Manchester announces nation’s only online PGx master’s degree

November 21st, 2016

By The Journal Gazette

The following was released on Monday, Nov. 21, 2016 by Manchester University: 

Fort Wayne - 

In May, Manchester launched the nation's first and only dedicated pharmacogenomics master's degree program. Today, Manchester University President Dave McFadden announced the University is building on that success by adding an online PGx master's degree.

"PGx not only improves patient care dramatically, it revolutionizes the way we approach medicine. We can be proud that Manchester University is now a national leader in this emerging field," McFadden said.

As you may be aware, pharmacogenomics is the science behind precision medicine.  It relates an individual's genes - their DNA - to their response to medication. PGx can optimize an individual's drug therapy, greatly decreasing medication costs and side effects.

The online program lasts two years and offers two tracks: bench research and clinical. The research track is designed for current laboratory technicians or those who already have a bachelor's degree in a science field. The clinical track is designed for health care providers such as physicians, pharmacists and genetic counselors who can put PGx training to use in their field.

The traditional brick-and-mortar program at Manchester's Fort Wayne, Ind., campus is designed primarily for those with an undergraduate science degree, offering a one-year, intensive path to a master's degree.

In all of the options, students will get personalized attention, and classes will remain small as the programs grow. The University is now taking applications for the online and traditional programs. Classes begin in May.

Diane Calinski, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, is the chair of the Pharmacogenomics Council. She was instrumental in establishing the traditional and online program.

She said online PGx gives students the option of earning the degree where they live and to continue working.

"Our clinical online Masters in PGx will prepare clinicians and health care providers to apply PGx into patient care, while students enrolled in our research online master's in PGx will receive the same superior training that our traditional program offers," Calinski said.

Tuition for online PGx students will be comparable to the traditional program, about $32,000, plus $2,800 a year in program fees. In the two-year program, those costs will be spread out over two years. For more details, go to:

"I'd like to thank Diane Calinski, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, who is leading the development of online program. Thank you also to Dave Kisor, chair of pharmaceutical sciences and director of the PGx program, and Raylene Rospond, vice president and dean of the College of Pharmacy, Natural and Health Sciences," McFadden said.