Course Description

First, second, third, fourth… how many generations of sequencing are there now? This course will cover modern sequencing technologies (Illumina, PacBio, Oxford Nanopore) and their applications in studies of RNA species, DNA species, or DNA-protein, RNA-protein interactions. We will provide an overview of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) approaches and provide a framework for deciding which method should be applied to a given question. In their final project, students will develop a HTS experiment which could be used in their current research. This course is intended for biomedical researchers (postbac, graduate) who are preparing to embark on their first high-throughput sequencing experiment or for individuals interested in a refresher on the current state of sequencing (postdoctoral+).

Learner Outcomes

When you complete the course successfully, you will be able to:

  • Design a HTS approach to tackle a question of interest.
  • Experimental design and approach will be guided by the course material in addition to student and instructor feedback.
  • Use this knowledge in your ongoing research

Week 1 - Big Data: Is high-throughput sequencing really necessary?

  • Gauge the necessity of using high-throughput sequencing (HTS) techniques and understand hidden pitfalls to qPCR quantitation.

Week 2 - Alphabet soup: What high-throughput sequencing acronym is right for me?

  • Be able to determine the correct flavor of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) for a research question.

Week 3 - Experimental considerations: What “n” is enough?

  • Discuss HTS experimental considerations. (spike-in controls, library generation, sample controls, biological replicates, normalization)


This course may applies toward the Biomedical Sciences Endeavor digital badge.


Textbook Information

There is no textbook for purchase required for this course.


  • Graduate degree in biomedical sciences (or other related field) is recommended but not required. Individuals with Bachelor or Master level degrees who have performed significant (≥1 year full-time) research would also be eligible
  • A research question! (We recommend students enter the class with a project or research question in mind, for which they will be guided to determine how a high-throughput sequencing approach could help).

Additional Information

This course will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis.

Follow the link to review FAES Tuition Refund Policy.

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