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The University of Southampton

MEDI6128 Pharmacogenomics and Stratified Healthcare

Module Overview

Pharmacogenomics is playing a key role in our health care system. This module will describe the complexity of pharmacogenomics and the effect of medication on individuals based on their genetic make-up i.e. tailoring drug treatment to improve patient response and techniques to stratify patients at risk of adverse drug reactions. The module will use examples of known validated pharmacogenomic tests relevant to the use of drug treatments.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Discuss and evaluate the mechanism of several examples of genomically-determined differential drug response, and drug reaction
  • Appraise the strategies and analytical approaches for stratifying patients for optimal drug response or adverse drug reactions including ethnic differences, and how these translate into ‘companion diagnostics’
  • Identify and analyse the challenges and limitations of pharmacogenetic studies
  • Identify and evaluate the different types of current and emerging biomarkers used in personalised medicine
  • Discuss and critically evaluate how genomic information can enable development of drugs targeted for particular genotypes


Genomic basis of: drug reaction, drug efficacy, ethnic differences in both these; and how these are applied in prescribing practice Use of genomic information, for targeted drug development Companion diagnostics and options for NHS service delivery models Different types and examples of genomic-targeted intervention (examples of genomically-targeted clinical, therapeutic or lifestyle choices) Genomic biomarkers: SNPs, variability of short sequence repeats, haplotypes, DNA modifications, e.g. methylation, deletions or insertions, copy number variants, RNA expression levels, RNA splicing, microRNA levels Use of biomarkers in treatments other than cancer.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will comprise two blocks of two days' intensive on-site teaching, each followed by approximately three weeks of independent study. A variety of learning and teaching methods will be adopted to promote a wide range of skills and meet the differing learning styles of the group. The on-site teaching will include seminars, practical demonstrations, discussions and exercises surrounding interpretation of data and clinical scenarios, and specialist lectures given by a range of academic and health care professionals. This will ensure a breadth and depth of perspective, giving a good balance between background theories and principles and practical experience. Off-site independent learning will take place on the virtual learning environment hosted by the UoS

Independent Study122
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Roychowdhury S, Chinnaiyan AM. (2014). Translating genomics for precision cancer medicine. Annu Rev Genomics Hum Genet. ,15 , pp. 395-415.

(2015). Genetics of Immune-Mediated Adverse Drug Reactions: a Comprehensive and Clinical Review.. Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. ,48 , pp. 165-175.

Genetics & Genomics in Medicine: Strachan, Goodship and Chinnery.

Holgate ST. (2013). Stratified approaches to the treatment of asthma. Br J Clin Pharmacol. ,76 , pp. 277-91.


Assessment Strategy

The assessment for the module provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes. There will be two components to the assessment i) 1500 word written assignment 1, and ii) 1500 word written assignment 2. The pass mark for the module and all assessed components is 50%. If you do not achieve the pass mark on this module by achieving 50% or more in all components, you may still pass by compensation. To do this, you must achieve a qualifying mark of 40% on each assessed component. Each of the component marks is then combined, using the appropriate weighting, to give an overall mark for the module. If this overall mark is greater than or equal to 50% you will have passed the module. If your overall mark is less than 50% when the weighting has been applied to the components, you will have failed the module. If you have not achieved 40% or more on all components, you cannot use compensation and have failed the module. If you have failed the module, you will have the opportunity to submit work at the next referral (re-sit) opportunity using the method outlined below. You must achieve the pass mark in all referred components. On passing your referrals, your final module mark will be capped at 50%.


MethodPercentage contribution
Written assignment  (1500 words) 50%
Written assignment  (1500 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Written assignment  (2500 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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