ELIXIR Belgium

  • offers specialized bioinformatics resources accelerating research in life-science. These include databases, data resources, tools, workflows, …that have applications in plant sciences, human health and proteomics. We aim to extend the functionality and compatibility of the resources developed by different Belgian research groups.
  • focusses on data management, data analysis platforms and training. We provide an ELIXIR template and guidance to fill in data management plans in The research data management tool, is in full development and enables researchers to manage their research data and produce FAIR data by design. Recommended best practises and guidelines for research data management are available in our Data Management Hub. To facilitate reproducible analysis, we have set up the centrally managed Galaxy instance Our training portfolio can be consulted on the Training page.
  • supports COVID-19 research. To encourage and assist researchers to make scientific data available, we implemented a tool to simplify the submission of SARS-CoV-2 sequencing data to the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA). This video illustrates how to use the tool. A complete overview of our COVID-19 related activities can be found on the dedicated ELIXIR interactive map.

A call for Node Services is launched every two years. Services that are positively evaluated by the Scientific Advisory Board are added to ELIXIR Belgium’s Service Delivery Plan. Node Services are labelled as important resources produced by the Belgian bioinformatics community. Below, an overview of all ELIXIR Belgium services is given - Node Services have the respective tag. The next call for Node Services is scheduled for April 2022. A complete service list of all ELIXIR Nodes can be found on this link.  


Logo Sars

The Bio2Byte SARS-CoV-2 website provides sequence-based predictions to grasp the behaviour of proteins that compose the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This unique resource gives a different view on the SARS-CoV-2 proteins, for some of which very little is known about their behaviour.

This SARS-CoV-2 specific website was established by the Bio2Byte group of the Interuniversity Institute of Bioinformatics in Brussels (IB)² in collaboration with VU Amsterdam. The manuscript describing the website is available as a preprint in BioRXiv.

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Logo Data Management Hub

The Data Management Hub is an information resource on research data management for scientists in life sciences, developed and curated by ELIXIR Belgium since 2020. It aims to communicate essential best practices and practical guidelines that researchers can apply to manage their data, from the start to the end of the research project. The recommended best practices and guidelines are accepted by several scientific communities across Europe and data management experts in ELIXIR.

Logo Dida

DIDA (DIgenic diseases DAtabase) is a database that provides detailed information on genes and associated genetic variants involved in digenic diseases, the simplest form of oligogenic inheritance. The database was developed at the Interuniversity Institute of Bioinformatics in Brussels (IB)² and currently includes 258 digenic combinations involved in 54 different digenic diseases. These combinations are composed of 448 distinct variants, which are distributed over 169 distinct genes. The web interface provides browsing, exploration and search functionalities, as well as documentation and help pages, general database statistics and references to the original publications from which the data have been collected. The possibility to submit novel digenic data to DIDA is also provided.

DIDA is published in the Nucleic Acids Research Database issue 2016 and has been selected as a NAR 2016 Breakthrough paper. The manuscript can be accessed here and an in-depth analysis of the different types of digenic diseases, i.e. true digenic and composite, in DIDA can be found here.

DIDA is part of the IBsquare Toolbox for Oligogenic Analysis which is one of ELIXIR Belgium’s Node Services.

Logo Dodona

Dodona is an e-learning environment containing thousands of programming exercises that can be used to master several programming languages. Currently, we support Python, Java, JavaScript, R, Haskell, Prolog and Bash. All exercises come with automatic feedback on correctness, execution time and/or programming style.

The Dodona platform has been developed at Ghent University and was launched in September 2016. Over the last few years, the platform provided automated feedback on more than five million submissions from Ghent University students. Dodona is registered as a service provider with Belnet to enable access to a wide range of international research and education institutions that have been registered as identity providers in the eduGAIN project. In addition, ELIXIR AAI accounts can be used to access the platform. Currently, the platform is under active development.

Get a glimpse of Dodona by these examples:

Follow Dodona on Twitter: @DodonaEdu

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Logo DynaMine

DynaMine is a fast predictor of protein backbone dynamics using only sequence information as input. DynaMine is able to accurately distinguish regions of different structural organization within proteins, such as folded domains and disordered linkers of different sizes. Additionally, it can identify disordered regions within proteins with an accuracy comparable to the most sophisticated existing disorder predictors. DynaMine achieves this high performance without depending on prior disorder knowledge or three-dimensional structural information, which makes it a unique approach on the field as well as providing independent proof of the relationship between dynamics and structural disorder in protein regions.

DynaMine was developed at the Interuniversity Institute of Bioinformatics in Brussels (IB)² and published in Nature Communications (the method) and Nucleic Acids Research (the web-server).

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Logo FDhub is a research data management tool that enables researchers to manage research data and produce FAIR data by design. The platform keeps together metadata about experiments and links to the associated data files. An important feature of the platform is the integration of standard metadata used by EBI repositories, which makes also a tool for brokering data towards ELIXIR deposition databases.

This Belgian instance of the FAIRDOMhub open source platform is developed by ELIXIR Belgium and currently tested by several local research groups. Additional templates and new features are being added to address the specific needs of life science researchers. The platform is hosted on the Flemish Supercomputer Centre.

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Galaxy @Sciensano is a Galaxy server dedicated towards public health applications, focusing on making available tools, pipelines and databases for whole genome sequencing in routine pathogen typing and characterization. The application combines specialised in-house developed tools, pipelines and databases with general bioinformatics tools available in the Galaxy Toolshed.

The Galaxy instance of Sciensano has been in development since 2016 and is being used since 2017 by scientists working at Sciensano. The public Galaxy instance has been launched in October 2019.

A series of training videos on how to use the application are available on YouTube. The introduction videos are accompanied with tutorials on the basics of next-generation sequencing data analysis and more specialized topics of interest in public health (such as AMR detection and cgMLST analysis).

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The IBsquare Toolbox for Oligogenic Analysis comprises three tools that are meant to assist researchers and doctors alike in the identification of genetic diseases. These three tools are closely intertwined as the data contained in the DIDA database was used to train the VarCopp predictor, which in turn is part of the pipeline for ORVAL.

DIDA: DIgenic Diseases DAtabase is a novel database that provides for the first time detailed information on genes and associated genetic variants involved in digenic diseases, the simplest form of oligogenic inheritance.

VarCoPP: Variant Combination Pathogenicity Predictor is a machine-learning method that predicts the potential pathogenicity of any bi-locus variant combination (i.e. a combination of two to four variant alleles between two genes). It has been trained on digenic disease data present in the Digenic Diseases Database (DIDA) and variant data derived from control individuals of the 1000 Genomes Project (1KGP). VarCoPP consists of an ensemble of 500 individual Random Forest predictors that predict whether a variant combination is disease-causing (i.e. candidate or probably pathogenic) or neutral (i.e. probably neutral).

ORVAL: Oligogenic Resource for Variant AnaLysis is a platform for the prediction and exploration of candidate disease-causing oligogenic variant combinations.


Logo iMONdb

iMonDB (Instrument MONitoring DataBase) is a unique tool and resource for online, longitudinal quality control monitoring of mass spectrometry instruments and the data they produce. The advantage of instrument information at the lowest level is the high sensitivity to detect emerging defects in a timely fashion. To this end, iMonDB allows to automatically extract, store, and manage the instrument parameters from raw-data objects into a highly efficient database structure. iMONdb was developed at the University of Antwerp, the manuscript can be accessed here.

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Logo MS DataConnect

The MSDataConnect consortium (UHasselt) connects partners involved in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) care, rehabilitation, and research, with partners involved in IT development, database management, data sharing procedures, statistics, machine learning and prediction modelling.

MS DataConnect focuses on developing (1) data collection procedures and tools to create data that is FAIR, (2) IT solutions to allow (temporarily) pooling and linking of FAIR data sets, (3) statistical methods to define minimal requirements for data sets, and (4) new analytical methods for optimal mining of connected and pooled FAIR data sets.

The MS DataConnect consortium is the project coordinator of the international project Multiple Sclerosis Data Alliance (MSDA), which brings together registry holders, patients, medical societies, academia, industry, the European Medicine Agency (EMA), and Health Technology Assessment (HTA) bodies. One of the first goals of the MSDA is the development of the MSDA cohort explorer. This tool will enable searching aggregated data across different MS registries and cohorts after data is mapped to a harmonized data template. The subject and variable selection tools in the MSDA cohort explorer will allow end-users to identify MS data cohorts suitable for their (research-)question, and will facilitate the initiation of (new) collaborations with these MS cohorts.

Follow MS DataConnect on Twitter: @MSDataConnect1.