August at EMBL-EBI saw the launch of the very first EMBO Practical Course in Genotype to Phenotype mapping. Twenty-nine participants from numerous countries attended the five-day event, where they gained practical training in bioinformatic methods, and learnt new skills to process, analyse and assess the impact of their data under rigorous statistical frameworks.
by Laura Emery
With a combination of lectures, practical exercises and discussion sessions, the course provided participants with a solid theoretical understanding of association mapping methods, QTL (quantitative trait locus) analysis, heritability, and a breadth of issues relating to genotype to phenotype mapping at large. Sixteen leading experts provided and an excellent forum for discussion of current methods in the field, and the course brought together people from diverse backgrounds and common research interests to create excellent networking opportunities.
Highlights included Adam Eyre-Walker’s insightful introduction to variation data, which posed intriguing questions and major challenges; while Simon Andrew’s introduction to RNA-seq data processing provided a wonderfully efficient and effective overview of steps needed to pre-process and analyse raw RNA-seq data. The course was a huge success, with one participant commenting: “I gained a good overview of what is possible in the field, what are the pitfalls, and what are the current challenges. The interaction with my colleagues was also great. Very much recommended!”.