Computational

Genetic Analysis of Mendelian and Complex Disorders

July 19th - 25th 2017

Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, UK

Summary

Formerly known as Human Genome Analysis: Genetic Analysis of
Multifactorial Diseases,
this intensive, residential, computer-based
course is aimed at scientists actively involved in genetic analysis of
both rare (Mendelian) and complex human traits.

The course provides a broad and comprehensive overview of the statistical
methods currently used to map disease susceptibility genes in human
populations. Discussions of the latest statistical methodology are
complemented by practical hands-on computer exercises using
state-of-the-art software. The statistical principles behind each method
will be carefully explained so that participants with a non-statistical
background can understand and better interpret their results.

In addition to discussing analysis methods applicable to samples of
unrelated individuals, we also will discuss in some detail methods that
can analyse family data or a combination of families and individuals.

Our interactive and intensive educational program will enable researchers
to better carry out sophisticated statistical analyses of genetic data,
and will also improve their interpretation and understanding of the
results. The concepts and methodological approaches covered are equally
applicable to genotype data generated from traditional genotyping
technologies and to data generated through next generation sequencing
endeavours. Note, however, that the bioinformatics
pipelines for calling variants from next generation sequencing data are
NOT covered; the focus of the course is on the downstream analysis of
called variants.

All the software used is freely available, so that skills learned can be
easily applied after the course.  On completion, participants will
be provided with a virtual machine copy of the computer used during the
course, so they can easily explore the computer exercises and example
data sets in greater detail. Teaching will take the form of lectures by
invited expert speakers, informal tutorials, hands-on computer sessions,
and analysis of example disease data sets. There will also be an
opportunity for each participant to give a short presentation about his
or her own research in progress.  Each student will receive a
certificate of course completion at the end of the course.

Target audience: The programme is aimed primarily at
Ph.D. students and post-docs near the beginning of their career, whose
projects involve data that could be analysed by the methods covered in
this course.  As we discuss in some detail methods for handling
correlations induced by relatedness, there is a preference for candidates
who have some family data or who are likely to have access to family data
in the future.  Programming experience is not required, but
candidates without prior experience with the Unix/Linux command line will
be required to acquire these skills prior to the course.

Feedback from the 2016 course
“Thank you for a great experience. I highly recommend to keep this
course going for as long as possible with this excellent core of
instructors who have been together for ~20 years. The topics are as
important today as they’ve ever been and it’s essential that the next
generation of human genetic researchers understand these important topics
and techniques.”
“I will like to thank all the instructors for wonderful job and their
patient with us. well done and keep it up”.
“Thanks for all the instructors. I enjoyed every moment with healthy
scientific conversation.”
“I am grateful for the opportunity, because I recently started to learn
about populations genetics and this course has been essential to
understand it better and feel more confident about developing projects
with populations.”

Programme

This is a small residential course, with a low
student:instructor ratio, personalized attention, and instructors
involved and present throughout.  Students present on their own research
to the group and receive constructive criticism particularly pertaining
to study design and analysis.

The programme includes lecture and practical computer-based sessions and
will discuss fundamental issues needed to increase success in gene
mapping studies including:

  • Optimal study design
  • Power to detect linkage and
    association
  • Determining the most appropriate statistical methods
    and software
  • Quality control strategies
  • Interpretation of
    statistical results and trouble shooting
  • Basic principles of
    statistical inference
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Population and
    quantitative genetics
  • Mendelian inheritance

View the 2016 course timetable here.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the course, participants can expect to:

  • Have a deeper understanding of optimal study design and power, and to be able to critically evaluate the design and power of their own research project.
  • Understand current best statistical methods and conditions under which their use is appropriate or inappropriate.
  • Understand the most appropriate statistical methods for their own research project.
  • Know how to use current software to analyse real data and interpret the results

Instructors and speakers

Course organiser
Daniel E.
Weeks
University of Pittsburgh, USA

Course instructors
Heather Cordell Institute of Genetic
Medicine, Newcastle University, UK
Janet Sinsheimer University of
California, Los Angeles, USA
Eric Sobel University of California, Los
Angeles, USA
Joe Terwilliger Columbia University, New
York, USA
Simon Heath Centre Nacional d’Anàlisi
Genòmica (CNAG), Barcelona, Spain

Guest speakers
Stephen Burgess University of Cambridge,
UK
Nancy Cox Vanderbilt University, USA
Danielle Posthuma  VU University and VU
Medical Centre, The Netherlands
Shamil Sunyaev Harvard University, USA

How to apply

Prerequisites
This course is aimed primarily at Ph.D. students and post-docs near the
beginning of their career, whose projects involve data that could be
analysed by the methods covered in this course.  As we discuss in
some detail methods for handling correlations induced by relatedness,
there is a preference for candidates who have some family data or who are
likely to have access to family data in the future.  Programming
experience is not required, but candidates without prior experience with
the Unix/Linux command line will be required to acquire these skills
prior to the course.

Cost
The
course is subsidised by the Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses
and Scientific Conferences Programme. This is a residential
course and
there is a fee of £975 towards board and lodging for
non-commercial applicants. Please contact us for the commercial fee.

Additional limited bursaries are available (up to 50%
of the course fee)
and are awarded on merit. Please see the “Bursaries”
tab for details.

Applications
Applications for this course can be completed online. If you have any
problems with the online application process, please contact us.

Please note: Applications
must be supported by a
recommendation from a scientific or clinical sponsor (e.g. supervisor or
head of department). A request for a supporting
statement will be sent
to your nominated sponsor automatically during
the application process.
Applicants must ensure that their sponsor
provides this supporting
statement by the application deadline. Applications without a supporting
statement cannot be considered.

Deadlines
Deadline for Applications: Closed

Travel visas
Please contact the
event organiser if you require a letter to support a travel visa
application. Note that letters will be provided to confirmed attendees.

Non-European Economic Area or Swiss nationals may be required to have a
visa to enter the UK.
Early application is strongly advised, as this process can take 6-8 weeks
or longer.

Please visit the following websites for further information:
UK Border Agency website and information for general visitors and business
visitors.

Cost

Cost
The
course is subsidised by the Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses
and
Scientific Conferences Programme. This is a residential
course and
there is a fee of £975 towards board and lodging for
non-commercial applicants. Please contact us for the commercial fee.

Bursaries
Advanced Courses are subsidised for non-commercial applicants from
anywhere in the world. Additional, limited bursaries are
available (up
to 50% of the course fee) and are awarded on merit. If you would like to
apply for a
bursary, please complete the bursary section of the online
application
form.

Please note that both the applicant
and sponsor are required to provide
a justification for the
bursary as part of the application.

Bursary terms and conditions

UK Courses (held at the Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton,
Cambridge)
A
limited number of bursaries are available for each course. These are
awarded by the selection committee according to merit. The bursary
covers a maximum of 50% of the course fee, though in exceptional
circumstances an application for the total course fee may be considered.
Where there are many bursary applications, the selection committee may
issue smaller amounts. We cannot assist with travel costs to attend UK
courses.

Overseas Courses (held outside of the UK)
A
limited number of bursaries are available for each course. These are
awarded on merit to cover travel, accommodation and sustenance. The
maximum award for travel (economy class) will be £750.

Bursaries can be applied for as part of the course application form.
Applicants
will be notified of a bursary award along with their place on
the
course, usually within one month of the application deadline. The
decision of the selection committee is
final.

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