Bioinformatics Summer School 2018 report

Each year the CRUK Cambridge Centre funds at least one Bioinformatics Summer School and this year’s theme was Functional Genomics. The week-long course took place in Downing College, Cambridge from 23–27 July.

The Centre funding award paid for the venue, trainers, meals and accommodation at Downing College for non-Cambridge attendees.

We received over 90 applications for the 46 places on offer so competition was strong. About three-quarters of the attendees were from outside of Cambridge including Glasgow, Oxford, Newcastle, Birmingham, Manchester and London. There was a mix of PhD students and post-docs.

The school packed in approximately six days of materials delivered during an intensive four and a half days. 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 consisted of an Introduction to Functional Genomics followed by a session on Experimental Design and finished with Next Generation Sequence File formats and reads assembly. This was followed by a one and a half day RNASeq course which was in turn followed by a half-day ‘taster’ in analysis of Single Cell RNAseq data. The final day and a half was a broad-based ChIPseq course which also included material on ATACseq and Hi-C.

Despite this blistering pace (and blistering temperatures!) there were three social events. A meet and greet at a pub, a punting expedition (7 punts!) and a dinner at Downing College. As well as a respite from the coursework, these social events gave the participants an (eagerly seized) opportunity to network with other CRUK-funded researchers.

Feedback from this year's attendees included:
I think the live coding sessions in all sections were great, the best was when the presenters went through live with us and discussed the importance and relevance of different steps and parts of the code

I like how researchers from UK can interlink and connect to each other. I have made friends whom i can connect with them in the future. As far as the explanation and class are concerned i really like Linear modelling class

I really enjoyed the ChIP-seq sessions, and the social activities were great as well, it was a fun week!

Details of the next CRUK Cambridge Bioinformatics Summer school will be published on the CRUK Cambridge Institute Bioinformatics Core website along with a booking form as soon as the arrangements have been finalised. It will be held from 15–19 July 2019.

2018 Summer school materials are available here

This article was written by Mark Fernandes, CRUK CI Bioinformatics Training Developer
Twitter: @MAFatCRUK