Athena Swan Gold Award

Bioinformatics core facility

The bioinformatics facility comprising two bioinformatics experimental officers and an academic lead aims to support research across the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences by providing advice in experimental design and costing for research proposals, and a range of skills in data sourcing, wrangling, processing, and analysis. 

The facility also provides bioinformatic services to external parties on a contractual basis.

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Bioinformatic resources and skills available

Data sourcing, wrangling, and processing

  • DNA- RNA- and Tn-seq, including genome assembly, variant calling, RNA-Seq alignment and quantification.
  • Chip-Seq and Chip-on-Chip data analysis
  • Microarrays, including differential expression
  • Metabolomics data from mass spectrometry instruments
  • Phenomic data from Biolog
  • Sourcing of genomic and transcriptomic data from online repositories
  • Data format inter-conversion.

Data analysis

  • Exploratory data analysis (incl. PCA, descriptive statistics, histograms, boxplots)
  • General Data mining (incl. Clustering, multidimensional scaling, artificial neural networks, fuzzy logic)
  • Data visualization (incl. custom made and standard visualisation plots)
  • Statistical analyses (incl. mixture models, ANOVA, Kaplan-Meier estimator, power calculations, multivariate regression)
  • General sequence analysis and manipulation (alignment, motif search)
  • Machine learning and classification (incl. short time-series, linear models)
  • ‘Systems analysis’ (flux balance analysis of genome scale metabolic networks (GSMNs), and general modelling and simulation using tools such as SurreyFBA, QSSPN).

Note: The skills highlighted above are not exhaustive and the team welcomes the chance to expand and enhance their skills to support the faculty. If you would like to discuss your own data/required skills please do get in touch at


  • Two full time staff members
  • Linux servers comprising 64 CPUs, 128GB RAM.


Please consult the ‘Terms of reference (PDF)’ document. Requests for bioinformatics support can be sent to, where the team endeavour to respond to emails within 24 hours during the working week. Note that requests to support a new project should come from the Principal Investigator (PI), where information regarding the source of funding is required. The team will produce a plan with a time estimate that will be added to the budget of your proposal by the finance team.

Academic lead

Alexessander Couto Alves profile image

Dr Alex Couto Alves

Lecturer in Bioinformatics and Statistical Genomics

Support Staff

Dr Carla Moller-LevetExperimental Officer in
Dr Huihai WuExperimental Officer in