Professional Development Continues, Thanks to NAHSL

February 9, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Posted in Continuing Education, Professional Development | Leave a comment

[Submitted by NAHSL member, Donna Berryman, Assistant Director, Edward G. Miner Library, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY]

In May, 2010, thanks to a NAHSL Professional Development Grant, I found myself sitting in a classroom in Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library at George Washington University, waiting to enter the mysterious world of clinical genomics and worried about how much of it would go right over my head. I wasn’t alone. From chatting with fellow students, I realized that we shared the same concerns.

Luckily for all of us, our instructor, Kristi Homes, PhD, from Becker Medical Library at Washington University in St. Louis, was a patient instructor, constantly reminding us that yes, certainly, librarians can and should learn about this subject and, yes, there are ways we can be useful to the researchers in our institutions. She reminded us of NLM’s Genetics Home Reference, an excellent resource for information on the genetic components of disease, home of the “Help Me Understand Genetics” Handbook (great for beginners), and a terrific resource for molecular biology illustrations. After that, it quickly became more complex: transcription, translation, coding and non-coding RNAs, mutations, pathway analysis, epigenomics, gene expression, SNPs and DIPs, and more. It was enough to make your head spin. Fortunately for us, Dr. Holmes sent us on our way with lots of information – including links to a good glossary (Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms) and links to her presentation.

It was a challenging and interesting class that made me feel a bit more comfortable with the concepts and the lingo associated with clinical genomics. There’s a lot more to learn, but this was a good beginning. Thanks, NAHSL! Without your help, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to attend “Clinical genomics: from bench to bedside”.

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