Pathogen Genomics: A New Era in Global Health Surveillance and Strategy

6 March 2023–31 May 2024

FutureLearn platform, online

Learn how genomics can help contain infectious diseases, prevent future global health threats, and better protect public health


Duration: 3 weeks, 5 hrs per week
Start date:  6 March 2023. The course will first run ‘live’ for 3 weeks from the start date. Once this period is over, you will be able to join and complete the course, but there will be no live monitoring of the forums

Free to join, and a free certificate of achievement will be provided on satisfactory completion.

Why join this course?
Pathogen genomics is a powerful tool for understanding and managing infectious diseases. This approach can be decisive when monitoring pathogens of public health relevance. On this three-week course taught by experts in pathogen genomics and epidemiology, you’ll review recent developments in genomic surveillance, and explore how these could inform public health actions.

Who is this course for?
This course is designed for anyone interested in how pathogen genomics can enhance our understanding of infectious diseases, and inform public health policies.



What topics will you cover?

  • Discover tools and resources to strengthen pathogen surveillance
  • Learn how genomic approaches could help tackle infectious diseases
  • Discuss strategies for communicating genomic data to inform public health actions
  • Harness scientific evidence to prepare for future global health threats

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to

  • Describe basic concepts of epidemiology and pathogen genomics
  • Identify key elements and tools to support a successful pathogen surveillance
  • Interpret and discuss scientific evidence to inform the public health system
  • Critique approaches used in global health surveillance
  • Describe principles and procedures for responsible public communication of pathogen genomics information


Lead Educators

Josefina Campos
I am the Director of the National Genomics and Bioinformatics Center at ANLIS Malbran in Argentina. My research is focused on using genomics for pathogen surveillance in public health.

Nchangwi S Munung
I’m is a Bioethics Researcher at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. My research focus areas are in the ethics of genomics and data science in health & infectious disease ethics.

Tobias Hoffmann
I have a PhD in Biomedicine from the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. My interests are oriented towards the interplay of science, society and politics.

Thanat Chookajorn
I am a malaria researcher based at Mahidol University and Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). My passion is in basic research, but I enjoy helping groups in SE Asia with genomic surveillance.

Course Developer
Dr Liã Bárbara Arruda
Wellcome Connecting Science, UK

The course also features contributions from the following distinguished scientists, including:

Dr Abena Animwaa Yeboah-Banin – University of Ghana, Ghana
Dr Amsha Viraragavan – South African Medical Research Council, South Africa
Dr Ana Filipe – MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, United Kingdom
Dr Anastasia Koch – Eh!woza and the University of Cape Town, South Africa
Dr Andrea Cabibbe – IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Italy
Prof Audrey Gadzekpo- University of Ghana, Ghana
Dr Brigitte Glanzmann – South African Medical Research Council, South Africa
Prof Christine Carrington – The University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago
Dr Collins Otieno – African Society for Laboratory Medicine, Ethiopia
Prof Craig Kinnear –  South African Medical Research Council, South Africa
Dr Emma Hodcroft – University of Bern and University of Geneva, Switzerland
Dr Farah Ishtiaq – Tata Institute for Genetics and Society, India
Farirai Mutenherwa- Kwazulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform, South Africa; and Biomedical Research and Training Institute, Zimbabwe
Gideon Nsubuga – IRH3AU, Makerere University, Uganda
Dr Gilbert Tietaah – University of Ghana, Ghana
Dr Harper VanSteenhouse – BioClavis Ltd, the United Kingdom and the United States of America
Prof Iruka Okeke – University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Ismail Mahat Bashir – WHO Yemen Country Office, Yemen
Dr Jeffrey Barrett – Wellcome Sanger Institute, United Kingdom
Johan Fabian Bernal Morales – The Colombian Agriculture Research Corporation (AGROSAVIA), Colombia
Prof Kate Baker – University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
Katrina Lawson – Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Viet Nam
Dr Linzy Elton – University College London and PANDORA-ID-NET, United Kingdom
Prof Marcelo Galas – American Health Organization, United States of America
Dr Marjorie Santamaria – Global Health Research Unit for the Genomic Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance, Colombia
Dr Matthew Dorman – Wellcome Sanger Institute, United Kingdom
Mónica Prieto – Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Infecciosas ANLIS Malbrán, Argentina
Prof Paúl Cardenas – Instituto de Microbiología, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador
Prof Philippe Lemey – Rega Institute, KU Leuven/University of Leuven, Belgium
Dr Pilar Donado-Godoy – The Colombian Agriculture Research Corporation (AGROSAVIA), Colombia
Dr Renée Street – South African Medical Research Council, South Africa
Dr Richard Orton – Medical Research Council (MRC) University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research , United Kingdom
Dr Roberto Melano – Pan American Health Organization, United States of America
Rogers Kamulegeya – Integrated Biorepository of H3Africa and Makerere University, Uganda
Dr Tomas Poklepovich Caride – National Center of Genomics and Bioinformatics, ANLIS – Malbrán, Argentina
Tracey Calvert-Joshua – South African National Bioinformatics Institute, South Africa
Dr Zeb Jamrozik – University of Oxford, United KingdomContributors from the COG-UK consortium

Contributors from the COG-UK consortium

Prof Sharon Peacock
Executive Director and Chair at COG-UK and Head of COG-Train, University of Cambridge

Prof Alistair Darby
Co-Director of the Centre for Genomic Research, University of Liverpool

Prof Darren Smith
Professor, Northumbria University

Dr Ewan Harrison
Director of Data Science and Deputy Director for COG-UK, Wellcome Sanger Institute and University of Cambridge

Dr Leigh Jackson
COG-Train Scientific Lead, University of Exeter

Ellena Brooks
Project Coordinator at COG-UK, University of Cambridge

Kim Smith
Project Coordinator at COG-UK, University of Cambridge

Dr Laia Delgado Callico
Communications Coordinator at COG-UK, University of Cambridge


What's included

COG-Train are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • 1 year access to this course, if you have joined the course, but not yet completed it,  before course finish date.
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible
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