PM 102: Genes, Heredity and Disease

Created by Jeanette McCarthy, PhD


This is the second course in the Essential Precision Medicine core series that explores the field of genomic and precision medicine. These courses are meant for a lay person (i.e. non-geneticist) who wishes to gain some basic genomic literacy and an understanding of the foundational concepts and vocabulary used in genomic and precision medicine.

What you'll learn 

In this brief course (total run time ~40 min) we'll explore the genetic basis of diseases. We’ll focus on two main types of genetic diseases: Classical rare Mendelian (monogenic) diseases and common (polygenic) diseases. We’ll explore characteristics of both types of genetic diseases, break down GWAS studies, and touch on newer polygenic risk scores.

Our courses aim to minimize the jargon and teach precisely what is needed, and not more. If you're looking for a deep understanding of genetics, this isn't the course for you. If you want to be conversational in genomics, are currently working in a field that touches on precision medicine, ready to implement genetic testing in your medical practice,or simply want to understand the value and limits of available genetic tests, you're in the right place!    

After taking this course, you should be able to do the following: 

  • Distinguish features of monogenic vs polygenic diseases 
  • Understand how GWAS work 
  • Discern the different information provided by p values and odds ratios 
  • Appreciate the value and limitations of polygenic risk scores
Jeanette McCarthy, PhD
Jeanette McCarthy, PhD
Founder, Precision Medicine Advisors and Adjunct Associate Professor, Duke University

Jeanette McCarthy has been a leading educator in the field of precision medicine for over a decade. She’s designed and delivered dozens of online courses and in-person workshops to healthcare providers, consumers, diagnostic companies, health IT companies, investors and others worldwide.

Dr. McCarthy spent the early part of her career as a molecular epidemiologist at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and in academia, and currently holds adjunct faculty positions at Duke University and the University of California - San Francisco (UCSF). She is the co-author of Precision Medicine: A Guide to Genomics in Clinical Practice, and served as editor-in-chief of Genome, the first magazine dedicated to educating consumers about the promise and challenges of genomic medicine.

Dr. McCarthy is the founder of Precision Medicine Advisors, which brings healthcare organizations, health care providers, diagnostic test developers, health IT companies, investors and others up to speed on the availability, value and limitations of genetic tests on the market and in development.

Reviews (2)

by Mike Thompson

by Priti Vijayvargiya

by Mike Thompson

by Priti Vijayvargiya