Friday 26th November 2021  10.30 CET

Frederik Coppens

Head of Node ELIXIR Belgium

VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology

ELIXIR: a distributed infrastructure for biological data


ELIXIR coordinates, integrates and sustains bioinformatics resources across its member states and enables users in academia and industry to access services that are vital for their research. In this presentation I will highlight the services ELIXIR has and the approach it takes to develop research infrastructure for human data.


As a bioscience engineer, I obtained a PhD studying leaf development in Arabidopsis thaliana in the group of Gerrit Beemster at the VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Bi- ology. During my PhD I gradually shifted from wetlab to bioinformatics. I mostly worked with expression data: from qPCR, over microarrays to RNA sequencing. As a post-doc in the group of Dirk Inzé, I focussed on bioinformatics and implemented an RNA-seq workflow in our center.

Currently, I’m IT manager and Project Leader of the Applied Bioinformatics and Biostatistics (ABB) group at the VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology. The mission of the ABB group is to enable (wetlab) scientist to perform bioinformatics and biostatistical analyses. Through the combination with my function as IT manager, I ensure our IT infrastructure is optimised to facilitate data analysis for our scientists to address their research questions.  I manage a team of six people that handles the IT helpdesk, custom applications and IT infrastructure. We host a compute cluster, cloud environment and storage array tailored to the needs of our center.

As Head of Node of ELIXIR Belgium I’m leading the development of the Belgian ELIXIR node. Within ELIXIR Europe I’m involved in the Tools and Interoperability Platforms, the EOSC Focus Group, Plant Community and co-lead of the Galaxy Community. The ELIXIR Belgium team VIB is a multidisciplinary team of 14 people, covering data management, analysis and training. I’m involved in European projects on research infrastructure such as EOSC-Life (task lead Tools Collaboratory), ELIXIR-CONVERGE (WP lead Research Data Management toolkit and BY-COVID (WP lead data analysis).


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