ISMB 2012: Workshop Proposal

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We are looking for speakers for this workshop. If you are interested please read the speaker notes at the end of this page


The 2012 ISMB meeting will be on 15-17 July in Long Beach, California. The Bioinfo-core group is again proposing to run a workshop within the main body of the conference. The workshop will be a 2 hour session, split into two one hour topics. Within each topic there will be two short talks (~10 mins each) by members of the group to introduce the topic, followed by an extended discussion with the whole group where the topic can be further explored.

This page will initially help use to put together a proposal for ISMB, and assuming our proposal is accepted will become the official programme for the workshop.

As in previous years we have aimed to have one topic mostly focussed on science, and another which leans more towards the technical aspects of running a core facility.

Topic 1: Extracting biological information from diverse data sources

Scientists have typically thought of experiments in terms of using a single technology to answer a question. Even the advent of genome wide analyses have generally been performed using a single type of analysis (sequencing, microarray, mass-spec etc). However we are increasingly seeing that a complete biological picture of an experimental system can only really be gained by integrating together multiple diverse data types. In some fields (eg epigenetics) the need for this type of integration of methylation, histone modification, nucleosome positioning, mass spec and RNA-seq is already present, but the same principle applies to most biological systems.

In this session we will aim to look at the practicalities of this type of integration, including success stories, pitfalls and failures and some discussion about the tools available to help.


  • Session Leaders: Fran Lewitter + TBC
  • Talk 1: TBC
  • Talk 2: TBC

Topic 2: Handling the requirements of different sets of users within a core

Many core facilities deal with diverse sets of users who come with very different needs. Balancing the needs of different sets of users is a challenging task which can be compounded by financial, regulatory or political pressures. Common headaches might include the special requirements of users working with clinical samples where traceability, tracking and privacy concerns must be addressed, or commercial samples which might come with service level agreements which dictate the level, speed or quality of service required.

Keeping everyone happy in these situations is a potential minefield for a core, so in this session we will hear how some existing facilities have coped with these pressures, and what challenges remain. We will discuss in more detail some of the specific problems which come with clinical samples since these present an immediate challenge which will affect many of the group.


  • Session Leaders: Brent Richter and David Sexton
  • Talk 1: TBC
  • Talk 2: TBC

Speaker Notes

We would like to invite members of the bioinfo-core community to volunteer to fill the available speaker slots in the session. Talks are 10mins each and can be accompanied by a small number of slides. After the introductory talks the speakers will be invited to help lead a panel based discussion.

Speakers in this workshop will be listed in the ISMB programme, but are not eligible for any payment towards travel or registration expenses. All speakers must be registered for the main ISMB conference (SIG registration is not sufficient).

If you are interested in presenting in this session please contact one of the session leads for the session in which you think you would best fit. The session leads will also be happy to field informal enquiries or provide further details.