Course Syllabus


Precision Medicine: Tailored Treatment in Clinical Practice

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Draft syllabus


Semester & Location:

Fall 2020 - DIS Stockholm

Type & Credits:

Core Course - 3 credits

Core Course Study Tours:

Sweden, Dublin

Major Disciplines:

Biology, Biomedicine / Biotechnology, Pre-Medicine / Health Science


One year each of biology and chemistry at university level.

Faculty Member: George Rassidakis
Program Director:

Susana LS Dietrich

Time & Place:

Mondays 15:30-17:30 and occasionally Fridays 15:30-17:30

(planned Fridays to be used: Aug 28, Oct 2, Oct 16 and Oct 23) 

New Karolinska Hospital and DIS




George Rassidakis

M.D. Ph.D. Professor of Pathology (adj) Karolinska Institutet. Senior Consultant Hematopathologist, Karolinska University Hospital, Solna, Sweden. Adjunct Professor of Hematopathology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA. With DIS since 2019.


Course Description

Standard clinical care is shifting its focus towards precision medicine, where the choice for treatment relies on the specific physiological characteristics of a given patient. The rapid development of ‘omics’, including genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics, is currently adding a new dimension to the advancement of precision medicine and clinical care. This course covers current clinical practices within precision medicine, as well as the potential clinical application of omics in the clinic. In addition, you study patient cases and address diagnosis and treatment by using the precision medicine approach. A special focus on precision molecular therapeutics in cancer will be included in the course. 

Note: Please be aware that the course does not provide regular medical training corresponding to that of medical students and does not include shadowing of doctors or physical examination of patients.


Approach to Teaching

The course will include lectures, interactive teaching with discussion of theoretical and clinical cases and diagnostic algorithms, student-to-student presentations, and other teaching methods. In addition, the course will focus on using a hands-on approach to learning, where students will get an a sense of what it means to approach clinical care by a precision medicine approach.


Core Course Week and Study Tours

Core course week and study tours are integral parts of the core course. The classroom is “on the road” and theory presented in the classroom is applied in the field. Students will travel with classmates and DIS faculty/staff on two study tours: a short study tour during the core course week and a long study tour to Ireland. Students are expected to

  • participate in all activities
  • engage in discussions, ask questions, and contribute to achieving the learning objectives
  • be respectful to the destination/location, the speakers, DIS staff, and fellow classmates
  • represent self, home university and DIS in a positive light

While on a program study tour, DIS will provide hostel/hotel accommodation, transportation to/from the destination(s), approx. 2 meals per day (except day one) and entrances, guides, and visits relevant to your area of study or the destination. You will receive a more detailed itinerary prior to departure.

Travel policies: You are required to travel with your group to the destination. If you have to deviate from the group travel plans, you need approval from the program director and the study tours office.     


Expected Learning Outcomes

After the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the technologies of modern “omics" and their current and potential use in modern diagnostics and precise classification of non-neoplastic diseases and cancer.
  • Explain the rationale for choice of tests for the therapeutic decisions in precision medicine practice.
  • Discuss knowledge of human pathophysiology in scientific context (basic underlying mechanisms) with regard to specific diseases.
  • Recognize and characterize genetic syndromes and discuss their impact on an individual and societal level.
  • Interpret the research findings leading to identification of novel targets of therapy and how these findings can be translated to novel more efficient therapies.
  • Combine basic diagnostic tests and assays including conventional techniques (eg. microscopy, blood tests) with modern molecular tests (eg. PCR, NGS, etc.) for precise diagnosis and classification of diseases.


Required Readings

  • Chapters from Hole’s JW: Essentials of Human Anatomy & Physiology, 13 WC Brown Publishers, London 2004

  • Chapters from Robbins and Cotran: Pathologic Basis of Disease, Professional Edition, 9th Edition, Elsevier Health Europe, 2014.


Field Studies

Students will participate in two field studies: 

  • Clinical skills introduction (designed to expose students to basic clinical practices)
  • TBA


Evaluation and Grading

To be eligible for a passing grade in this class, all of the assigned work must be completed. Late assignments may be accepted, but the grade for the assignment will be reduced by 10 points (over 100) per day. The factors influencing the final grade and the weight of each factor is detailed below: 

Component Weight
Participation 10%
Test(s) 20%
Study Tour Assignment 10%
Patient Cases 30%
Final Project 20%


Preliminary Course Plan

Modules to be covered:

  1. “Omics” and precision medicine
  2. Genetic syndromes and precision medicine in childhood
  3. Discovery of novel targets for therapy and biomarkers of diseases
  4. Implications of precision medicine for patient care: molecular profiling and clinical genomic medicine
  5. Molecular diagnostics and molecular precision therapeutics in cancer: solid tumors (emphasis on breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, melanoma, prostate cancer, brain tumours)
  6. Molecular diagnostics and molecular precision therapeutics in cancer: hematologic malignancies (emphasis on Hodgkin and non Hodgkin lymphomas, acute leukemias, chronic myeloproliferative neoplasia, histocytic neoplasms)
  7. Biology-based prognostic factors in cancer and patient stratification for optimal therapy
  8. Clinical trials with examples: retrospective versus randomised trials for cancer patients
  9. Targeting the host immune system: applications of immunotherapy in human diseases
  10. Impact of precision medicine on common non-neoplastic diseases (type II diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases, neurological and psychiatric disorders)
  11. Regulatory aspects for molecular precision diagnostics: research, clinical development projects and implementation in clinical practice
  12. Ethical issues in precision medicine


Expectations of the Students

  • Laptops may be used for note‐taking, fact‐checking, or assignment in the classroom, but only when indicated by the instructor. At all other times laptops and electronic devices should be put away during class time.
  • Reading must be done prior to the class session; a considerable part of the course is dependent on class discussions.
  • Students need to be present and participating to receive full credit. The final grade will be affected by unexcused absences and lack of participation. Remember to be in class on time!
  • Classroom etiquette includes being respectful of other opinions, listening to others and entering a dialogue in a constructive manner.
  • Students are expected to ask relevant questions in regards to the material covered.


Academic Regulations  

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:

DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia - 


Course Summary:

Date Details