Genomic Data Science Community Network


To broaden the spectrum of diverse institutions active in bioinformatics and genomic data science, we seek partnerships with educators and researchers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Community Colleges (CCs). Cloud-based resources such as AnVIL provide genomic data access, computing, and training, serving as a catalyst for bringing together students, educators, and researchers at both resource-rich institutions and institutions not traditionally engaged in genomics research. We envision the GDSCN as providing a voice for the community that will guide and advocate for high-throughput tools and resources necessary to implement genomics in data science successfully

Initial Activities

A kickoff meeting in late 2020 will take place as two 2-4 hour online meetings. We will start by presenting the working group mission and provide an opportunity for each representative to introduce themselves. Then, we will introduce AnVIL, available datasets, and example genomic lab exercises. With this background set, the remainder of the two half-days will be used to: 1) Prioritize needs to enable research at respective institutions; 2) Target specific learning objectives that align with existing lower division core courses (e.g. RNA transcription); 3) Draft assessments appropriate for these learning objectives; and 4) Identify initial dataset(s) that can be explored in the Spring 2021 semester.

The following months will be used to develop three main products: 1) Short lab modules adapted from existing contributed material; 2) A MOOC-style teacher’s guide; and 3) Identify five scientific questions that are suitable for future research by students at diverse institutions. Instructors will be recruited to test these lab modules as a component of their regular teaching portfolio, with curricula designed in such a way as to reduce, rather than increase, teaching load for the participating instructors. Communication between students, educators, and scientists will be encouraged by including exercises that leverage both and Utilizing these community forums will allow scientists at research universities to interact with and support students with technical, scientific, and mentorship questions.

This initial stage will conclude with a second set of two 2-4 hour online meetings in late summer of 2021. Activities include: 1) Presenting the results from the initial testing; 2) Presenting the five research questions identified by the subgroups; 3) Discuss assessments, and identify curriculum revisions based on initial testing and necessary steps to expand to other institutions; 4) Research or teaching presentations by participating faculty; and 5) Draft a paper summarizing our efforts that will include each external faculty as an author.