Nature and Nurture

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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. 

WHO SHOULD JOIN?
All students and professionals interested in the rapidly evolving field of human genetics, especially those aspiring to join its international research community. 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.

ADDITIONAL ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Experience with BSc-level statistics and research methods is recommended.

COURSE CONTENT
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. 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
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.

EXCURSIONS
Visits to biobank facilities and laboratories, and twin activities in Amsterdam. 

Details:

Location Amsterdam, Netherlands
Period
6 Jul 2019 - 20 Jul 2019
Levels Bachelor / Undergraduate
Master / Graduate
PhD
Professional
Credits 3.0 ECTS
Program fee 1,150 EUR
Accommodation fee 425 EUR
Extra information about the fee:
There are several accommodation options, ranging in price from €425 to €550. There are discounts:
€150 discount for early birds (register before 15 March, 23.59 CET).
€250 discount for all students from partner universities.
€200 discount when you apply for 2 courses, €300 when you apply for 3 courses.
€450 discount if you are currently a student at VU Amsterdam. Visit our website to see all housing options and for a list of partner universities.
Application deadline 1 May 2019
Entry requirements:
At least enrolled in 2nd year of Bachelor studies.

Contact information:

Mail: amsterdamsummerschool@vu.nl
Skype: VU Amsterdam Summer School - by appointment, email first
Telephone: +31 20 59 86429

Program's website