Epigenetics Boot Camp: Planning and Analyzing DNA Methylation Studies for Human Populations

Epigenetics Boot Camp Training 1080Registration is open! Join us for the next live-stream Epigenetics Boot Camp on June 27-28, 2022. 


The Epigenetics Boot Camp is a two-day intensive boot camp of seminars and hands-on analytical sessions to provide an overview of concepts, techniques, and data analysis methods utilized in human epigenetics studies and focused on DNA methylation array. Register now.
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Summer 2022 dates: Live-stream, online training June 27-28, 2022; 10:00am EDT - ~5:00pm EDT.

This two-day intensive boot camp integrates the principle concepts of epigenetics and the effects of risk factors on the epigenome as we step through the key components of designing and executing DNA methylation studies. Led by a team of scientists with more than 50 years of combined expertise in the field of environmental epigenetics, this epigenetics training will integrate seminar lectures with hands-on computer sessions to put concepts into practice. Emphasis will be given to leveraging existing resources from ongoing studies and initiating new investigations. The afternoon lab sessions will provide an opportunity to work hands-on with real methylation data generated by the Illumina Infinium MethylationEPIC (850k) BeadChip platform. Participants will learn and practice data handling, cleaning, and basic analysis of epigenome-wide DNA methylation data. This training will not cover WGBS or analyses from sequencing experiments in animal models.

By the end of the epigenetics training, participants will be familiar with the following topics:

  • Principles of epigenetics

  • Concept ideation and study design

  • Sample collection and processing

  • Laboratory methods and platforms for analysis

  • Data handling and cleaning

  • Analysis of 450K/EPIC data

  • Study design advantages and pitfalls

  • Emerging epigenetic topics and laboratory platforms

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 have a personal laptop/computer and a free, basic RStudio Cloud account. All lab sessions will be done using RStudio Cloud.

  2. The Boot Camp will use data sets in R, therefore participants must have a basic understanding of this platform prior to attending the Boot Camp. If you have never used this platform before, make sure to step through all the tutorials outlined below so you have the basic skills needed for Boot Camp success.


Knowing basic R platform and commands is required for the Boot Camp as noted in prerequisites above. This training will use RStudio Cloud. If you are new to R or need a refresher, you can review the below tutorials to be well prepared:

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


Summer 2022 Keynote: Caroline Relton, PhD, Professor of Epigenetic Epidemiology and MRC Investigator, Bristol Medical School (PHS).


Boot Camp Director: Andres Cardenas, PhD, MPH, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley.

Andrea Baccarelli, MD, MPH, PhD, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.

Alexandra Binder, ScD, Department of Cancer Epidemiology, University of Hawai'i.

Anne Bozack, PhD, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley.

Elena Colicino, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Jonathan Heiss, PhD, Tempus.

Allison Kupsco, PhD, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.

Learn more about each instructor here.


John Greally, DMed, PhD, Center for Epigenomics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Keynote Speaker, 2017-2022.

Allan Just, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Instructor 2017-2020

Chris Mason, PhD, Weill Cornell Medical College. Keynote Speaker, 2017.

Cavin Ward-Caviness, PhD, Environmental Public Health Division, US Environmental Protection Agency. Instructor, 2017.

Kasey Brennan, MS, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. Instructor, 2017-2018.


Scholarships are available for the Epigenetics Boot Camp.


The Epigenetics Boot Camp will no longer take place in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Boot Camp will instead be a live-stream, remote training that takes place over live, online video June 27-28, 2022 from 10am EDT - ~5pm EDT. Please note this training is not a self-paced, pre-recorded online training. 


"Excellent.  I was very impressed by the breadth and depth of coverage of epigenetics and data analysis.  I will highly recommend it to others." - Faculty member at Michigan State University, 2021

"Excellent course that provides a foundation in the quality control and analyses of epigenome-wide DNA methylation data. The course is very practical, providing tools that can be immediately applied, and the instructors are very knowledgable and clearly experts in the field." - Faculty member at Brigham and Women's Hospital, 2021

"This bootcamp was an immersive experience for a deep dive into DNA methylation analysis. As a novice, it was a lot of information, but I feel like I learned a ton!" - Postdoc at University of Colorado Boulder, 2021

"As a novice in this field, I felt the instructors made this course thorough and accessible for all levels of experience.  I left with a greater understanding of DNA methylation and can now speak intelligently about the subject with collaborators and now know how to approach the inclusion of DNA methylation in my future study designs." - Faculty member at the University of California, Davis, 2020

Check out more testimonials here.


COVID-19 Update: With the training being offered virtually, we are passing along any and all costs saved to attendees.

  Early-Bird Rate (through 4/15/22) Regular Rate (4/16/22-6/12/22) Columbia Discount*
Student/Postdoc/Trainee $925  $1,025 10%
Faculty/Academic Staff/Non-Profit Organizations/Government Agencies $1,025 $1,225 10%
Corporate/For-Profit Organizations​ $1,225 $1,425 NA

*Columbia Discount: This discount is valid for any active student, postdoc, staff, or faculty at Columbia University. To access Columbia discount, email Columbia.EBC@gmail.com for instructions and specify the following: 1) your registration category from the table above, 2) if you are paying by credit card, or internal transfer within Columbia, and 3) if an internal transfer, indicate the registration category from the table above, and if grant funds are being used.

Invoice Payment and Group Registrations: If you would prefer to pay by invoice/check, or would like to pay for a group of registrants, please email Columbia.EBC@gmail.com with the following details: 1) full attendee name(s) and applicable registration category from the table above, and 2) payment method (credit card, invoice, wire).

Registration Fee: This fee includes course material, which will be made available to all participants both during and after the conclusion of the training. 

Cancellations: Cancellation notices must be received via email at least 30 days prior to the training start date in order to receive a full refund, minus a $75 administrative fee. Cancellation notices received via email 14-29 days prior to the training will receive a 75% refund, minus a $75 administrative fee. Please email your cancellation notice to Columbia.EBC@gmail.com. Due to workshop capacity and preparation, we regret that we are unable to refund registration fees for cancellations <14days prior to the training.  

If you are unable to attend the 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 Columbia.EBC@gmail.com. In the event Columbia must cancel the event, your registration fee will be fully refunded. 




Register Now.

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

Questions? Email the Boot Camp team here

The Epigenetics Boot Camp is hosted by Columbia University's SHARP Program with additional support from Illumina, Inc.

Jump to:  Overview  |  Prerequisites  |  R tutorials  |  Keynote Speaker  |  Instructors  |  Scholarships  |  Locations  |  Registration Fees  |  Testimonials  |  Additional Information


Additional Testimonials

"The Epigenetics Boot Camp was very helpful! The instructors provided all the tools to start analyzing DNA methylation datasets, showed us how to use them, and provided information on how make decisions based on the data and research question." - Postdoc Fellow at University of Texas, Austin, 2020

"The instructors were friendly and enthusiastic. The material and activities were accessible and the format allowed participants to engage at their desired level." - Dawn M., Faculty member at Wayne State University, 2019

"The boot camp provided a great overview of important considerations from study conception through design, analysis, and interpretation. The provided information would be useful to researchers with all levels of experience in methylome analyses." -  Mark G., Postdoc Fellow at the American Cancer Society, 2019

"As someone new to epigenetics, this workshop provided a great introduction to key concepts and strategies that will allow me to effectively implement epigenetic data into my research." - Student at Virginia Commonwealth University, 2018

"This was a very useful, all-encompassing dive into the epidemiologic methods required for epigenome-wide DNA methylation analyses.  The instruction was high-quality, and there was a strong lab component that supported application of skills to real-world data.  I would only hope for a part 2 to this quick course." - Alonzo F., Faculty Member at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 2018

"The level of knowledge and experience as well as careful planning by all instructors made the entire two-day experience worthwhile. Best applied training I have been to, I now feel equipped to work with my own data and collaborate with bioinformatics colleagues in cleaning and analyzing our data."​ Kristen M., Faculty Member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2017 

"Overall, I found the Epigenetics Boot Camp to be a very useful and comprehensive tool for learning basic principles surrounding DNA methylation analysis and interpretation. It provided a good foundation from which to build upon as I advance my knowledge in this field." - Postdoc at Emory University, 2017

"The Boot Camp gives a very comprehensive overview of the epigenetic research with enough technical details that all levels of participants will find informative and educational. I especially appreciate how knowledgeable the speakers are. Thank you for putting such a great workshop together!" - Staff Member at Harvard University, 2017