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Design and visualization: making your mark in science

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Get involved in organising this and other HUBs!

What? Design and visualization: making your mark in science

When? Tuesday March 4, 18:30 - 21:00

Where? BioQuant room 041, Im Neuenheimer Feld 267, 69120 Heidelberg (How to get there.)

Who? A team of people working at several different life-science organisations within Heidelberg are organising HUB, with your help (just get in touch or add your comments to this page).

Social media To keep track of people you've met at HUB, join the HUB LinkedIn group, and tweet us on @HUBioinformatic and/or with the hashtag #hub_hd.

Photos from HUB10

You can see more images in the #HUB10Sketchnotes collection of sketchnotes made during the meeting at the end of this page.


Post-Event Summary

Hope you enjoyed HUB10 "Design and visualization: making your mark in science". This was easily the HUB with the largest number of participants so far - haven't worked through the "on the night sign-up" sheet, but looks like 80 or so of us there - and we felt the meeting did a good job at achieving it's key aim i.e. promoting networking and interactions within and between the local HD scientific, and the international VizBi communities.

Yeah, we're biased, but will anyway say how much we enjoyed the way the three talks, from the three different designers (Francis Rowland, UX; Tom Grace, typography, Sandra Krahl, graphical) complemented each other, and did great jobs of making their points clearly and entertainingly. A real pleasure to hear from people with such different backgrounds from bioinformaticians, in this context. One of the things that's great about HUB is how we have a community of people interested in bioinformatics, but many of whom are not themselves bioinformaticians (editors, designers, journalists, event organisers, marketing experts), we learn a lot from these people, and I think it's mutual.

And the three flash talkers did a great job of keeping to their tough schedule, and being engaging and informative, just like you want from a flash talk. Really felt they added to the evening.

At VizBi there are quite a few people trying out sketchnoting, if you've done some, please do share them with us by mailing them to, would be fun for the speakers to see them.

Thanks, all of you, for making it a great evening.

Do get in touch if you'd like to get more involved in making the meetings happen; even just volunteering to be someone in a lab/institute/organisation/company who goes to people there who you know could be interested in joining the meetings, and encouraging them to come along, would be great.

And if you were from out of town, and are interested in setting up something similar back home, just get in touch if you'd like to hear about our experiences starting things with HUB here.

If you've comments on the event, please feel free to edit the page and add them below. Great to hear ideas for new things we could try, improvements, please remember that we're much more likely to want to do something about those ideas if they're made respectfully and kindly. A current favourite (paraphrased) quote is (of uncertain attribution, it seems) "In academia we're all smart. Distinguish yourself by being kind"


  • Introduction to the meeting: 5 min
    • What is HUB?
    • Logistics for this meeting
    • What is HUB10 about?
  • Ice breaking exercise: 15 min
    • "Pictionary"-like exercise - each write down a (short) description of what you do (e.g. "Next Generation Sequencing of liver cancer genomes"), and then, without talking or writing any words, try to get the others in your group to guess this using sketching
  • Introduction to sketchnoting (Francis Rowland): 15 min
  • Typography and design (Tom Grace): 15 min
  • Graphic design for scientific figures (Sandra Krahl): 15 min
  • Feedback session on experiences sketchnoting during Tom and Sandra's presentations (Francis Rowland): 15 min
    • compare your sketchnotes with your neighbours in groups of four or 5
    • each person could say what they like about their sketchnote, what they don't like, and what they learned by doing it
    • After 10 minutes, we'll ask if you've questions, then Francis can answer some
  • Flash Talks on visualization in biology/bioinformatics: 3 * 3 min
    • Heba Sailem
    • Bill Longabaugh
    • Manuela Beck
  • Group activities, designing, or analysing design together, of your own bioinformatics tools, scientific figures, or scientific posters, etc. BRING ALONG ANY EXAMPLES YOU'D LIKE TO WORK ON IN THIS SESSION and/or add them to our page of figures to be improved: 45 min
    • Show of hands, just before we begin, for how many people brought figures to work on
    • Put each person who brought a figure on their own table, separate from the others, together with flip-chart paper for sketching
    • If there aren't enough, we each bring examples ourselves, and take these to a table to lead a group
      • See if the figure is self-explanatory - figure's creator asks the other people in their group to explain the figure, to see if it's understandable without needing the explanation of it's creator
      • Figure creator gives info on
        • context/background needed for understanding the figure
        • main message(s) the figure aims to communicate
      • Discuss together, using sketches, ways the main messages of the article could be made more obvious, the figure could be improved
      • In the final 10 minutes, they should take turns with other groups (i.e. in "pairs" or if needed, triplets, of groups) showing the initial figure, and the sketches for changes to it - to do this they could:
      • try and explain the main message of the figure they didn't work on without input
        • if needed, group making figure gives necessary context etc. to explain aim of the figure
      • describe differences between initial and sketch figure, of the figure made by the other group, and guess why they might have been made
      • hear back from group who worked on the figure, to see whether they spotted the main changes and got the
      • discuss all together if there was anything they particularly learnt during the exercise/the whole meeting, and then at the end we share these together in the whole group
  • Wrap up: 10 min
  • Off to the pub


Please add yourself to the list of participants by editing the list below. You need an account on this wiki to be able to edit the page - if you don't have one, start by signing up for one. Once your account has been confirmed by one of the organisers, you can log in and edit this page by clicking on the 'edit' link at the top of the page.

List of participants:

  1. Matthew Betts, CellNetworks / BioQuant, Heidelberg, Germany
  2. Holger Dinkel, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
  3. Aidan Budd, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
  4. Olga Radchuk, Biofaction KG, Vienna, Austria
  5. Marcin Klapczynski, AbbVie, North Chicago, USA
  6. Jelena Chuklina, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology & Institute for Information Transmission Problems RAS, Moscow, Russia
  7. Dmitry Shurov, Lomonosov Moscow State University & Semenov Institute of Chemical Physics RAS, Moscow, Russia
  8. Heba Sailem, Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK
  9. Rowland Mosbergen, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  10. Vicky Schneider, The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC), Norwich, UK / GOBLET (
  11. Erich Bornberg-Bauer, University of Muenster, Germany
  12. Corinna Vehlow, University of Stuttgart, Germany
  13. Mike Karampelias, Plant Systems Biology - VIB, University of Gent, Belgium
  14. Varsha Khodiyar, F1000Research (, London, UK
  15. Manuela Beck, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
  16. Rafal Urniaz, Medical University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland (
  17. Maria Vila Casadesús, IDIBAPS-CIBEREHD, Barcelona, Spain.
  18. Frank Schauder, KFRG, Brandenburg, Germany
  19. Jon Fuller, HITS gGmbH, Heidelberg, Germany
  20. Matt Rogon, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
  21. Luis Pedro Coelho, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
  22. Florian Huber, University of Heidelberg, Germany
  23. Jan Kosinski, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
  24. Thomas Wolf, DKFZ/IPH, Heidelberg, Germany
  25. Octavio Espinosa, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany
  26. Ilse Valtierra, CellNetworks / BioQuant, Heidelberg, Germany
  27. Toby Mathieson, Cellzome / GSK, Heidelberg, Germany
  28. Chen Chen, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany
  29. Yi Pan, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany
  30. Lin Wang, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany
  31. Jules Kerssemakers, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Data Management Group
  32. Simone Li, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
  33. Emiliano Izquierdo, Bioquant, Heidelberg, Germany
  34. Samo Turk, BioMed X, Heidelberg, Germany
  35. Th. Soldatos, MH, Heidelberg, Germany
  36. Simone Fulle, BioMed X, Heidelberg, Germany
  37. Bronagh Carey, EMBO, Heidelberg, Germany
  38. Katra Kolšek, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana
  39. Adam Gristwood, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
  40. Marija Buljan, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany
  41. Esther Schmidt, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany
  42. Andrea Volkamer, BioMed X, Heidelberg, Germany
  43. Andre-Claude Clapson, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
  44. Mohamed-Ramzi TEMANNI, SIDRA Medical and Research Center , Doha, Qatar (
  45. Bill Longabaugh, Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle USA
  46. Grischa Toedt, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
  47. Murat Iskar, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
  48. Martina Klünemann, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
  49. Myriam Ferro, CEA/Grenoble, Grenoble, France
  50. Juan Mateo, COS, Heidelberg, Germany
  51. Si Chen, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany
  52. Pauline Gloaguen, CEA/Grenoble, Grenoble, France
  53. Laura Howes, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
  54. Alvaro Mateos Gil, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany
  55. Rosario M. Piro, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany
  56. David Rio, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX USA
  57. Andrew Cohen, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA USA
  58. Xiaofeng Yu, HITS gGmbH, Germany
  59. Ghulam Mustafa, HITS gGmbH, Germany
  60. Xavier Watkins, EBI, Cambridge, UK
  61. Neil Bruce, HITS gGmbH, Germany
  62. Maximilian Billmann, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany
  63. Christine Gemünd, Cellzome / GSK, Heidelberg, Germany
  64. Holger Franken, Cellzome / GSK, Heidelberg, Germany
  65. Ryo Sakai, Belgium, KU Leuven ESAT-STADIUS
  66. Radoslaw Suchecki, ACPFG, University of Adelaide, Australia

Flash Talk Proposals

Great - three people want to present something, and we have three slots :) Please don't add more suggestions, as we're going with those from Heba, Bill, and Manuela

1. PhenoPlot: a glyph based visualization tool for high dimensional cellular imaging data

Heba Sailem, Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK

Cellular imaging plays an important role in biological discoveries. High content analysis of cellular images produce large multivariate data that describes complex phenotypes. The main methods that are used to visualize high content data are heat maps or coordinate-based graphs. However, these methods are limited to three-dimensional representations, or difficult to relate to cellular phenotypes, such as cell shape. Thus methods that represent high-dimensional cellular phenotype data in an intuitive way are still lacking. Here we design and develop a novel visualization method; PhenoPlot that simulates various aspects of cellular structures to represent imaging data in a concise and a quantitative way. PhenoPlot is available as a Matlab toolbox and allows plotting up to 22 variables using cell-like glyphs with combination of color based elements and proposes a novel visualization concept; Proportional Filling. Furthermore, PhenoPlot representation is independent of XY coordinates, which makes it a flexible tool to visualize imaging data. We illustrate the power of PhenoPlot in gaining insight into the morphological heterogeneity of 19 breast cancer cell lines.

2. BioFabric

Bill Longabaugh, Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle USA

A one-minute demo video showing how BioFabric displays a network where nodes are depicted as horizontal lines, not as points!

3. Infographics – How Infographics can help to get your scientific message across

Manuela Beck, EMBL, Heidelberg

Task List

A list of tasks that need to be done on or before the meeting day. Just sign your name to say that you'll do a task, and the same again when the task is done. Please note that this doesn't mean you have to do the task on your own, just that you'll make sure that it's done.

To arrange before evening Person responsible Done
List of registered people Bronagh
Drinks, cups, honesty box Matt
Signs to help people find the room Matt
Create the poster Adam Adam
Print and display poster where relevant
  • BioQuant: Matt
  • ZMBH: Matt
  • EMBL: Adam
  • DKFZ:
  • Cellzome: Christine
  • EMBO: Bronagh
  • ...
  • BioQuant: DONE
  • DKFZ:
  • Cellzome: DONE
  • ...
Advertise on linkedin Aidan Aidan
Projector Matt
Computer to use with the projector Bronagh
Send reminder email (incl. flashtalk & figure reminder) Aidan Aidan
Stickers and pens (for name badges) Holger Holger
Notebooks and pens for sketchnoting Bronagh
Flipcharts (as many as possible) Matt
Bring your own figure(s) to improve

To do on the evening Person responsible Done
Open the room Matt
Arrange tables/chairs for small-group work Holger
Bring a camera and photograph sketches from the meeting (after pictionary, sketchnotes, and figure sessions Holger Holger
Hang up signs to the room Matt
Welcome attendees and give them stickers/badges to put on Bronagh
Setup Network/Connectivity Do we need that this time?
Collect flashtalks etc. on master computer Bronagh?
MC/Chair the meeting Aidan
Tidy and close room Matt

Planning Meetings

Planning meeting will be advertised here and on our calendar. We'd be very happy for you to come along and help make HUB10 a success.