Report on ICGEB Course "Advances in Bioinformatics Tools for the Analysis of High-throughput Omics Data", Santiago, Chile

Advances in bioinformatics tools for the analysis of high-throughput omics data, Santiago, Chile, 16-26 July 2012


Santiago, Chile

Organized by Alejandro Maass, Center for Mathematical Modeling, and Mauricio González, Center for Genome Regulation, University of Chile, Santiago, this first course on advances in bioinformatics for omics was held in Santiago from 16-26 July 2012. Main lectures were given by leading, international expert scientists Hidde de Jong, INRIA-France and Mihai Pop from the University of Maryland.

Topics covered the main issues and challenges in bioinformatics today, where high-throughput “omics” technologies are producing millions of data that must be transformed into real biological information. This phenomenon poses an additional problem in Latin American countries where access to experimental means is increasing but where bioinformatics analysis capabilities remain essentially the same as ten years ago.

The course was designed to address the need to use heterogeneous omics data in relevant problems such as the reconstruction of regulatory networks. Students were shown how to detect transcription factors, how to relate these to binding sites and its detection, and how to address reconstruction.  In addition, they were exposed to the main problems behind sequencing process and assembly, as well as the use of a less developed omics technology (at least in Latin America).

The subsequent course will pose a real scientific challenge worldwide with several metagenomics programs now being developed in Latin America. Metabolomics analysis is being used more and more in biotechnological applications in agriculture, health and aquiculture and this course represented an opportunity to show the main bioinformatics tools to analyze such experiments and the way these tools serve given applications.

A total of 26 participants were selected to cover the expertise needed in a multidisciplinary course of this nature, including bioinformaticians to help those students with training in biology bridge their skills in informatics. The combined expertise of the audience (bioinformatics, biology, mathematics) ensured a great environment and stimulating discussions. The organizers aimed to produce a mini network among students to empower their future scientific activities.




For more information, see the dedicated Web site:

Further reading: CMM researchers share their expertise in metagenomics projects


This course has been supported jointly by ICGEB and CONACYT, Chile, and has received co-sponsorship from the BIOLAC Biotechnology Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean.



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