The impact of CDSB on me

By Erick Cuevas Fernández, M. Sc., Bioinformatician. Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos. Systems Biology and Translational Medicine Laboratory. @ErickCuevasF

In 2018 I heard of a workshop where Martin Morgan was performing in Mexico, at that time I had only a few months learning to use R, and I did not know who Martin Morgan was and had vague notions of Bioconductor. That year I started taking the international bioinformatics workshops.

It was thanks to taking the 2019 CDSB workshop that I was able to have a new international panorama of R development, know that there were events such as useR, BioC, rstudio :: global(), etc., It was highly motivated that a Mexican community was doing a effort to spread knowledge, inspire and expand the perspective of collaboration and development of free software to Mexicans. As a graduate student and with the science cuts that are becoming more frequent in Mexico, it is difficult to travel to another country to attend a workshop or a congress, due to the issue of VISA, passport, paying for a flight, accommodation, meals and registration. That is why the CDSB workshop of international quality accessible by its location and cost are valued to many Mexican students. And not only that, the same CDSB helps and promotes the application for scholarships for Mexican students in workshops and congresses for R developers in other countries.

TIBs 2018, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico

This 2020 with the pandemic and the promotion of the CDSB, was that I had the opportunity to attend the BioC2020. The dedication and effort of each speaker to explain a relevant and specialized topic was amazing. The knowledge that was displayed in just one hour was shocking. Despite having been virtually, it was to admire Bioconductor’s commitment so that each exhibitor will generate interaction with all attendees. The inclusion and support of the Bioconductor community is impressive, willing to cooperate and help. Regardless of their age, nationality, gender, or grade, they all intended to help, cooperate, and share. There was a huge emotion to see Mexicans displaying their own packages, people you know physically, students like me. At the end of the workshop I finished with a feeling of happiness, enthusiasm, inspiration, wanting to learn and share.

The CDSB 2020 workshop was no exception, the entire community transmitted that spark of enthusiasm, to expand and improve. Of course, the academic content and knowledge that was shown was a lot, such as maintaining the R sessions, working with github, choosing appropriate names for each project, quality testing the functions, debugging, workflows for handling scRNAseq data and an application of it with space expression.

As I think about the CDSB and the international communities that support inclusion and diversity, I think of this excerpt from the poem “sembrando” by the poet Marcos Rafael Blanco Belmonte (originally in Spanish):

When the world sad, I contemplate,

I toil and set myself a hard task

and I know that my poor example is worth a lot

Although poor and humble it seems and be

We must fight for all those who do not fight!

We must ask for all those who do not implore!

We must make those who do not listen hear us!

We must cry for all those who do not cry!

Have to be like bees in the hive

make sweet honeycombs for everyone.

Have to be like the water that goes serene

giving the whole world fresh streams.

Must imitate the wind, which sows flowers

the same in the mountains as in the plains,

and have to live life sowing loves,

with the sight and the soul always in the height.

The madman said and with noble melancholy

through the scrublands of the mountain he continued to climb,

and when lost in the shadows, he still repeated:

Have to live sowing! Always sowing!…

Erick Cuevas-Fernández, MsC
Ph.D. Student

Scientist in training. Biochemical Sciences. Big data, Machine Learning and Psychiatric Disorders. UNAM. @ltpm_mx #rstats 🇲🇽

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