Mendelian Randomization Boot Camp: A Practical Guide to Study Design and Implementation

Most recent Mendelian Randomization Boot Camp in NYC: August 5-6, 2019


The Mendelian Randomization Boot Camp is a two-day intensive combination of seminars and hands-on analytical sessions to provide an overview of the concepts, techniques, packages, data sources, and data analysis methods needed to conduct Mendelian Randomization studies.     


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Summer 2019 dates: August 5-6; 9:00 - 5:30pm

This two-day intensive boot camp integrates motivation for Mendelian randomization studies, statistical concepts, genetic considerations, and practical examples to design, implement and interpret a Mendelian randomization analysis. Led by a scientist with several award winning papers on Mendelian randomization combined with extensive expertise in epidemiology, the workshop will integrate seminar lectures with hands-on computer sessions to put concepts into practice. Emphasis will be given to leveraging existing publicly available resources (data, tools and packages) as well as indicating the scope for new studies. The afternoon lab sessions will provide an opportunity to work hands-on with real data. Participants will learn and practice all the steps required for a successful Mendelian randomization analysis using publicly available data, including identifying suitable data sources, data extraction, data alignment, assumption checking and sensitivity analysis.

By the end of this Mendelian Randomization training, participants will be familiar with the following topics:

  • Principles of Mendelian Randomization
  • Implementation options
  • Suitable publicly available data sources
  • Data interpretation and handling
  • Data analysis
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Study design advantages and pitfalls
  • Emerging Mendelian randomization techniques
  • use of MR-Base

Investigators at all career stages are welcome to attend, and we particularly encourage trainees and early-stage investigators to participate.


  1. Each participant is required to bring a personal laptop as all lab sessions will be done on your personal laptop. Your laptop must have the capability of reading a 900Mb file into R.

  2. The Boot Camp will use data sets in R, therefore it is required that each participant has previous experience using R.

  3. Each participant must have the latest version of R and R studio downloaded and installed prior to attending the Boot Camp. Instructions are below.


Prior experience with R, as well as having the latest version of R pre-installed on your computer is required for the Boot Camp as noted in prerequisites above. 

If you have any specific questions about R and R studio in the context of the Mendelian Randomization Boot Camp, please email us.


The Mendelian Randomization course will take place on the Columbia University Irving Medical Campus (CUIMC) in New York City, specifically at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, 722 W. 168th Street, Allan Rosenfield Building 8th Floor Auditorium. Please note that the entrance to the building is on the 10th floor (training is located two floors below entrance).

General transportation and lodging information can be found in the Getting Around section. A PDF map of the 2018 Boot Camp location can be found here.


Mary Schooling, PhD, Department of Environmental, Occupational, and Geospatial Health Sciences at CUNY School of Public Health 


Mary provided all the tools and resources needed to carry out quality MR analyses. With this course, I feel confident in applying MR to my research in addition to teaching it to my peers and colleagues. - Student from University of Minnesota, 2018

Mary covered the topic in a very straightforward fashion and everything was very clear. The practicals were relevant to the topic and the TA's were very knowledgeable and helpful as well. - Staff member at University of Pennsylvania, 2018

The MR Boot Camp was excellent and gave nice overview of the methods. In the end, all of us were prepared to do our own MR study. - Anonymous Attendee, 2018

Very practical workshop for attendees to apply the skills learned on their research question of interest. - Anonymous Attendee, 2018



 Early-Bird Rate (through 6/15/19)Regular Rate (6/16/19 - 7/19/19)Columbia Discount*
Student/Postdoc/Trainee$1,150$1,35010% off
Faculty/Academic Staff/Non-Profit Organizations  $1,350   $1,55010% off
Corporate/For-Profit Organizations​$1,550$1,750NA


*Columbia Discount: This discount is valid for any active student, postdoc, staff, or faculty at Columbia University. To access the Columbia discount, email for instructions.

Registration Fee: includes course material, lunch, and refreshment breaks. Course material will be available to all students after the workshop. Lodging and transportation are not included.  

Cancellations: Cancellation notices must be received via email at least 30 days prior to the workshop start date in order to receive a full refund, minus a $50 administrative fee. Cancellation notices received via email 14-29 days prior to the workshop will receive a 50% refund, minus a $50 administrative fee. Please email your cancellation notice to ​ Due to workshop capacity, we regret that we are unable to refund registration fees for cancellations after these dates. 

If you are unable to attend the Mendelian Randomization training, we encourage you to send a substitute within the same registration category. Please inform us of the substitute via email at least one week prior to the training to include them on attendee communications, updated registration forms, and materials. Should the substitute fall within a different registration category your credit card will be credited/charged respectively. Please email substitute inquiries to




Want updates on new Boot Camp details or registration deadlines? Subscribe here.

Questions? Email the Mendelian Randomization team here.