Molecular Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases

Epidemiology has been proven valuable to identify associations between exposure and disease, in particular because it enables us to study long-term effects of ‘normal’ variation in exposure in populations. However, traditional epidemiology does so without obtaining information of the biological processes that underlie these associations. Molecular epidemiology has the power to open up this ‘black box’. Molecular epidemiology will not only enhance the measurement of exposure, effect, and susceptibility, it will also give insight in complex biological mechanisms, and generate novel hypotheses about disease mechanisms. Molecular epidemiology will thereby increase opportunities for better targeted public health interventions.

Date: June 16-20, 2014

Target audience: PhD students or postdoctoral fellows from epidemiology, biology, medicine, and statistics, as well as at those working in public health, who want to become acquainted with this expanding research area.

Program: A challenging five days course to grasp the essentials of molecular epidemiology: combining information from molecular biomarkers that are more and more often obtained with omics technologies with lifestyle and environmental factors, to understand disease occurrence and prognosis in population-based studies. The challenges faced in this multi-disciplinary endeavour are manifold. This course brings together the different fields of expertise involved in molecular epidemiological research in a comprehensive and integrated manner. Participants will be confronted with issues ranging from study design to statistical analysis, and interpretation of findings in the context of public health. Focus lies especially on methodological issues, with a variety of disease settings used as illustration.

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