1 August 2020
Nature & Nurture: Twin Research and Human Genetics
Do twins hold the key to understanding complex human traits and diseases? Can they resolve the age-old debate between nature and nurture? What is determined by our DNA, what comes from our environment? Thanks to recent technological advances, we are closer than ever to explaining where our individual differences come from. Our ability to map human DNA at high resolution in large populations is now enabling us to link genetic variation to traits and disease at the molecular level.
This interdisciplinary course puts you at the forefront of these exciting and important developments. You focus on twins to explore the interplay of genes and environment in determining behaviour, lifestyle and health.
Uniquely, you gain hands-on access to the world-renowned Netherlands Twin Register at VU Amsterdam – one of the largest longitudinal databases of its kind. Your tutors are scientists closely associated with this core asset, the people who collect the information and work with it on a daily basis to unravel the genetic etiology of a wide range of medical conditions and personal characteristics. They train you in working with twin data and information from genomics and epigenetics. You learn how to collect material on behaviour and health and how to use molecular data to better understand the path from genetics to medicine. Naturally, we also cover the theoretical and philosophical background to help you interpret genetic studies, understand effective methods and designs and increase your understanding of complex human traits.
Jenny van Dongen, prof. Meike Bartels, Dr Abdel Abdellaoui, prof. Dr Dorret I. Boomsma, prof. Dr Eco J. C. de Geus, prof. Dr Conor Dolan, Dr Michel Nivard, Dr Dennis van ‘t Ent, Dr Elsje van Bergen, Dr Gonneke Willemsen, Dr Jouke-Jan Hottenga, Dr Rick Jan
All students and professionals interested in the rapidly evolving field of human genetics, especially those aspiring to join its international research community. This summer school is also a good introduction to the research master Genes in Behaviour and Health. If you have doubts about your eligibility for the course, please let us know. Our courses are multi-disciplinary and therefore are open to students and professionals with a wide variety of backgrounds. Experience with BSc-level statistics and research methods is recommended.
At the end of this course, you:
•Understand and can interpret results from genetic studies of complex human behavioural traits.
•Understand the current state of human genetics research in a historical perspective and can contribute to discussions about gene-environment interaction.
•Can analyse genetically informative twin and family data.
•Understand the assessment and diagnosis of traits and phenotypes.
•Can work with multiple “-omics” data: genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics (gene expression) and microbiomics.
Contact Hours: 45
Do you want to make the most out of your summer? You can combine this course with a course in session 1 to create a 4-week Summer School in Amsterdam.
EUR 1150: The tuition fee includes:
• Airport pick-up service
• Welcome goodie bag
• Orientation programme
• Course excursions
• On-site support
• Emergency assistance
• Transcript of records after completion of the course
An early bird discount of €150 is available for students who apply and pay before 15 March, and students from VU Amsterdam as well as from exchange partner universities will receive a €250 discount. You apply for the discount simply by indicating that you are currently a student at VU Amsterdam or at a partner university in the online application.
There are also discounts for students who attend multiple sessions, combine 2 courses and receive a €200 discount and combine 3 to receive a €300 discount. All courses include excursions. We will also organize trips and excursions as part of our social programme, which is a great way to get to know your fellow students and learn more about Amsterdam and the Netherlands. The social programme is not included in the tuition fee.
Furnished accommodation is available. Various housing options will be offered.
VU Amsterdam Summer School offers three kinds of scholarships: the Academic Scholarship, the Photographer Scholarship and the Vlogger/Videographer Scholarship. More information can be found on the VU Amsterdam Summer School website.