Nordic Bioinformatics Network (NBN) 

Bioinformatics is a new discipline with only short tradition at the Nordic universities. For the Ph.D. students at these universities, it is important to obtain a 'critical mass' of contacts both with other Ph.D. students and with other universities representing other facets within the bioinformatics spectrum.

Regular network meetings, the possibility to attend PhD courses, and exchanges of researchers between the different sites will speed up the spread of new methodologies and will make an important contribution to the development of bioinformatics PhD-level training in the Nordic countries.

The network aims at fulfilling the following goals during the period 2001-2003:
Arrangement of three Nordic Bioinformatics Network symposia
At least 5 guest researchers exchanges between the Nordic countries
At least 20 Ph.D. students in bioinformatics should have attended a course at another site than their home university.

The network will be coordinated by the 5 contact persons, one from each of the Nordic countries and representing all the major bioinformatics research groups. These contact persons forming the steering group of NBN are: 


Planned activities of the Nordic Bioinformatics Network (NBN)

1. Annual conference

While bioinformatics initiatives are underway in most Nordic countries, there is an immediate need to strengthen the contacts between the different groups. The most important meeting point will be the NBN annual symposium, where all Nordic bioinformatics groups will participate. The annual symposium will also provide a very good opportunity for Ph.D. students to learn new techniques and to establish new contacts. Scientific presentations at this symposium will be held both by a few key, internationally distinguished invited speakers, and by as many as possible of the participating students.
The 2003 meeting will be arranged on Friday 23 May 2003 in Helsinki as a sattellite meeting to the Bioinformatics 2003 conference.

2. Exchange of researchers

A second NBN initiative will be to support short-term exchange visits between the Nordic countries. This is an efficient way to strengthen the collaborations and spread methodological knowledge between the groups. As an example, there is already an ongoing collaboration between Stockholm and Copenhagen that has been very fruitful and has resulted in around 10 joint publications so far.
For further information, please contact Gunnar von Heijne.

3. Participation in Ph. D. courses

Since the expertise in the different bioinformatics groups within NBN is to a large extent complementary, Ph.D. students will benefit from a possibility to attend Ph.D. courses at the participating Nordic universities. NBN will thus support travel for participation in Ph.D. courses in bioinformatics at other sites than the home university.
For further information, please contact Gunnar von Heijne.

Activities of the Nordic Bioinformatics Network (NBN) during 2002

During 2002, NBN has continued its aim to increase the competence and to strengheten the connections within bioinformatics in the Nordic countries.

1. Annual conference

The 2002 meeting was arranged on Friday 5 April 2002 in Bergen as a sattellite meeting to the Bioinformatics 2002 conference. The NBN funding made it possible for 45 Ph.D. students and postdocs to participate in the network meeting and the conference.

2. Nordic Bioinformatics Network Course:

Advanced microarray data analysis: class discovery and class prediction Elsinor, Denmark, 17 - 21 May 2004 The course will focus on statistical analysis methods that can be applied to data consisting of gene expression values obtained by microarray technology, as well as their applications. These methods include feature selection, class discovery and classification. A few new subjects such as meta-analysis of data and association networks will also be introduced. Bioinformatics Ph.D. students in the Nordic countries can apply to the NorFa Bioinformatics Network program for partial financial support.

For further information and application form, see

Previous courses:

Joint NBN-EBI course on 'Databases in bioinformatics' October 4-5 2002

An in-depth course on the EBI databases for NBN Ph.D. students and postdocs was held at EBI, Hinxton, UK, 4--5 October 2002. NBN supported 38 students. Details can be found under NBN-EBI course rogram and other information.

3. Exchange of researchers

Three travel grants have made it possible for Ph.D. students to visit another research groups in an Nordic country.

Participating bioinformatics groups

Contact person
Stockholm Bioinformatics Center
Gunnar von Heijne
Center for Genomic Research, Karolinska Institutet
Erik Sonnhammer
Sweden Linköping University Bengt Persson
Linneaus Bioinformatics Center, Uppsala
Siv Andersson
Gothenburg University & Chalmers
Olle Nerman
University of Skövde
Dan Lundh
University of Lund
Guoguang Lu
Center for Biological Sequence Analysis, Copenhagen
Sören Brunak
Åbo Akademi
Mark Johnson
University of Helsinki
Esko Ukkonen
University of Bergen
Inge Jonassen
Trondheim (SINTEF)
Finn Drabløs
University of Oslo
David Martin
University of Iceland
Magnus Halldorsson
University of Tartu
Tõnu Margus

Link to NorFA home page
Bengt Persson 27.04.2003