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Messages - Kat Burton

ECN webinars 2019 / Re: 6th September 2019- ECN multivariate statistics webinar 2
The recorded webinar is now available at:

Extra Q and As from Claus:

What other omics integration tools have you tested on your datasets (DIABLO, MINT, sMBPLS...)?
This particular data set is more than 10 years old. I think Le Cao had published some of her papers by then, but the mixOmics package didn’t exist yet and neither did DIABLO and MINT. In a way doing this seminar was one way for me get into these packages a bit more. At that time we used the ade4 and made4 packages, which I think are pre-runners of omicade4. I wasn’t aware of the sMBPLS package, but it looks very interesting so will check it out. I think there are slightly different cultures depending on which omics data you deal with. The metabolomics world seems very strong on variants of PLS, whereas the Gene Expression folk seem to love network analysis (which you can regard as multivariate analysis too, but is very different).
Is there any rule for a maximum number of variables that can be assessed according to the number of samples (when the number of variables is huge but the number of subjects do not exceed a few hundreds)?

No, I don’t think so. The number of variables will only ever grow in comparison to the number of samples and saying there is a maximum number would imply we (as statisticians) refuse to accept our responsibility to deal with that. Statistics has developed rapidly in this area in the last 20 years, and the best and most successful methods tend to make use of the high-dimensionality rather than seeing it as a curse.

A pdf copy of the webinar presentation is available in the attachment to this message for ECN members.
ECN webinars 2019 / 6th September 2019- ECN multivariate statistics webinar 2
The ECN committee are pleased to announce the second webinar in our series on multivariate statistics that will be delivered by Dr Claus Mayer:

Sparse multivariate methods and integration of omics data sets

Friday 6th September, 16:00-17:00 CET

Multivariate methods like principle component analysis (PCA) or partial least squares (PLS) are essential in revealing structure in high-dimensional omics type data, where the number of variables is typically much larger than the number of samples (p>>n). As useful as these methods are to study the relationship between samples the high number of variables obscures the interpretation which genes, proteins or metabolites contribute to the patterns we see. Sparse methods enforce the loadings of most variables to be 0, while still explaining much of the variation in the data and thus enable an easier biological interpretation of the results. Dr Mayer will introduce sparse versions of some commonly used multivariate methods and illustrate their use in data examples.
In a second part he will present methods that simultaneously analyse two (or more) data sets like Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA) or Co-Inertia Analysis (CIA). These tools allow to study the joint influence of two sets of variables (eg. a transcriptomic and a proteomic data set) on the variation within samples while showing the relationship between the data sets at the same time.

Dr Claus Mayer is a senior statistician working for Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland. His main area of research in recent years has been the analysis of high-dimensional genomics data with a particular emphasis on gene expression studies (microarrays, RNAseq) and related areas (proteomics, methylation studies. Dr Mayer has worked on methods of integrating/combining such omics data sets from different sources like combining high-dimensional  data from different stages of an experiment in a group-sequential setting, conducting meta-analysis of comparable gene expression studies or integrating different types of omics data collected from the same samples. Dr Mayer has also investigated ways of quickly calculating overall summary statistics of pairwise (cross-) correlations within one or more high-dimensional data sets and has studied ways of turning such (partial) correlation structures into sparse biologically interpretable networks.

Sign up for the webinar at:
NuGO conference 2019 / ECN annual social 2019- Tuesday 10th September
Join us in Bern during NuGOweek 2019 for the NuGO ECN annual social !

This year there will be an adventure room, speed-networking, refreshments and more!

Don't miss out, participation is limited, please sign up on the NuGOweek 2019 registration homepage.

Further information is given in the attached flyer.

Many thanks to Michel Combes for the flyer design:)
ECN webinars 2019 / 28th June 2019: ECN webinar on Multivariate statistics- part 1
The first webinar in a three part series on the theme of multivariate statistics in nutrition will be delivered by Maren Büttner 

How to uncover biological patterns in omics data
Friday 28th June, 16:00 CET

This webinar is targeted at researchers who are using (or plan to use) omic data such as metabolomics, proteomics or transcriptomics to address their research questions. The first part of the webinar will cover how to use principal component analysis (PCA) as a tool for dimensionality reduction and detection of biases. In addition, guidance will be provided on how to select the number of meaningful components and how to interpret the loadings of principal components (if necessary). The second part of the webinar will explore how to complete basic clustering, including hierarchical clustering (e.g. as used in dendrograms), and how to extract groups from it. A practical example of the typical workflow for these analyses will be provided with an R script example for those who use R programming.

Extensive knowledge in R programming is not essential to participate in the webinar but the application of some of the methods is demonstrated in the R environment.

To sign up, please register directly at:
Job announcements / Postdoc fellowships in ETH, Zurich, Switzerland
Finding Sustainable Sources of Nutrition

Future Food is a Swiss research initiative that provides opportunities to educate and train new talent around the food value chain by leveraging the complementary strengths of the Swiss academic and industrial research communities.

The 'fellowship' is a postdoc programme for exceptionally qualified young researchers who propose projects targeting future food issues such as nutrition, production, packaging and digital health. The fellowship provides personal research funds for three years, enabling fellows to work on their projects in a research laboratory anywhere in Switzerland with a “champion” in academia (the host professor at ETH Zurich or EPFL) and in industry (the industry partner).

The aim is to award up to ten fellowships each year. The actual number depends on how many candidates successfully complete a selection process culminating with a face-to-face interview. In addition to scientific skills, the personality and motivation of the candidates will also be considered. However, the main criterion for selection is scientific excellence combined with industrial relevance. The call for new research or translational projects is conducted once every year.

For further information, visit:
Job announcements / Post doc job vacancy- Food Research Center (FoRC) application deadline 24.4.19
The Food Research Center (FoRC) has opened a selection for a post-doctoral fellowship linked to a study aiming to evaluate the effects of d-limonene on metabolism. FoRC is a research center supported by São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), located at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of São Paulo in São Paulo, Brazil.

D-limonene is a monoterpene abundant in citrus fruits known for its hypoglycaemic and hypolipidemic effects. The focus of the study is to evaluate mechanisms of action not yet explored, aiming to understand how this compound can modulate metabolism and prevent chronic diseases. For this purpose, a study in animal models will be carried out and different metabolomics platforms as well as metagenomic and gene expression analysis will be employed to assess d-limonene effects.

The ideal candidate must have:
• Obtained the PhD degree in the last 7 years;
• Have formal training in analytical chemistry (bachelor degree in chemistry, biochemistry,
pharmacy or related areas);
• Demonstrated experience in targeted and untargeted metabolomics. This includes the operation of qToF and triple quadrupole mass spectrometers and familiarity with data analysis softwares and mass spectrometry databases;
• Experience in R for data analysis;
• Experience with metabolomics analysis applied to nutrition/ metabolism of phytochemicals;
• Be the first author in at least one scientific publication in an indexed journal.

Applicants must send a CV, motivation letter and one recommendation letter to until 25/04/2019. A final decision will be made until the 05/05/2019. The estimated date to start the new position is 01/07/2019.
FAPESP post-doctoral fellowships consist of monthly allowances of R$7373,10 and additional grant equivalent to 15% of the monthly allowances to cover costs related to the research project. The fellowship is granted for 2 years, with the possibility of extension for 2 extra years. Applicants living further than 350 Km from São Paulo are entitled to a relocation allowance and covering of travel costs.
Job announcements / Job opening- AFI R&D Gut Health
A job opening that might be of interest to PhDs or post docs working in nutrition and gut health.
Arla foods Ingredients (AFI) are looking for a skilled nutrition research scientist within Gut Health & Disease to drive our research activities together with external academia partners. Different backgrounds are possible, but with the requirement of a PhD (or similar experience).
For further information, please consult:
ECN webinars 2019 / 25th March 2019: 9th ECN webinar on Pathway analysis
Pathway analysis in the nutritional field using PathVisio and WikiPathways

DATE: Monday, 25th March at 16:00 h (CET)
HOST: Dr. Susan Coort (Department of Bioinformatics-BiGCaT, NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University, NL)

The ECN are pleased to announce our 9th webinar that will address how pathway analysis in PathVisio can be performed and how it is applied in the nutritional field. The webinar will start with an explanation of the online biological pathway repository WikiPathways ( It will be shown how pathways can be created and curated. Thereafter, pathway analysis of various types of omics data will be discussed. The overrepresentation analysis (ORA), the statistical method used, will be explained and it will be shown how the researcher can find affected biological processes based on molecular changes. The open-source pathway analysis tool, PathVisio (, will be explained in detail. Both the statistical and visualization module within PathVisio will be addressed. Finally, several nutritional example studies will be described and the pathway results will be discussed.

Susan Coort is working as an assistant professor at the department of Bioinformatics-BiGCaT, NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University.

REGISTRATION: Attendance is FREE but registration is required
Send an email to ECN NuGO with:

– Email subject ‘Registration to Online Webinar’
– Your full name

Space is limited and priority is given to ECN members on a first-come-first-served basis. Details for accessing the webinar will be sent upon registration.
External training / Proteomics course with grants available
We are pleased to announce an Advanced Proteomics course, organised by the Graduate School VLAG and the Laboratory of Biochemistry, Wageningen University and Research, will take place from 27th to 30th August 2019.

Three course grants are being offered by NuGO. These grants are only available for PhD students from one of the NuGO member organisations. For more information visit:

Note that the deadline for a grant application is: 22 February 2019 (and not 5 March as mentioned on the course pages).

One should register and besides that a CV, motivation letter from the applicant and a support letter from the supervisor should be send to:
Symposiums / PhD Defense: Genetic Variations in Connection
Sign up for a one day symposium at Maastrict on the topic of:

“Genetic Variations In Connection; Understanding the Effects of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in their Biological Context”

Elisa Cirillo – PhD candidate @ BiGCaT – Department of Bioinformatics / Maastricht University

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. C.T.A. Evelo
Co-supervisors: dr. S.L.M. Coort, Dr. L.D. Parnell


Registration before 16th January at:
Upcoming external webinars / Metabolon webinar on demand: Metabolomic profiling and gene function

Metabolon are hosting an 'on-demand' webinar entitled:

How Metabolomic Profiling Can Unlock Gene Function & Provide Biological Insight

In this webinar, you'll learn how the precise measurement of metabolites in an untargeted manner and this data can be used to unlock existing -omics data streams to understand the basis of wellness and disease.

Presented by:
Gregory Michelotti, PhD
Senior Study Director, Metabolon

Registration and further information available at:
ECN webinars 2019 / ECN 8th Webinar- personalised nutrition
The ECN committee are pleased to announce our 8th online webinar:

“Nutrition systems and health research for designing personalized solutions”

Colleen Draper M.S., R.D.,  from Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences SA (Switzerland), will share her insights about nutrition systems and health research for designing personalized solutions.

Tuesday 15 January at 16:00h (CET).

Attendance is FREE but registration is required, limited space and attendance arranged based on ECN membership and order of registration.

To register please send us an email at with:
* Email subject ‘Registration to Online Webinar’
* Your name and surname