Galaxy Australia August 2018 update

The ongoing evolution of services behind the GVL, including Galaxy Australia, saw a number of solid outcomes for our teams at Melbourne Bioinformatics and QCIF throughout May to August.

Galaxy Community Conference

Key Galaxy developer Simon Gladman and UQ’s Derek Benson attended the Galaxy Community Conference held in Portland, Oregon from 25-30 June 2018. Simon gave a presentation on Galaxy Australia and how we are contributing to the global community efforts for the project. He was also an invited panel member at five other sessions. We are very pleased to see Galaxy Australia is playing a key role in the development of this exciting, active community and look forward to continuing to do so.

Winter School

QFAB’s Gareth Price, presented on Galaxy Australia and the GVL at the University of Queensland (UQ) -hosted Winter School in Mathematical and Computational Biology held in early July. Alongside, at the Australian Society of Microbiology’s annual conference, Gareth, supported by Scott Beatson (conference co-organiser), presented a 1.5hr workshop on Galaxy focussed on resources for microbiologists.

Rolling out national Galaxy Australia training

Throughout 2018 the Galaxy Australia project team is working with the EMBL-ABR Hub and Nodes to roll out a national bioinformatics training program. Following a successful two-day facilitator training workshop held in Melbourne in July, four workshops are planned for introducing Galaxy Australia capabilities to researchers, with demonstrations based around different themes: genome assembly, variant detection, RNA-seq and metagenomics.

The first of these workshops (on 22 Wednesday) was led by Dr Anna Syme from Melbourne Bioinformatics, who is coordinating training for Galaxy Australia, with trained facilitators on hand at a ten venues across Australia. These facilitators are supporting their local participants during the live online training event. With over 100 registrants for the first workshop, we are confident this hybrid delivery model is helping to meet the growing demand for bioinformatics training in Australia, where we are always challenged by the tyranny of distance.

The future for the GVL?

Further suggestions for how the GVL may develop further include a wish list of new tools such as Pacbio, Nanostring and Nanopore analysis. The project team are now considering the possibility of including non-genomic tools in Galaxy Australia (metabolomics, proteomics etc) to make it more of an extended –omics platform. With the enthusiasm for what the Galaxy platform is delivering amongst the growing global community of developers and users, this might possibly be the next phase in the development of this terrific platform.