15. October, 2019
Entrance to the fortress
The 5th Annual NORBIS Meeting began with a ferry ride across the fjord to Oscarsborg fortress. The boat looked extremely serious as it approached us with the island and fort in the background, reminding us of the history of Oscarsborg! We then were off to a strong start, with Sushma Grellscheid giving us an excellent, memorable talk on cytoplasmic phase separation, before dinner and the first evening poster session.
Left: Sushma Grellscheid, right: poster session
The next morning, Kjetill Sigurd Jakobsen started our day discussing the Earth Biogenome Project before we had our first round of student talks, where we were lucky enough to get a private showing of two Forsker Grand Prix talks from our very own NORBIS contestants; Joseph Diab and Christian Schulz. After the PhD student forum and discussions across lunch, we headed to the lawn in the centre of the fortress to compete against each other in various challenges, where our problem solving and teamwork skills were put to the test!
Winners of the team-building contest
To make up for the afternoon spent in the sun, we had another round of student talks and the final poster session before closing the scientific aspect of the day. At dinner that evening, there were smiles all around as the winners from the afternoon activities and the student poster sessions were announced and the room was introduced to our new student representatives. The food and the discussions were excellent, and many of us found ourselves continuing the evening at the bar.
The final morning concluded our conference extremely well, with Jukka Corander giving an engaging talk on bacterial pathogen evolution before our final round of student talks. Our own Ines Heiland then gave the closing talk of the conference, allowing us to finish on an outstanding note. After a final hearty lunch, we took the ferry back across the fjord and said our goodbyes as the coach took us back into civilization (Oslo).
Written by Chloe Rixon (IEMR, UiO)
All photos by Kari M. Ersland
21. August, 2019
9. August, 2019
28. June, 2019
24. June, 2019
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!):
– proteomics analysis (statistics and bioinformatics)
– basic and advanced statistics on molecular data (in high demand!)
– high dimensional data analysis
– evolutionary genomics
– network biology
– machine learning
– clinical NGS analysis
– 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 September 9 2019.
20. June, 2019
We are happy to invite you to this year’s annual conference of NORBIS, the national research school in bioinformatics, biostatistics and systems biology. Our fifth conference takes place in beautiful surroundings at Oscarsborg fortress, situated on an island in the Oslo fjord, on September 30 – October 2. Join us there for great talks by international experts and PhD candidates, poster sessions, team building activities and an opportunity to build your network and hang out with a great group of people sharing many of your interests.
The conference is open to everyone. We cover travel and accommodation costs for all PhD students, while master students and post docs can apply for support. We also want to encourage supervisors and other researchers to join our conference, both to facilitate discussion across several levels of experience, to inspire our students, and to increase your own national network.
18. March, 2019
The workshop Towards in Silico-Guided Clinical Trials in Cancer
to be held in Oslo, 15-16 May 2019 at Scandic Holmenkollen Hotel.
We bring together experts in systems medicine, mathematical oncology and bioinformatics to discuss novel concepts for personalise cancer medicine. Check the workshop website for more details and for registration: https://osloinsilico2019.weebly.com/
- Robert A. Gatenby, Moffitt Cancer Center, USA
- Ivo Gut, Centre for Genomic Regulation, Spain
- Francesca Buffa, University of Oxford, UK
- Gyan Bhanot, Rutgers University, USA
- Peter Van Loo, The Francis Crick Institute, UK
- Sampsa Hautaniemi, University of Helsinki, Finland
- Wenyi Wang, MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA
- Haralampos Hatzikirou, Helmholtz Center, Germany
- Dominique Barbolosi, Aix Marseille University, France
- Rebecka Jörnsten, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
- Mark Robertson-Tessi, Moffit Cancer Center, USA
- Julia Casado, University of Helsinki, Finland
- Kevin Leder, University of Minnesota, USA
- Shridar Ganesan Rutgers Cancer Institute, USA
- Peter A. Fasching Erlangen University Hospital, Germany
- Jasmine Foo University of Minnesota, USA
- Alvaro Köhn-Luque, University of Oslo, Norway
Registration is free but mandatory in a first come first serve bases for up to 75 participants. It includes two full days of lectures, lunches and coffee breaks with refreshments (thanks to funding from BigInsight, UiO: Life Science, NORBIS, Norwegian Biochemical Society and Digital Life Norway).
We hope many of you will join. If so, you should register as soon as possible. Also, we would be very grateful if you may share this information among potentially interested students and colleagues.
3. January, 2019
Report from exchange to École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
Thanks to NORBIS I got the unique opportunity to experience a different laboratory in Switzerland for 6 months. First, upon arrival in Switzerland it took some time to organize everything before being able to start experiments. However, as soon as everything was in place the pace at which my host laboratory worked was overwhelming and allowed me to finish many important experiments in a rather short time.
I learned different new techniques such as QTL mapping and usage of big datasets. In particular, the usage of a genetic reference population allowed me to identify new potential mechanisms driven by my gene of interest. In summary, both my research project and me personally benefited tremendously from this research stay.
Most importantly, I was very lucky to meet outstanding colleagues with whom I spent long nights in the laboratory learning various things, but additionally we also shared beautiful moments in the swiss mountains.
In general, I would recommend planning more time than anticipated as settling in a new laboratory takes time. However, once the first hurdle is overcome it is an unforgettable time that everyone should experience at some point.
17. December, 2018
Developing new Bayesian models in London
I am a PhD student at the Department of Biostatistics of the University of Oslo. I had stayed in London for four months funded by the NORBIS, as a visiting PhD student with the group of Dr. Alex Lewin, who is Associate Professor in Biostatistics at the Department of Medical Statistics at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK
I was collaborating with Dr. Alex Lewin and Dr. Marco Banterle on new Bayesian models for drug sensitivity prediction and integration of multi-omics data. The developed computational tools for the analysis of these data can consider the intrinsic relationships between the various omics data sources and also between different anti-cancer drugs, and generate new biological knowledge by helping us to identify which omics data sources and which individual features are most predictive for the sensitivity of which (classes of) drugs.
We have adapted a promising modelling approach, that was previously developed in Dr. Lewin’s group, to our situation. We have established a new Bayesian model framework for drug sensitivity prediction and drug targets identification. The new Bayesian model uses Seemly Unrelated Regressions for estimating a large covariance matrix efficiently, a spike-and-slab prior for selecting sparsely relevant molecular features, and a Markov random field prior for capturing the drug-drug similarity and related targeted genes/pathways. During my stay in the UK, I also had a good opportunity to visit the MRC Biostatistics Unit at the University of Cambridge and have nice discussions with some researchers there. Although I am now back in Oslo, our collaboration on this project is continuing and will result in a joint publication.
This year London had a very good summer, a lot of sunny days rather than mostly rainy days. The best relaxing ways for me were taking a stroll along the Thames and enjoying the Hampstead Heath walking. But it was extremely hot some days in July, especially in many buildings and on the underground trains (the “Tube”) without air conditioners. In General, I had an enjoyable summer visit in London. However, I don’t highly recommend others for such short international exchange during summer. It might be better to avoid the holiday season,
so that you could have more opportunities to discuss with your collaborators.
In addition, since London is a super-rich city and one of the world’s largest trading centres, it is difficult to find a not so expensive accommodation for a short stay. I regret not to spend more time on looking for one fixed accommodation rather than living in three places during four months.
Finally, I would like to thank NORBIS for the travel grant, and the collaborators in London very much.
Tower Bridge, London, UK