Presented by Dr. Colter Mitchell, this is the fifth day of a 5-day workshop on international research using the Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS) as a featured case study, but will draw on several data resources (e.g. Health and Retirement Study family of studies). This short course briefly introduces students to the major issues surrounding using genomic data to study health and behavior in lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The first major topic includes introductions into common methods of DNA sample collection strategies, including the costs and benefits of each, and common pitfalls in the collection and assaying of DNA. Discussions of major ethical and conceptual issues to consider in designing a genomic study will be covered. Following this is a discussion of common analytic strategies used in health and sociogenomic research, including, genome wide association studies, polygenic scores, family models, and gene-environment interactions. The course concludes with potential week-long, semester, and year-long courses to follow-up in more detail. This course is both a guide to next steps for genomic work in international settings and also to the genomic data of CVFS.
Dr. Colter Mitchell is interested in the influence of the social and familial environmental on health and behavior over the life course. His earlier research focused mainly on the social environment and child and young adult behavior in early life. Over the last decade, he has expanded on this research by examining how social contextual factors interact with genetic, epigenetic, and neurodevelopment factors to predict health and wellbeing over the life course, including in later life.