Transcriptomics Courses

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7th-10th February (**)

9th-11th May (**)

27st-30th June (*)

26th-29th September (*)


 (*) If interested in these dates, please contact 


(**) Registration for these courses is instead handled directly by the Life Science Zurich Graduate School.

Please refer to the graduate school directly.

Course Description

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have revolutionized many fields in biology and are changing the practice of medicine. As a joint state-of-the-art research and training facility of the ETH and the University of Zurich, the Functional Genomics Center Zurich (FGCZ) offers a four-day course with hands-on practicals. The aim is to help scientists interested in NGS technologies, particularly applied to RNA sequencing, to gain a better understanding of the techniques available and their applications. This course is not meant to replace any manufacturers’ training normally supplied with an instrument.

The practical consists of a library preparation starting from polyA enriched RNA, followed by a sequencing run on a bench top sequencer. An introduction to the analyses of the resulting data and some exercises will be offered too. The lectures cover existing and upcoming NGS technologies, their applications and the principles of downstream data analysis

The hands-on sessions for data analysis does neither require a pre-existing knowledge of Unix nor the command line environment. This course is not intended to be a training course for those solely interested in next-generation sequencing bioinformatics. The data analysis part starts off from the raw reads, as generated by the instrument, and cover pre-processing, alignment, several quality control checkpoints, transcripts expression quantification and differential expression analysis.

By the end of the course participants should be able to make informed decisions about which technology and workflow to apply to solve specific research questions.

Course Programme

Library Prep

  • PolyA RNA-seq
    library generation: principles and types


  • Detailed description of available sequencing technologies platforms
  • Hands-on laboratory work: preparing and performing sequencing runs

Data analysis

  • Run QC: Criteria for run performance and quality of data
  • Preprocessing of the raw data
  • Mapping the data to a reference
  • Mapping quality control for RNA-seq data
  • Transcripts expression quantification and tests for differential expression
  • Set-based analysis (e.g., pathways, GO-categories)
  • IT and awareness of the data storage and its size

Important facts and how to apply


The course will be entirely taught in English.


The course is limited to 8 participants only.

Target audience and prerequisites

Applicants should be postdoctoral scientists, PhD students or masters students actively engaged in or soon to commence research involving next generation sequencing technology.


The course tuition fees for members of the University of Zürich and ETHZ is CHF 500.00 (Swiss francs) per person. For external academics (non-UZH and non-ETHZ) the cost is CHF 1200.00 per person. An invoice will be issued upon registration. This invoice will be sent out by email as well as a hard copy by regular mail/post.

When a course is open for registration, a an active link will be present at the bottom of this page and a provisional email will be sent to those who register, reserving their place. However, only upon the payment of the correspondent tuition fee, will the participant have a definite place confirmed. Thus, the invoice should be paid within two weeks of the registration date; otherwise the provisional reservation will be cancelled.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need any additional information or encounter any problems.


Please beware that travel expenses, accommodation and meals are not included in the Tuition Fee. These will be entirely covered by the participant.

PhD Students at the Life Science Zurich Graduate School

PhD students accepted into one of the PhD programs of the Life Science Zurich Graduate School can access the courses through the Life Science Zurich Graduate School under the following link:

Modul: BIO680 Life Sciences: RNA Sequencing - a practical course


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Thu Jul 20 21:27:02 CEST 2017
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