CABANA Workshop: Managing a Bioinformatics Core Facility


 Tuesday 31 March Thursday 2 April 2020


Fiocruz - Palácio Itaboraí - R. Visc. of Itaboraí188 - Valparaiso,  Petropolis,  - RJ,  25655-031, Brazil

Application opens: 

Monday 13 January 2020

Application deadline: 

Sunday 09 February 2020


Open application with selection

Registration fee: 

$200 BRL

Registration closed

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Course Overview

This knowledge exchange workshop is an opportunity for managers of bioinformatics core facilities to learn from EMBL-EBI’s service teams, from each other, and from potential users of their services. These facilities play an essential role in enabling research in the molecular life sciences. The landscape is constantly evolving as new research tools emerge, as experiments become increasingly data intensive, and as their clients – experimental researchers – become more exposed to the power of data-driven biology.

The workshops will allow participants to share experiences, discuss challenges and solutions that they face, and plan ways to cope with the ever changing demands raised by the molecular life science field. It will include sessions to learn from data providers at EMBL-EBI, hear how others have tackled common problems, and work together to design core services.

Please note this course will NOT provide bioinformatics training.

During this course you will learn about: 

  • Core service design
  • Technical aspects of bioinformatics core facility management
  • Funding and financing your core facility
  • Building your group
  • HPC clusters, (secure) data needs


This course is intended for new and experienced managers of bioinformatics core facilities, or other facilities that support their users to analyse and interpret large biomolecular data sets. This course will not provide a platform for teaching hands-on bioinformatics analysis.

Please note this course will be taught in English, however some trainers are fluent in either Spanish/Portuguese, and can offer language support where feasible. Priority will also be given to those who have not attended a CABANA event yet.

A number of travel fellowships are available for this course - early-stage researchers and researchers from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply for CABANA travel fellowships. You can apply for travel fellowships via the course application form. Due to funding restrictions we are unable to award fellowships to those employed in Chile and Uruguay.

Learning outcomes

After this course you should be able to:

  • Identify the strengths and limitations of your core facility
  • Apply a framework for designing new services (including training your users) or redesigning existing services
  • Explain different cost models, their pros and cons, and how to apply them in the context of your core facility
  • Advise your users on how to manage sensitive data and where to submit them


Please note this programme is subject to change.

Day 1 – Tuesday 31st March 2020
08:00-09:00 Welcome and Introductions Cath Brooksbank
09:30-10:15 Keynote - The evolving role of bioinformatics core facilities Sarah Butcher and/or Guilherme Oliveira
10:15-10:45 Break  
10:45-12:00 Participant introductions, perspectives, challenges and expectations All - led by Cath Brooksbank
12:00-13:00 Lunch
13:00-14:30 Challenges of running a bioinformatics core facility in Latin America - discussion Guilherme Oliveira, Nicole Scherer, Thiago Parente, Ana Tereza Vasconcelos
14:30-15:00 Break  
15:00-17:00 Visit to LNCC All
17:00 End of day 1  
18:00 Evening meal with all participants  
Day 2 – Wednesday 1st April 2020
09:00-09:15 Introduction to day 2 Cath Brooksbank
09:15-10:30 Designing your core service: facilitated discussion and practical Andrew Hercules
10:30-11:00 Break  
11:00-12:30 Designing your core service Andrew Hercules
12:30-14:00 Lunch
14:00-15:30 Designing your core service and technical session Andrew Hercules
15:30-16:00 Break  
16:00-16:30 Technical session continued - tools for improving core usability and user support Andrew Hercules
16:30-17:30 Building your group - hiring, managing, collaborating Cath Brooksbank
17:30 End of day 2  
18:00 Walk in Petrópolis Old Town  
Day 3 – Thursday 2nd April 2020
09:00-09:15 Introduction to day 3 Cath Brooksbank
09:15-10:30 The F words: funding and finances - talk, discussion, and practical Sarah Butcher and Guilherme Oliveira
10:30-11:00 Break  
11:00-12:30 Funding and finances Sarah Butcher and Guilherme Oliveira
12:30-13:30 Lunch
13:30-14:15 Keynote - planning for your data and compute needs TBC
14:15-15:45 Technical session on bioinformatics on HPC-clusters - how to implement tools in a cluster compatible way and other challenges TBC
15:45-16:15 Break  
16:15-17:00 Dealing with secure data - talk and discussion TBC
17:00-17:30 Workshop wrap up, feedback and additional resources Cath Brooksbank
17:30 End of workshop  
18:00 Bus to Rio de Janeiro (GIG and SDU)