Genomic Education - Updates from Sri Lanka

Compiled by Dr. Nirmala Sirisena, Senior Lecturer/Clinical Geneticist, Human Genetics Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

A Pre-Congress Virtual Workshop on “Clinical Genomics for Medical Practitioners” which was jointly organized by the Sri Lanka Medical Association and the Human Genetics Society in collaboration with the Human Genetics Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo was held on 18th July 2020. The half-day workshop was co-chaired by Prof. Vajira H. W. Dissanayake, Dr. Nirmala D. Sirisena and Dr. Thilina Wanigasekera. The resource persons included Clinical and Medical Geneticists serving as University academics across the country.

The workshop was aimed at developing a basic understanding of the core concepts in medical genetics and genomics and their clinical applications in medicine and healthcare among medical practitioners. It was well attended by medical professionals from various clinical specialties across the country. The programme comprised of online lectures and interactive case-based discussions using clinical scenarios to illustrate the applications of genetics & genomics data in clinical practice. It provided a valuable opportunity for medical professionals to update their knowledge on the applications of genomics in the clinical setting.

On a similar note, in continuation with the vision of the Human Genetics Society to promote genetics and genomics education in the country, monthly academic webinars on the clinical applications of genomics in healthcare, conducted by national and international experts in the field are organized as part of a web-based e-learning series. Registration for these free monthly webinars could be accessed though the HGS website:

 and the videos are archived on the site for on demand access. A quarterly Newsletter – GeneNews – containing current topics in genetics and genomics is also published by the Society and could be accessed through the HGS website.

Additionally, in the near future we plan to conduct hybrid short courses – Certificate in Clinical Genetics and Genetic Counselling – on a quarterly basis aimed at improving the genomic literacy of the medical professionals in the country.