W15 - Workshop on the Dual Benefit of Bioinformatics Training

CANCELLED - With deepest regrets, this workshop has been cancelled. Apologies for any inconvenience.


7th September 2014

Empowering Life Scientists and freeing more time for your research

Bioinformatics is at the core of life sciences today. The advent of high-throughput technologies (HTT) has only increased the vast amounts of data produced, as well as the¬†skills gap¬†between life scientists and those proficient with the command line. Though several HTT analysis suites exist, they still require an understanding of the underlying assumptions and in some cases are limited to the type of data manipulation required. Therefore, many¬†life scientists (LS)¬†seek to ‚Äúget help‚ÄĚ through a collaboration or pay for service from a bioinformatician that ‚Äúwill do‚ÄĚ the data handling, analysis, etc. Still others seek opportunities to see how others do it and get ‚Äútrained‚ÄĚ. The number of bioinformaticians placed in the labs themselves is also rising, and they are faced with the dual task of doing their bioinformatics research whilst also being available for support and help for their LS colleagues.

More and faster research: The dual benefit of bioinformatics training

Life scientists that embrace bioinformatics training to the extent of becoming expert users of existing bioinformatics resources and tools for data analysis, not only become empowered to conduct their own bioinformatics computations and thus move their own research forward, but they also relieve the demand and time constraints on bioinformaticians who are often sought to conduct such analyses for untrained life scientists. Thus, bioinformatics training frees up research time for the bioinformatician to carry out their own resource, tool or algorithm development. The end result is more research output from all parties.

Though several¬†training programmes¬†are available and the number of opportunities for life scientists to ‚Äúlearn‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúequip‚ÄĚ themselves is growing, bioinformaticians and computational biologists are often being asked to fill the gaps. How do they cope with this challenge (both time-wise and content-wise)? Are there best¬†approaches, methodologies¬†and even further¬†existing materials¬†and efforts that we can use, share and expand to tackle several of these topics and challenges, some of which are probably shared across many Institutes and groups worldwide?

This workshop aims to answer these questions! The workshop will hear from the bioinformaticians themselves about their experiences and perspectives in ‚Äúhelping‚ÄĚ, being asked to collaborate or do the actual analysis for projects etc., and will find the¬†common denominators, topics and skills that define a common action plan that can be used by other bioinformaticians facing the same challenge!


9.00‚Äď9.05 Welcome & opening introductions
9.05‚Äď9.45 What are the common questions bioinformaticians are asked by wet lab scientists? (Patricia, Michelle, Celia and Vicky)
  Solution 1: Teach life scientists to embrace the command line
9.45-9.55 Speaker 1 ‚Äď Alessandro Cestaro (Research and Innovation Centre - Fondazione Edmund Mach. Italy)
9.55-10.05 Speaker 2‚Äď selected from the abstracts
10.05-10.10 Short presentation: Wet lab scientist seeks command line help from bioinformatician
10.10-11.00 Group discussions on how to resolve command line questions
11.00-11.30 Coffee break
  Solution 2: Introduce the world of genome browsers to the life scientist
11.30-11.40 Speaker 1 ‚Äď Erik Bongcam-Rudloff (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden)
11.40-11.50 Speaker 2‚Äď selected from the abstracts
12.30-12.35 Short presentation: Wet lab scientist seeks help in using genome browsers
12.35-13.00 Group discussions on how to resolve genome browser training support
13.00-14.00 Lunch
¬† Solution 3: NGS analysis ‚Äď what part can the life scientist do themselves?
14.00-14.10 Speaker 1 ‚Äď Bernardo Clavijo (The Genome Analysis Centre)
14.10-14.20 Speaker 2‚Äď selected from the abstracts
14.20-14.25 Short presentation: Wet lab scientist seeks help analyzing NGS data
14.25-15.15 Group discussions on how to resolve support of NGS data analysis
15.15-15.45 Coffee break
15.45-17.00 Define best-practice



List of Invited Speakers

·     Alessandro Cestaro, Comparative Genomics research group Computational Biology, Research and Innovation Centre - Fondazione Edmund Mach, Italy

·     Bernardo Clavijo, Computational Genomics Group at The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC)_

·     Erik Bongcam-Rudloff, SLU Global Bioinformatics Centre, Sweden_ Workshop format



We invite you to submit a short abstract of up to 400 words in PDF format in one of the workshop topics by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Submissions will be reviewed by the scientific organising committee. They will be selected for oral or poster presentation according to their originality and relevance to the workshop topics.


Key dates:


  • Submission deadline¬†for abstracts for W15: August 1, 2014
  • Author notification for abstracts for W15: August 4, 2014
  • Early registration deadline: August 1, 2014
  • Workshop: September 7, 2014




Scientific Organising Committee


Vicky Schneider, Senior Management Member and Head of 361¬įDivision, Scientific Training, Education and Learning at The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC).

Patricia Palagi, Head Training and Outreach at SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics.

Celia van Gelder, Project Leader Training and Education of NBIC (Netherlands Bioinformatics Centre) and DTL (Dutch Technology Centre for Life Sciences). 

Michelle Brazas, Manager, Research and Knowledge Exchange, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and Coordinator of Bioinformatics workshop Canada.


Contact Information

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