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Boost your Bioinformatics Backchat - ELIXIR ESFRI 5y Celebration week 17.12.2018

Boost your Bioinformatics Backchat

Facilitating communication between individuals from different academic backgrounds in the bioinformatics space





Date: 17 December 2018

Time: 9:30-14:45 

Venue: University of Tartu, Estonia (Ülikooli 17 115/116)

Trainer: Kim Gurwitz, University of Cambridge

ELIXIR ESFRI 5y Celebration Week


Audience: Biologists and Computer Scientists (and others) working in the field of Bioinformatics - maximum 14 participants. Registration is available here


This workshop aims to:

- enable workshop participants to develop an understanding of what the other bioinformatics subgroups actually do

- act as a springboard to improve communication between Bioinformatics subgroups (i.e. Biologists and Computer Scientists)

- facilitate the development of a culture of knowledge-sharing between Bioinformatics subgroups



Time (EET)


9:30 - 10:00


10:00 – 10:10


10:10 – 10:30

What do Biologists and Computer Scientists do?  No seriously, what do they really do?

10:30 – 10:45

How did you get into Bioinformatics, anyway?

10:45 – 11:15

tea/coffee break

11:15 – 11:45

What is a cluster? What is DNA?

11:45 – 12:00

Bioinformatics users vs. scientists vs. engineers

12:00 – 12:15

Opening up dialogue

12:15 – 13:15


13:15 – 13:30

Continuing dialogue

13:30 – 14:00

Action plan write up and commitments

14:00 – 14:15

Action plan feedback

14:15 – 14:30

Workshop reflections



*subject to slight changes

Mini workshop about data management 13th December 2018

Most researchers know that data management is an important part of their work and is essential for getting the most out of your data. But what exactly is data management and what can you do to ensure that you’re managing your data well?

In this mini workshop you will learn what to consider when managing life science data and gain hints and tips for submitting your data to a public resource.

Dr. Melissa Burke and Dr. Sarah Morgan from EMBL-EBI training team (see more about them) will share best practicies, trips and tricks about managing your scientific data.

Registration and participation is free of charge. Up to 20 participants can take part. Please register here.

The workshop will take place at Ülikooli 17 (Paabel) on 13th of December at 9:30–12:30.



Introduction of presenters of ELIXIR ESFRI 5y Celebration Week

ELIXIR Estonia is happy to welcome guests from three ELIXIR nodes abroad who will add an international touch to the events

Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan

Sarah is the training coordinator of the EMBL-EBI node.
After years of tumor research she switched her focus to training researchers. Currently she is training programme manager at EMBL-EBI and her everyday tasks involve coordination of training events both locally and internationally.


Melissa Burke

Melissa Burke

Melissa is scientific training officer at the EMBL-EBI training team. She is specialised in e-learning and manages online training courses that EMBL-EBI offers on variety of topics.


Kim Gurwitz

Kim Gurwitz

Kim is the ELIXIR Training Impact Coordinator, based at the University of Cambridge (ELIXIR-UK node). She coordinates the assessment of training quality and impact across ELIXIR. She was previously Training and Outreach officer at H3ABioNet, the Pan African Bioinformatics Network.


Mateusz Kuzak

Mateusz Kuzak

Mateusz is a Scientific Community Manager at ELIXIR-Neatherlands. He works at DTL at the interface of training, technology and data platforms and the research community in the Netherlands. Before joining DTL, Mateusz was building research software at the Netherlands eScience Center in collaborative projects with domain scientists. Before becoming Research Software Engineer, he worked in the field of Biophysics spending lots of time with microscopes.


Ilkka Lappalainen

Ilkka Lappalainen

Ilkka is the deputy head of node at ELIXIR-Finland. At CSC Ilkka is the head of service development for health and life sciences. He is an expert in sensitive data management and has long standing career in developing infrastructure for genomic data. Before joining CSC Ilkka worked at EMBL-EBI managing genomic variation archive services: EGA and DGVa and acting as Human Data Coordinator at the ELIXIR-Hub.


ELIXIR Information Day 14.12.2018

ELIXIR Estonia celebrates 5 years of ELIXIR with a series of events.

The major event is ELIXIR Information Day that takes place on 14th of December 2018 at Hotel Lydia Conference Center in Tartu. The day starts with welcoming coffee at 9am and finishes with drinks session around 4pm.

The event is free of charge for all registered participants.

The info day will give researchers from academia and industry, funders, decision makers and wider public an overview what ELIXIR is how it serves the scientific community.

Presenters include: Dr. Mateusz Kuzak (DTL; ELIXIR-Neatherlands), Dr. Ilkka Lappalainen (CSC; ELIXIR-Finland), Dr. Sarah Morgan (EMBL-EBI), Dr. Ulvi Gerst-Talas (TÜ; ELIXIR-Estonia; ETAIS), Dr. Hedi Peterson (TÜ; ELIXIR-Estonia), Prof. Jaak Vilo (TÜ; ELIXIR-Estonia). Learn more about the presenters here.

The purpose of ELIXIR is to construct and operate a sustainable infrastructure for biological information in Europe to support life science research and its translation to medicine and the environment, the bio-industries and society.

These resources include databases, software tools, training materials, cloud storage and supercomputers.

The goal of ELIXIR is to coordinate these resources so that they form a single high quality infrastructure. This coordinated infrastructure makes it easier for researchers to find and share data, analyse their experiments, exchange knowledge, and agree on best practices.

Estonian ELIXIR Node
The Estonian node focuses on developing and maintaining software tools and databases, linking of bioinformatics and biobanking, and last but not least, training researchers across borders.

ELIXIR Information Day is a day full of opportunities to learn how ELIXIR can be beneficial to researchers' every day task. 

Registration is open - Registration deadline December 9th, 11.59pm

Schedule for the Information Day

09.30 - 10.00 Welcoming coffee
10.00 - 10.30 Prof. Jaak Vilo, ELIXIR Estonia Head of Node - “How ELIXIR helps the life science community”
10.30 - 11.00 Dr. Ilkka Lappalainen, ELIXIR Finland  - “What it takes to handle sensitive human data - Finnish and European experience”
11.00 - 11.30 Coffee and discussions
11.30 - 12.00 Dr. Hedi Peterson, ELIXIR Estonia - “Small but important - Estonian contributions to life science infrastructure”
12.00 - 12.30 Dr. Sarah Morgan, ELIXIR EMBL-EBI - “Improving European life science by providing world class trainings in physical and virtual class rooms”
12.30 - 14.00 Lunch
14.00 - 14.30 Dr. Ulvi Talas, ETAIS and ELIXIR Estonia - “Interaction of infrastructures - making scientific computing easier for life scientists in Estonia”
14.30 - 15.00 Dr. Mateusz Kuzak, ELIXIR-Netherlands "Training life science researchers in foundational coding and data science skills in the Netherlands and ELIXIR.”
15.00 - Closing remarks followed by apéro

The accompanying events include:


Weekly news 19.11.2018

The Biohackathon took place this week in Paris. Around 150 participants worked on 29 projects that support the operations across ELIXIR technical Platforms. See photos by Bérénice Batut (ELIXIR Germany), read the Daily reports from the event. From ELIXIR-Estonia Ivan and Erik took part.


Registrations are open for the course on “High Performance Computing for genomic applications”, organized for the D-BIOL researchers by Scientific IT Services, in Zürich, Switzerland, on 26-27 November 2018.

de.NBI (ELIXIR Germany) organises the  4th FAIRDOM/de.NBI Systems Biology Developers Foundry on 6-7 December in Frankfurt.

de.NBI also hosts COMBINE (Computational Modellig in Biology Network) 2019 Conference on 15-19 July 2019 in Heidelberg.