This year’s summer school “From Big Data to Big Insights – Computational Methods for the Analysis and Interpretation of Mass-Spectrometric High-Throughput Data“ took place on Castle Dagstuhl from the 26th to 30th September. In one of the world’s premier meeting centres for informatics research, topics concerning the data analysis of mass spectrometry based proteomics and metabolomics were presented by renowned invited speakers of the field and discussed by advanced PhD students and postdoctoral fellows.

The group of 20 participants was selected from more than 50 applicants and consisted to one half of scientists mainly working on the generation of data in the wet-lab, and the other half mainly creating bioinformatics tools and workflows. While most participants were working in Germany, we also had scientists working in Poland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland. This mix of backgrounds contributed to lively discussions and a very motivated atmosphere during the various sessions and workshops, which were held not only by the members of the organising de.NBI units, but also by a group of excellent keynote speakers: Samuel Payne (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA), Oliver Serang (FU Berlin, DE), Juan Antonio Vizcaino (European Bioinformatics Institute, UK), Jürgen Cox (Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, DE), Viktoria Dorfer (FH Hagenberg, AU), Lennart Martens (University Gent, BE) and Sebastian Böcker (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, DE) talked about their current advances in computational mass spectrometry and gave hands-on training in analysing big data. Even more important for the success of the summer school was the fact, that many speakers managed to stay several days and had time for discussions during the coffee breaks and the evenings.
The afternoon and evening of the Wednesday was used for a social event in Trier. All participants, organisers and speakers took part in a guided tour highlighting the medieval past of the Roman city. After getting this wrap-up in history and having time to admire historic sights, we tasted original Roman cuisine in a local restaurant.

The summer school was organised by the three de.NBI units Bioinformatics for Proteomics (BioInfra.Prot), Center for Integrative Bioinformatics (CIBI) and the Bielefeld-Gießen Resource Center for Microbial Bioinformatics (BiGi). It was sponsored not only by the BMBF (de.NBI), but also supported by the Medizinisches Proteom-Center (MPC) and one female speaker was funded by the German-Canadian DFG International Research Training Group “Computational Methods for the Analysis of the Diversity and Dynamics of Genomes” (DiDy). The overwhelmingly positive feedback of participants and speakers concerning the programme, organisation, implementation and also the venue emphasises the on-going excellent cooperation between the service centers inside de.NBI.

More information on the programme and photos of the summer school can be found at