Work(shops) from home – NCBI North Texas Workshops and Codeathon 2021

Work(shops) from home – NCBI North Texas Workshops and Codeathon 2021

The NCBI Education team worked with universities in the greater Dallas area to host and present four online workshops and a codeathon, May 11th-20th. These events helped attendees from a variety of educational backgrounds and interests incorporate NCBI data and tools into their work. The NCBI North Texas Workshops spanned topics of clinical genetics, human genome research, coding, and cloud computing and brought together nearly 100 participants. This is the first of three posts describing these events. The current post focuses on the two more traditional workshops: NCBI Resources for Genetic Disease Discovery and Clinical Support and NCBI Resources for Human Genome Research. Subsequent posts will highlight the two technical workshops and the codeathon.

Figure 1. Sample materials from the NCBI North Texas Workshops presented May 11th-14th.

In the first of four workshops, NCBI Resources for Genetic Disease Discovery and Clinical Support, participants learned why and how to incorporate genetic testing in patient care and were guided through interesting medical case studies that have been featured in several news outlets. In working through case studies, workshop participants learned how to find literature relevant to clinical decisions and patient education as well as use NCBI databases to determine effective treatment options. One attendee remarked that these case studies showed, “great strength in illustrating the importance of informational databases on diseases and how they can apply to real life patients”.  After this workshop, we hope that participants understand the importance of genetic testing and can implement this new knowledge in research and hospital settings to improve patient care.

The second workshop, NCBI Resources for Human Genome Research, helped participants understand NCBI resources and identify the best databases for their research. Here, participants traversed various NCBI databases and worked with NCBI experts through research examples. While this workshop was great for users unfamiliar with the NCBI, NCBI regulars were still able to gain new knowledge. One attendee stated, “I am familiar with the (NCBI) website for many different things but having everything explained to me from start to finish was very helpful”. We hope that all workshop participants are now more comfortable using the NCBI website and databases, understand where to get started with research questions, and learned new search methods to improve their work.

These two workshops, NCBI Resources for Genetic Disease Discovery and Clinical Support and NCBI Resources for Human Genome Research, provided participants with important biological knowledge and web-based skills that are useful in educational, research, and clinical settings and set a foundation for two additional, coding-centric technical workshops in the NCBI North Texas series. We will discuss these technical workshops: Getting Started with NCBI Data and Python and An Introduction to NCBI Cloud Computing for Biologists in our next post.

You can download materials from these two workshops and all the Texas events from the FTP site.

If you have questions about these workshops or interest in participating in future NCBI workshops, please contact workshops@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

One thought on “Work(shops) from home – NCBI North Texas Workshops and Codeathon 2021

  1. Hi, Great initiatives !
    For those who did not get a chance to participate and would like to learn; are they any recordings or online materials available?

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