CB 399: Microbial Genomics Spring 2015

Microbial Genomics

Course Director: Dr. Bill Hanage
Course Instructors: Dr. Bill Hanage, Dr. Cheryl Andam, Dr. Daria Van Tyne

Curriculum Fellow: Zofia Gajdos, Zofia_Gajdos@hms.harvard.edu

Genomic analysis of microbes can be used for questions from identifying genes under selection to the contents of the microbiome or tracking outbreaks and their evolution. The nanocourse in microbial genomics will introduce students to the principles of genome sequencing and assembly, and then what you do with the data you get out. It will be taught by Drs Cheryl Andam and Daria Van Tyne along with the course organizer Dr Bill Hanage from the Faculty in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of public health.

The course will take place over two afternoons, one week apart. In the first week we will discuss how genome sequencing works with a focus on Illumina technology, the ways in which raw data can be combined into an assembled ‘draft’ genome, the difference between this and a ‘finished’ genome, and how data can be used without assembly in microbiome studies. We will then talk about variation in a population sample, and how it can be identified, with a special focus on variation in genome content – a common feature of closely related bacteria – and SNP calling. We will also introduce a recent paper for discussion in a journal club format in the 2nd week.

In the first week, students will be grouped together into teams and challenged to develop a proposal for research making use of genomic methods. The second week students will introduce short presentations, pitching their ideas to faculty and their peers. The goal of this is to foster creative thinking about how to use these novel technologies, and develop robust research questions. Following this, the class will close with a journal club discussion of the paper introduced in the first week.

If enrollment permits, students will be grouped on the basis of their pre-declared interests and background, to work on proposals that are maximally relevant to their own academic development. 

Schedule:

First Session: Wednesday, March 4, 1 – 4 PM  
Location: TMEC Building, Room 227

Second Session: Wednesday, March 11, 1 – 4 PM  
Location: TMEC 448

 

DROP DEADLINE: Wednesday February 25, 2015

 

AUDITORS (Post-Docs, Faculty, or Staff) DO NOT NEED TO SIGN UP TO ATTEND THE 1st SESSION.  PLEASE DO NOT ENROLL.