This is a request for a three-year continuation of support for short courses on Next Generation Sequencing Technology and Statistical Methods, first launched in 2011 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Major efforts are underway to uncover the specific genetic components of many complex human disorders and quantitative traits. These efforts include rapidly evolving technologies for next-generation sequencing that will generate an unprecedented wealth of data. As genomic datasets take on greater dimensionality, biomedical researchers require increasingly sophisticated statistical analyses that maximize the information gleaned from each study. Likewise, many advances have been made in statistical methods for the study of complex genetic traits, and new statistical methods continue to be promulgated. We recognize a need to integrate the division of labor between clinical researchers and biostatisticians, and we aim to meet this need by equipping new investigators with the tools necessary to conduct research at the cutting edge of technology and methodology. To expedite and significantly advance the search for specific genes of interest, we propose a series of annual short courses on next-generation sequencing technologies and statistical genomics which will enable a far greater number of researchers, including clinical researchers, to participate in, contribute to, and lead such research. These short courses will help equip students, post- doctoral fellows, junior investigators and senior investigators to expedite genomic discovery. The courses will be taught by leading experts in next-generation sequencing and statistical genetics/genomics. Each 4-day courses will provide substantial familiarity with new technologies for next-generation sequencing, bioinformatics, and in statistical methods pertaining to these technologies and "hands-on" computer training that will effectively increase the number and the expertise of investigators who are pursuing genetic and genomic research. This is a unique course containing instructions in technology, bioinformatics, and statistical methods for next-generation sequencing. We expect approximately 50 students to attend each course, allowing for intensive interaction between participants and faculty. Lectures will be supplemented with extensive discussion sessions, hands-on computing, handouts, and presentation of worked examples.
As genomic sequence data becomes affordable for a growing number of researchers, the field of public health faces a critical shortage of investigators traine in next generation sequencing research. As a consequence of the data deluge, there is a great need for short courses in today's workforce, particularly in academic medical centers and the pharmaceutical industry. We propose an annual short course each year for 3 years on next-generation sequencing and analysis methods for investigators studying complex traits. Taught by leading experts in next-generation sequencing technology and statistical genomics, these courses will be aimed at statisticians and non-statistician investigators who wish to learn both the rapidly evolving technology and 'language'of statistical genomics. The course is intended to serve either current investigators or those in the early stages of a career in genetic/genomic research.