The first cohort of students to study a cutting-edge degree in personalised medicine in the UK and Ireland are set to graduate today from Ulster University in a milestone which promises to deliver a new era of healthcare.
Based at the Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre at Altnagelvin Hospital, the Stratified Medicine students have been taught new approaches to managing chronic diseases such as Arthritis, Alzheimer’s Disease, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer.
The course explores how genes, lifestyle and environment can influence disease. The practice relies on the use of biomarkers, such as genes or proteins, to organise patients into groups of individuals who are at risk of developing a disease, or who are likely to respond better to one therapy over other alternatives.
Dr Catriona Kelly, Course Director at Ulster University said: “We are proud to see the first intake of students graduate from our Stratified Medicine course. It’s a key milestone moment as the next generation of medical experts can now take us a step closer to providing the right treatment, for the right person, at the right time. We believe this is the future of medicine, globally.
“Our course, which is the first of its kind in the UK and Ireland, has focused on the development of new technologies and systems to predict disease, select the best treatment, and reduce side effects for individual patients. We know that this approach to streamlining healthcare provides more accurate clinical decision making.”
Stephen Morgan, who will graduate in Stratified Medicine from Ulster University this week, said: “I knew from a young age that my career path would involve science or medical research in some form and the idea of this particular course really appealed to me. It has provided me with practical skills and valuable insight into personalised care plans. This has been supported by two summer placements with the Almac Group which gave me the opportunity to learn advanced techniques and practices.
“My goal now is to complete a Masters degree in Bioinformatics and Computational Genomics. In the future I would love to return to Ulster University, perhaps to study at a PhD level, to further research priority areas within Stratified Medicine and play a role in the development of this research globally.”