Bioinformatics for Discovery


 Monday 19 Tuesday 20 March 2018


European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) - Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge,  CB10 1SD, United Kingdom

Application opens: 

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Application deadline: 

Friday 26 January 2018


Open application with selection


Johanna Langrish

Registration fee: 


Registration closed

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This course was developed by EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), with input from representatives of Bayer, GSK, Syngenta and Unilever.  EMBL-EBI delivers a programme of training for users of bioinformatics resources across the life sciences, enabling experimental researchers to become much more confident users of data and raising the awareness of publically available data resources and analysis tools.  This course has been created specifically for scientists working in a discovery environment, with tailored delivery methods and focused case studies.

Course delivery

The majority of the course will be delivered online, using a dedicated section of EMBL-EBI’s e-learning portal, Train online.  An initial face to face workshop at the start will give trainees an opportunity to learn basic skills and concepts in bioinformatics, whilst also being provided with more detail on how to best work through the online elements, and network with others who will be studying alongside them.  As the majority of the course will be studied at a distance, support mechanisms will be in place via discussion boards, virtual drop-in sessions and regular webinars throughout the module.


Currently available workflows include:

•Bioinformatics principles

The bioinformatics principles workflow introduces Bioinformatics as a science and shows you how easy it is to start using bioinformatics tools and resources without needing a computational background.

•Chemical biology

The chemical biology workflow introduces resources which allow you to determine the "druggability" of a protein target and to explore potential chemical or small molecular interactions.

•Exploring protein targets

This workflow will help you explore the wealth of information available on proteins and their potential as drug targets.


This workflow introduces the field of transcriptomics and discusses the technologies, processes, and challenges involved in running a transcriptomics experiment.

All trainees must complete the "Bioinformatics principles" workflow before moving on to worflows of their choice.  Each workflow has a short final assessment which must be passed to unlock the next workflow and only one workflow can be studied at one time.


This course is aimed at bench biologists working in the area of discovery science who want to learn more about bioinformatics tools and resources. No prior knowledge of bioinformatics is required and no experience of programming or the use of Unix / Linux is necessary.


At the end of the course, you should be able to:

•Apply concepts in experimental design to the practice of bioinformatics
•Find and access a range of appropriate publically available data resources and tools
•Incorporate the use of appropriate bioinformatics resources into your work
•Know where to gain further information and support

Additional information

The course starts with a two-day workshop to be held at EMBL-EBI in Hinxton, Cambridge on the 19th and 20th March, 2018. Total nominal study time is 100 hours (approx 12 days), and trainees will have a period of six months to complete the whole module.  There will be wrap-up workshop at EMBL-EBI in Autumn 2018.


Time Topic Trainer
Day 1 - 19 March 2018
10:00 - 10:30 Tea and coffee upon arrival; Registration and welcome Melissa Burke & Sarah Morgan
10:30 - 11:00 Participant introductions All
11:00 - 12:00 Bioinformatics in practice Alex Bateman
12:00 - 12:30 Challenges and expectations All
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch  
13:30 - 14:00 Discussion  
14:00 - 14:30 Industry case study Lee Larcombe
14:30 - 15:30 Data quality and standards Sarah Morgan & Melissa Burke
15:30 - 16:00 Tea/coffee break  
16:00 - 17:00 Public data resources Sarah Morgan & Melissa Burke
17:00 - 17:30 Discussion All
17:30  Wrap up and close  
19:00 Dinner  
Day 2 - 20 March 2018 
09:30 - 10:30 Public data resources continued Sarah Morgan & Melissa Burke
10:30 - 11:00 Tea/coffee break  
11:00 - 12:00 Combining different data types - identifier mapping Pablo Porras
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch  
13:00 - 14:30 Open Targets - Introduction and hands on session Michaela Spitzer
14:30 - 15:00 Web services Rodrigo Lopez & Fabio Madeira
15:00 - 15:30 Tea/coffee break  
15:30 - 17:00

Introduction to the module

  • Module content and completion
  • Best practice for study
  • Choice of module elements
  • Other sources of information
Melissa Burke & Sarah Morgan 
17:00  Close