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New introductory training course a hit

We ran a new 2 day training course for the first time last week, ideally suited to new PhD students, ‘Introduction to Mouse Genetics & Phenotyping’, which was a great success.

Starting a new PhD can be a daunting process, with huge volumes of information to absorb and a new environment and way of working to adapt to. To kick-start the process, on 19-20 October 2015 we ran a course for those starting out in mouse genetics to introduce them to the field.

Consisting of a series of talks interspersed with workshops or group discussions, the course covered a great swathe of relevant topics. These included important considerations such as ethical approval, how to choose a suitable background strain and technique, in vivo and post-mortem phenotyping techniques, and methods for studying mutations during development and adulthood. It also pointed them towards a wealth of useful resources, including mouse line archives and databases, to identify relevant mouse models and analyse the data available on them.

Overall, the course was very popular, with 80% of the participants saying that they would recommend it. A particular highlight for many of the participants was a tour around the Mary Lyon Centre, an optional addition to the course, but all parts of the course received praise from at least one participant. We have taken on board all of the feedback and suggestions from the course, including a general feeling that it should be extended to three days to give ample time for every section. One participant requested that the course is run on an annual basis, a prospect we intend to implement.

We hope that this course has set up those who attended with a solid basis on which to build their research in mouse genetics, equipping them with the knowledge they need to go on to great things, and we look forward to welcoming a new group to MRC Harwell again next year.

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