Florida (USF) Biological Data Science “IronHack” February 25-27, 2019

Florida (USF) Biological Data Science “IronHack” February 25-27, 2019

From February 25-27, 2019, NCBI will help with a Data Science hackathon at USF in Tampa Florida!

The hackathon will focus on the genomics of Iron-linked Rare Diseases as well as large scale RNA-Seq indexing and analysis. This event is for researchers, including students and postdocs, who have already engaged in the use of large datasets or in the development of pipelines for analyses from high-throughput experiments. Some projects are available to other non-scientific developers, mathematicians, or librarians.

The event is open to anyone selected for the hackathon and willing to travel to Tampa.

Working groups of five to six individuals will be formed into five to eight teams. These teams will build or expand on pipelines and tools to analyze large datasets within a cloud infrastructure. Example subjects for such hackathons include:

  • Integrative pipelines to analyze large scale RNA-Seq experiments
  • Visualization tools for mapping phenotypes to genotypes
  • Rapid clinical diagnostics tools
  • Structural variant mining with single molecule sequencing data

Please see the application form for more details and additional projects.  The project list will continue to evolve and will be updated on the application form.


After a brief organizational session, teams will spend three days addressing a challenging set of scientific problems related to a group of datasets. Participants will analyze and combine datasets to work on these problems.


Datasets will come from public repositories or will be supplied by the project lead. During the hackathon, participants will have an opportunity to include other datasets and tools for analysis. Please note, if you use your own data during the hackathon, we ask that you submit it to a public database within six months of the end of the event.


All pipelines and other scripts, software and programs generated in this hackathon will be added to a public GitHub repository designed for that purpose. Manuscripts describing the design and usage of the software tools constructed by each team may be submitted to an appropriate journal such as the F1000Research hackathons channel.


To apply, complete this form (approximately 10 minutes to complete). Initial applications are due Friday, February 8th by 11 pm ET.

Participants will be selected based on the experience and motivation they provide on the form.  Prior participants and applicants are especially encouraged to apply. Accepted applicants will be notified on a rolling basis. If you confirm, please make sure it is highly likely you can attend, as confirming and not attending prevents other data scientists from attending this event. Please include a monitored email address, in case there are follow-up questions.

Note: Participants will need to bring their own laptop to this program. A working knowledge of scripting (e.g., Shell, Python, R) is necessary to be successful in this event. Employment of higher level scripting or programming languages may also be useful. Applicants must be willing to commit to all three days of the event. No financial support for travel, lodging or meals is available for this event. Also note that the hackathon may extend into the evening hours on Monday and/or Tuesday. Please make any necessary arrangements to accommodate this possibility.

Please contact ben.busby@nih.gov with any questions.

Venue: University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

Additional Projects: If you have an additional project you would like to see added to the form, please submit it here.

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