Advanced Analysis of Genome-wide Association Studies [ESP74]

Course highlights

EC points


Start date


End date


Course days

Monday to Friday (5 full days)


Prof. Fernando Rivadeneira and others

Course fee

€ 988


Erasmus MC, Rotterdam NL




Basic understanding of genetic epidemiology and statistics (regression analysis and maximum likelihood estimation).

See course description below for more information.


  • Genetic Epidemiology


Go to the ESP website

Detailed information about this course:


Faculty: Prof. Fernando Rivadeneira, MD PhD and others

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) constitute a powerful approach to investigate the genetic basis of complex traits and disorders. The course consists of lectures providing a conceptual framework on crucial aspects of quality control, genotype imputation, methods to detect and correct for stratification, meta-analysis and genomic annotation of GWAS signals. An overview of the most frequently used statistical tools will be accompanied by instructive hands-on computer exercises on the principles of analysis of quantitative traits and disease outcomes. State of the art procedures for running GWAS will be taught, including: Quality Control / QC (PLINK2); GWAS analysis including mixed models (rvtests and SAGE); Meta-analysis QC (EasyQC); and GWAS Meta-analysis (METAL). Post-GWAS functional follow-up procedures will include downstream analysis (FINEMAP and FUMA). While theoretical background is provided on all topics, this is by definition a "hands-on" practical course, meaning you will spend most of the day performing genetic analyses. The course format will allow interactive break-out discussion sessions on theoretical and practical aspects of running GWAS, together with expert-advice procurement on diverse components of collaborative research within networks and consortia.

Participants of this course should be familiar running Linux commands and with running scripts and packages in R-programming language. These skills are taught in the NIHES courses: EL016 (GE14) "Linux for Scientists" and EL019 (GE03) "Genome-wide Association Studies"; and participants are encouraged to follow these courses in advance.

Note for participants of the 2021 NIHES GE03 edition! This edition of GE03 was an advanced version, so content overlap with this ESP74 will be present. Please inquire before registering. There is no overlap for participants of the 2022 edition of the course (now EL019).


This course aims to train participants in the principles of GWAS, addressing aspects of study design, data analysis, extending to the interpretation and follow-up of results.

After completing the course, participants will be able to understand the principles of GWAS; perform genome-wide association analysis using state-of-the-art software tools; interpret GWAS results; and integrate them in a genomic context by means of web-based bioinformatics resources.

Participant profile

Clinical researchers, clinical epidemiologists, molecular biologists, bioinformaticians and biostatisticians aspiring to run analyses of genome-wide association studies.



Reduction on fees


No fees are charged for participation of Erasmus MC PhD candidates

Please note that in case of cancellation or no show, the cancellation policy applies based on the full course fee.

50% reduction on our fees for participating institutes of NIHES

This 50% reduction is offered to participants formally appointed at the departments or sections participating in NIHES.

University Medical Center Rotterdam/Erasmus University Rotterdam:

  • Department of Epidemiology
  • Department of Public Health
  • Department of Psychiatry, Section of Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy
  • Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Psychology
  • Department of Medical Informatics
  • Department of General Practice
  • Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management
  • Generation R

50% reduction on our fees for NIHES affiliated partners

This 50% reduction is offered to participants formally appointed at the following NIHES affiliated partners:

University Medical Center Rotterdam/Erasmus University Rotterdam, departments of:

  • Dermatology
  • General Paediatrics
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Rehabilitation Medicine

UMIT, Department of Public Health, Health Services Research and Health Technology Assessment.

25% reduction on our fees for Erasmus MC employees

For participants formally appointed at all departments of Erasmus MC (except the departments mentioned above and Erasmus MC PhD candidates).

25% reduction for all (international) PhD students without formal appointment at Erasmus MC

Upon receipt of your application you will receive a request to upload proof of enrollment as a PhD student.