UiB Blogg            

Want to organise a course or a workshop with support from NORBIS?

19. December, 2017

Do you carry an idea for a course or a workshop within the fields of bioinformatics, biostatistics or systems biology? Want to invite international experts to give lectures at this event? Once again it is time for NORBIS to ask you to propose a course or a workshop to be organised with financial and administrative support from us. We welcome brand new ideas, as well as adaptations of already existing courses and workshops.

Our financial support will cover travel related expenses for invited and internal lecturers as well as participating student members, for both courses and workshops. For courses, we will in addition give a flat sum of 60 000 NOK per course to the responsible department, to compensate time spent preparing and teaching the course. Our administrative support may help during both planning and execution of the course or the workshop, and will ease the process of making a course available across institutions.

Please visit this page to get an overview of the activities that we already offer, and to read our guidelines.

Our members currently have the following topics on their wish list (among many other!):

– basic and advanced statistics
– proteomics analysis (statistics and bioinformatics)
– machine learning
– high dimensional data analysis
– small RNA analysis
– network biology
– programming and reproducibility
– open source data

You are of course free to propose other topics within the scope of NORBIS.


We aim for our courses to be organized in a biannual fashion. We therefore encourage organisers of previous NORBIS courses to apply with an updated proposal, and to kindly add a summary of the participation and evaluation from the last round, as well as a note describing any updates and changes.


Please read more and register your proposal here: by  1st March 2018.

The same principles behind the internet, social networks and biological networks

14. December, 2017

Illustration: Colourbox

NORBIS, supported by CCBIO, DLN and CBU, recently hosted a workshop on “Network Biology/Integromics Bioinformatics – Applications Towards Medicine” at Grand Hotel Terminus in Bergen, August 23rd-25th 2017.

Konstantina Dimitrakopoulou and Eli Synnøve Vidhammer at CCBIO have written a nice report about the workshop at the CCBIO webpages, which you can read here.

In association with this workshop, keynote speaker Professor Albert-László Barabási gave an exciting Horizon lecture at the UiB Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, this can now be enjoyed here.

More photos from the workshop are posted at our Fabebook page here.


Key lecturer Albert-László Barabási dicussing network medicine, from cellular networks to the human diseasome. Photo: Tomasz Furmanek

Alfonso Valencia explaining networks based approaches for the study of epigenomics.

Meeting Albert-László Barabasi after the lectures; including Inge Jonassen, Konstantina Dimitrakopoulou, Eileen Marie Hanna and Christine Stansberg.

An autumn with Bayesian approaches in Vienna

14. December, 2017


Hi, my name is Aliaksandr Hubin and I am a PhD student at the department of Mathematics of the University of Oslo. In this report I would like to share my international exchange experience, which took place in Autumn 2017 and was funded by the NORBIS travel grant.


During my exchange I was staying in Vienna, Austria for a period of 3 months (from September to November 2017). There I was visiting Dr. Florian Frommlet, an assistant professor in statistics at the Center for Medical Statistics, Informatics and Intelligent Systems of Medical University of  Vienna.


During the stay we have been working jointly on several projects. First of all we continued the collaboration and applied previously developed MJMCMC and GMJMCMC algorithms to GWAS studies. Performance of the algorithms was compared to other popular Bayesian approaches to GWAS such as MOSGWA and PiMass. The comparison was made on several simulation scenarios. Now the real data analysis is to be performed to finalize the paper. The results are to be published in the article entitled “A comprehensive study of Bayesian approaches to Genome-Wide Association Studies” written in collaboration with Michael Hagmann, Bernhard Bodenstorfer, Artur Gola, Małgorzata Bogdan, and Florian Frommlet.


Additionally we were finalizing the paper entitled “Deep nonlinear regression models in a Bayesian framework”, written together with Geir Storvik and Florian Frommlet. In this paper we have introduced the concept of a Deep Bayesian Regression model, which generalizes logic regressions, neural networks, fractional polynomials, and tree based regressions (and some other statistical learning approaches) into a flexible and general Bayesian framework. We then have suggested several algorithms for fitting DBR models. Several inference and prediction based examples were studied. In particular we have shown that the approach allows to recover highly nonlinear physical laws (like for example the 3rd Keppler’s law) in a closed form with a large power and low proportion of false positives. Additionally it showed good performance in asteroid and breast cancer classification problems. Finally some epigenetic study was performed with a goal to find optimal structure of dependence between the epigenetic observations and genetic factors in Arabidopsis thaliana.


Within the exchange duration I have given a talk entitled “Deep nonlinear regression models in a Bayesian framework” within Wiener Biometrische Sektion series of seminars. I have also had a chance to attend several other talks within Wiener Biometrische Sektion seminars and the as​ ​ autumn seminar “Young​ ​ Statisticians”, held at the Medical University of Vienna. Apart from that I attended the doctoral thesis defence of one of the fellow PhD students. This was an extremely interesting experience too, since the defense procedure was quite different from what I had seen in Norway.


The last but not least I met extremely interesting people carrying out advanced research in medical statistics ranging from clinical trials to survival analysis.


To conclude, I would like to thank NORBIS for an opportunity to spend these fantastic three months in beautiful Vienna, where not only I carried out some interesting research, but also had a chance to enjoy the imperial architecture and see numerous performances at the Opera House and Volksoper.










Learn ‘High Performance Computing in Bioinformatics’

5. December, 2017

Want to learn how to effectively use HPC clusters for running computationally or data intensive bioinformatics applications? Register now to join our course on ‘High Performance Computing in Bioinformatics‘, which runs in Oslo 16-27 April, by Torbjørn Rognes et al.

Read more and register here by 1st February (for obtaining credits, the deadlines are as follows; 11th January for UiO students, 3rd January for external students). Note the early registration deadline, which is due to UiO’s internal administrative deadlines for registering to courses