JCU genomics researcher checks into QFAB’s Analysis Hotel

When a Queensland genomics researcher needed intensive help with bioinformatics, she checked into QFAB’s ‘Analysis Hotel’ for a week of one-on-one training and support.

PhD student Lalita Simpson from James Cook University and the Australian Tropical Herbarium approached QFAB after her supervisor contracted QFAB to perform bespoke bioinformatics analyses to develop a custom marker kit for a targeted sequencing project investigating evolutionary relationships in the orchid genus Bulbophyllum.
Lalita wanted to advance her component of the research and required access to bioinformatics platform Galaxy Australia, command line tools and scripting.
QFAB was proud to host Lalita last month at its University of Queensland Institute for Molecular Bioscience offices, as part of its Analysis Hotel, where Lalita could draw on the expertise of staff Nick Rhodes, Mike Thang, Dr Igor Makunin and Dr Gareth Price.
The Analysis Hotel allows students and researchers to perform data analysis embedded with the QFAB team. There, they can receive as much support as they need and get facilitated access to tools, platforms, data and international resources.
After her week with the QFAB team, Lalita said: “I am very happy with what I have understood and completed so far. I am also really satisfied with the progress I have made conceptually... I now understand enough of the process to interpret papers and communicate with other researchers about the workflow and how they have solved various challenges along the way.”
Lalita said she gained a much better understanding of her transcriptome sequence data and the concept of alternate splicing, and the resulting variation in isoforms represented in her assembled transcripts and the gene regions in the genomic DNA from which they were derived.
“Having some clarity around all of this gives me much more confidence moving forward!” she said.
As well as its Analysis Hotel, QFAB also operates biostatistics and bioinformatics clinics for researchers and HDR students at its member universities, i.e. UQ, QUT, Griffith, JCU, USQ and CQU.
Researchers and HDR students from member universities can receive free QFAB consultations to help with research projects, publications and upcoming grant applications.
QFAB can provide advice related to bioinformatics, biostatistics and biodata, including:

  • advice on experimental design 
  • recommendations and coaching on analysis methods
  • analysis of data and interpretation of results 
  • access to bioinformatics resources and compute infrastructure
  • choice and use of software
  • recommendations on data management plans 
  • content and pilot analysis for grants 
  • publication revision and help with reviewer comments. 

Visit to book an appointment. Any questions? Please email the QFAB team: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Additional bioinformatics and biostatistics support may also be provided through the UQ Faculty of Medicine and the University of the Sunshine Coast. 

At QFAB's ‘Analysis Hotel’, L–R: Dr Igor Makunin, Lalita Simpson and Dr Gareth Price.