Genome-Wide Association Studies: Why, How and then What?

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About the course

Teaching is organized as a four-day intensive online-course (Zoom). The course consists of a series of lectures and workshops. Practical tasks will be conducted on a server. Accounts and passwords to access the server will be provided on the first course day. Additionally, participants should read recommended literature and prepare a final report on a given topic.


3 ECTS (directly available for PhD students of the Medical Faculty at UiO, PhD students at other faculties and universities should ask about availability at their educational offices)




Course content

The majority of human traits including common diseases are polygenic in nature, that is, they are affected by numerous genetic variants with small individual effects. During the past couple of decades thousands of genetic loci associated with various human traits have been discovered throughout the genome using Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS). Although GWAS proved to be an effective approach to investigate the genetic architecture of complex human traits, it has left several questions unanswered setting the stage for more research to be conducted building on it.

In the course we will cover:

  • basic aspects of genetics and statistics important for understanding the GWAS framework
  • essential stages of the standard GWAS pipeline, including processing of raw genotypes, imputation, QC, association (meta-) analysis and interpretation of association results. Tools to conduct these steps (including practical training)
  • publicly available resources providing access to GWAS summary statistics, online analysis tools and other related data
  • several strategies for advanced post-GWAS analysis, including polygenic risk assessment and investigation of genetic overlap and correlation between different traits (including practical tasks)
  • projects conducted in Norway and specifically in NORMENT


4 days (22.03.2021 – 25.03.2021)
Start time at 9:30, 3.5 - 4 hours per day (including breaks)

View the program (PDF)

Course materials

Course materials (Onedrive link)


Basic knowledge of genetics and statistics as well as some experience with UNIX command line (workshops) would be beneficial for smooth advance through the course


The exam will be in the form of reports that participants should prepare within 3 weeks after the course week. Topics for the reports will be discussed at the last day of the course. Reports will be evaluated and classified as “pass” or “fail” within two weeks after receiving. You will also get reviewer’s comments on your report regardless of the outcome.

Alternatively, participants can opt for presentation (on Zoom). Similarly to reports, presentations should be prepared within 3 weeks after the course week and then presented and discussed with a course commission on an agreed day.

Other information

If you have any questions, please contact Alexey Shadrin (


Emneord: GWAS, Genome-Wide Association Studies, NORMENT, Genetics, Statistics
Publisert 2. mars 2021 14:49 - Sist endret 22. mars 2021 14:05