The Genomics Leadership Initiative at Juniata College was been funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and National Science Foundation.  The initiative achieved its goal by developing a genomics certificate program, a leadership module, and student summer research experiences.


Genomics Certificate Program

The genomics certificate addresses both the science and the broader ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) surrounding progress and discoveries in the field of genomics. The ethical, legal and social issues surrounding advances in genomics provides a strong focus for practicing a breadth of knowledge and skills; the understanding of the scientific foundation of genomics provides the focus for developing an interdisciplinary base and cross disciplinary understanding of the life sciences in an era of “big data”. 


What is a Certificate?

In general, an undergraduate certificate provides an interdisciplinary curriculum that is not available within any single academic unit. A certificate offers the possibility of a more cohesive general education experience oriented around a theme and taught by faculty who work together as a group on an ongoing basis and have common inter-departmental learning objectives and assessments. The awarding of the certificate is noted on the student’s transcript.


Who is this Certificate For?

Students intending to pursue careers in biological research and medicine are the primary target. However, students interested in careers in public policy, public health, law, and business will gain by developing similar competencies.


Why Should a Student Get this Certificate?

With the cost of a human genome sequence  now under $1,000, appreciation of both the science and the ethical, legal, and societal implications of genomics has become an increasingly pressing issue. Design of the certificate was based on recommendations from a joint document between the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) entitled, “Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians.” This report emphasized the importance of integrative scientific approaches, scientific reasoning, intellectual curiosity, communication and decision making skills, adaptability, ethical principles, and understanding of patients as individuals and in a social context. HHMI funded Juniata College to implement this certificate program.


Description and Goals of a Certificate in Genomics, Ethics, and Society

The certificate addresses both the science and the broader ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) surrounding progress and discoveries in the field of genomics. Few areas of modern biology provides a more appropriate focus for combining the humanities and sciences than the ethical, social and legal implications (ELSI) of the human genome project and the evolution of the field of personalized medicine. The subject cannot be completely addressed without the input of specialists working across disciplinary boundaries. The ethical, legal and social issues surrounding advances in genomics provide a strong focus for practicing a breadth of knowledge and skills while understanding the acts of judgment and social contexts involved in the development and application of scientific knowledge; the understanding of the scientific foundation of genomics provides the focus for developing an interdisciplinary base and cross disciplinary understanding of the life sciences in an era of “big data”.


Learning Objectives:

Students who attain genomics certification will be able to:

  • Describe the basic concepts and principles of genomics.
  • Explain the scope of genomics from genes to society.
  • Integrate knowledge of the chemical, physical, mathematical and computational bases of genomics.
  • Explain the importance of the place of genomics in the human effort to understand natural phenomena, including its history and social impact.
  • Be able to make and justify ethical judgments about genomics research and its uses in medical practice and elsewhere.
  • Use the skills and interdisciplinary perspectives of the liberal arts in understanding trends in genomics and communicating them to academic peers and others.
  • Apply the process of science to questions in genomics.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of a selected field in genomics.
  • Progress into a leadership role, working with experts and non-experts, with an awareness of the likely results of one's actions and an understanding of how results might differ in different settings and different cultures.

Requirements

Core Courses: All students pursuing a genomics certificate must take four core courses required for a genomics certificate. Download the Genome Certificate Planning Sheet to organize and plan your course of study.  When all course work is planned or completed, students must obtain required signatures indicated on the form and submit the form to the Registrar's Office for processing.


NOTE: If your POE is outside of Biology or Chemistry: As with most of the ELSI options, Human Biology, Intro Prob and Stat, and Computer Science I - Genomics have few to no prerequisites.


To see the most updated times and prereqs for each class, use colleague self service as follows: Navigate to Academics and then Advanced Search.  Select the term of interest.  Scroll to the bottom of the page and select "Course Type".  Select "Certificate: Genomics Ethics & Society."


Management Plan

Students must submit a notice of intent to complete the certificate before senior year.  The certificate may be approved by Profs. Gina Lamendella, Jill Keeney, Jay Hosler, or Kim Roth (the certificate advisory board). Courses other than those listed above may also apply if approved by this group. 


Genomics Certificate Program Notice of Interest

Students interested in pursuing a genomics certificate should follow the Genomics Certificate Notice of Interest link. This does not obligate you to joining the program but it does put you on our radar so that we can assist you if you choose to go through the certificate process.


CORE COURSES

Genomics, Ethics & Society:

Complete one of the following courses:

IC-203  Genomics, Ethics & Society

The purpose of this course will be to gain an understanding of the science behind the genome project and develop an understanding how ethical norms are established and challenged. Students will discuss and debate the potential implications of this new technology for them as individuals and for society in general. 

4 CreditsIC,CTGESPrerequisites: EN110 or EN109. 

CONN-303 Genomics, Ethics, and Society

The purpose of this course will be to gain an understanding of the science behind the genome project and develop an understanding how ethical norms are established and challenged. Students will discuss and debate the potential implications of this new technology for them as individuals and for society in general. NOTE: Students are expected to be in their third or fourth year when taking a Connections course.

4 CreditsCONN,IC,CTGES 


Molecular Biology, Genetics and Genomics:

Complete one of the following courses:

BI-101 General Biology I

General Biology I is the first course in the Biology POE core curriculum. This course will be structured around four primary case studies on the opioid crisis, climate change, environmental toxicology and the evolution of speed in animals. The cases will outline foundational concepts in molecular biology and evolution.

4 Credits

BI-106 Functions of Cells and Organisms

The second course in the introductory biology series. This course is divided into two half semester modules: cell and molecular biology and the physiology and systems of plants and animals. 

3 CreditsN, CTGESPrerequisites: CH142

BI-190 Human Biology

Course is a non-majors approach to the basic chemistry and biology of the human body, as well as how humans fit into society and environment. Emphasis will be on applying scientific process tocurrent health topics. Course required for the Social Work POE and included in the Genomics Certificate and Rural Poverty Studies secondary emphasis.

3 CreditsN, WK-SP,CTGESPre- or Co-requisite: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109


Statistics:

Complete 3 credits from the following courses:

BI-305 Biostatistics

This course deals centrally with quantitative and statistical methodology in the biological sciences. It includes experimental design and the conventions of generating, analyzing, interpreting and presenting biological data. Counts as a math course for graduate and professional school requirements.

4 CreditsN, QS, CTGESPrerequisites: BI106 or ESS100

ESS-230 Environmetrics

This course is a survey of the various visual, statistical, and modeling approaches commonly used in the analysis of environmental data. The course covers: (1) visual literacy from exploratory data inquisition to poster creation; (2) elementary group comparison such as t-test and ANOVA and their non-parametric analogs;(3) basic systems modeling; and (4) regression modeling techniques based on the generalized linear model framework.

3 CreditsN, QS, CTGES, CTGISPrerequisites: Sophomore standing and permission of the instructor.

MA-220 Introduction to Probability & Statistics

An introduction to the basic ideas and techniques of probability theory and to selected topics in statistics, such as sampling theory, confidence intervals, and linear regression.

4 CreditsN, QS, CTGESPrerequisite: MA130


ADDITIONAL CORE COURSES

Complete one of the following categories below:


Informatics and Analysis of Large Data Sets:

Complete one of the following courses:

CS-110  Computer Science I

An introductory study of computer science software development concepts. Python is used to introduce a disciplined approach to problem solving methods, algorithm development, software design, coding, debugging, testing, and documentation in the object oriented paradigm. This is the first course in the study of computer science. 

3 CreditsN,CTGES,CTGISRecommended programming experience or IT110 or IT100, IT111 or IM110 or MA103 but not necessary. 

IM-241  Info. Discovery and Architecture

This course considers various aspects of organizing digital information for public consumption. Data representation, overviews of file formats, storage organization, modern database structures and web site organizations provide a technical dimension of information. The visualization, graphical and basic statistical analysis of data is then considered for information presentation. Data mining techniques covered offer information discovery methods. 

3 CreditsS,QS,CTGISPrerequisite: IT110 or IT111 or CS110 or permission.

BI-331 Molecular Microbiology

Focuses on the structure, function, growth, genetics and ecology of viral, bacterial, and fungal microorganisms. Basic concepts are emphasized and topics important to the quality of human life are examined.

3 CreditsN, CTGESCorequisite: BI332. Prerequisites: BI207 and Jr. or Sr. standing.

BI-332 Molecular Microbiology Lab

Presents procedures and experiments which demonstrate basic micro-biological concepts and techniques. Illustrates and augments the content of the lecture. Note: A special fee is assessed.

1 CreditNCorequisite: BI331

BI-400 Environmental Genomics

This course will utilize Microbial Community Analysis leveraging high-throughput sequencing technology to identify the microbes present in naturally occurring our man-made ecosystems. Students will learn both molecular and bioinformatics skill sets, as well as microbial ecology principles throughout this course.

4 CreditsN

BI-489 Biology Research

Individual research projects directed by faculty members based on proposals submitted in BI 389, Biology Research Seminar. Attendance at a departmental journal club is expected. Presentation at a professional meeting is encouraged. May be repeated for up to 15 credits. 

1-6 CreditsNPrerequisite: Permission of the instructor.


Additional Core:

Complete one of the following groups below:


GROUP 1

CS-255U  Unix Programming

The students will prepare a portfolio of basic Unix programs and scripts. The course covers basic Unix commands, editing techniques, regular expression usage, and script building. The programs are reviewed, critiqued, and the student has an opportunity to revise them as needed for final inclusion in the portfolio. 

1 CreditsN,CTGESPrerequisites: CS110. 

CS-255P  Perl Programming

The students will prepare a portfolio of computer programs written in the Perl language. The programs are reviewed, critiqued, and then the student has an opportunity to revise them as needed for final inclusion in the portfolio. 

2 CreditsN,CTGESPrerequisites: CS110 and Sophomore standing and permission. 


GROUP 2

CS-255U  Unix Programming

The students will prepare a portfolio of basic Unix programs and scripts. The course covers basic Unix commands, editing techniques, regular expression usage, and script building. The programs are reviewed, critiqued, and the student has an opportunity to revise them as needed for final inclusion in the portfolio. 

1 CreditsN,CTGESPrerequisites: CS110. 

CS-255Y   Python Programming

The students will prepare a portfolio of computer programs written in the Python language. The programs are reviewed, critiqued, and then the student has an opportunity to revise them as needed for final inclusion in the portfolio. 

2 CreditsN,CTGESPrerequisites: CS110 and Sophomore standing and permission. 


ELECTIVES:

ELSI Genomic Themes:

Complete three of the following courses below:

HS-313 Disease, Medicine & Empire

Disease, Medicine and Empire will explore the intersections of disease, medicine, and race in European empires in the nineteenth and twentieth century.

3 CreditsCA, I, H, CTGES 

HS-314 Medieval Medicine

Despite our popular understanding of the European middle ages as a dirty, disease-ridden, hopelessly backward period, the sources show us quite a different picture. Although a lack of understanding of the means of genetic change and the cause of viral and bacterial disease caused medieval people to understand the human body very differently than we do, that system was not without its logic and efficacy. This course will explore the human body and its diseases in the middle ages through a series of connected readings that introduce the body as a conceptual system and medieval science's attempts to understand it. We will then look at the growing field of genomic research as a way of understanding and comparing our modern systems of understanding the body.

4 CreditsH, CW, SW-GE,CTGES 

PL-250  Science and Human Values

This course examines the reciprocal influence between science and social values, from the perspective of the humanities. It asks, " What good is science? " Through selected readings and discussion, students consider how everyday life is shaped by scientific innovation and technology, just as society provides a framework of cultural values for science. 

4 CreditsH,WK-HT,CTGESPrereq or coreq: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109 

PL-260  Philosophy of Science

Lays out some central philosophical problems raised by natural sciences. The possible topics to be discussed: Is science rational and objective? Does science really make progress? If so, in what sense? How to distinguish science from pseudoscience. Is science superior knowledge to other types? What is a good scientific explanation? Could we ever know about unobservable physical entities and events? Is it ever legitimate to regard a scientific theory as true? 

4 CreditsH,WK-HT,CTGESPrereq or coreq: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109 

PY-302 Moral Judgment

This course meets the Ethical Responsibility requirement. This course will cover basic issues relevant to understanding and evaluating moral judgment. We will compare philosophical models of human judgment with psychological models of human judgment. You will apply both philosophical and psychological models to contemporary ethical issues and reflect on your own beliefs and social responsibilities.

3-4 CreditsS, SW-ER, CTGES

BI-270  Infectious Disease & Society

This course focuses primarily on the impact of ten human infectious diseases that have changed the world. Each disease is analyzed from five distinct perspectives: Clinical, Historical, Economic, Artistic, and Public Health. We also discuss genomics aspects of the infective organisms and of their human hosts. Pre- or co-requisite: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109

3 CreditsCA,N,WK-SP,CTGES

ED-202 Science and Society

How do we, as a society, interpret science? This is the challenge! Are you scientifically literate? What does it mean to be so? How will we respond as a society as new advancements are made? This course will review historical and contemporary science issues facing us and the challenge of understanding the science connected to the issues. A trip to the USHMM in Washington DC will be scheduled and is optional because it is on the weekend.

3 CreditsCA, S, CWPrerequisites: EN110 or EN109 and Sophomore, Junior or Senior standing. Note: A special $15.00 non-refundable field trip fee is applied.

EB-375  21st Century Leadership

This course examines the challenges of providing leadership in the information age of global and cultural contexts. Leadership as manifested in today's workplace provides both opportunity and a great responsibility. The role and function of leaders look very different today than years ago. Change is the norm. Leaders must understand today's challenges and be able to function effectively given a borderless, multicultural, virtual, and diverse group of followers. 

3 CreditsS,CTGESNo prerequisites. 


NOTE: Students enrolled in EB-375 must also complete EB-120.


Certificate Credit Total = 18-20

Any course exception must be approved by Jay Hosler, Biology Department Chair.


Contact:

Jay Hosler

Jay Hosler  Biography →

  • David K. Goodman '74 Endowed Chair in Biology
  • Professor and Chair of Biology

Jay Hosler  Biography →

  • David K. Goodman '74 Endowed Chair in Biology
  • Professor and Chair of Biology