Coronavirus: latest EMBL-EBI updates

EMBL-EBI South Building

Coronavirus: latest EMBL-EBI updates

18 Mar 2020 - 16:16


  • To help protect staff and visitors from the coronavirus outbreak, EMBL-EBI closed its premises on 18 March at 17:00
  • EMBL-EBI’s data resources and tools will continue to function as normal
  • Visits and on-site training courses are cancelled until the end of June

18 March, Cambridge – In response to the coronavirus outbreak, EMBL-EBI will close from 17:00 on 18 March. Although the physical site will be closed and staff will work from home, EMBL-EBI’s teams will continue to maintain the data resources and tools that the institute provides to the life science community.

Data services

EMBL-EBI service and technical teams are working extremely hard to ensure users continue to have access to data and tools that are essential for their research.

As the coronavirus outbreak intensity developed, EMBL-EBI was in the middle of a planned data centre move. As it was easier to complete the move than reverse it, the project is continuing as planned and is due to be completed by 3rd April.


EMBL-EBI Training has paused its programme of external courses until at least the end of June 2020. The team is closely monitoring the situation and registration remains open for upcoming events beyond June 2020. A diverse suite of online training courses can be accessed on EBI Train online, and the team is making every effort to maintain its regular webinar programme.


Research at EMBL-EBI is heavily computational. Our expectation is that our research groups will continue to function as normally, while working from home.

Industry Programme

EMBL-EBI has postponed its Industry Programme workshops until the end of June 2020. The team is closely monitoring the situation and further updates for upcoming workshops will follow as the situation progresses.

Coronavirus data resources

Apart from its usual suite of data resources and tools, EMBL-EBI is also gathering and sharing information linked to the COVID-19 outbreak, on a dedicated page on the Pathogen Portal. The information includes sequences of outbreak isolates and records relating to coronavirus biology.

“Our first priority is staff and visitor safety and wellbeing, which is why we made the decision to close the EMBL-EBI premises,” says Ewan Birney, EMBL-EBI Director. “Our second priority is to continue supporting the life sciences community through this difficult time by doing what we were set up to do - providing open and easily accessible data resources.”

EMBL-wide closures

Alongside EMBL-EBI, the other EMBL sites in Barcelona, Grenoble, Heidelberg, Hamburg, and Rome are also closed. EMBL is committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment for its staff and visitors.

Contact the news team

Oana Stroe
Senior Communications Officer
+44 (0)1223 494 369

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