The Jackson Laboratory partners with Northwestern to create cardiogenomics course for clinicians

The Jackson Laboratory partners with Northwestern to create cardiogenomics course for clinicians


BAR HARBOR, Maine — A new free course created by The Jackson Laboratory’s Clinical Education team in partnership with Northwestern University will help clinicians better identify patients at risk for genetic cardiac disease.

The three-module education program – developed for practicing cardiologists and advanced clinicians like physician assistants and nurse practitioners – teaches participants to integrate genetics and genomics into their clinical practices using evidence-based medicine and expert guidance.

The Implementing Cardiogenomics in Clinical Practice program, which is online, on-demand and self-paced, presents interactive cases with the goal of helping participants use a patient’s personal and family history to better identify their risk for cardiogenomic conditions. The first course in the series — Identifying Red Flags and Patterns for Hereditary Cardiovascular Disease — is now open for registration. Additional courses will address genetic test results interpretation and management of patients with hereditary cardiovascular disease and are expected to be rolled out later this year and in 2024.

The course, sponsored by the American Heart Association, was developed in collaboration with Northwestern University and the Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Graduate Program.

“Cardiologists are looking for education that is immediately relevant to their patients,” said Emily Edelman, M.S., CGC, director of the JAX Clinical Education program. “JAX’s experience in online genetics education and the clinical cardiology and genetic counseling expertise at Northwestern and Augustana-Sanford allowed us to create a unique program that can help clinicians create a personalized management plan based on a patient’s genetic test results and clinical presentation. Patients can benefit through receiving personalized treatment and screening that can be lifesaving.”

Since most patient care is delivered in the community, this course seeks to address and support the needs of community-based clinicians. It is designed to fit into clinicians’ busy days, with online learning that take as little as 15 minutes to complete, allowing participants to work at their own pace. Participants who complete the course receive Continuing Medical Education and Continuing Nursing Education credits.  

 “This is a great resource for cardiologists to gain confidence in ordering genetic testing and bring this information to their patients,” said Elizabeth McNally, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Genetic Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

McNally and Gregory Webster, M.D., assistant professor of Pediatric Cardiology at Feinberg, collaborated on this project as expert advisors.

"This cardiovascular genetics program is terrific for practicing cardiologists. Self-paced learning in sudden death, cardiomyopathy and electrophysiology means that participants learn a genetic approach to scenarios that are concerning and time-sensitive for patients and families," said Webster.

Researchers at JAX focus on exploring the human genome to find new ways to prevent and repair damage to the heart. While cardiogenomics is a research focus for the institution, this new course is the first from JAX and Northwestern on the subject. It is one of many clinical education programs offered by JAX, which has a large portfolio of online modules for clinicians, researchers and other audiences, with a strong emphasis on cancer and genetic testing applications, and research techniques.

JAX Genomic Education offers educational programs that accelerate the development of high school, undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, graduate and postdoctoral learners who are focused on careers in the biomedical sciences, as well as clinicians who are interested in furthering their genetics and genomics education.

To register, please visit the course description page at JAX Clinical Education.

About The Jackson Laboratory
The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution with a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center and nearly 3,000 employees in locations across the United States (Maine, Connecticut, California), Japan and China. Its mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health. For more information, please visit

About Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, founded in 1859, attracts talented individuals to its faculty, staff, and student body through its cutting-edge research initiatives, superb clinical affiliates, global outlook, and innovative curriculum. Located in the heart of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, Feinberg has built a national reputation for excellence through a strong history of collaborative, interdisciplinary medical education and research, and along with Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern Medical Group is part of the premier academic health system known as Northwestern Medicine. Feinberg stands out among the nation's research-intensive medical schools. Through its affiliates, it provides patient care to thousands of individuals every year, and plays an integral part in the communities it serves.