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Rockefeller University to Offer Three-Day Microarray Analysis Course for Biologists

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For those suffering from micro- array analysis paralysis, and others hoping to deepen their understanding of array analysis beyond the use of prepackaged software, Rockefeller University in New York City is holding a three-day course on analysis of DNA microarrays, from April 18 to 20, 2002.

The course is targeted mainly at biologists, although statisticians and computer scientists who want to understand statistical analysis of microarray data are also welcome to apply, said Richard Simon, who heads up the molecular statistics and bioinformatics section at the National Cancer Institute and is teaching the course.

“Many biologists do not have access to experienced statistical collaborators, and in fact there is a shortage of statisticians available with substantial practical experience in microarray expression data,” said Simon. “As a result, many biologists are having difficulty taking advantage of the potential of DNA microarray technology.”

The course, which Simon will teach along with Jurg Ott, a professor in Rockefeller’s laboratory of statistical genetics and Yaning Yang, an assistant professor of laboratory genetics at Rockefeller, is designed to help biologists to sort out the different analysis methods and figure out which ones fit which experimental problems.

“The field of analysis methods is in flux and we will attempt to help investigators distinguish the important analysis tools that have recently been developed from trendy methods that actually are not reliable for microarray expression data,” said Simon.

The course will cover study design issues such as sources of variation, uses of internal reference samples, and the number of replicates needed for a study of a certain power. It will also address image analysis, normalization methods, as well as higher-order analysis and will address both cDNA and oligo platforms.

While participants will be apprised of various software packages, Simon will also make available BRB-ArrayTools software, an analysis package he designed, for solving specific problem sets.

On Friday evening, there will be an optional session in which participants can present research and receive suggestions on the analytical and bioinformatics aspects of their work.

The course is limited to 30 participants, and applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, said Simon. The fee is $750 for academic scientists and $1,500 for those at private companies, and does not include room, board, or transportation.

For more information, contact Katherine Montague: [email protected], Tel +1 (212) 327-7979 or Fax +1 (212) 327-7996.

— MMJ

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