Group Retreat 2015

The group retreat 2015 took place in the end of September in the beautiful Black Forest. In a joint event bringing together the groups of Wolfgang Huber and Judith Zaugg, 22 scientists spent a fantastic time together exchanging their research approaches and results. Additionally, they enjoyed developing and discussing “Blue Sky” science projects in small groups, presented in a “back to basics” way using hand-drawn posters. The retreat was closed with a wonderful hiking tour on the third day.

Huber Group

Huber Group













Registration open: CSAMA 2015 (13th ed.) Statistics and Computing in Genome Data Science

CSAMA 2015 (13th edition)
Statistics and Computing in Genome Data Science
Bressanone-Brixen, Italy (South Tyrol Alps)
June 14-19, 2015

Registration for CSAMA 2015 is now open


  • Martin Morgan, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (USA)
  • Wolfgang Huber, European Molecular Biology Laboratory
  • Vincent J. Carey, Channing Laboratory, Harvard Medical School (USA)
  • Michael Love, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Harvard School of Public Health (USA)
  • Simon Anders, European Molecular Biology Laboratory
  • Mark Robinson, University of Zurich (CH)
  • Laurent Gatto, University of Cambridge (UK)
  • Paul Pyl, University of Copenhagen (DK)

The one-week intensive course “Statistics and Computing in Genome Data Science” teaches statistical and computational analysis of multi-omics studies in biology and biomedicine. It covers the underlying theory and state of the art (the morning lectures), and practical hands-on exercises based on the R / Bioconductor environment (the afternoon labs). The course covers the primary analysis (“preprocessing”) of high-throughput sequencing based assays in functional genomics (transcriptomics, epigenetics, etc.) as well as integrative methods including efficiently operating with genomic intervals, statistical testing, linear models, machine learning, bioinformatic annotation and visualization. At the end of the course, you should be able to run analysis workflows on your own (multi-)omic data, adapt and combine different tools, and make informed and scientifically sound choices about analysis strategies.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to Bioconductor
  • Elements of statistics: hypothesis testing, multiple testing, regression, regularization, clustering and classification (machine learning), visualization
  • Computing with sequences and genomic intervals
  • RNA-Seq data analysis and differential expression
  • ChIP-Seq and epigenetics
  • Integrating DNA variant calls with functional data, and large-scale efficient computation with genomic intervals
  • Working with annotation – genes, genomic features and variants
  • Metagenomics and proteomics primers
  • Single-cell RNA-Seq primer
  • Interactive displays with Shiny

The course consists of

  • morning lectures: 20 x 45 minutes: Monday to Friday 8:30am – 12:00am
  • 4 practical computer tutorials in the afternoons (2pm – 5pm) on Monday, Tuesday,Thursday and Friday

For registration visit our website at:

Ascona Workshop 2015

Statistical Learning of Biological Systems from Perturbations

May 31 to June 5, 2015
Registration and details

Advances in biotechnology have made genome-scale measurements routine, including most recent techniques for perturbing individual genes in a targeted manner. These interventional data hold the promise to infer biological networks and to move forward systems biological approaches significantly. A major challenge now is to use the vast amount of data generated from these technologies and to devise appropriate statistical models and computational inference methods. Unlike observational data, interventional data can reveal causal relationships among genes or other biomolecular entities. As such, the statistical analysis and computational integration of perturbation data is an important step towards large-scale biological system identification with abundant applications in biology and medicine.

This workshop will (i) explore recent advances and open problems in statistical learning, data integration, and causal inference of biological systems; (ii) present biomedical applications to recent genome-wide perturbation data, such as RNA interference data, obtained, for example, from cancer cells or cells infected by pathogens; and (iii) facilitate meaningful interaction between biomedical and quantitative researchers.

Advanced Course: R programming and development

On 15-16 January 2015 we are hosting the Advanced Course: R programming and development.

The course will focus on two aspects of R programming and development.
The first part will introduce object-oriented programming using R’s S3 and S4 system and describe how to define classes, generic functions and methods. It will also present how to create Bioconductor-compliant R packages and document them. The second part will focus on various advanced topics in R programming such as unit testing, debugging, profiling and calling C/C++ code. It will also describe how to write efficient and elegant code using vectorisation, parallelization, and the functional programming paradigm. Finally, creating web applications with shiny will be discussed.

These topics will be illustrated using a small real-life bioinformatic case study. Participants will produce, at the end of the course, a fully fledged Bioconductor compliant R package.

European Bioconductor Developers’ Meeting

12th-13th January 2015, EMBL Heidelberg

We are proudly hosting this year’s European Bioconductor Developers’ Meeting.

The meeting is aimed at bioinformaticians, programmers and software engineers who contribute to the Bioconductor project, or are interested in developing packages for Bioconductor. The goals are to:

  • foster the exchange of technical expertise,
  • keep contributors up to date with the latest developments,
  • coordinate any related efforts.

For details see the the event’s website.