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Newsletter - June 2015

Cisca Wijmenga wins prestigious Spinoza prize

Last Friday it was announced that DTL’s Scientific Advisory Committee member Cisca Wijmenga will receive the NWO Spinoza Prize 2015. “This is incredibly good news for my research work, for my research group, for the many patients who have ... Read more
Input requested for new IMI Data programme

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is preparing a new programme “Big Data for Better Outcomes”, focused on maximising the potential of big data in health care.  You can provide input until June 25, 2015 via ... Read more
ELIXIR-EXCELERATE funded by Horizon 2020

ELIXIR, the European bioinformatics research infrastructure, has been awarded €19 million from the EU. EXCELERATE funding will help DTL, the host network of ELIXIR-NL, to coordinate and extend the national focal areas ... Read more


DTL News

Enabling technologies and data/ICT well-positioned in topsector agendas
The nine Dutch Topsectors have recently published an update of their knowledge and innovation agendas (KIAs), as a step-up towards establishing public-private innovation contracts for the coming period of four years. DTL has strongly promoted to connect the agendas of Life Science & Health, Agri&Food, Horticulture & Starting Materials and the cross-connecting themes ICT and Biobased Economy at the level of enabling technologies and data/ICT. These topics have now been adopted in the sector agendas, and cross-references have been made. This is an excellent starting position to build joint programmes in these enabling technology areas that are crucial in all life science-based sectors.

As a step-up towards establishing a national ICT innovation programme across sectors, DTL also coordinated the contribution of the broader life science fields to the white paper associating the ICT KIA, under the title COMMIT2DATA. The broader life sciences clearly have numerous data and ICT challenges in common, and COMMIT2DATA is a perfect anchor to collectively invest in research and innovation across academia and industry. More information? Please contact

DTL research infrastructure vision pitched at KNAW  
April 2015, the DTL Scientific Advisory Committee convened to discuss the scientific approach and priorities taken in DTL. The committee, chaired by Prof. Peter Luijten of UMCU, advised positively on the DTL approach to facilitate (and stimulate) ‘integrated life science research’, characterised by the involvement of a dynamic range of research infrastructures and data resources. As a driver for such research DTL (with its public and private partners) envisages the establishment of a network of interlinked research facilities and service labs of certified high quality and expertise. The current cluster of DTL technology ‘hotels’ can be an excellent basis for this. A collective (FAIR) data infrastructure should then serve as connecting backbone to facilitate data stewardship for discovery and decision making in research. DTL is currently preparing for this infrastructure and has, among others, pitched this ‘dream’ at the KNAW, the Royal Dutch Academy of Science, in its recent call for large-scale research infrastructure ideas. The proposal can be found here.

If you are interested in joining DTL in this mission to enable integrated life science research, and would like to be involved in realising (parts of) this infrastructure, please contact DTL director Ruben Kok.

Enabling technologies hotels programme: 32 projects get access to DTL technology hotels
In last year’s round of the Enabling Technologies Hotels programme of ZonMw/ NWO-ALW almost 50 percent of the grant applications have been awarded: 32 projects out of the 65 submitted proposals.

For the first time “booster” projects could be submitted in the call. These are public-private projects aimed at generating hypothesis-supporting preliminary data, to be used in large national or international (e.g. Horizon2020) grant applications. Another novelty this year was the inclusion of data stewardship as a selection criterion in the call. Read more


ELIXIR Collaboration Agreement formally establishes Dutch ELIXIR node
In its hub and nodes set-up, ELIXIR relies on its associated national nodes plus EMBL-EBI to build its federated European life science data infrastructure and services portfolio. The ELIXIR Board already approved of the initial selection of international-grade ELIXIR-NL topics: data interoperability, e-infrastructure service and training. The ELIXIR Board has now also approved the formal ELIXIR Collaboration Agreement with DTL as the coordinator of ELIXIR-NL. This step opens the road to fund activities in the Netherlands as part of the ELIXIR-NL portfolio.
ELIXIR-funded projects will all be run under coordination of DTL Data Projects. DTL actively involves its partner organisations in ELIXIR-NL-funded projects, with ELIXIR-EXCELERATE as the first example. Prof. Barend Mons and Prof. Jaap Heringa coordinate the ELIXIR-NL projects, with dr. Rob Hooft as the technical coordinator. For information, or if you would like to make your international-grade capacities part of the ELIXIR-NL infrastructure and services portfolio, please contact

ELIXIR-NL involved in GA4GH-ELIXIR ‘Beacon’ collaboration
ELIXIR has partnered with the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) to provide data-discovery services for genomics that balance efficient data sharing and data protection. ELIXIR-NL is involved in this new collaboration, called "Beacon".  Its goal is to provide consent-based access to genomic data in the European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA, a joint project of EMBL-EBI and the CRG in Barcelona) as well as national resources in Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands by establishing GA4GH Beacons.  

ELIXIR and DTL recently organised a hackathon in which the commonalities between FAIR Data and Beacons were discussed. Barend Mons, Head of Node ELIXIR-NL: “Beacons are a first step towards FAIR data in genomics … Read more

ELIXIR-NL hosts Data carpentry event

On 22-25 June 2015 ELIXIR-NL will host the second event in the ELIXIR Software and Data Carpentry Pilot in Utrecht. The event will include a introduction to data carpentry, a hackaton for training materials and a workshop. Read more
Public and private partners get together at ODEX4all kickoff meeting

On 15 april 2015 over 20 participants (private and public 
partners) of the Odex4all project met in Utrecht to convene about the scope of the project. As Odex4all is set up as ... Read more
ELIXIR/DTL hackathon on FAIR Profiles & Data

From March 31st to April 2nd, DTL and Elixir organised a hackathon in Hinxton, UK. The hackathon had two parts, one dedicated to FAIR Profiles, the other to discuss the commonalities between FAIR Data and ... Read more
"Green" SME event well visited by industry

ELIXIR, Wageningen University, and DTL held a successful two day ELIXIR Innovation and SME Forum in Wageningen on 18-19 March 2015. Eighty delegates attended the interactive two-day event, including over 50 ... Read more
First Bring Your Own Template meeting

The first Bring Your Own Template (BYOT) meeting, organised by DTL/ELIXIR-NL, BioMedBridges, the FAIRport initiative, BBMRI-NLCTMM/TraIT, focussed on preparation for sharing and integration of data structures used for data capture, also known as ... Read more
Seven national biobank registries meet to exchange approaches, standards and quality aspects

On 18-19 February 2015 representatives of national biobank registries from sevenEuropean countries met to mutually learn from the different ... Read more

Training & Outreach

Collaboration Goblet and ELIXIR Training
In April 2015, GOBLET (Global Organisation for Bioinformatics Learning, Education and Training) and ELIXIR have formed a Joint Training Strategy, which sets out how the two initiatives will collaborate on training going forward. The Strategy was developed by the Training Coordinator's Group (TrCG) of ELIXIR. Celia van Gelder, programme manager DTL Learning is involved in both organisations; she is a member of the operational board of GOBLET, and training coordinator for ELIXIR-NL.

GOBLET also published a paper in April’s edition of PLoS Computational Biology describing their vision and ambitions.

DTL Course Directory – announce your courses to the DTL community!
We can only build the DTL Course Directory with your help, so please take a moment to publish your course(s) using the Course Submission Form.  The courses of  DTL Partners will also be announced on the partner pages

You can find an overview of upcoming courses relevant for the DTL community at the end of this newsletter.  

Outreach activities in the life sciences
The DTL website has a dedicated section about outreach activities targeted at high school students and teachers, and the general public. A recent outreach activity was the collaboration between Bioinformatics@school / Bioinformatica in de klas (the Nijmegen DNAlab on the road) and CTMM at the Dutch technology week in Eindhoven. Together they set up an exhibition on DNA. Visitors could isolate their own DNA, calculate the amount of DNA in their own body, build molecules out of candy, and get acquainted with 3D- visualization. Read more

DTL events

DTL- Life Sciences & eHealth track in 3rd National eScience Symposium
The 3rd National eScience Symposium ( October 8, 2015 Amsterdam Arena) -
will showcase world-class data-driven and compute-intensive research. DTL's Life Sciences & eHealth track is one of five scientific track and will include presentations of Amos Bairoch, Yves van der Peer and Andre Dekker. Read more

Save the date! On Wednesday 4 November 2015, BBMRI-NL, DTL/ELIXIR-NL, EATRIS, NFU, FHI and FMS host a joint conference in Amersfoort entitiled:  Empowering Personalized Medicine & Health Research; Connecting Researchers, Patients and Enabling Technologies. Read more

DTL and BioSB co-organise ECCB2016
On 3-7 September 2016 DTL and BioSB will jointly organise the fifteenth edition of the European Conference on Computational Biology. ECCB 2016 will take place at the World Forum in The Hague, the Netherlands. Read more


New mathematical models predict success rate of drug trials

A large part of drug trials fail when it turns out that the results for laboratory animals do not transfer to humans. However,  DTL’s partner CWI developed mathematical models that are able to predict ... Read more

Joyful news for Wageningen PAC members

Wageningen University's member of DTL's Partner Committee (PAC) Dick de Ridder was appointed Professor of Bioinformatics and Stichting DLO's PAC member Robert Hall receives honorary fellowship
Erasmus MC hosts conference on Personalized Medicine

On October 8 and 9, 2015, Erasmus MC will host the 2nd Transatlantic Conference on Personalized Medicine. TCPM2015 brings together opinion leaders and decision makers from science, society, ...  Read more
CWI, AMC and KiKa join forces in radiation study

DTL’s partner CWI, the Foundation Children Cancer free (Stichting Kinderen Kankervrij),  and Academic Medical Center (AMC) join forces in a new research project to survey radiation-related long-term effects ... Read more.
Leiden University opens new Metabolomics facility

On Friday 17 April Leiden Mayor Henri Lenferink has officially opened the new Metabolomics Facility of Leiden University.  The facility is the fruit of a collaboration between ... Read more
Research on perception of Big Data funded

UMCG's Ronald Stolk, chair of DTL's PAC, will receive half a million Euro in funding from NWO to study the perception of 'Big Data'.Since big data is often associated with privacy issues ... Read more

Your news announced on the DTL website & in the newsletter
If your organisation is one of the DTL Partners, you can announce your news through the DTL website. Please send your news items to Mascha Jansen.

Overview courses & events

  • BioSB Course: Quantitative and Predictive Modelling, 22-26 June 2015, Wageningen Read more
  • Gene expression data analysis using R, 22-26 June 2015,  Rotterdam Read more 
  • Advanced course correlative light electron microscopy, 25 -30 June Utrecht Read more
  • BioSB Course: RNA-seq Data Analysis (4th edition), 7-9 July 2015, Leiden Read more
  • Dresden Summer School in Systems Biology, 2-9 August 2015, Dresden, Germany Read more
  • STATegra Summer School in Omics and Data integration, 7-11 September 2015, Benicassim, Spain Read more 
  • ERASYSApp Workshop on  Citable Data and Reproducible Models, 14-16 September 2015, Rostock Warnemünde, Germany Read more
  • BioSB Course: Biological Network Analysis, 17-18 September 2015, Amsterdam Read more 
  • NGS in DNA diagnostics, 22-24 September, Rotterdam Read more 
  • BioSB Course: Matlab, 20 October, Wageningen Read more
  • BioSB Course: Managing and integrating information in the life sciences, October (tbd), Amsterdam Read more
  • BioSB/Lorentz workshop: Life sciences with industry 2015, 16 November, Leiden Read more

  • BioJS Conference 2015, 3-4 July 2015,  Norwich, UK Read more
  • ISMB/ECCB 2015: 23rd Annual International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology and the 14th European Conference on Computational Biology, 10-14 July 2015, Dublin, Ireland Read more
  • BioSHaRE conference: Latest Tools and Services for Data Sharing, 28 July 2015, Milan, Italy Read more
  • 36TH annual conference of the international society for clinical biostatistics (ISCB 2015), 23 August, Utrecht Read more
  • 2nd Systems Biology of Infection Symposium,  6-10 September 2015, Ascona, Switzerland Read more
  • Biolink-NL symposium on record linkage, 15 Sept, Den Haag Read more
  • 3rd National eScience Symposium Acceleration Scientific Discovery, 8 October 2015, Amsterdam Read more
  • 2nd Transatlantic Conference on Personalized Medicine, 8-9 October 2015, Rotterdam Read more
  • NETTAB 2015 & integrative bioinformatics 2015, 14 October, Bari, Italy Read more
  • Empowering Personalized Medicine & Health Research; Connecting Researchers, Patients and Enabling Technologies, 4 November 2015, Amersfoort Read more
  • BioMedBridges symposium: Open bridges for life science data, 17-18 November 2015, Hinxton, UK Read more
  • Benelux Bioinformatics Conference 2015, 7-8 December 2015, Antwerp, Belgium Read more
  • ECCB 2016 – 15th European Conference on Computational Biology, 3-7 September 2016, The Hague Read more
  • 36th Annual Conference of the International Society for Clinical Biostatistics, 23-27 August 2015, Utrecht Read more
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