First steps in computational biology for RNA Research

Date 15 - 16 May 2017
Speaker(s) Geoffrey Fucile, Alex Smith, Diana Marek
Fees 100 CHF
Cancellation deadline 5 May 2017
Application Closed
City Lausanne

This course is co-organised by the NCCR in RNA & Disease members. Priority is given to its members, but is open to everyone.


Developments in high-throughput methods, particularly next generation sequencing technologies, have significantly impacted the field of RNA biology. To make sense of complex datasets that are nowadays commonly generated by most biology labs requires the use of robust computational methods to visualise and analyse results. Life scientists are therefore faced with an increasing need for bioinformatics skills to deal with high-throughput data storage, retrieval and analysis.

The aim of this two-day introductory workshop is to allow attendees to gain insight into basic computing techniques and their potential applications in RNA biology. This workshop, where theory alternates with hands-on practical exercises, has the long-term goal to prepare experimental-based scientists to better meet the challenge of data-rich research and provide the foundations for further training endeavors.


This course is addressed to RNA biology scientists with none or limited computational skills. Priority is given to NCCR in RNA & Disease members.

Learning objectives

At the end of the course participants should:

  • have a general understanding of data organization, modern computing in biology and interpreted programming languages
  • be comfortable in a UNIX-like environment, be able to execute UNIX commands in order to navigate in the filesystem, to find and manipulate files as well as to automate tasks
  • be able to interact with the R environment using Rstudio
  • be comfortable with the R syntax
  • know how to seek for help and make use of R packages
  • import data, manipulate it and summarize it
  • build graphs


Knowledge / competencies:

This course is aimed for beginners and no background in UNIX or R programming language is required.


Participants should bring their laptop with UNIX, R and Rstudio installed. To have a UNIX terminal on your Windows machine, please install the installer version of MobaXterm.


This course is free for RNA & Disease members (please indicate it in the "comment" field of the application form). The registration fees for non members are 100 CHF. This includes course content material, coffee breaks and lunches. Participants from non-academic institutions should contact us before application.

Deadline for registration and free-of-charge cancellation is set to May 5 Cancellation after this date will not be reimbursed. Please note that participation to SIB courses is subject to this and other general conditions, available at

You will be informed by email of your registration confirmation.


University of Lausanne, Génopode building, classroom 2020 (Metro M1 line, Sorge station). The course will run from 9:00 to 17:00.

Additional information

The course is coordinated by Ana Claudia Marques (NCCR in RNA & Disease) and Diana Marek (SIB).

You are welcome to register to the SIB courses mailing-list to be informed of all future courses and workshops, as well as all important deadlines using the form here.