As part of the EBI Roadshow training programme, Ensembl teamed up with ArrayExpress to run workshops for students, postdocs, and professors at ITESM, UNAM, and CIBNOR in these bioinformatic tools. The response was very positive. Feedback from 86 participants includes comments such as:
“I am an undergraduate student, and know little about bioinformatics. In the future, I will be able to use EBI as my primary resource.”
“It is a really good opportunity to now get all these tools, to help facilitate understanding and analysis of scientific data”
“An excellent course, and very useful tools!”
Ensembl and ArrayExpress were ranked by 99% of participants as being useful to their work. Not only are people made more aware of individual projects through these workshops, EBI resources are publicised. 31% of our participants were unaware of EBI resources before the workshop, which contrasts to 95% responding that after this workshop, they would most likely use EBI resources. 88% of participants would like more training in these resources and others; specifically mentioned were ontologies, proteomics, and genome sequencing as topics to learn more about. This reflects a need for bioinformatics courses in the life sciences in that part of the world, if not in all the world.
And finally, an after-effect of the workshops was to prove that there is a lot of interest in bioinformatics. This from our host at CIBNOR:
“CIBNOR is in a growing stage, we have a project for an Innovation and Technology Park and I am trying to convince people about the need for a Bioinformatics Unit. I am sure that things like this course will help us a lot.”
We greatly enjoyed training in Mexico, because of all the keen interest, energy, and the evenings on the sand dunes. We took the course into the field, discovering a pufferfish and spine on the beach, in honor of vertebrate genomes!