Data Challenge "Epigenetic & High-Dimension Mediation"

from June 7, 2017 to June 9, 2017

From 11 am to 12am
Progresses in high-throughput sequencing make it possible to study how epigenetic changes mediate the effect of environmental risk factors on diseases. Epigenetic changes are said to be mediators when they intervene in the causal pathway between environmental exposures and diseases.
We will provide the necessary background to participate to the Data Challenge, which includes introductory lectures and demo in R about multiple hypotheses testing, epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS), and statistical mediation analyses. To promote collaboration between participants during the Data Challenge, we will show how to share source codes using R notebooks and github.

  • Participants will have the opportunity to present their own research during poster sessions.
  • Participants should bring their own laptop in order to be able to participate to the Data Challenge.

Who can attend?

Researchers or students interested in mediation analysis in a multi-dimensional setting are welcomed. The data challenge is open to researchers from various backgrounds (statisticians, epidemiologists, biologists, physicists). The data challenge concerns mediation analysis in epigenomics but the statistical concepts we introduced are also relevant for other multidimensional data.

We expect that participants are familiar with the R software and with standard statistical notions such as linear regression, and P-values.

Where and when

The challenge will take place during 3 full days (June 7-9th, 2017) in Aussois, Vanoise. It will end at 5pm on June 9th. Except if you leave nearby (Grenoble or Lyon), it is recommended to arrive in the conference center on June 6th at dinner time. Housing can start on June 6th or June 7th. If you want to leave Aussois on June 10th, you should spend the last night in another hotel nearby (e.g. hotel des mottets).

The summer school will take place in Aussois, a charming small village in the Vanoise National Park (French Alps). The remote setting, along with the challenging program, were chosen to promote and enhance interactions between participants.


Tuesday, June 6: Arrival of the participants

Wednesday, June 7

  • 09:30 to 09:45 : Introduction to environmental health by Remy Slama (Univ Grenoble Alpes)
  • 09:45 to 10:00 : Introduction to mediation analysis for environmental health by Johanna Lepeule (Univ Grenoble Alpes)
  • 10:00 to 10:30 : Statistical analysis and R packages for mediation analysis by Michael Blum (Univ Grenoble Alpes)
  • 10:30 to 10:45 : Break
  • 10:45 to 12:00 : Challenge 1 about mediation analysis
  • 12:00 to 13:30 : Lunch
  • 13:30 to 13:45 : Omics data in biomedical research (SNP, methylation marks) by Magali Richard (Univ Grenoble Alpes)
  • 13:45 to 16:30 : Challenge 1 about mediation analysis
  • 16:30 to 17:00 : Break
  • 17:00 to 18:30 : Challenge 1 about mediation analysis
  • 18:30 to 20:00 : Poster session and beers
  • 20:00 to 21:30 : Dinner

Thursday, June 8

  • 09:00 to 10:00 : Keynote lecture "Exposure misclassification in environmental epigenetics: is DNA-methylation a mediator or a biomarker?" by  Linda Valeri (Harvard University)
  • 10:00 to 10:30 : Break
  • 10:30 to 12:00 : Debriefing of challenge 1
  • 12:00 to 13:30 : Lunch
  • 13:30 to 14:00 : Accounting for confounding factors in association studies by Olivier Francois (Univ Grenoble Alpes)
  • 14:00 to 16:00 : Challenge 2 about mediation analysis
  • 16:30 to 19:30 : Mountain walk
  • 20:00 to 21:30 : Dinner (grill-stone)

Friday, June 9

  • 09:00 to 11:30 : Last session to complete challenge 2
  • 12:00 to 13:30 : Lunch
  • 13:30 to 15:00 : Debriefing of challenge 2

  • 240 euros
  • A supplement will be charged if you prefer to stay in a single room rather than in a double room

Published on June 29, 2017

Practical informations


Aussois, Vanoise national park

How to come

The most convenient way to come to Aussois is to arrive by train at the railway station in Modane. Then, a bus shuttle will pick you up to go to the conference center.
You can check timetables on the SNCF website.

The closest airport is at Lyon Saint Exupery but you might also arrive in Paris. Then you should take the train from the airport. Check on the website of the SNCF for timetables and reservation.

There is a freeway to Modane, which is located at 15-20 minutes of the conference center in Aussois.

The tourist office provides additional information...