UBC communicy in Covid-19 times – introduction newsletter May 2020

Utrecht Bioinformatics Center

UBC communicy in Covid-19 times – introduction newsletter May 2020

This UBC newsletter finds you in unprecedented circumstances, with Covid-19 impacting our daily lives, research, teaching and the UBC as a community. We, of course, hope that you are all healthy and doing well given the circumstances. We are extremely proud and thankful to our community which, right from the start of this whole crisis, actively engaged in finding creative solutions to the situation at hand. It shows that we are not only strong in excellent Bioinformatics and BioComplexity, but that we can also adapt quickly and turn a difficult situation into an opportunity. So, what has changed?

We were one of the first communities in Utrecht to switch our seminars to a completely online webinar format, and very happy to see many of you attending our UBC webinar series. 

Another example is the switch we have made to virtual teaching. Challenged with the lockdown measures, that took effect only two weeks before we would start the Introduction to Bioinformatics course, we quickly changed the course to an all-online edition. In its wake, all of our other Master’s and PhD courses are now given completely online, maintaining the high-quality standards that we already had. We are extremely proud of this and wish to thank the involved teachers, coordinators, support staff and IT for all the extra time and effort spent on making this happen.

We are also very excited about our Master’s programme Bioinformatics and Biocomplexity, which will start this fall. We already have over 50 applications from students all over the world. Our curriculum committee is actively overseeing the Master’s programme study programme. Read more about our Master’s programme in this newsletter.

Many of our 50-year-Bioinformatics activities are cancelled, delayed or have changed to deal with the current situation. We have for instance decided to reschedule the UBC 50-anniversary-symposium to the beginning of 2021 so that we do have the opportunity to have a celebrative closure of the 50-year-anniversary. We will, of course, keep you informed through our regular channels. 

We also understand that the community interactions as well as research and teaching are greatly limited due to the scale-down and social distance measures currently in effect. Do know that we are actively looking for opportunities to stimulate the interactive and creative environment that the UBC has been and always will be, regardless of the challenges we face. Let us know if we can help, whether you have creative ideas or want to be otherwise engaged in our community!

On behalf of the Executive Board,
Patrick Kemmeren