Swansea University Medical School launches new Genomic Medicine programme for NHS staff

Swansea University Medical School has launched a new Master’s degree to support NHS staff to understand and use the growing personalised medicine approach - which is changing the world of healthcare.

What is personalised medicine? Personalised Medicine is a revolution in identifi cation, management and treatment of chronic disease and uses an “individual’s genetic profi le to guide decisions made in regard to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease”. Reaching that goal has been more than 20 years in the making, birthed from an ambitious plan to sequence the irst reference human genome. By 2003, scientists had done it for the fi rst time - they had an essentially complete sequence and map of all the genes in the human body. The new MSc in Genomic Medicine at

dramatically,” says Professor Keith Lloyd, Head of Swansea University Medical School. “Personalised medicine in the age of genomics means we’re living in dynamic times. We have developed this new MSc in Genomic Medicine at Swansea to help our health professionals take all this new information being gathered and be able to interpret it and use it for the benefi t of the patient.”

Fully-funded Places: Dr Torsten Hildebrandt, Consultant Paediatrician at ABMU Health Board, has enrolled on the new programme. Dr Hildebrandt said: “One in 17 people in the UK is affected by a rare disease, 80% of which are genetic in origin. Many of these conditions will be diagnosed antenatally or in the fi rst few years of life. “The application of genomics medicine will

allow more accurate diagnosis,

Swansea University Medical School has been developed to support NHS staff with the knowledge and skills to understand and interpret genomic data and help prepare graduates to be able to develop and deliver personalised healthcare. It is based on the indicative curriculum of Health Education England, NHS England and Genomics England. A

growing number of researchers,

healthcare clinicians, and an increasing number of patients, are calling for a more personalised approach aimed as much at preventing disease as it is at tailoring treatment once it’s there. Call it what you will — personalised medicine, genomic medicine, precision medicine. It’s an approach that emphasises the ways


which your disease risks are unique and different, just like your other, more obvious characteristics. Those disease risks are based on the predispositions written into your genome at birth, combined with your lifestyle and environment. In the case of cancer, the disease has its own genetic makeup, lending each tumor a unique character with unique tendencies and vulnerabilities. And perhaps there is, or soon will be, a drug or treatment or tailored combination of the two that will work better for you than it would for someone else. “The number of targeted therapies in the pipeline for all diseases is increasing

management, surveillance, family counselling and individualised treatment with a signifi cant impact over the lifetime of a child. The MSc at Swansea University Medical School will enable me as a General Paediatrician to stay on top of developments in this fi eld and apply this to the best benefi t of my patients and their families.” Programme director and Associate Professor in Cancer Genetics Dr Claire Morgan said: “Genomics is an emerging fi eld of expertise, which has major implications for improving and even revolutionising patient diagnosis, treatment, care and public health. “As a result, Welsh Government have invested

£6.8million in the Welsh

Genomic Strategy aimed, in part, at training NHS staff in genomics/precision medicine. Here at Swansea University Medical School part


full-fi ll their remit by being one of only two Higher

helping Welsh Education

institutions in

Wales, commissioned by the Workforce Education and Development Services (WEDS), to offer an MSc in Genomic Medicine with a number of fully funded places for NHS applicants.” Helen Daniels, who is a Research Offi cer, has also started studying on the MSc, she added: “Genomic medicine research is a fast-growing, dynamic fi eld and absolutely key in improving healthcare. “As a researcher to have the opportunity to learn more about this revolutionary approach is incredibly exciting.” To fi nd out more about the MSc in Genomic Medicine please contact programme director Dr Claire Morgan at c.morgan@ or call 01792 606543. You can also visit medicine and search the Postgraduate Taught opportunities.

we are excited to be Government

Gardening Jobs of the Month for July

Peak gardening season is well underway, which means there are plenty of jobs to keep gardens looking their best in July. This month is all about maintaining your blooms, nurturing your fruit plants,

and providing your garden with the care it needs to prevent drying out and becoming damaged during the warmer months.

Julian Palphramand, horticulture buyer at Wyevale Garden Centres, shares his gardening jobs of the month, helping you to get one step closer to your dream garden:

1. Dote on your Dahlias Dahlias are incredibly thirsty plants – just look at their fl eshy leaves and luscious stems and it’s easy to see why. To ensure your Dahlias are blooming bright with an abundance of beautiful fl owers, nourish your plants with liquid feed and regularly water them during the next month. While smaller Dahlias are self-standing, the tall varieties may need supporting with stakes – simply tie the stems to the stake with string to keep their fl ower heads up right.

2. T in out your fruit During peak gardening season, the favourable conditions for plant growth means that fruit trees can abundantly over-produce. Large quantities of heavy fruits such as apples, pears and plums on the branches can oſt en result in a fi nal crop of disappointingly small fruits. T is is due to the high demand put on the tree’s resources and the limited sunlight penetrating its heavy branches. July is prime time to thin out your dense crops by removing any excess or damaged fruits from the plant, enabling it to develop a more evenly ripe crop of fruits.

3. Love your lawn Summertime means that everything will be growing extremely fast and as a result, you will need to make sure you are mowing your lawn once a week to keep it in good health. It is also important to water your lawn regularly to prevent it from turning brown and drying out during the hotter months. If your ground has become dry, spike it gently with a garden fork before watering to aid the penetration of the water.

4. Take cuttings from your perennials Tender perennials such as Fuchsias are best propagated from cuttings, and so July is a great time to get snipping. As young plants root more easily, cuttings should be taken from the tender new growth for the season. Either pot the plants now so that they develop suffi cient roots to survive in the winter, or hold onto your cuttings until the following spring.

5. Water new trees, shrubs and perennials It is important that you water the trees, shrubs and perennials that were planted in spring. Make sure you are watering the base of the plant and avoid wetting the leaves as they won’t absorb any water this way and wetting the leaf tissue can even encourage fungal diseases.

6. Feed the birds Summer feeding is in full swing, so remember to top up your bird and wildlife feeders and water containers. T e warmer weather means that July is an especially important month to tend to nature and keep your garden abuzz with birds, bees and other wildlife – particularly as over 82% of Brits would like to attract more wildlife into their gardens*. Birds in particular relish in gardeners’ eff orts, using bird baths to both hydrate and cool down through bathing in the water.

Whether you’re planting, pruning or reaping the rewards of your burgeoning fruit trees, you are sure to discover many delights in the garden this month.

For more information and advice on July’s jobs of the month,

along with all the tools you need to gain ground in the garden, visit

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