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Galaxy Community Conference 2024 - a brief summary from the Freiburg Galaxy Team!

A brief summary from the Freiburg Galaxy Team for GCC 2024

The 2024 Galaxy Community Conference (GCC2024) was held in Brno, Czech Republic, 24-29 June, 2024. 151 participants from 28 different countries, 54 talks, 55 posters/demos, 14 Birds of a Feather and 80 CoFest participants.

GCC2024 Logo

GCC2024 Group Picture


The conference featured notable keynote speakers, including Jana Klánová from Masaryk University, who discussed the integration of exposomics into biomedical sciences. She highlighted the importance of studying environmental exposures and their effects on health, introduced RECETOX, and discussed European initiatives like PARC and EIRENE that support exposome research. Ute Gunsenheimer, Secretary General of the EOSC Association, spoke on building the EOSC Federation and the potential role of Galaxy. Dr. Daria Onichtchouk from the University of Freiburg shared her extensive use of the Galaxy platform in her research on the genetic control of pluripotency, focusing on the maternal to zygotic transition in zebrafish and its underlying mechanisms, including chromatin accessibility and nucleosome affinity.

Freiburg Galaxy Team Talks in GCC 2024 Talks Sessions

Members of the Freiburg Galaxy team delivered a series of talks at the GCC conference, focusing on various aspects of data analysis and the utilization of Galaxy. Topics included integrating tools, strategies for effectively navigating complex data landscapes, innovative workflow management and optimization approaches, and a pioneering GitHub workflow aimed at automating social media outreach to enhance community engagement.

GCC2024 Talks

Poster Sessions

The poster sessions at GCC2024, held during the first two days, showcased 55 posters, including 22 linked to conference talks, providing attendees with the opportunity to engage with presenters and delve deeper into their research over coffee. Topics ranged from technical advancements for Galaxy developers to metagenomics, drug discovery, and astrobiology. The posters highlighted new Galaxy features and resources, inspiring future projects, and showcased teaching activities, workshops, and exchange programs, emphasizing the community's dedication to education and collaboration. The Freiburg team contributed several posters, including:

  • A Galaxy Workflow Developer's Companion in Your Browser by David López
  • Automating Social Media Outreach: A GitHub Workflow for Galaxy Community by Arash Kadkhodaei
  • Upgrading User Experience: Introducing the New Galaxy UI by Alireza Heidari and Laila Los
  • MAdLand Computational Resources Through Galaxy by Deepti Varshney, Saskia Hiltemann, and Björn Grüning
  • Community-Driven Standards Development for Reference Genome Generation by Saim Momin and Björn Grüning
  • WALL·E – Prevent Abuse of Interactive Research Environments by Mira Kuntz
  • Expanding Horizons: Single-Cell Multiomics Analysis Tools in Galaxy by Pavankumar Videm
  • Giving the Single Cell Community the Tools It Needs on Galaxy – an ELIXIR Staff Exchange Project by Marisa Loach
  • microGalaxy SIG: Microbial Data Analysis Resources in Galaxy by Paul Zierep, Engy Nasr, and Saim Momin


The conference featured various trainings for different levels and diverse topics such as Galaxy development, admin, and Galaxy-based scientific research. The Freiburg Galaxy team contributed by providing training for:

Panel Discussion

GCC2024 hosted a panel discussion with prominent members of the Galaxy community, moderated by Enis Afgan, Associate Research Scientist at Johns Hopkins University and Galaxy Project Administrator. The panelists were Brad Langhorst, Group Leader at New England Biolabs; Shurjo K. Sen, Program Director at the National Institutes of Health; Wendi Bacon, Senior Lecturer at The Open University and Galaxy Project Administrator with expertise in single-cell analysis; and Jeremy Goecks, Assistant Center Director of Research Informatics at Moffitt Cancer Center. They provided valuable insights from diverse sectors of the Galaxy ecosystem, including biotechnology, medical research, and federal funding.

Birds of a Feather (BoF)

Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions at GCC2024 offered a vibrant platform for diverse Galaxy ecosystem communities to exchange ideas on a wide range of topics. The 13 sessions covered subjects from technical data management to microbiology and mass spectrometry, and included discussions on upcoming events like the Galaxy Training Academy in October and the Art of Phylogeny. The Freiburg team actively contributed by leading sessions on:

  • The Future of Galaxy in EOSC by Björn Grüning
  • Galaxy Collaborative Writing Group by Marisa Loach
  • microGalaxy SIG with BioDIGS and GDSCN by Paul Zierep


The Collaboration Fest (CoFest) concluded the conference, bringing together new and experienced Galaxy contributors for two days of discussion, learning, and cooperation at Open Gardens. Participants enjoyed the serene garden environment, taking breaks to visit the deers, pigs, chickens and rabbits. New contributors received guidance on the Galaxy Training Network from Saskia and Helena, while students like Shweta began learning tool wrapping under Björn's mentorship. Experienced contributors collaborated on new projects, including setting out a Galaxy Roadmap, creating a unified template for subdomains, and developing tools to improve data citations and workflow integration. CoFest fostered community growth and inspired future contributions.

GCC2024 CoFest

Social Events

Conference Dinner and Mendel Museum

The conference dinner at the Augustinian Abbey at Mendel's Square was really special. We had the opportunity to dine where Gregor Mendel conducted his famous experiments. Along with a delicious meal, we enjoyed free access to the Mendel Museum. The guided tours of the abbey, including Mendel's room and the library, were fascinating and provided us with insights into the history of genetics and Mendel's groundbreaking work.

City Tours and Villa Tugendhat

On Wednesday, we had a delightful day exploring the Villa Tugendhat and the city of Brno. A total of 31 people, divided into two groups, visited the Villa Tugendhat, while 66 people in two groups toured the city.

One Villa tour group took the tram, and another group enjoyed a walk despite the warm weather. The Villa Tugendhat visit was particularly special due to its remarkable modernity for its time. Designed by German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the villa was built in just two years by the wealthy and influential Jewish Czech Tugendhat family. It is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

During the city tour, we explored the main sights of Brno's city center with guided tours organized by the Brno Tourist Information Centre. We visited the Old Town Hall, St. Peter's Cathedral, as well as the Freedom and Market Squares. The experience was enjoyable and provided a rich insight into Brno's history and culture.

Conference Nights Activities

Beyond the enriching presentations and discussions, conference nights were filled with fun and camaraderie. Groups of attendees ventured out to the Bouldering Rock Climbing Hall, testing their climbing skills and bonding over shared challenges. Others enjoyed friendly competitions at local billiards halls.

GCC2024 Billiards

Dinner outings were a highlight, with groups exploring Brno’s culinary scene, and sampling delicious Mexican and Indian cuisine. The evenings often concluded with open-air talks, where participants relaxed and enjoyed local beers and Kofola at various pubs and bars, further strengthening connections and creating memorable experiences.

GCC2024 Beer Nights

Thank you: Scientific Committee Members

  • Alex Ostrovsky, Johns Hopkins University, United States
  • Beatriz Serrano-Solano, Euro-BioImaging ERIC, Germany
  • Elliott Price, Masaryk University, Czech Republic
  • Enis Afgan, Johns Hopkins University, United States
  • Hans-Rudolf Hotz, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Switzerland
  • Lucille Delisle, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland
  • Wendi Bacon, The Open University, England

Thank you: Organizers


  • Björn Grüning, University of Freiburg, Germany
  • Enis Afgan, Johns Hopkins University, United States
  • Helge Hecht, Masaryk University, Czech Republic
  • Jenn Vessio, Johns Hopkins University, United States
  • Natalie Whitaker, Johns Hopkins University, United States


  • Tyler Collins, Johns Hopkins University, United States
  • Assunta DeSanto, Penn State University, United States


  • Ahmed Awan, Johns Hopkins University, United States
  • Björn Grüning, University of Freiburg, Germany

Thank you to all GCC 2024 sponsors

Thanks to the GCC 2024 hosts

  • The City of Brno
  • MUNI
  • Elixir Czech Republic