• Knowledge of applied statistical methods used in epidemiological studies is assumed (e.g. epidemiological study designs, multiple logistic regression). No prior knowledge of genetics, instrumental variable techniques, or Mendelian randomization is necessary.

Computing practicals:

  • Participants will gain most from the practicals if they have a working knowledge of either R or Stata, and bring a laptop with R or Stata loaded. For others, it is possible to share the practical sessions with those participants who have this experience.

Course objectives:

    After the course, participants should have sufficient knowledge to undertake their own Mendelian randomization analyses, to understand the assumptions on which causal inferences are based, and to critically appraise published studies using Mendelian randomization.


Day 1

9.30   Registration and coffee
10.00   Welcome
10.15 Session 1
Motivation and introduction (SB)
10.45 Session 2 Estimation using individual-level data (CF)
11.15   Coffee
11.45 Session 3
Some examples of Mendelian randomization (CL)
12.15 Practical 1 Mendelian randomization using individual-level data
13.00   Lunch available
13.15   Practical wrap-up
14.00 Session 4 Summarized data and two-sample Mendelian randomization (VZ)
14.30 Session 5 Assumptions of Mendelian randomization (SB)
15.00 Practical 2
Mendelian randomization using summarized data
16.00   Practical wrap-up
16.15   Tea
16.30 Session 6
Weak instruments and allele scores (JR)
17.00 Session 7
Mendelian randomization in practice (CL)
17.30   End of day 1
Evening   Course Dinner in Local Restaurant


Day 2

9.00 Session 8
Robust methods with summarized data (CF)
9.30 Practical 3 Critical appraisal of published MR studies
10.45   Coffee
11.00 Session 9
Choosing instruments for MR (SB)
11.30 Session 10
Weak instruments and allele scores (JR)
12.00 Practical 4 Robust methods and sensitivity analyses with summarized data
12.45   Lunch available
13.00   Practical wrap-up
13.45 Session 11
Interpretation of Mendelian randomization estimates (JR)
14.15 Session 12
Mendelian randomization with -omics data (CL)
14.45   Tea
15.00 Practical 5 Live MR hackathon
16.00   Participants' examples / questions
17.00   Concluding remarks