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Keynote speakers
Picture of Frederik Coppens
Picture of Michel Dumontier
Picture of Christine Durinx
Picture of Patricia Palagi
Invited speakers
Picture of Rob Hooft
Picture of Rafael Jimenez
Picture of Marco Roos
Picture of Amnon Shvo

Frederik Coppens,
VIB, University of Gent, Belgium.

As deputy Head of Node and Technical Coordinator of ELIXIR Belgium, Frederik Coppens is leading the development of the Belgian ELIXIR node. He represents ELIXIR Belgium in the ELIXIR Heads of Nodes Committee, attending strategic meetings and ensuring smooth information exchange related to ELIXIR both internally within the node as towards the ELIXIR Hub.
Within ELIXIR Europe, Frederik is involved in the Plant Community and is co-chair of the Galaxy Community. The ELIXIR Plant Community focusses in the ELIXIR-EXCELERATE H2020 project on making plant phenotyping data FAIR by developing and implementing metadata (Minimal Information About a Plant Phenotyping Experiment – MIAPPE) and data access (Breeding API) standards. The Galaxy Community is active in the area of scientific workflows and aims to enable researchers to perform bioinformatics analysis workflows through a user-friendly online interface (Galaxy). For more technically advanced users, cloud-oriented technologies (e.g. BioContainers), are being developed, in which the Belgian Node also is involved.
At the VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology, Frederik Coppens is IT manager and Project Leader of the Applied Bioinformatics and Biostatistics (ABB) group. The mission of the ABB group is to enable (wetlab) scientist to perform bioinformatics and biostatistical analyses. His team provides consultancy to optimise the setup of the experiment, generation of data and analysis for biostatistics and bioinformatics in general. Moreover, solutions are foreseen for diverse NGS applications through implementation of standard workflows in Galaxy or through custom data analysis. The combination with IT manager enables optimisation of the required IT infrastructure towards the data analysis and storage needs of our researchers.

FAIR data, tools and workflows: a user perspective
The goal to move towards a more Open Science environment has inspired funders and institutes to e.g. include data management plans and open access publication into grant requirements. To also ensure reproducibility in bioinformatics, the whole data analysis chain needs to be taken into account, from input and reference data over tools and workflows to results. While this is a positive evolution, it also confronts researchers with a number of challenges. These are largely in the realm of infrastructure, therefore we need to ensure that researchers have access to tools and services that can help them meet these challenges.
In his talk, Frederik Coppens will highlight a number of challenges users have to deal with and the solutions ELIXIR is working on to enable FAIR data, tools and workflows.

Michel Dumontier,
University of Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Michel Dumontier is a Distinguished Professor of Data Science at Maastricht University. His research focuses on the development of computational methods for scalable integration and reproducible analysis of FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) data. His group combines semantic web technologies with effective indexing, machine learning and network analysis for drug discovery and personalized medicine. Previously at Stanford University, he now leads a new inter-faculty Institute for Data Science at Maastricht University with a focus on accelerating scientific discovery, improving health and well-being, and strengthening communities. He is a Principal Investigator for the NCATS Biomedical Data Translator and a co-Investigator for the NIH BD2K Center for Expanded Data Annotation and Retrieval (CEDAR). He is a technical lead for the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-usable) data initiative, and is the scientific director for Bio2RDF, an open source project to generate Linked Data for the Life Sciences. He is the editor-in-chief for the IOS press journal Data Science and an associate editor for the IOS press journal Semantic Web.

Are we FAIR yet? And will it be worth it?
The FAIR Principles propose essential characteristics that all digital resources (e.g. datasets, repositories, web services) should possess to be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable by both humans and machines. The Principles act as a guide that researchers and data stewards should expect from contemporary digital resources, and in turn, the requirements on them when publishing their own scholarly products. As interest in, and support for the Principles has spread, the diversity of interpretations has also broadened, with some resources claiming to already “be FAIR”.
This talk will elaborate on what FAIR is, what it entails, and how we should evaluate FAIRness. I will describe new social and technological infrastructure to support the creation and evaluation of FAIR resources, and how FAIR fits into institutional, national and international efforts. Finally, I will discuss the merits of the FAIR principles (and what we ask of people) in the context of strengthening data-driven scientific inquiry.

Christine Durinx,
Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Switzerland.

Christine Durinx is the Associate Director of SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics since 2014. She is co-lead of the ELIXIR Data Platform. The ELIXIR Data Platform has developed a process to identify European data resources that are of fundamental importance to research in the life sciences and are committed to the long term preservation of data. These resources are called ELIXIR Core Data Resources. Christine was also involved in a study on funding models to improve the long term sustainability of the data science infrastructure.
At SIB, Christine is responsible for the Communications and Training departments, the Director’s Office, and the Technology Group. Christine has a Pharmacy degree and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Antwerp, Belgium. Before joining SIB, she worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 10 years.

ELIXIR Core Data Resources: FAIR, community and impact
The core mission of ELIXIR is to build a stable and sustainable infrastructure for biological information across Europe. Central to defining this infrastructure is the identification of Core Data Resources that are of fundamental importance to the broad life sciences community. In this presentation we will describe the Core Data Resource indicators, compare them with the FAIR principles, and explain their application within ELIXIR’s sustainability strategy and science policy actions, in capacity building, life cycle management and technical actions.

Patricia Palagi,
Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Switzerland.

Patricia Palagi is a biologist and computer scientist by training. She joined the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics 20 years ago as a researcher in neural networks, proteomics, and bioinformatics for mass spectrometry. Since 2013 she has been leading the SIB Training group. She has a long track record of academic teaching and training in bioinformatics. She’s involved in the organisation and delivery of bioinformatics training courses, in ‘Train the Trainer’ activities, and collaborates with ELIXIR Nodes, GOBLET and international partners on several initiatives to promote training and its best practices. She is ELIXIR Switzerland Training Coordinator and co-leader of the ELIXIR Training Platform.

Challenges in adopting FAIR principles in Training
Providing bioinformatics training to help life science researchers effectively work with ELIXIR resources is ELIXIR’s key priority. The ELIXIR Training Platform is in charge of building a sustainable training infrastructure, covering training courses, training tools and resources, development of training expertise, definition of quality assurance standards and monitoring of quality indicators. TeSS, the ELIXIR training portal which aggregates course events and materials, was designed in compliance with Bioschemas and FAIRsharing recommendations and adopting FAIRE principles. ‘Train the Trainers’ courses and several ELIXIR specific courses were designed to promote FAIRness and open access in sciences principles. In this presentation, we will talk about these and other measures implemented by ELIXIR to ensure training is FAIR, to ensure the ELIXIR community is aware of FAIR principles and is trained to adopt them. The training challenges and issues related to the adoption of FAIR principles and to the implementation of FAIR data, tools and platforms will also be elaborated.

Rob Hooft,
Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences – DTLS, The Netherlands.


Title TBD
Abstract TBD.

Rafael Jimenez,
ELIXIR Europe, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Rafael C. Jimenez is ELIXIR Chief Technical Officer. He is a biologist and a computer scientist specialised in the development and management of Bioinformatics services. For the last 7 years, he worked as technical lead of the Proteomics Services Team at EBI and as technical coordinator of ELIXIR.

Title TBD
Abstract TBD.

Marco Roos,
Leiden University Medical Centre – LUMC, The Netherlands.


Title TBD
Abstract TBD.

Amnon Shvo (Shabo),
Philips, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

Amnon Shabo (Shvo), PhD, works in Philips as a health informatics specialist. He worked in IBM Research (2000-2014) where he co-founded and chaired the Medical Informatics Community and headed the IBM worldwide program on healthcare & Life Sciences standards. Amnon established and chairs two professional working groups: (1) the IMIA Working Group on Health Record Banking and (2) the EFMI Working Group on Translational Health Informatics.
Amnon has been leading key standardization activities: he established and co-chairs the HL7 Clinical Genomics Work Group and is a co-editor of the Clinical Document Architecture (CDA), Continuity of Care Document (CCD), the Family Health History (Pedigree) and the Genetic Testing Report (GTR) standards. Amnon specializes in longitudinal and cross-institutional Electronic Health Records and is a pioneer of the Independent Health Record Banks vision. In the early nighties, Amnon founded a startup with Hadassah Medical Organization in the area of patient simulations. In his postdoc studies at Georgia tech, he specialized in case-bases reasoning.

Paradigm shifts in health informatics needed for FAIR data environments
Abstract TBD.