Introduction in Genetics
Full course description
While genetic liability to neurological and psychiatric disorders has been established, the search for the responsible genetic factors is still ongoing. This workshop focuses on how genetic variations confer risk of complex diseases. Students will gain insight, by using theoretical models, into how these alterations affect DNA transcription, RNA processing and protein synthesis, ultimately leading to variation in phenotype expression. An initial overview is given of sources of genetic variation, ranging from large scale alterations in the genome structure to common variations such as single nucleotide polymorphisms. Advantages and disadvantages of current strategies in genomic research, such as genome wide association studies, will be examined. Regulation of gene expression including epigenetic processes such as DNA methylation and histone modifications are then discussed. At the end of this course, students will be able to better understand, interpret and critically evaluate recent reports on large scale genetic studies of common complex diseases.
Students will be able to understand:
genetic variation, polymorphisms, copy number variations, haplotypes, linkage analysis, linkage disequilibrium, mendelian inheritance, population genetics, epigenetics, genetics of complex neuropsychiatric diseases, genome wide association studies, regulation of gene expression, DNA methylation, histone modifications, gene-environment interplay, micro-RNA.