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Introduction to the complexity of understanding age-related disease
Provider: Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Activity no.: 3549-19-00-00 
Enrollment deadline: 06/10/2019
Date and time04.11.2019, at: 09:00 - 07.11.2019, at: 16:00
Regular seats15
Course fee6,240.00 kr.
LecturersRudi Westendorp
ECTS credits3.00
Contact personPia Nygaard    E-mail address: pia.nygaard@sund.ku.dk
Enrolment Handling/Course OrganiserPhD administration     E-mail address: phdkursus@sund.ku.dk

Aim and content
This course is free of charge for PhD students at Danish universities (except Copenhagen Business School), and for PhD students at graduate schools in the other Nordic countries. All other participants must pay the course fee.
Anyone can apply for the course, but if you are not a PhD student at a Danish university, you will be placed on the waiting list until enrollment deadline. This also applies to PhD students from Nordic countries. After the enrollment deadline, available seats will be allocated to applicants on the waiting list.

Course title
Introduction to the complexity of understanding age-related disease

Learning objectives
A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:

1. Understand the multifarious principle of the biology of aging;
2. Get insight into the importance of measuring the life time exposome to study health and disease in old age;
3. Understand the principle of causal inference aided by directed acyclic graphs;
4. Practice shaping a research idea from a life course perspective.

Aging is the strongest single risk factor underlying chronic degenerative disease but the underlying pathology is only poorly understood. Knowledge from evolutionary life history regulation points to investments in sex and reproduction which come at a cost of long-term maintenance and aging as the consequence. The pace and shape of the aging process is different between individuals and dependent on the environment in which our genome is expressed. It is key to identify the environmental exposures from conception throughout life as thoroughly as variation in the genome to identify underlying mechanisms of disease. Methods of causal inference in observational research, mimicking randomized controlled trials, are only one part of a larger set for studying cause and effect. Identifying causes needs integration of a wider range of methods to unravel the complex biomolecular mechanisms that drive aging. The appropriate understanding provides an evidence-base for (personalised) prevention and treatment to improve population health.

The PhD course is open for all students with an interest in human aging.

Relevance to graduate programmes
The course is relevant to PhD students from the following graduate programmes at the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences, UCPH:

All graduate programmes

The course is taught in English.

The course will be based on lectures, feedback sessions, group work, and discussions.
The assessment consists in the students writing an executive summary (individual essay of 800-1500 words) including one table or figure on a research proposal for understanding an age related ailment using a life course approach. The summary must be submitted one week after the course at the latest.

Course director
Rudi Westendorp, Professor, Department of Public Health and Center for Healthy Aging, westendorp@sund.ku.dk

- Rudi Westendorp, Professor of medicine at old age, Department of Public Health and Center for Healthy Aging, UCPH
- Zorana Jovanovic Andersen, Professor of environmental epidemiology, Department of Public Health, UCPH
- Naja Hulvej Rod, Professor of epidemiology, Department of Public Health, UCPH
- Others tba

4 – 7 November 2019

Course location
Panum, Blegdamsvej 3B, 2200 Copenhagen N

Please register before 6 October 2019

Seats to PhD students from other Danish universities will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and according to the applicable rules.
Applications from other participants will be considered after the last day of enrolment.

Note: All applicants are asked to submit invoice details in case of no-show, late cancellation or obligation to pay the course fee (typically non-PhD students). If you are a PhD student, your participation in the course must be in agreement with your principal supervisor.

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