Program Details

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.
Location:
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Graduate
Term:
Summer

Program Overview

Program Description:

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.

 

Learning objectives:

  • You understand and can interpret results from genetic studies of complex human behavioural traits.

  • You understand the current state of human genetics research in a historical perspective and can contribute to discussions about gene-environment interaction.

  • You can analyse genetically informative twin and family data.

  • You understand the assessment and diagnosis of traits and phenotypes.

  • You can work with multiple “-omics” data: genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics (gene expression) and microbiomics.

Setting Description:
With over 180 unique nationalities, Amsterdam is a melting pot of cultures and embraces different cultures, religions, and lifestyles. 165 canals criss-cross the entire city, giving it its nickname ‘Venice of the North.’ The city also features more bikes than inhabitants! With a bustling creative industry, Amsterdam offers plenty of cultural activities and events throughout the year. In Amsterdam you can benefit from the advantages of a big city with enough quiet spots to kick back and relax.
Cost:
1000 EUR. 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

Additional Program Information

Scholarships:
Yes
Scholarships Description:
The VU Amsterdam Summer School offers ten scholarships that cover the full tuition and housing fees of one course. Information about how to apply for the scholarship will be posted on the VU Amsterdam Summer School website.

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