Pre-courses week


Course on “GIS (Geographic Information Systems) in Epidemiology”

Pre-course week

Dates:  9am to 5pm, Tue 13 to Fri 16 June 2017 (4 full days)


Dr. Danielle Vienneau and Dr. Kees de Hoogh

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, SwissTPH, University of Basel


The physical and social environment that surrounds us plays an important part in our health and wellbeing. The geography concept of ‘place’ thus cannot be ignored in environmental epidemiology and public health. Whether investigating the level of environmental pollution, access to recreation or health services, or patterns of disease, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provide the standard platform for exploring spatial attributes and relationships between our environment and health.

This course offers an introduction to GIS and how it is used in environmental epidemiological research. It will introduce students to the basics including: working with and integrating spatial and non-spatial data; geographic scale and spatial precision; geocoding; visualisation; thematic mapping; and understanding spatial relationships. Specific skills and tools will also be introduced in relation to methods for spatial linkage of exposure, contextual and confounder information for epidemiological or health risk assessment studies.

This course will be a mix of lectures, demonstrations and practical time for hands-on data analysis in ArcGIS and QGIS.

No prior knowledge of GIS is required for this intensive course.

Students will gain knowledge in the fundamentals of GIS for spatial data handling and analysis. By the end of the course, students will

  • Understand how GIS can be used to enhance public health and epidemiological research;
  • Be able to acquire, add, manipulate, visualise and map spatial data in a GIS; and
  • Be able to perform basic spatial analyses in a GIS.


Course on “Frontiers in causality in epidemiology: Exposome”   – CANCELLED

Pre-course week

Dates:  9am to 5pm, Tues 13 to Fri 16 June 2017 (4 full days)


Dr Paolo Vineis and Dr Marc Chadeau

Imperial College, London UK

Augustin Scalbert

International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon.

David Phillips

King’s College London


The four days residential course provides a perspective on the burgeoning field of exposomics; the latest addition to the instruments for assessing exposures within epidemiological studies. After reviewing the history of exposure assessment and the concept of exposome, the course addresses the issues of measurement errors, methods for measuring biomarkers in different areas of “omics”, study designs for validating biomarkers and tools for statistical analysis of biomarkers data. The course concludes with a look at the crystal ball of future developments in exposure assessment in epidemiology.