In January, Manchester University will begin their new Pharmacogenomics or PGx online master’s program. This is the only online master’s program of its kind in the world and it was created here in Fort Wayne.
Pharmacogenomics or PGx is the study of how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. Until now, drugs have been created with the idea that they will effect everyone the same. The study of PGx can make treatment more personalized and it can mean less error and better outcomes.
Director of Pharmacogenomics Education Dr. David Kisor, said our DNA and our genes tell us a lot, even how we will react to certain drugs.
“It use to be something that was technologically very difficult to do. Now it’s a matter of about a 30 second or minute cheek swab and then taking the cheek swab and getting the DNA from that,” says Kiso.
Last year, Manchester began their traditional PGx master’s program at its Dupont Road campus. They graduated 11 students last spring. But now with the online version they have doubled their enrollment. Kisor thinks the growth is because they aren’t limited by geography.
Kisor says someone with this background should be at pharmacies and health centers and he hopes the degree helps spread the word.
“It’s really important, I can’t emphasize it enough how important it is for the normal person to start looking at pharmacogenomics,” says Kisor.
Kisor added there are 770,000 serious adverse drugs reactions annually and 120,000 deaths. Many of the bad reactions are based on genetics. And if we can find out that information we can avoid it.
The online course is the same price as the original but it will take students twice as long to complete. The online course begins on Jan. 31.