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Precision Medicine and Novel Therapies (PRETH) – Thematic Units

HOU > Precision Medicine and Novel Therapies (PRETH) > Precision Medicine and Novel Therapies (PRETH) – Thematic Units

PRETH50 Biomarkers in Precision Medicine

Code: PRETH50
ECTS: 15
Type: Compulsory
Semester offered: 1st semester
Teaching Language: English
Module Outline

Purpose – Description: The role of biomarkers in the development of precision medicine provides a strategic opportunity for technological developments to improve human health and reduce health-care cost. Precision medicine as a concept concerns the adjustment of treatments to individual or subgroups of patients based on the use of disease specific biomarkers. The overall success of this personalized process is to identify actionable molecular targets to pinpoint therapies. Experimental approaches so far have resulted in the development and use of specific biomarkers and therapies to promote precision medicine. In this module the ongoing development and application of biomarkers will be illustrated for both clinical use and treatment monitoring.

Learning outcomes:

The trainees are expected to:

  • Recognize the usefulness of biomarkers serving the concept of Precision Medicine
  • Describe specific types of biomarkers and their usefulness in clinical diagnosis and treatment monitoring
  • They report specific examples of biomarkers utilization in clinical practice
  • Describe the research process for the discovery and integration of new biomarkers in clinical practice

Subjects:

  • Diagnostic biomarkers
  • Susceptibility/risk biomarkers
  • Monitoring a disease
  • Prognostic/predictive biomarkers
  • Response and toxicity to a given treatment
  • Pharmacodynamic biomarkers
  • Surrogate end point biomarkers. The clinical benefit/survival of a disease.
  • Biomarker Discovery and Clinical Trial Design

Evaluation: Completion of written assignments during the academic semester which constitute a 40 percent of each student’s grade, if a pass is obtained in the final or repetitive examination. Final exam grades constitute a 60 percent of the students’ final course grade.

Prerequisite: No prerequisites

Teaching Method: Distance using the HOU Distance Learning Platform and conducting Group Counseling Meetings (tele-OSS)

PRETH51 Applied Omics
Code: PRETH51
ECTS: 15
Type: Compulsory
Semester offered: 1st semester
Teaching Language: English
Module Outline

Purpose – Description: Applied “Omics” is the term describing the next generation of laboratory tools, which open new windows into the molecular signature of an individual. They are powerful contributors to our knowledge network and our ability to prevent and treat disease across lifespan.

Basic categories of “Omics”:

  • The epigenome, affecting the gene expression and treatment response
  • Genome expression studied via transcriptomics
  • Proteomics studying the products of mRNA
  • Metabolomics, which is the study of metabolites
  • DNA-based tools can also detect bacteria, parasites and viruses (microbiome) that coexist in our bodies through metagenomics
  • Inflamomics, lipidomics, glycomics, and other large molecular data sets can be used to diagnose and predict disease

This module explores the “Omics” technology that provides researchers and clinicians clear answers to rare or undiagnosed conditions and indicates the most effective treatment plan.

Learning outcomes:

The trainees are expected to:

  • Describe the categories of applied “Omics” that currently serve the initiative of Precision Medicine
  • Distinguish the laboratory technology that is utilized for each category of “Omics”
  • Describe the results of “Omics” methods and their evaluation
  • They report examples of the use of “Omics” in clinical practice

Subjects:

  • Applied genomics
  • Epigenomics
  • Proteomics
  • Transcriptomics
  • Metabolomics
  • Phenomics
  • Microbiome

Evaluation: Completion of written assignments during the academic semester which constitute a 40 percent of each student’s grade, if a pass is obtained in the final or repetitive examination. Final exam grades constitute a 60 percent of the students’ final course grade.

Prerequisite: No prerequisites

Teaching Method: Distance using the HOU Distance Learning Platform and conducting Group Counseling Meetings (tele-OSS).

PRETH52 LM: Computational Biology and Applied Statistics for Precision Medicine

Code: PRETH52 LM
ECTS: 15
Type of LM: Compulsory
Semester offered: 2nd semester
Teaching Language: English
Module Outline

Purpose – Description: “Precision Medicine” is the emerging model of medicine that uses basic principles from personalized medicine by taking into account the individual’s environment, response to a treatment, in addition to his/hers genetic profile. The rapid advancement of sciences leads to a continuous increase of the volume of data and their heterogeneity.   As a result, Precision Medicine allows for more targeted strategies in terms of prevention, diagnosis and treatment.  This is achievable by considering computational biology approach and the application of statistical methods for or the design, the study and the analysis of the big data. Through traditional and modern methods of statistical analysis significant knowledge is obtained/ extracted, while appropriate “tools” are provided to the clinician, researcher, physician, aiming for the better understanding of the results.

Moreover, mathematical modelling can help in the study and the refinement of the treatment modalities at all phases of either drug research or development, and in routine patient care.

Students will be familiar with Precision Medicine and will understand basic statistical methods for designing the study and analyzing data from medical precision experiments. They will be able to set up a mathematical models, and deeply understand and interpret various biological processes and complex diseases in a medical precision experiment under study.

Learning outcomes:

The trainees are expected to:

  • Describe and use appropriate statistical methods for the analyzing medical data,
  • Solve problems arising in precision medicine through classical and modern statistical methods
  • Interpret and validate the obtained results using statistical analysis
  • Use Statistical methods and mathematical models and methods for estimating adaptive treatment strategies

Subjects:

  • Systems biology
  • Algorithms of molecular biology
  • ­Statistical analysis (methods, models)
  • ­Applications of Statistics software in precision medicine (e.g. R, GALAXY)
  • Mathematical modelling

Evaluation: Completion of written assignments during the academic semester which constitute a 40 percent of each student’s grade, if a pass is obtained in the final or repetitive examination. Final exam grades constitute a 60 percent of the students’ final course grade.

Prerequisite: No prerequisites

Teaching Method: Distance using the HOU Distance Learning Platform and conducting Group Counseling Meetings (tele-OSS).

Use of Information and Communication Technologies: Use of statistical and programming software language, e.g., R/Rstudio, Bioconductor and related software packages for applications, e.g., GALAXY

PRETH53 Bioethics and Clinical Trials

Code: PRETH53
ECTS: 15
Type: Compulsory
Semester offered: 2nd semester
Teaching Language: English
Module Outline

Purpose – Description: The aim of clinical research is to develop knowledge and improve human health. Researchers who participate in clinical research must be sensitive to ethical concerns. Guidelines that did not previously exist have been recently well-established. However, ethical values change over time, and it is important to continuously upgrade, there is not always consensus on what counts as ethical research and finally, multiple interests — medical, personal, political, military, and commercial — have led researchers to conduct transgressive studies so far. This module focuses in influential codes of ethics and regulations that guide ethical clinical research, such as Declaration of Helsinki (2000), CIOMS (2002) etc. Comprehensive sources of ethical guidance main principles will be described as guiding for the performance of ethical research. Reference will also be made to the regulations governing the clinical trials taking place.

Learning outcomes:

The trainees are expected to:

  • Describe main principles for guiding the conduct of ethical research and clinical trials
  • Refer to the social and clinical value of exposing human subjects to the risk and burden of research
  • Describe the potential conflicts of interest of a study
  • Describe the process of Informed consent for participants in a study
  • Refer to the respecting rules for potential and enrolled subjects

Subjects:

  • Bioethics
  • Clinical trials legislation, registration procedures etc
  • Clinical trials design and implementation
  • Adaptive designs: i.e. basket, umbrella, e-trials
  • Investigator Sponsoring Clinical Trials
  • Non interventional clinical studies
  • Biomarkers-based population clinical studies
  • Real World Data studies

Evaluation: Completion of written assignments during the academic semester which constitute a 40 percent of each student’s grade, if a pass is obtained in the final or repetitive examination. Final exam grades constitute a 60 percent of the students’ final course grade.

Prerequisite: No prerequisites

Teaching Method: Distance using the HOU Distance Learning Platform and conducting Group Counseling Meetings (tele-OSS).

PRETH60 Novel Therapies towards Clinical Application

Code: PRETH60
ECTS: 15
Type: Compulsory
Semester offered: 3rd semester
Teaching Language: English
Module Outline

Purpose – Description: Precision Medicine employs individual analysis of the patient’s unique biology, in order both to select more efficacious diagnostic methods and to suggest clinical treatments. Most pathologies arise from cellular damage, hence, cell therapy is key to mitigation of cell and/or tissue damage and often to repair. Stem cell therapy is a promising treatment that may be tailored to a specific illness and also to an individual patient. Autologous cell sources are the first priority for cell therapy since they are safe, do not violate ethical perspectives, and do not provoke immunogenic responses. There are various autologous cell sources, as well as heterologous, naive or technologically edited cells, all of which show great potential for therapy applications. For example, DNA editing technology through CRISPR/Cas systems is used for targeted intervention in the cell genome, while chimeric CAR-T cells provide new possibilities in immunotherapy. In addition, RNA technologies have opened new avenues for therapeutic interventions and for vaccine production. This module focuses on cell repair or substitution systems, most often through genetic engineering, all of which are essential for the future of personal health.

Learning outcomes:

The trainees are expected to:

  • Recite the regenerative possibilities with the use of stem cells
  • Describe sources of regenerative cells for cell and tissue therapy applications
  • Indicate the parameters for the successful and effective editing and modification of genomic DNA
  • Describe the principles and applications of RNAi (interference) technology
  • Describe the principle of RNA/DNA-based vaccine production
  • Name examples of beneficial novel therapies in Precision Medicine

Subjects:

  • Cell therapies
  • CAR-T cells
  • Aptamer design
  • CRIPSR/Cas systems for genome editing
  • Gene therapy
  • RNAi (interference) technology
  • New vaccines

Evaluation: Completion of written assignments during the academic semester which constitute a 40 percent of each student’s grade, if a pass is obtained in the final or repetitive examination. Final exam grades constitute a 60 percent of the students’ final course grade.

Prerequisite: No prerequisites

Teaching Method: Distance using the HOU Distance Learning Platform and conducting Group Counseling Meetings (tele-OSS).

PRETH61 LM: Biomedical, Clinical and Translational Research

Code: PRETH61 LM
ECTS: 15
Type: Compulsory
Semester offered: 3rd semester
Teaching Language: English
Module Outline

Purpose – Description: This laboratory module focuses on the interface between basic science and clinical medicine, the end point of which, is the production of promising new treatments for clinical applications. The knowledge on disease mechanisms gained in the laboratory is translated into the development of new methods for diagnosis, therapy, and disease prevention.

The use of modern research advances brings new insights into the study of disease in the human populations. Understanding the fundamental causes of diseases at their earliest molecular stage can reliably predict how and when a disease will develop. The opportunity is expanding our vision beyond the curative model and intervening earlier in the treatment process.

Learning outcomes:

The trainees are expected to:

  • Produce and analyse experimental data on modern fields of biomedical science
  • Translate experimental results into potential biomarkers or novel clinical therapies
  • Describe the process of disease-oriented research in the laboratory or in preclinical studies that will have an impact on human health
  • Recognize the applications of discoveries generated during research in the laboratory, and in preclinical studies, to the development of clinical trials and studies in humans

Subjects:

  • Basic research in Biomedical field
  • Systems biology
  • Preclinical and Translational research
  • Omics

Evaluation: Completion of written assignments/educational activities during the academic semester which constitute a 40 percent of each student’s grade, if a pass is obtained in the final or repetitive examination. Hands-on laboratory practice constitute a 60 percent of the students’ final course grade.

Prerequisite: No prerequisites

Teaching Method: Distance using the HOU Distance Learning Platform and hands-on laboratory practice.

Use of Information and Communication Technologies: Use of laboratory equipment of BRFAA.

Workshop Facilities: Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA).

PRETH62 Molecular and Clinical Aspects of Cancers

Code: PRETH62
ECTS: 15
Type: Compulsory
Semester offered: 4th semester
Teaching Language: English
Module Outline

Purpose – Description: Cancer is a devastating disease with prevalent heterogeneity among patients, due to different underlying biological and environmental causes. This inherent variability of cancer lends itself to the growing field of precision medicine. There are many ongoing efforts to acquire significant biological data and characterize molecular differences between tumors aiming to link these differences to effective therapies. Research in this field is intense and constantly expands our understanding of the biological complexity of cancer and its treatments. The field of Precision Medicine was designed to develop therapies for a group of patients based on data that captures current and past physical health and environmental exposure. This module focuses on examples of the Precision Medicine approach to determine genetic predisposition to cancer and identify patient groups that are more likely to respond well to specific therapeutic interventions.

Learning outcomes:

The trainees are expected to:

  • Describe genetic and environmental parameters that lead to malignant mutation of cells
  • Report application of specific tests by which the evaluation of cancer staging and prognosis of the clinical course are estimated
  • Report biomarkers that guide to treatment decisions and/or evaluation of patient’s response
  • Describe the available current treatments for cancer in the frame of Precision Medicine initiative

Subjects:

  • Cancer epidemiology and trends
  • Hereditary cancers
  • Cancer screening in the community and in biomarkers-selected populations
  • Principals of pathology: specimen management, diagnosis, staging and grading
  • Principals of Systemic anti-Cancer treatments
  • Approved treatments with companion diagnostics
  • Supportive and palliative treatment

Evaluation: Completion of written assignments during the academic semester which constitute a 40 percent of each student’s grade, if a pass is obtained in the final or repetitive examination. Final exam grades constitute a 60 percent of the students’ final course grade.

Prerequisite: No prerequisites

Teaching Method: Distance using the HOU Distance Learning Platform and conducting Group Counseling Meetings (tele-OSS).

PRETH63 LM: Bioinformatics for Precision Medicine

Code: PRETH63 LM
ECTS: 15
Type of LM: Compulsory
Semester offered: 3rd semester
Teaching Language: English
Module Outline

Purpose – Description: Bioinformatics, the unification of the two important scientific fields of Molecular Biology and Informatics and it has a rapid development in recent decades. Modern approaches in the field of Bioinformatics include data mining, artificial intelligence and machine learning methods, as well as data optimization methods.

Students should be familiar with the principles of Bioinformatics and understand basic algorithms of artificial intelligence, machine learning and data optimization that are directly applicable in the field of Bioinformatics.

Learning outcomes:

The trainees are expected to:

  • Describe fundamental principles of Bioinformatics
  • implement suitable artificial intelligence, machine learning and optimization algorithms
  • solve Bioinformatics problems that focus on knowledge extraction, (e.g.DBMS, OLAP),
  • translate the artificial intelligence and machine learning results into the field of Bioinformatics

Subjects:

  • Introduction to bioinformatics
  • Big data analytics for Precision Medicine
  • AI algorithms and machine learning techniques in precision medicine
  • Pattern recognition
  • Genome sequencing, analysis, transcription profiling, protein structure – RNA sequencing

Evaluation: Completion of written assignments/educational activities during the academic semester which constitute a 40 percent of each student’s grade, if a pass is obtained in the final or repetitive examination. Hands-on laboratory practice constitute a 60 percent of the students’ final course grade.

Prerequisite: No prerequisites

Teaching Method: Distance using the HOU Distance Learning Platform and hands-on laboratory practice.

Use of Information and Communication Technologies: Use of High-Performance Computing HPC- system of the Laboratory of Applied Mathematics of the School of Science and Technology (SST) of HOU and similar equipment of BRFAA.

Workshop Facilities: Laboratory of Applied Mathematics of the SST, HOU, Patras and the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA).

 

PRETH RDi Research dissertation

Code: PRETH RDi
ECTS: 15
Type: Compulsory
Semester offered: 4th semester
Teaching Language: English
Module Outline

Content: Completion of the research protocol and familiarization with laboratory equipment and data analysis, for which a corresponding certificate from the supervisor of the MSc is provided. This is conditional on the successful completion of the ECE course PRETH61 in the 3rd semester, during which the practical (laboratory) part of the MSc has been conducted in person.

For more information regarding the Specifications – Useful Material for writing Master’s Theses and uploading a Thesis at the H.O.U. Repository, you can go to the Digital Training Area http://courses.eap.gr and especially to the Program of Studies section. General Regulation for the Preparation of Master’s Theses in postgraduate programmes with a six-month duration

Learning outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the Dissertation, students will have

  • Attained knowledge in generating experimental data within the modern realms of biomedical sciences.
  • Mastered the translation of experimental outcomes into potential biomarkers or groundbreaking clinical therapies.
  • Enhanced their critical thinking capabilities.
  • Acquired the proficiency to devise a research plan and formulate appropriate methodologies for investigating a research topic.
  • Developed skills in composing a scientific text and delivering a presentation on a scientific subject.
  • Clearly presented their conclusions, supported by the knowledge and reasoning behind them, effectively delivering a comprehensive presentation through information and communication technology (ICT)
  • Gained practical experience in articulating and defending their scientific arguments.

Prerequisite: The Laboratory Module (PRETH61 LM) of the 3rd semester is a prerequisite for the preparation of the RDi of the 4th semester. To support orally the RDi presupposes the successful completion of all modules and Laboratory modules of the Study Program.

PRETH Di Dissertation

Code: PRETH Di
ECTS: 15
Type: Compulsory
Semester offered: 4th semester
Teaching Language: English
Module Outline

Content: Review of the literature on selected contemporary topics related to the subjects covered in the MSc program. It may also serve as a brief research project.

For more information regarding the Specifications – Useful Material for writing Master’s Theses and uploading a Thesis at the H.O.U. Repository, you can go to the Digital Training Area http://courses.eap.gr and especially to the Program of Studies section. General Regulation for the Preparation of Master’s Theses in postgraduate programmes with a six-month duration

Learning outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the dissertation, students will have accomplished the following:

  • Conducted in-depth studies on a specific scientific topic within the program’s scope.
  • Enhanced their compositional abilities.
  • Conducted thorough searches for relevant scientific information in the corresponding literature.
  • Designed a research plan and formulated an appropriate methodology for investigating the selected topic.
  • Acquired skills in composing a scientific text.
  • Developed skills in organizing and orally presenting scientific content.
  • Clearly presented their conclusions, supported by the knowledge and reasoning behind them, effectively delivering a comprehensive presentation through information and communication technology (ICT)
  • Evaluated the proposed approach/solution by comparing it with analogous one, available in the National and international literature.
  • Provided commentary on the relative advantages and disadvantages, substantiating their opinions and choices.

Prerequisite: To support orally the Di presupposes the successful completion of all modules and Laboratory modules of the Study Program.

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