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Molecular Epidemiology in Ageing Research


Admission requirements

  • Successful completion of How To Write A Research Proposal is strongly recommended.

  • Basic statistical and molecular epidemiological knowledge (CRIP).


Period: June 19 – July 7, 2017

In the first two weeks the student will acquire hands on experience with analysis tools typically used in the different disciplines of molecular epidemiology of complex diseases. As such students pass through all phases necessary to accomplishing a research proposal in molecular epidemiology such as hypotheses formation, study designs and power issues. The course will focus on different levels of molecular data (genomics, transcriptomics and methylomics) and respective approaches to study complex diseases such as osteoarthritis, ageing and longevity, and cardiovascular diseases. In the third week the students will assemble a research proposal applying the gained knowledge of the molecular epidemiological approaches to ageing as subject of research.

The following items will be addressed:

  • Which research questions are of importance in different disease fields?

  • What common designs are applied in molecular epidemiological studies?

  • How and why are large datasets of phenotypic, (epi)genetic and, transcriptomic data collected?

  • What do the different data types look like?

  • How are such datasets managed?

  • Which bioinformatic tools are used to analyse the datasets and correlate them with existing biological information to form new hypotheses?

This course will particularly work on:

Research competences:
Defining a research question, choosing appropriate techniques, integrate different biomedical disciplines, recording, organizing and analyzing data.

Professional competences:
Commitment, motivation and drive, reflecting on personal actions, digesting other people’s opinions in work discussions.

Course objectives

  • To acquire “hands on” experience in bioinformatic and analyses tools and apply them to large genomic, transcriptomic, methylomic and phenotypic data sets.

  • To apply new results with existing biological information and thereby form new hypotheses.

  • To gain knowledge about the molecular epidemiological approaches of complex diseases in order to design new research questions and hypotheses.

  • To determine the appropriate study design and power to establish and defend a molecular epidemiologic research proposal.

Mode of instruction

Plenary sessions, practicals, self study-assignments, work groups.

Assessment method

Written report on the practicals; student behavior (motivation, independency, oral reporting, participation in discussion); research proposal; oral presentation of assignment.
Further information about the assessment can be found on the Blackboardsite of this course.