Courses

Evolutionary Genomics and Bioinformatics
The course deals with evolutionary processes on a molecular and genetic level and provides training in analytical methods related to detecting genetic variation, phylogenetics, recombination, horizontal gene transfer, comparative genomics, and the analysis of microbiomes. The course includes twice weekly evolutionary genomics and bioinformatics lab sessions which provide training in analytical methods related to genetic variation, detecting selection, phylogenetics, genome annotation, comparative genomics, RNAseq and microbiomes. The course will include learning to program in Python and using R for data analysis and visualization.

Human Genome Analysis
This course covers current topics in genetics and and the social, ethical and legal issues surrounding genetic technology. Topics include genome structure and evolution, genetics of disease, personal genomics, human microbiomes and epidemiology. Students will have the opportunity to submit their DNA for genome-wide SNP. Practical skills for analyzing genetic and genomic data are taught through weekly bioinformatic sessions in the R statistical programming language.

Gut Feelings: Learning to Foster Better Microbiome Relationships
Microbes...are they good or are they bad? Do they control your thoughts and actions? We are realizing the collection of microbes in and on our body, the human microbiome, acts like an organ affecting our health and behavior. This seminar will help you understand the science that is discovering who is in a microbiome and how they are influencing the world around us. You will have the opportunity to submit samples and analysze data from your own gut microbiome. By learning methods for generating and analyzing microbial data you will be able make sense of the scientific literature and develop your own hypotheses. We will then investigate host-microbiome relationships. Is the American diet fostering poor microbiome health? How does the gut microbiome differ among people around the world? Can better soil microbiomes improve agriculture? Does rolling in the dirt prevent Asthma? Should you take microbiome killing antibiotics? What is the role of the microbiome in Parkinson's and Autism? Should we include microbes in our design of built environments?

Microbiome Journal/Project Club
Each year the topically focus of this 1 credit seminar varies, but always includes hands-on investigation of new computational methods for analyzing genomic data.