Exploring Biological Sequences


 Tuesday 13 Thursday 15 November 2018


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

Application opens: 

Monday May 28 2018

Application deadline: 

Friday September 28 2018


First come, first served


This workshop will introduce basic bioinformatics approaches that are used to find, analyse and understand nucleotide or protein sequences. It will explore how to conduct searches across biological databases using both metadata and sequence data approaches. The course will explain how sequence searching techniques work, and how to use them effectively to find relevant results. Practical exercises will develop skills in searching for, accessing and aligning sequences; through the use of sample datasets participants will learn how to discover more about the biological context of nucleotide and protein sequences.

The key areas covered by the workshop will include:

  • Sequence data resources at EMBL-EBI
  • Tools for sequence searching and alignments
  • Methods for conducting phylogenetic analysis
  • Using sequences to investigate families, function and structure

This course is currently under development and full details about the course are not yet available. If you would like to be informed when applications open for this course then please click on the “Register your interest” button above.

If you would like to see details of similar course from previous years, please take a look at our course listings, using the filter boxes to refine your search by year and subject.


The course is aimed at researchers interested in core bioinformatics techniques, sequence searching and alignment. No prior experience of bioinformatics is required, but familiarity with biological databases and web tools would help. An undergraduate level understanding of molecular biology would be of benefit to those attending the workshop.

Syllabus, tools and resources

During this course you will learn about:

  • EBI Search interface, ENA and UniProt databases
  • Sequence searching tools - FASTA, BLAST, PSI-SEARCH, HMMER
  • Multiple sequence alignment tools - Clustal Omega, MUSCLE
  • Phylogeny tools
  • InterPro, PDBe, EMBL-EBI web services


After this course you should be able to: (There should only be 4-6 objectives)

  • Understand basic methods for bioinformatics data searching
  • Find relevant database entries using sequence searching methods
  • Conduct alignments of multiple sequences via a variety of methods
  • Construct basic phylogenetic trees
  • Perform further analyses on sequences to help examine their possible functions