Developed with all levels of laboratory professionals in mind, the content of this program is at the basic to intermediate level and will provide participants with opportunities to increase their knowledge of diagnostic applications of molecular pathology. This program was developed to present the essentials of molecular pathology and provide laboratorians with an understanding of nine different areas of study.
This program is composed of nine courses, listed below. Each course can be completed online in approximately 1-2 hours and contains a lecture, slides and transcripts, and a quiz. Some include recommended readings. Enrollees can communicate questions or comments using the program discussion board.
- Introduction to Molecular Biology
John Greg Howe, PhD, DABCC, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
Lists sample requirements, names methods to isolate the DNA, and discusses the general principles of Southern blotting, PCR, and signal amplification.
- Molecular Laboratory Techniques
John Greg Howe, PhD, DABCC
Explains different sample types used for nucleic acid testing, discusses DNA and RNA isolation and measurement techniques, describes the basics of gel electrophoresis of nucleic acids, the principles of the polymerase chain reaction and other nucleid acid amplification methods, as well as signal amplification and real time PCR.
- Next Generation Sequencing and Bioinformatics
Christina Lockwood, PhD, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Discusses the advantages of NGS, steps in NGS methodology, and summarizes different types of NGS assays.
- Introduction to Molecular Genetics
Linnea Baudhuin, PhD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Describes different modes of inheritance for single gene disorders, defines important molecular genetics terminology, describes types of genetic variants and discuss non-Mendelian patters of inheritance.
- Molecular Methods for Infectious Diseases
Roberta Madej, PhD, QTMB, Scotland UK & Deborah Payne, PhD, American Pathology Partners/UniPath, Denver, CO
Lists the advantages and disadvantages of molecular testing for infectious agents, discusses the reasons for molecular testing of infectious diseases, and explains viral load and disease progression.
Barbara Zehnbauer, PhD, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Discusses the need for molecular markers in monitoring cancer, how molecular markers can be used to identify treatment regimens and explains the use of molecular markers in minimal residual disease.
- Molecular Signatures for Oncology
Neal Lindeman, MD, DABCC, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
Defines solid tumors, explains why molecular diagnostics are used to diagnose solid tumors, and discusses specimen samples when doing molecular testing of solid tumors.
- Lab Practices
Andrea Ferreira-Gonzalez, PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Explains issues in quality control and quality assurance, discusses how to design and staff a laboratory that performs molecular diagnostics, and explains some of the regulatory issues regarding molecular pathology.
- Validation for Molecular Assays in Oncology
Helen Fernandes, PhD, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY
Explains the process of analytical and clinical verification and validation of assays used in molecular diagnostics, and identifies the key characteristics needed for validation of NGS assays in oncology.