Introductory Bioinformatics (first course)

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   IMPORTANT DATES for this Course
   Deadline for applications: March 20th 2015
   Latest notification of acceptance: March 21st 2015
   Course date: April 13th - April 17th 2015

Candidates with adequate profile will be accepted in the next 72 hours after the application until we reach 20 participants.


David P Judge is a Computer Scientist that teaches Bioinformatics since 1985. He runs the Bioinformatics Training Facilty housed at the Department of Genetics in the University of Cambridge, providing the necessary environment for graduate and undergraduate courses, on top of a comprehensive training programme in cooperation with the European Bioinformatics Institute, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência through GTPB. He teaches Bioinformatics in several international training programmes and is regularly invited to teach in many places in Europe, Asia, Africa and America. His course notes and exercises are well known in the international community of Bioinformatics professionals and users, many of which (difficult to count) have had their first contact with Bioinformatics through him. David pioneered Bioinformatics Training at the IGC in 1986, in the scope of a MSc course. He collaborates in GTPB regularly since its inception in 1999, several times per year.

Affiliation: University of Cambridge, Department of Genetics, Cambridge, UK

Pedro Fernandes graduated in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering at IST (U.T. Lisboa). He worked in Biomedical Engineering, Biophysics and Physiology and changed to Bioinformatics in 1990. He established the first user community in Portugal around the national service provided by the portuguese node of the EMBnet. In 1998 he created the Gulbenkian Training Programme in Bioinformatics, that provided user skills to more than 3200 course attendees throughout its twelve years of existance. In 2002, in cooperation with Mario Silva from FCUL, he designed a graduate Programme in Bioinformatics. He currently teaches Bioinformatics both in graduate and undergraduate programmes.

Affiliation: Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Oeiras, PT

Javier Santoyo-Lopez has a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University "Autonoma deMadrid", (Madrid, Spain) and an MSc in Bioinformatics from the University of Abertay Dundee (Dundee,Scotland, UK). He worked as a Molecular Biologist at the Centre of Molecular Biology "Severo Ochoa" (Madrid, Spain) and then he moved to the field of Bioinformatics working in renowned international centres like the Wellcome Trust Biocentre (Dundee, Scotland, UK), the Sanger Institute (Hinxton, England, UK) or the Spanish National Cancer Centre (Madrid, Spain). In his previous appointment he was the Scientific Coordinator of the Genomics and Bioinformatics Platform of Andalusia (Seville, Spain) supervising the Medical Genome Project (MGP). This was a large scale NGS project that sequenced the exome ofmore than 300 Spanish healthy individuals, to find population variants, and also sequenced a large number of individuals affected by rare diseases, to discover the genetic cause of the disease. Currently he is the BioinformaticsOperations Manager at Edinburgh Genomics, one of the largest Genomics facilities in the UK.

Affiliation Edinburgh Genomics, The University of Edinburgh, Ashworth Laboratories, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK


This is an entry level course aimed that those with a reasonable biological background but no significant experience with bioinformatics. The course is broadly based around a series of exercises in which a combination of simple analytical tools and reference to publicly available databases is applied to the investigation of a single human gene. The training manual for the course is comprised of detailed instructions for the tasks undertaken. Included are, questions (with answers) and discussion of and the interpretation of the results achieved.

Participants are asked to imagine an interest in the disease aniridia. Course exercises then provide extremely detailed instruction leading participants to discover the gene primarily associated with this disease and all that is interesting about that gene and its protein products.

This course will also provide a soft introduction to Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) data analysis. This part of the course aims at providing basic skills that are needed when one needs to process NGS data, such as evaluating data quality, trimming sequences, changing data formats, visualising data, etc. Then, participants will learn how to address a simple transcriptomics problem, stepwise, using open source bioinformatics tools.


The operation of the various programs used in the exercises will be explained, but only to the extent that allows a user to select parameters intelligently and to interpret results.

The course will provide participants with an awareness of a wide range of bioinformatics tools and sufficient experience to use those tools in basic investigations with a relatively high degree of user independence.

In the training course design, this is intentionally built-in, to allow us to show a wide range of analytical techniques while providing enough experience to break the ice in all of them.

Target Audience

This course is intended for those wishing to investigate how they might begin to exploit the ever expanding abundance of computing and data resources for researchers seeking help in using them.

Course Pre-requisites

Basic understanding of molecular biology. No particular computing expertise will be assumed.

Detailed Program

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência,

Apartado 14, 2781-901 Oeiras, Portugal

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Last updated:  Mar 2nd 2015