Leading the Way in Bioinformatics Training on a Global Scale
News Sep 17, 2014
Technologies underpinning life sciences are constantly evolving. The pace of change has inspired new, collaborative approaches for sharing materials and resources to help train life scientists both in the use of cutting-edge bioinformatics tools and databases, and in how to analyze and interpret large datasets.
Researchers, students and professionals alike, therefore, constantly need to acquire new skills in order to keep up-to-date of the latest developments in bioinformatics. To facilitate these training needs, The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC)’s Manuel Corpas and Vicky Schneider, together with international scientists from the bioinformatics community, have established a centralized portal to aid the diverse training needs of life scientist global communities.
The Global Organization for Bioinformatics Learning, Education and Training (GOBLET) Training Portal builds on the previous prototype platform for sharing such resources created by the Bioinformatics Training Network (BTN). The advanced training resource, encompassing the fields of bioinformatics, biocuration, biocomputing and computational biology, shares a freely available collection of training materials and courses with the life science community, including a catalogue of trainers and course organizer contacts for specific expertise, and training-event announcements.
For course organizers, the new resource provides promotional opportunities for training events; for trainers, it offers an environment for sharing materials, increased visibility and skill promotion. For trainees, the portal acts as a convenient one-stop shop for finding suitable training resources, and identifying relevant training events and activities both nationally and internationally.
Manuel Corpas, Project Leader at TGAC, said: “Bioinformatics training needs are rapidly evolving as new technologies and methods are continuously being developed, putting increasing pressure on trainers to be up to date. The GOBLET training portal provides a reliable source of high quality training materials readily available for reuse to the wider areas of Computational Biology. As contents continue to grow, the portal will become ever more useful to the community”.
Vicky Schneider, Head of Scientific Education, Training & Learning (361° Division) at TGAC, said: “It’s fantastic to be part of and see how the GOBLET community has grown and led to the training portal being put into action. I'm looking forward to see how the portal functionalities expand according to the needs of the bioinformatics community.”
Terri Atwood, Chair of GOBLET and Professor of Bioinformatics at the University of Manchester, said “This is an important result for GOBLET, but is just the beginning: working with like-minded individuals and organizations around the world, it marks the first tangible step towards building a sustainable training resource for the benefit of all.”
The scientific paper, titled: “The GOBLET Training Portal: A Global Repository of Bioinformatics Training Materials, Courses and Trainers” is published in Bioinformatics, Oxford Journals.
Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University say neural networks and supervised machine learning techniques can efficiently characterize cells that have been studied using single cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq). This finding could help researchers identify new cell subtypes and differentiate between healthy and diseased cells.