ENLIGHT-TEN Summer School II: The Revenge of the Code
by - Natalie Edner (ESR 3 , University College London)
The ENLIGHT-TEN project is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie action (MSCA) aiming to train future scientists in T cell immunology and big data analysis so they are able to exploit the power of newly emerging technological platforms. As the MSCA requires participants to move to a new country, I moved to London when I started my PhD studies as part of ENLIGHT-TEN. Growing up in Germany and studying in the Netherlands, the UK is now another of “my“ regions in Europe.
A few weeks ago, the PhD students of the ENLIGHT-TEN program came together again to participate in the “Data resources and bioinformatics tools for immunologists” summer school organized by the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) in Hinxton.
For quite a few of us this meant stepping out of our comfort zone and entering a completely new world of bioinformatic research.
During the course we were exposed to a variety of bioinformatic concepts and tools. The content ranged from learning to analyse flow cytometry data with Flowjo, using the R programming language to analyse single cell RNA sequencing data, to the many applications of the Reactome pathway analysis website. It is fair to say that even the computational and code-experienced students among us were able to learn something new and useful for their research.
Besides providing insight and hands-on tutorials in state-of-the-art bioinformatic tools another important part of the summer school was reconnecting with the other PhD students and meeting other researchers outside of the ENLIGHT-TEN network that were coming from all over Europe and beyond to take part in the course. Over lunch and dinner many ideas and discussions were shared and new connections were made.
While the United Kingdom is facing negotiations to leave the European Union it is all the more important to embrace new collaborative opportunities and establish firm platforms to exchange ideas across borders. Projects like ENLIGHT-TEN and organisations like EMBL are crucial starting points to build bridges between institutions and researchers worldwide.