Course aim
This course aims to provide training in the skills required to generate and interpret next generation sequencing data in a public health setting.

This year's course will have a strong emphasis on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and its spread, whilst also training participants in the latest laboratory and computational methods for next generation sequence analysis and genomic surveillance.

Course background
This is a focused course that was established in 2013 to build strong links between traditional methods of epidemiological surveillance, modern molecular typing methods and those based on genomics. Although the course is built around genomic surveillance the focus of this course is designed to reflect regional public health priorities, and this
year's course will have a strong emphasis on AMR.

World-wide over the last few years the surveillance community has been at a crossroads; deciding whether to continue with traditional methods or to embrace the unprecedented advances in genomics, sequencing technology and our ability to interpret high resolution sequence data for surveillance purposes. This debate has now been resolved and we are now seeing a shift from the use of molecular typing data for epidemiological surveillance and public health investigations of infectious disease to using whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) for this purpose. In some settings WGS is now being used to define outbreaks and trace infection sources in humans, animals and the environment. This approach also offers enormous promise for predicting antimicrobial resistance phenotypes.

Existing studies that have used genomics for mapping the spread of pathogens have highlighted two things, firstly that genomic datasets are growing day by day and they offer the context against which to understand local patterns of disease. Secondly these studies also highlight the power gained from public health scientists and academic research scientists working together to better understand infectious disease. This is the foundation of this course and expert instructors have been assembled from a wide range of settings in Latin America and Europe, including national and international public health organisations and front line high-profile genomic research organisations. We recognise the synergy between academic research and public health and this is your opportunity to strengthen this effort by attending the course.

We also have a strong focus on “Train the Trainer” and there will be opportunities to develop your teaching skills and feedback on how these courses can be improved to facilitate participants teaching the skills they have learnt back in their own countries.

Target audience
The course is targeted at clinical molecular biologists and microbiologists working in resource-limited countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Please note: The course is free to attend for non-commercial applicants. 
Applicants should have training in standard microbiology lab techniques (pipetting, handling of biological samples, etc.). There are 20 places available and the course will be held in English (with language support provided where necessary by Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking instructors).

The 2017 course will be hosted by the Microbiology Faculty and the Research Center for Molecular and Cell Biology at the main campus of the University of Costa Rica in San José.

Application Deadline:

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(or call us: +44 (0)1223 496910)