Skip to content Skip to main navigation

HMX Pro Genetics
Cancer Genomics and Precision Oncology

Learn how cancer treatment is evolving due to advances in genetics.

Growing knowledge of human genetics is changing the way physicians and researchers approach diagnosis of cancer risk as well as treatment of various types of cancer.

Anyone whose work intersects with cancer needs to understand the vital role that genetic information has begun to play in the field of oncology.

This advanced course offers a unique way for professionals to learn about key cancer genetics concepts and cutting-edge clinical applications from leading Harvard Medical School faculty.

Course Topics

Overview of Cancer Genomics

  • What is Cancer?
  • The Promise of Precision Oncology

The Genetics of Cancer

  • Germline and Somatic Mutations
  • Cancer as a Genetic Disease
  • Cancer Mutations
  • Cancer Progression
  • The Hallmarks of Cancer
  • Cancer Gene Functions
  • Clinical Linkage: The Genetics of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST)
  • Interactive: Cancer Pathways

Cancer Genomics and Tumor Sequencing

  • Sequencing Sample Types
  • Sequencing Approaches
  • Sequencing Analysis
  • Variant Allele Frequency
  • Interpreting Variation
  • Mutational Signatures
  • Clinical Linkage: Tumor Sequencing
  • Interactive: Cancer Mutations

Precision Oncology

  • Cancer Therapeutics
  • Kinase Inhibitors
  • Monoclonal Antibody Treatments
  • Active Immunotherapies
  • Drug Resistance
  • Clinical Linkage: Clinical Trials for GIST
  • Interactive: Molecularly Targeted Treatments


  • The Future of Precision Oncology
Download the course outline

Course Instructors

Christine DeGennaro, PhD

Christine DeGennaro, PhD

Lecturer in Genetics, Harvard Medical School

Marios Giannakis

Marios Giannakis, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Medical Oncologist, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Robert Green, HMX Genetics instructor

Robert C. Green, MD, MPH

Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Associate Physician, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Geneticist, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Director, Genomes2People Research Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Carrie Blout, HMX Genetics instructor

Carrie Blout, MS, CGC, LGC

Senior Genetic Counselor, Brigham & Women’s Hospital

More Information

Frequently asked questions

Who should take this course?

This course is appropriate for science, business, and medical professionals whose work intersects with cancer research and treatment – including those working in R&D, product management and strategy, sales, marketing, and other roles.

What do participants need to know to succeed in this course?

We recommend knowledge of basic chemistry, biology, and physics, as well as knowledge of key genetics concepts. This is an advanced course; for those who require more background in genetics, we offer HMX Pro Genetics – Essentials.

Not sure which course to take? Gauge your knowledge of genetics by taking this short quiz.

What is the time commitment?

Most people can expect to spend around 15–20 hours total, but this depends on your baseline knowledge, how carefully you take notes, and how seriously you take the assessments. Lessons from the courses are released weekly and remain available until the courses end, so you can work at your own pace. There is a final exam at the end of each course that can be taken any time during the final exam period.

Can participants earn certificates from Harvard Medical School?

There are two certification levels, based on participant scores:

  • Certificate of Achievement
  • Certificate of Completion

What Learners Say

Dr. Mariam Fida

Mariam Fida

Medical geneticist

“It was amazing the way all the animations were conducted, and how they show concepts in a very basic, nice way.”

Image of Eugenia Prohin

Eugenia Prohin

Clinical operations manager

“Everybody involved in clinical research would benefit from these courses.”

Matthew Tagliaferro

Matthew Tagliaferro

Account executive, Ambry Genetics

“Being able to hear from the doctors and clinicians themselves about the different treatments and disease states, I think it gives such a good perspective.”