Spring 2019 - MBB 762 G100

Human Genomics (3)

Class Number: 3638

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 3 – Apr 8, 2019: Tue, Thu, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Robert Holt
    Office: TASC2 8003; 7-114 BC Cancer Research Centre, Vancouver



The organization of the human genome and the role of genomic variation in health and disease. Genomics and personalized medicine; intellectual property and privacy issues.


This course will explore the organization of the human genome and the role of genome variation in health and disease.  A broad range of topics will be covered including, for example, human genetic history, immunogenomics, pharmacogenomics, neurogenomics, genomics technologies and genetic engineering. We will also cover the business of genomics, including direct-to-consumer genetic testing, intellectual property issues and the biotechnology industry.  

In this course considerable emphasis will be placed on participation and critical thinking. Instruction will include lecture material and assigned reading from selected textbook chapters, review articles, the press, and various online sources. There will be in-depth consideration of selected seminal papers, and papers describing recent advances in topics relevant to human genomics.  Depending on the availability of 3rd party genotyping services,  students will explore aspects of their personal genome as part of this course (participation will be optional and extra costs may apply).


  • Two exams 50%
  • Two take-home assignments 25%
  • Participation 15%
  • Special topic assignment 10%


There will be two exams, one for the first half of the course and one for the second half of the course. Exams will cover lecture material and assigned reading.  Together, these exams will be worth approximately 50% of your final grade. There will be two take-home assignments which together will be worth approximately 25% of your final grade. Participation, including contributing to the presentation of a critical analysis of a research paper, will be worth approximately 15% of your final grade.  Depending on class size presentations will be done in a group setting. Special topic assignment (10% of grade -  applies to graduate students only).



Terry A. Brown. Genomes 4, 4th Edition. 2017.

Dudley & Karczewski. Exploring Personal Genomics. 2013.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html