Microbiome Data Analysis Boot Camp


High-throughput sequencing technologies allow easy characterisation of the microbiome, but the data analysis faces many particular issues and difficulties. The data analysis starts with the processing of the raw read counts to turn them into an OTU table. In this process, quality control, filtering and clustering into OTUs are essential steps. Once the OTU count table is ready, the choice of data analysis method depends on the research objectives, but very often a first visual data exploration is performed.

Ordination methods, which often originate from ecology, are well suited for this purpose, but new methods tailored to microbiome data behave better for the overdispersed, zero inflated sequencing data. Formal statistical data analysis methods are required for identifying species that are differentially abundant between several conditions; again there is a need for special methods that can deal with overdispersion, zero-inflation, library size variability and potentially with the compositional nature of microbiome data.

The data analysis becomes even more elaborated for longitudinal data when studying the evolution of the microbiome over time. These analyses may focus on either individual taxa or on diversity of the microbial community (richness, alpha and beta diversity, ...). We focus on 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing data.

This course is part of a larger course series in Data Analysis consisting of 19 individual modules. Find more information and enroll for this module via www.ipvw-ices.ugent.be

The course starts with a brief overview of the processing of raw reads data into an OTU table (including filtering, trimming and clustering into OTUs). We continue with summarizing, exploring and plotting the high dimensional data with ordination and clustering methods. Next we focus on the estimation of diversity (including eveness, richness, beta diversity) and relative abundances, while spending attention on normalization issues. We will discuss several methods for testing for differential abundance and diversity, including methods for longitudinal data analysis.

During the practical exercises we will use R and several packages that will be provided later on.

Schrijf je hier in voor lessen uit deze cursus

Microbiome Data Analysis Boot Camp

  • Type of course: This is an on campus course.
  • Dates & times: Monday April 4 and Tuesday April 5, 2022, from 9 am to 12 pm and from 1 pm to 4 pm; Wednesday April 6, 2022, from 9 am to 12 pm
  • Venue: UGent, Faculty of Sciences, Campus Sterre, Krijgslaan 281, building S9, 9000 Gent
  • Target audience: Scientists who need statistical data analysis for microbiome studies (biologists, statisticians, data scientists, bioinformaticians, …).
  • Exam/certificate: Participants who attend all classes receive a certificate of attendance via e-mail at the end of the course. Additionally, participants can, if they wish, take part in an exam. Upon succeeding in this test a certificate from Ghent University will be issued. The exam consists of a take home project assignment. Students are required to write a report by a set deadline.
  • Course prerequisites: Participants must have experience with R equivalent to Module 1 - Getting Started with R Software for Data Analysis, basic knowledge of statistics equivalent to Module 2 'Drawing Conclusions from Data: an Introduction' of this year's program and a basic knowledge of sequencing and the microbiome.
  • Funding: => Our academy is recognised as a service provider for the 'KMO-portefeuille'. In this way small and middle sized businesses located in the Flanders region can save up to 30% on the registration fee for our courses. You can request this subsidy via www.kmo-portefeuille.be up until 14 calender days after the course has started. => UGent PhD students can apply for a full refund from their Doctoral School.
  • Reduction: => If two or more employees from the same company enrol simultaneously for this course a reduction of 20% on the module price is taken into account starting from the second enrolment => Reduced prices apply to coworkers in governmental institutions, non-profit organisations and higher eduction as well as for students and the unemployed.
  • Enrolling for this course is possible via the IPVW-ICES website.