Overview of the International Statistical Genetics (ISG) Workshops

Every year, the Institute for Behavioral Genetics and Director Matthew Keller are proud to host the International Statistical Genetics Workshop. There are three workshops held on a rotating basis: a Latent Genetics Course, a Molecular Genetics Course, and a Virtual Course held remotely via zoom focussing on mixed content.

The Latent Genetics Course is held locally in Boulder during the first week of March every three years (planned for 2024, 2027, and 2030). Topics of instruction vary, but typically include: causes of variation; path analysis; univariate twin analysis; biometrical genetics; introduction to R programming; likelihood; matrix algebra; categorical data; between group heterogeneity; multivariate phenotypic factor and genetic analysis; developmental models; power analysis; extended twin designs; SNP-(co-)heritability; Genomic SEM; Mendelian randomization; responsible conduct of research. 

The Molecular Genetics Course is held locally in Boulder during the first week of March every three years (planned for 2025, 2028, and 2031). Topics of instruction vary, but typically include: an introduction to statistical and genetic theory, principles of common and rare variant genome-wide association studies (GWAS); rare variant burden analysis; meta-analysis of GWAS; polygenic risk scores; family-based association; functional analysis; SNP-(co-)heritability; Genomic SEM; Mendelian randomization; responsible conduct of research. 

The Virtual Course is held remotely over zoom during the first two weeks of June every three years (planned for 2026, 2029, and 2032). Students can sign up for session A (most convenient for Europe/Africa/South America/Eastern North America) or session B (most convenient for Western North America, Asia, and Australia). This workshop will be a mix of both molecular genetic and latent genetic content that is pitched at a slightly more introductory level than the in-person workshops. We employ a "flipped classroom" strategy for virtual workshops: students are required to watch ~ 2 hours of video lectures before coming to class and can ask questions in the forum as they watch them. Students then attend a live zoom lecture, where the instructor will provide a ~30-minute overview of that day's topic, answer any questions students have, and explain that day's practical. Students then go to zoom breakout rooms of ~5 students/room, where they will work together to complete the practical. The total live session is ~ 3-4 hours each of 8 days across two weeks.

Students work on their own laptops or one can be supplied to them for in-person workshops. Extensive hands-on practicals will help students gain experience in mastering the topics of study.

Financial support for this workshop is provided by grant MH19918 from the National Institute of Mental Health.