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The international Galaxy community’s annual meeting is coming to Brisbane in July, offering a great chance to learn more about the computational biology platform.

The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) will host the Galaxy Community Conference (GCC2023), a hybrid in-person and online event, at its Gardens Point, Brisbane campus from 10–16 July.

Dr Gareth Price, Galaxy Australia Project Lead and QCIF’s Head of Computational Biology, led both the organisation of GCC2023 and the campaign to have the conference hosted in the southern hemisphere for the first time.

“Galaxy Australia is an important member of the global Galaxy services. The opportunity to invite our fellow Galaxy users, researchers and coders to Australia and share our experiences of operating a national service is behind our desire to host GCC, as well as being able to influence the latest Galaxy developments,” said Gareth.

A dozen operators of Galaxy Europe and ELIXIR (European life sciences infrastructure) intend to stay in Australia for several weeks following GCC2023 to collaborate with the Galaxy Australia team in Brisbane and Melbourne. 

Thousands of Queensland researchers are using the Galaxy Australia web platform — which QCIF provides as a free service — for their data-intensive science.

Galaxy Australia enables researchers to build, run, share and repeat their own complex computational analyses using only a web browser, without having to learn to use command-line interfaces or worry about system administration.

GCC2023 welcomes both biologists and software developers. The conference will showcase the latest in Galaxy’s advanced capabilities, demonstrate how researchers are using Galaxy and offer training in how to use Galaxy for machine learning, microbiology, structural biology and Alphafold, genomics, genome annotation, genome assembly, single cell transcriptomics, human genetics, and more.

Local keynote speakers include QUT’s Associate Professor Roberto Barrero Gumiel, who will share how he uses Galaxy to enhance Australia’s plant biosecurity; Professor Carolyn Hogg from the University of Sydney will demonstrate how Galaxy contributes to her research in biodiversity conservation genomics of Australia’s native animals; and University of NSW structural biologist and power user of the Australian Alphafold service, Dr Kate Michie, will present insights into how she uses Alphafold in Galaxy Australia.

There will also be opportunities to get involved in the open-source development of Galaxy, give direct feedback to Galaxy developers on what your research needs, and learn about what goes on behind the scenes with Galaxy infrastructure.

QCIF Bioinformatician and Software Developer Dr Cameron Hyde is organising CollaborationFest (CoFest) as part of GCC2023. CoFest, 14–16 July, is for those interested in contributing to Galaxy’s tool set, documentation, training materials, code base, and anything else that expands the Galaxy ecosystem.

“We value the open science collaborations that make every Galaxy service greater than the sum of its parts,” said Gareth.

In 2019, shortly after the launch of Galaxy Australia, the service won three Queensland iAwards, including the Queensland Premier’s iAward for Public Sector Innovation. Since then, use of the analysis service has grown tenfold, enabling research across QCIF’s Members, including biosecurity surveillance and diagnosis at QUT and virus and bacteria genomics at the University of Queensland, and resulting in acknowledgements in many peer-reviewed publications.

QCIF and Galaxy Australia would like to thank the office of Brisbane’s Lord Mayor for providing a grant to enable the Galaxy Community Conference to be held in the Queensland capital.

Attend GCC2023 either in person or online to understand how Galaxy Australia can help you get the most out of your data — please register.

QCIF operates Galaxy Australia in collaboration with the Australian BioCommons (hosted by The University of Melbourne)Melbourne Bioinformatics and AARNet. The service is underpinned by computational resources provided by QCIFThe University of MelbournePawsey Supercomputing CentreAARNet and Microsoft Azure. Galaxy is supported by Bioplatforms Australia and the ARDC in Australia.