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Molecular Data for Infectious Diseases

Learn how to choose and implement the best available molecular methods for infectious disease projects conducted in low-resource settings.

Deadline: 1 September 2023

Short Courses

  • Distance learning

  • Face-to-face

  • Antwerp

5 ECTS Credits



About the course


Despite rapid advances in molecular methods, their implementation in low-resource environments often remains cumbersome due to logistic, financial, and human resource constraints. MID focusses on the selection and analysis of appropriate assays and their implementation in a particular research setting:

  • MID is a course for experienced molecular biologists.
  • The main focus is to select and implement the proper molecular tools for a given project, and to collect good quality data.
  • Such project is an epidemiological or clinical infectious disease study in a resource-limited setting.
  • The molecular tools are DNA or RNA-based.
  • Examples of topics are pathogen and vector detection and identification and their application in clinical and epidemiological studies.

You need be aware that MID is NOT:

  • A course on molecular biology techniques. When you follow MID, we assume you are already familiar with the technical aspects. In the course we focus on applying these techniques in a correct way, implement good quality controls, and building the tools for collecting good quality data.
  • There is no hands-on lab training in MID. We assume that MID students are experienced molecular biologists, and are able to carry out a molecular biology protocol correctly when provided with a good SOP.
  • A training on the specific disease or pathogen you work on. We use pre-designed projects from the research field of teachers and coaches, which means you probably need to step away from your own work for the duration of the course.
  • A bioinformatics course. Even though some parts of the course require application of bioinformatic tools and in silico sequence analysis, this is not the focus of MID. If you are expecting a training on next-generation sequencing, please do not register for MID.

Learning objectives

At the end of the course the student should be able to:

  • select the most appropriate molecular methods for detection or characterization of an etiological agent or vector, in order to answer specific questions in a clinical or epidemiological research context, and given the restrictions in terms of infrastructure, logistics, personnel, ethics, and budget.
  • plan accurate molecular data collection and analysis in a resource-limited context.
  • infer research conclusions given the limitations of the proposed methods and sample.
  • present the selected methodology and implementation plan orally and in writing, with clear argumentation of relevance and feasibility.
  • work actively in a team to design and present the implementation strategy.
  • explain clinical and epidemiological study designs and concepts.

Tuition fee

€ 730 EEA / 1900 non-EEA

Course Administrator(s)

  • Nadia Ehlinger

Course Leader(s)

  • Gert Van der Auwera

Course Coordinator(s)

  • Gert Van der Auwera