Master Program

Master Program in Biomedical Science Diponegoro University,
Majoring on Genetic Counseling
~The First Master Program on Genetic Counseling in Asia~

Introduction
Genetic diseases are caused by defective inherited materials either before or during fertilization. They are not always inherited and can be engendered by spontaneous mutation (de novo). Recently, a lot of reports on newborns with congenital anomalies emerged in Indonesia. Those anomalies should be studied further to discover their causes, thereby possibly allowing for preventive measures. Unfortunately, those anomalies are often neglected by medical practitioners because of lack of genetic knowledge and/or the unavailability of diagnostic services in Indonesia. Another anomaly that is commonly reported is ambiguous genitalia (genital ambiguity between male or female). These anomalies are often caused by genetic mutation. Therefore, genetic knowledge encompassing molecular and clinical aspects is imperative and should be introduced in a well structured educational system. A multidisciplinary team is needed to face these disorders. Therefore, genetic counselors are one of professionals needed in the team.

Genetic Counseling is a communication process which deals with the human problems associated with the occurrence, or risk of recurrence in a family, of a disorder that may be due to an error in genetic material. We understand that genetic awareness in Indonesia is negligible up until now the fact that there is no professional genetic counselor working in the hospital. However, the need for genetic counselors is not debatable especially for patients with genetic disorders and their families. Detailed information about the cause of the disorder, the pattern of inheritance, diagnostic procedure, and how to deal with the disease should be conveyed to patients and also their families. Clinicians such as pediatricians, obstetric-gynecologists and neurologists probably do not have enough understanding of genetics and genetic diseases nor have enough time to spend with the patients. Professional genetic counselors with broader knowledge of medical genetics can fill up this gap. Faculty of Medicine and Postgraduate program of Diponegoro University in collaboration with some excellent genetic centers overseas are turning out with this new and first formal education program in Asia. Students undertaking the Master program will learn research methodology by both instruction and direct participation in a clinical genetic or genetic counseling project. 

A Brief History
Faculty of Medicine, Diponegoro University (FMDU) had long collaboration with Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (RUNMC) under MoU of inter-universities for more than 20 years. Center for Biomedical Research (CEBIOR) of FMDU, with a molecular and cytogenetic laboratory, certified by the Human Genetic Society Austral-Asia (HGSA) since 2006, has also been intensively collaborating with RUNMC during the last 20 years both in research and health service of patients with genetic disorders. This long-time collaboration and relationship could be considered as the commencement of the Master Program of Genetic Counseling at FMDU. The establishment of this Master Program was marked by Decision Letter number 281/SK/J07/2006 signed by Rector of Diponegoro University in 2006. In accordance with the annual medical genetic course from basic to clinic which has been organized by CEBIOR in collaboration with RUNMC team and similar events arranged by other centers in Indonesia, recognition of genetic diseases is gradually increasing. Therefore, it is imperative to produce Genetic Counselors who can be involved actively in management of those patients. However, since this Master Program is the first one established in Asia and Indonesia, it is crucial to collaborate with more advanced centers overseas in order to maintain the quality of Master of Genetic Counseling which is produced.  For this purpose, this Master Program has already collaborated with several other centers outside RUNMC. Students of Master Program have also been sent to those centers to do their research and clinical training.

Vision

  • Education center which produces masters both in genetic disease and its counseling aspect who are able to assist clinicians and patients to understand genetic diseases, academically and professionally both at national and global standard.
  • Research and development center of genetic knowledge which is rarely provided in Indonesia.
  • Collaborative center in research, education, and professional practice within local, regional, national, and international standard is dedicated to develop genetic science as a basic science of genetic diseases

Mission

  • To develop curricula and subjects with strong foundation in Basic Genetics, Molecular Genetics, Clinical Genetics, and Genetic Counseling practice at international standard which will promote the development of Genetic science
  • To develop human resources with international standard quality as a supportive factor of the education system itself
  • To develop campus environment (research laboratory and study process) and professional practice at national and international standard by performing intensive and structured collaboration with national and international centers
  • To apply Genetic science in professional practice within educational system, laboratory, and hospital services

Aims of the Program

The program aims to provide candidates with the appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes for a career in genetic counseling. It is applicable to health professionals working with people with genetic problems. Through theoretical, practical work, and research, students are able to acquire a clear understanding of basic genetic mechanisms, the way in which these mechanisms can be studied and observed in humans, as well as learning to use and apply this knowledge in the practice of genetic counseling.

Admission Criteria

  • Students are expected to have completed Bachelor degree in Medicine, Biology, Pharmacy, Nursery, Midwifery, Psychology or other equivalent degree.
  • Satisfactory performance in an interview with a selection committee.
  • TOEFL test score above 500.
  • Brief research proposal related to subjects in genetic or genetic counseling must be submitted.

Curriculum Structure

Lectures CodeLectures NameSemester Credit Hour(s)Semester
KUO 641Clinical Genetics6I
KUO 642Genetic  Counseling6I
KUO 643Human Genetics5I
KUO 644Basic Psychology2I
KUO 610Philosophy and Ethics of Biomedical Reserach1II
KUO 611Research Methods & Evidence Based Medicine (EBM)4II
KUO 612Biostatistic2II
KUO 613Technique of Writing Thesis and Scientific Publication1II
KUO 645Clinical Practice of Genetics Counseling4II
KUO 646Genetic Laboratory Practical Work3II
KUO 614Proposal Development4III
KUO 615Thesis6IV

Research projects for thesis are varied, such as the study on the incidence of Fragile X syndrome (FXS) and other forms of genetic mental retardation; multiple congenital malformation and children with developmental delay; ambiguous genitalia which encompassed Androgen Insensitivity syndrome, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Klinefelter Syndrome, and the psychological impact of ambiguous genitalia; mutations or risk factors in  obstetric and gynecological problems such as infertility, multiple spontaneous abortions, prenatal diagnosis, and onco-gynecology; the implementation of genetic screening for other genetic diseases which are Mendelian inherited;  risk factors for multifactorial diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and  metabolic syndrome.

Teaching Techniques

  • Matriculation

Regarding various backgrounds of the candidates in the Master Program, matriculation program will be arranged before starting the program in order to generalize the basic knowledge of candidates. Selection committee will determine which candidate should follow the matriculation program during interview. This matriculation will be performed during the first 2-3 weeks.

  • Classroom Courses

Classroom courses are focused on student centered concept and two way traffic communications. Student centered concept is chosen to provide basic understanding of science. It creates conducive as well as constructive learning situation. Two way traffic communications is expected to induce active involvement of the students within learning process. Students are expected to be prepared with the materials before a certain topic is discussed in class. Classroom courses will guide and facilitate the students to explore certain topic of interest.  Lecturers will be in charge of assisting the discussion so that it will perform properly. Lectures will be given in two languages, Bahasa Indonesia and English. Radboud University of Nijmegen Medical Centre, The Netherlands (RUNMC) is sending lecturers to teach in our Master Program regularly since this Master Program in Genetic Counseling has been structured in collaboration with them under an MOU.

  • Clinical Experience (Clerkship)

The clerkship program will be held in the second semester. It is expected to ease students’ understanding of lectures delivered in class. This program is also meant to train communication aspects needed for counseling. Students will be exposed to numerous patients (together with their families) with genetic diseases and trained to be a genetic counselor. Lecturers will always supervise students during counseling sessions.

  • Role Playing

Role playing is a method to improve the ability in understanding the materials and in counseling practice. It is also a good preparation before students entering their clinical experience/clerkship program. The ultimate aims of this method are to:

  • improve communication by and among students to prevent errors before reaching the real patient
  • improve the identification of root causes of genetic diseases
  • improve the disclosure of adverse effect to the patients and their family
  • build the awareness of communication patterns in difficult information delivery
  • provide opportunities for practice and accept critique as a new behavior
  • Laboratory Practice

Molecular and cytogenetic laboratory practice will be performed in Molecular and Cytogenetic Unit of Center for Biomedical Research (CEBIOR), Faculty of Medicine, Diponegoro University. Laboratory practice is expected to enhance further understanding of laboratory processes to confirm diagnosis of genetic diseases. It will enable students to explain the aim, process, and urgency of laboratory practice for patient’s needs.

  • Assignments

Since student centered concept is applied here and there are only limited hours to deliver materials through lectures, assignments will be very helpful to support and stimulate learning process. Assignments will always correspond to lecture topics and will be discussed on the next classroom course. Assignments will also stimulate questions from students in order to deepen their understanding of certain material.

  • Research

Research is not only dedicated to assist students’ understanding of a certain subject but also to give students a freedom to learn deeper on certain subjects that interest them most. As it was explained in the curriculum structure, this Master program offers various topics to study. Several students will have the chance to do their research abroad in our collaborative universities. Those students will also receive clinical and laboratory training in those various centers abroad.

Facilities

The program provides software and hardware facilities to assist education and research purposes such as:

  • Classroom
  • Laboratory
  • Library
  • Computer and wireless internet access
  • Software like: POSSUM, London Medical Data Base (LMD), Cyrillic pedigree construction, Leica chromosome analyser system.

Collaboration with Other Centers in Overseas

  • Radboud University  Nijmegen Medical Centre (RUNMC), The Netherlands
  • Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Medical Investigation for Neurodevelopmental Disorders (MIND) Institute, University of California Davis, USA
  • University of Poitiers, France
  • Melbourne University/Murdoch Children Research Institute, Australia
  • KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Singapore
  • Tottori University, Japan

Scholarship

Students are offered to apply for scholarship program provided by Biro PKLN, Indonesian Government, Ministry of Education and Culture, and LPDP/Budi DN. Further information regarding this scholarship can be found in this website address http://beasiswaunggulan.kemdikbud.go.id. Following this Master Program with other scholarship is also possible such as LPDP from Ministry of Finance (http://lpdp.kemenkeu.go.id).

Master Students on Genetic Counseling from Time to Time

Each year this Master Program selects 10 students in average among the applicants to follow this Master course. Most members of the class have received opportunity to do research or training overseas each year in our collaborative centers as a part of their study. Since 2017, the scholarship can not cover to study in overseas. However, study in overseas partly still can be facilitated by us for free of charge. Those who are not able to do their research abroad will still be able to do their research at Center for Biomedical Research (Cebior), Faculty of Medicine, Diponegoro University (FMDU) in their second year of study. Eleven batch years of this Master Program have already graduated. In this year of 2018, this Master Program has reached its eleventh year.

Thesis defense by master student of genetic counseling with Dr. Helger Yntema, Prof. Ben Hamel, and Dr. Willy Nillesen.
Thesis defense by master student of genetic counseling with Dr. Helger Yntema, Prof. Ben Hamel, and Dr. Willy Nillesen.
Graduation Ceremony of Batch 1 Master Program of Genetic Counseling at Faculty of Medicine Diponegoro University attended by Prof. Ben Hamel, MD, PhD in January 2009.
Graduation Ceremony of Batch 1 Master Program of Genetic Counseling at Faculty of Medicine Diponegoro University attended by Prof. Ben Hamel, MD, PhD in January 2009.
The 2nd batch of Master students of Genetic Counseling 
(academic year: 2008).
The 2nd batch of Master students of Genetic Counseling
(academic year: 2008).

Some students have been upgraded to Ph. D program right after finishing their master, ie:

  1. dr. Farmaditya EP Mundhofir, MSi.Med, PhD
  2. dr. Nani Maharani, M.Si.Med, PhD
  3. dr. Lantip Rujito, M.Si.Med, PhD
  4. dr. Siti Wasilah, M.Si.Med
  5. dr. Syarief Taufik H, Sp.OG KFER, M.Si.Med PhD
  6. dr. A. Kentar Arimadyo, Sp.M, M.Si.Med
  7. dr. Bestari A. Setyawati, MSi.Med
  8. Dewi Mustikaningtyas, S.Si, M.Si.Med
  9. dr. Muflihatul Muniroh, M.Si.Med, PhD
  10. dr. Agustini Utari, M.Si.Med, SP.A(K)
  11. dr. Dwi Lestari P, Sp.PD-KGH, M.Si.Med
  12. Costri Ganes W, S.Psi, M.Si.Med
  13. Avanita S. Prabowo, B.Sc, MSi.Med, PhD
  14. Fatwa Adikusuma, SSi, MSi.Med, PhD
  15. dr. Rahajeng Nareswari, M.Si.Med, PhD
  16. dr. Galuh Dyah Nur Astuti, M.Si.Med, PhD
  17. dr. Ferdy Kurniawan Cayami, M.Si.Med
  18. dr. Siti Nurhajjah, M.Si.Med
  19. dr. Widagdo, M.Si.Med
  20. dr. Nur Farhanah, Sp.PD, M.Si.Med
  21. dr. Gara Samara Brajadenta, SE, MMR, M.Sc, M.Si.Med
  22. dr. Ariestya Indah Permatasari, M.SI.Med
  23. dr. Ziske Maritska, M.Si.Med
  24. dr. Nurin Aisyiyah  Listyasari, M.Si.Med
  25. dr. Nydia Rena Benita, M.Si.Med