My experiences at ComPh Modelling Week in Oslo

by Eike Krautter


When I first heard about the ComPh-Modelling week from one of my professors I was fascinated because I already wanted to learn more about simulation and modelling in the field of Biology and to meet other people from different fields using models in their work. As a biologist having lots of Systems Biology lectures and being familiar with general modelling strategies used in Biology, I hoped I could keep up with mathematicians and computer scientist because they mostly have a deeper knowledge on how modelling works. My expectation was to get a better overview of Systems Biology and the tools being used to achieve knowledge in this field. Especially I was interested in RNA-Sequencing methods and their applications because I only had little lectures about it and I think it is an important technique.

I was not expecting to receive a scholarship so I was even more excited when I flew to Oslo whether me as a master student would be able to be an enrichment for the course.

All lectures and invited talks were very interesting, also the lectures about presentation and visualisation. The topics of the lectures were very diverse. From some I had previous knowledge others like “Big Data” and image processing were totally new to me.

Everyone was working in one project where the input from the lectures was deepened and we could learn exactly how the tools worked. The project I was working on was named “RNA-sequencing: from reads to biological insight” and was supervised by Lukas Simon from the Helmholtz Zentrum Munich. He provided us a workflow to process NGS Data completely on our own computers and showed us how we could perform such an analysis easily on a cloud computer. After the explanation and an example, we downloaded datasets from a database and started to process these data on our own.

Lukas did a very good job and invested a lot of time in making sure everyone understood how it must be done correctly and how it can be done at home. He really made us ready for using the tools he introduced and helped us in interpreting the results.

After a presentation of our results the Modelling week finished and we enjoyed the rest of the day in the city visiting the Fram museum about the Pole expeditions. Throughout the week I enjoyed spending evenings with other attendees to have dinner, to talk and to sightsee.

All in all, I am very glad that the possibility of joining the Modelling week was given to me. My expectations were totally fulfilled and I learned so much from the lectures and the discussions with the other attendees that I would not have learned from my lectures here in Stuttgart.

Eike Krautter is a student at the University of Stuttgart