Project Baby Magnolia

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Education and Training

Scientific research and adoption of new technology promotes scientific advancement, resulting in not only a better understanding of disease, but more effective treatments. As medical and diagnostic technology expands, the demand for skilled and talented people to support the field of genomic medicine will grow. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that workers needed to provide services and expertise in this field is expected to grow 17% from 2021-2031, a rate much faster than the average for all occupations. The increased demand for skilled biomedical workers, especially in genomic medicine (e.g., as MD geneticists, genetic nurse practitioners, and genetic counselors) has the potential to negatively impact Mississippi given our challenges both in recruiting and retaining talented professionals in this field.   To help address a critical shortage of genetics professionals in Mississippi, the Project Baby Magnolia Scholars program will be offered to students, fellows, and other medical professionals interested in expanding their understanding of genomic medicine. The program will include an educational, training, and research component that will provide a foundational understanding of genomic medicine with an ultimate goal of increasing interest in pursuing a career in genomic medicine.  The Project Baby Magnolia Scholars program will provide education, training, and research in genomic medicine. Scholars will be offered:  

  1. Educational opportunities to take didactic courses on important genomic medicine topics (e.g., genetics, genomics, bioethics, compliance, current technology utilized for precision medicine) and participate in invited seminars with hospitals and companies that work in the genomic medicine space. 

  2. Training in the process of consenting patients, sample collection, sample storage, laboratory workflows (both wet and dry components), analysis, and review of results with the attending physician and genetic counselors. 

  3. Research opportunities to translate the clinical finding into a case report or partner with a basic scientist to explore how the identified genetic changes/variant potentially lead the disease. This would be facilitated through researchers associated with the Molecular Center of Health and Disease.