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Instructor-led course

Provided by: Bioinformatics

This course has 1 scheduled run. To book a place, please choose your preferred date:

Thu 17 Oct 2019

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Open Targets: Integrating genetics and genomics for disease biology and translational medicine


Open Targets is a public-private partnership to use human genetics, genomic data and drug information for systematic identification and prioritisation of therapeutic targets. This module introduces the Open Targets partnership, its underlying projects and the bioinformatics resources for researchers studying associations of human genes with diseases.

We offer interactive and hands-on experience with Open Targets Platform and Open Targets Genetics, open source tools of integrated biological and chemical data for drug target identification and prioritisation. We cover user cases relevant to the biomedical and pharmaceutical communities and can customise the course according to specific therapeutic areas.

Please note that if you are not eligible for a University of Cambridge Raven account you will need to book or register your interest by linking here.

Target audience
  • This course is suitable for anyone who has an interest in biomedical research and therapeutics with a special emphasis on drug discovery and target validation. It is also useful to those who wish to find out how large-scale genomic experiments, cellular models of disease and computational techniques are used to identify and validate the causal links between targets, pathways and diseases.
  • Graduate students, Postdocs and Staff members from the University of Cambridge, Affiliated Institutions and other external Institutions or individuals
  • Further details regarding eligibility criteria are available here
  • Some prior knowledge of basic genetics and molecular biology in addition to familiarity with some existing reference sources (e.g. Ensembl, UniProt) is desirable.
  • No programmatic skills required.
Topics covered

Bioinformatics, Data retrieval, Data visualisation, Database search, Genotype and phenotype, Pharmacogenomics


After this course you should be able to:

  • Find diseases associated with human genes
  • Explore biological evidence (e.g. germline variants, somatic mutations, differential expression, drugs in clinical trials) behind target-disease associations.
  • Retrieve annotations for targets and diseases (e.g. target tractability, target safety, disease ontology, latest bibliography)
  • Browse and rank gene-variant associations from UK Biobank and GWAS Catalog
  • Uncover likely causal variants based on fine mapping analyses
  • Explore and compare independent studies and traits to find common susceptibility loci

During this course you will learn about:

  • The Open Targets partnership and its goals
  • Open Targets bioinformatics resources for target identification and prioritisation
  • How to visualise and interpret target - disease associations
  • How to get annotations at both target and disease levels
  • The programmatic access of Open Targets Platform and Open Targets Genetics

Presentations, demonstrations and practicals

Registration fees
  • Free for University of Cambridge students
  • £ 50/day for all University of Cambridge staff, including postdocs, and participants from Affiliated Institutions. Please note that these charges are recovered by us at the Institutional level
  • £ 50/day for all other academic participants from external Institutions and charitable organizations. These charges must be paid at registration
  • £ 100/day for all Industry participants. These charges must be paid at registration
  • Further details regarding the charging policy are available here



A number of times per year

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