ELIXIR launches two new Communities: Systems Biology and Single-Cell Omics

Two new Communities have been formed in ELIXIR, representing the fields of systems biology and single-cell omics. Systems biology aims to understand how biological functions emerge from interactions between the multiple components of living systems, whereas single-cell omics is a technology to study development and disease processes at the single-cell level. Both fields of research are rapidly developing and have great potential to help with challenges in health, climate change and food security.

ELIXIR Communities bring together experts across ELIXIR Nodes and external partners to coordinate activities within specific life science domains. The addition of two new Communities brings the total in ELIXIR to fifteen, spanning domains such as human data and plant sciences and technologies such as Galaxy and proteomics.

The systems biology community in Europe and globally is already well-organised, but until now it has not been formally represented in ELIXIR. The aims of the ELIXIR System Biology Community are:

  • To place system biology models at the centre of ELIXIR’s effort to integrate and interpret findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) data
  • To facilitate the use of ELIXIR’s data, tools, interoperability, compute and training resources by Community participants and members of the wider European and global systems biology community

The Systems Biology Community is co-led by John Hancock (ELIXIR Slovenia), Vitor Martins dos Santos (ELIXIR Netherlands) and Anže Županič (ELIXIR Slovenia).

Single-cell and spatial omics has rapidly developed as a field of research, which has led to challenges in training, standardisation, benchmarking and computational resources. The ELIXIR Single-Cell Omics Community is focusing on three areas:

  • Training: collecting and sharing training materials, datasets and guidelines on how to teach for trainers and learners
  • Standardisation and interoperability: defining best practices for FAIRification, establishing and promoting data and metadata standards
  • Analysis tools: benchmarking, providing portable software environments and cloud deployable analysis pipelines, contributing to tool registries

The Single-Cell Omics Community is co-led by Paulo Czarnewski (ELIXIR Sweden), Naveed Ishaque (ELIXIR Germany) and Eija Korpelainen (ELIXIR Finland).

Both Communities have published white papers outlining their short, medium and long-term goals. Working towards these goals will help build the respective fields of expertise within ELIXIR, within Europe and beyond.

About ELIXIR Communities

The ELIXIR Communities Handbook tells you what a Community is, who can join, what the benefits are, and how Communities are structured. It also contains links to key documents related to ELIXIR Communities, and explains the responsibilities and benefits of Community membership.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Communities Coordinator, Katharina Heil (katharina.heil [at] elixir-europe.org).

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Wed 18 January 2023