First-Of-Its-Kind Course Launched to Help GPs Understand Genomics in Everyday Practice

The only course targeted specifically towards teaching those in Primary Care the fundamentals of genomics testing

Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences (ACSC), in partnership with Health Education England and FutureLearn, have created a unique CPD-approved training course to help all healthcare professionals within Primary Care understand the world of genomics and how it can be used to help their patients.

The new, free, online course was created after experts identified this area of unmet need and uses real world examples to help explain how genomics affects cases seen day to day in general practice centres.

It includes modules on how to interpret and discuss results from consumer DNA testing kits, such as 23andme, and gives more understanding about the genetic basis for disease and how to recognise genomic issues. Learners will reflect on how to sensitively discuss how genetics impact a patient’s risk of developing certain diseases, providing information on family planning when a family member has an inheritable disease, and the ethical issues around genomic testing.

The course is run by 5 expert educators who are all practising GPs that developed the materials, and who will be available on the forums to help answer any questions. The training will be 3 hours a week, over the course of 3 weeks to help create a social learning environment. Healthcare workers can follow the course in their own time and gain certification for their CPD.

We have created this course as genomics research is constantly evolving and is becoming hugely useful in primary care. However, currently there is no training that teaches GPs how they can use genomics tools to help their patients. Our course is completely free, and we understand that GPs are extremely busy so we have worked with experts in the field and GPs to make sure that everything included is relevant to Primary Care practitioners specifically.

Rachel Berkson, Education Manager at Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of genomic research and sequencing for tracking and identifying disease. We want to make sure that health practitioners who see people at these early stages of primary care understand how to identify genomic issues that could be impacting their patients, and the tools that are available to help.

Dr Michelle Bishop, Education Lead, Genomics Education Programme, Health Education England

This course will suit any healthcare worker in, or wanting to go into, primary care including current GPs, nurses, and trainees. This course will allow attendees to understand the genetics of disease, their implications, genetic tools that are available for them and how to refer patients to specialist genetic services.

Genomic data is starting to be used more and more in everyday life, but might not be fully understood. To help with this, this course has a section on explaining the principles around the data from commercial DNA testing and some of the data can provide sensitive health related information which may cause anxiety. Overall, the course has been produced with the aim of increasing confidence in the use of genomic information in day-to-day clinical practice.

Dr Imran Rafi, one of the lead educators

By using real-world examples, this course will highlight some common examples of how your genome impacts your risk of disease, including on breast cancer, cholesterol, and rare diseases, giving participants an understanding of genomics to help them to explain what this may mean to their patients’ lives.

Dr Jude Hayward, one of the lead educators

Author Contact Details:
Rachael Smith
Press Office
Wellcome Sanger Institute
Cambridge, CB10 1SA

Notes to Editors:
This three week course will start on March 8th and also be available on demand to ensure everyone interested can attend. Registration is open now at

This course is supported by Wellcome’s programme funding

Selected websites

FutureLearn Course:

About Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences:

Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences funds, develops and delivers training and conferences that span basic research, cutting-edge biomedicine, and the application of genomics in healthcare.

Working with internationally-renowned scientists and healthcare professionals, we run events at the Wellcome Genome Campus and in low- and middle-income countries that aim to educate, inspire, and transform careers. Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences is part of Connecting Science.

Wellcome Genome Campus Connecting Science:

Wellcome Genome Campus Connecting Science’s mission is to enable everyone to explore genomic science and its impact on research, health and society. We connect researchers, health professionals and the wider public, creating opportunities and spaces to explore genomic science and its impact on people. Connecting Science inspires new thinking, sparks conversation, supports learning and measures attitudes, drawing on the ground-breaking research taking place on the Wellcome Genome Campus.

The Wellcome Sanger Institute:

The Wellcome Sanger Institute is a world leading genomics research centre. We undertake large-scale research that forms the foundations of knowledge in biology and medicine. We are open and collaborative; our data, results, tools and technologies are shared across the globe to advance science. Our ambition is vast – we take on projects that are not possible anywhere else. We use the power of genome sequencing to understand and harness the information in DNA. Funded by Wellcome, we have the freedom and support to push the boundaries of genomics. Our findings are used to improve health and to understand life on Earth.

Find out more at or follow us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and on our Blog

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