. PGx can replace the trial-and-error approach, greatly decreasing medication costs and side effects, the university said.
Pharmacogenomics can be used across therapeutic areas, such as cardiology and psychiatry. PGx may well have its most dramatic effect on cancer treatment, where approximately 75 percent of patients don't respond to the initial prescribed medication, the university said.
"The Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics Program is designed for individuals with an undergraduate science degree or a professional degree in health care or health sciences," said David Kisor, PGx program director at Manchester. "Manchester's program offers individuals a pathway to this transformative field of medicine."
Graduates can expect career opportunities in biological technology, genetic testing laboratories and the pharmaceutical industry, the university said.
The degree can also be a valuable head start for individuals seeking further training in research or health-care professions, such as medicine or pharmacy. Additionally, it will allow current health-care providers to focus on PGx in their respective fields, such as medicine, pharmacy and genetic counseling, the university said.
"This is a unique opportunity for individuals looking for a specialized field of health care that is poised for exciting growth and world-changing potential," said Raylene Rospond, Manchester's vice president for institutional effectiveness and dean of the College of Pharmacy, Natural and Health Sciences. "Manchester is proud to be on the cutting edge as a national leader in pharmacogenomics education."
With classes beginning in the summer term, enrollment will be limited in order to maximize personal attention and collaboration, the university said. Information about the program and how to enroll can be found at http://ww2.manchester.edu/home/pharmacogenomics.
For more on this story, see Tuesday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. Tuesday.