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Case Study on Genomic Epidemiology

It is important to consider the participants' background when designing learning activities.

Mihir Kekre is the Laboratory Operations Lead for the Global Health Research Unit on Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance. He was an educator on the Train the Trainer course on capacity building for Genomic Surveillance of AMR (described by Prof David Aanensen in Step 2.4, Case study on Train the trainer courses), as lead instructor on the laboratory modules.

The curriculum of this course was divided into genomics laboratory training and bioinformatics. The morning sessions of the course were focussed on pedagogy and how to train, and then the afternoons were devoted to learning specific topic areas, and framing those into ways to forward train. The course was attended by wet lab scientists, computational scientists, data experts and epidemiologists from around the world. In this interview, Mihir addresses important questions on how to approach a mixed audience from all over the world and how to adapt the training to different levels of expertise and different professional backgrounds.

Genomic surveillance of AMR is a concerted effort and requires multiple specialties to work together and to understand each other’s work.

Mihir stresses on the fact that the introductory modules of the Train the Trainer course aimed to create a bridge between participants’ different backgrounds.

Genomic Laboratory experts were paired up with bioinformaticians and encouraged to discuss, approach exercises together and in this way, develop a common language.

The training course implemented exercises that aimed to mimic the real world and included team-based simulation activities. For example, a simulation exercise was run along with representatives from the Illumina company. Course participants worked with real data, troubleshooting errors, and quality checking sequencing artefacts, just as they do in the real world. Similarly, activities were also designed around generating antibiograms and susceptibility profiles for resistant microbes plated in real-time.

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Train the Trainer: Design Genomics and Bioinformatics Training

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