Bioinformatics Summer School Report - 2019

Bioinformatics Summer School Report - 2019

Each year, CRUK Cambridge Centre generously funds a Bioinformatics Summer School for national CRUK-funded researchers, held in the city centre.
This is an intensive week-long workshop with about 40 attendees.

Last year’s theme was Functional Genomics and the week-long course took place at Downing College, Cambridge from 15–19th July 2019.

The CRUK Cambridge Centre's generous funding award pays for the venue, trainers, meals and accommodation at Downing College for non-Cambridge attendees, thereby facilitating networking between CRUK-funded researchers from around the United Kingdom. The attendees comprised an eclectic mixture of PhD students, post-docs and a few research staff members. The teaching staff consisted of trainers from the CRUK Cambridge Institute (many from the Bioinformatics Core Facility) and from the Hutchinson MRC Research Centre.

The first day of the Summer School consisted of an 'Introduction to Functional Genomics' followed by a session on 'Experimental Design' and culminated with 'Next Generation Sequence File Formats and Tools' for reads assembly. These were the underpinning for the subsequent sessions. This was followed by a one and a half day 'Bulk RNASeq' course. Next up, was a half-day session on 'Prognostic Signatures' and on 'Survival Analysis'.  The final day and a half was a broad-based 'ChIPseq' course which also included material on ATACseq and Hi-C.

Despite being taught all these valuable techniques, we still made time for three fun social events:

  • A meet and greet at a pub, just off Cambridge's famous Parker's Piece
  • A punting expedition, with numbers sufficient enough for a mini armada of punts!
  • A dinner at Downing College (which also featured a fascinating talk on trends in Machine Learning). 

As well as being a welcome respite from the coursework, these social events gave the participants an excellent opportunity to network with other CRUK-funded researchers.

A JISCMail mailing list was set up to allow participants to continue to network after the Summer school had concluded.

All the training materials are freely available from the CRUK Cambridge Institute Bioinformatics Cores Github site -

 This article was written by Mark Fernandes, CRUK Centre-funded Bioinformatics Training Developer, based in the CRUK Cambridge Institute. Twitter: @MAFatCRUK