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The increase in African genomic datasets is giving us more opportunities to understand the causes of human diseases in greater detail. As we continue to gather African genomic data from genome-wide analytical studies, it’s crucial that African scientists have the skills to analyze this data using the latest tools and approaches for research and genomics applications in Africa and around the world.
This short course aims to equip scientists in Africa with the necessary tools and approaches for analyzing polygenic risk scores (PRS). The course will cover both practical and theoretical aspects of PRS research, including lectures, tutorials, computational exercises, and guest seminars from experts in the field. By the end of the workshop, attendees should have a deep theoretical understanding and practical skills in analyzing PRS for global populations.
The course will start with an overview of genome-wide association studies, an introduction to PRS analysis, and advanced topics in PRS such as pathway-based PRS and using PRS to identify rare variants. We will also address the ‘PRS Portability Problem’ and discuss how to overcome it by using PRS methods designed for diverse and admixed ancestry samples. Finally, attendees will work in groups to devise, conduct, and present their own research projects on a topic relevant to the course content, with feedback from the workshop team.
This course is aimed at students and scientists based in Africa who are interested in the theory and/or application of polygenic risk scores. It is particularly relevant for those involved in research fields such as Bioinformatics, Genetic Epidemiology, Population Genetics, Statistical Genetics, Clinical Genetics, and Quantitative Genetics.
About the program:
The course will run for 5 days and cover a variety of topics. You’ll have the opportunity to attend lectures, tutorials, computational practical, and special guest seminars from experts in the field. Throughout the week, there will be multiple chances to meet the training team one-on-one and interact with other attendees and the workshop team. This creates a supportive and interactive environment that maximizes learning for everyone.
Now, let’s move on to the topics overview:
1. Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS): You’ll learn the basics of GWAS and how it applies to PRS (Polygenic Risk Score).
2. Introduction to PRS: This section will cover how to calculate PRS, run PRS software, and interpret PRS results.
3. Advanced PRS topics: You’ll delve into pathway PRS and using PRS to detect rare variants.
4. PRS in diverse ancestries: We’ll address the PRS Portability Problem and explore methods for overcoming it. You’ll also learn about PRS for diverse and admixed population samples.
5. PRS mini research project: As a group, you’ll devise, perform, and present a research project related to the course content. This will be done in groups of 4-5 attendees.
By the end of the course, you’ll be able to:
– Discuss how GWAS and PRS methods help us understand disease causes.
– Explain how PRS is used to determine genetic risk for complex diseases.
– Perform essential steps for PRS analysis using standard approaches and tools.
– Apply relevant tools and software to analyze diverse and admixed population genomics datasets.
– Evaluate and interpret results from PRS analyses.
– Customize the visualization of PRS analysis results
To attend this workshop, it is expected that participants have some prior knowledge of GWAS, preferably having performed GWAS analyses before or having a good understanding of the basics. Additionally, participants should be experienced in computational genetics analyses and related software. This workshop is designed for students and scientists who are familiar with computational research rather than only wet lab or clinical studies.
Who can attend?
The target audience for this workshop is students and scientists based in Africa who are interested in the theory and/or application of polygenic risk scores. This is particularly important for those conducting research in fields such as bioinformatics, genetic epidemiology, population genetics, statistical genetics, clinical genetics, and quantitative genetics.
How to apply:
It’s important to note that applications must be supported by a recommendation from a scientific or clinical sponsor, such as a supervisor, line manager, or head of department. During the application process, a request for a supporting statement will be sent to your nominated sponsor automatically. Applicants must ensure that their sponsor provides this supporting statement by the application deadline. Applications without a supporting statement cannot be considered.
The course is funded by Wellcome Connecting Science, and it is free to attend.
But, if you need financial assistance for travel, accommodation, and living expenses during the course, you can apply for a bursary. Just fill out the “bursary” section on the course application form. The recipients of the bursaries will be informed of their award along with their course acceptance. Both the applicant and sponsor need to provide a justification for the bursary as part of the application process.
5th March, 2024.