MolEvolvR BTS: When and how to build a web-app and software package?


We recently developed a web application, MolEvolvR, to characterize proteins using molecular evolution and phylogeny. This session will serve as a behind-the-scenes (BTS) sneak peek into what MolEvolvR does, how it does it, and its origin story. The hands-on training component will provide the basic principles of why and how to build a dashboard/web-app for your biological problem of interest with R/Shiny, and when and how you would set up your back-end as an R package.

Workshop outline | Rationale with hands-on component

When are you ready to set up a dashboard? When would you build a simple web-application instead? A little bit of bioinformatics: A quick preview of our MolEvolvR web-app. How it came to be, from special cases to a generalized version? How to characterize proteins of interest by identifying the underlying molecular building blocks? Where do these features come from and what does it mean, i.e., how to interpret the results using the lens of evolution? How do you pick your feature list for your web-app? Some lessons and reflections. Project management 101: how to set up version-controlled projects and repositories for collaborative computational biology projects (with other dry/wet-lab colleagues)? Dashboard 101: How to develop a dashboard for your data/visualizations using Rmarkdown/Quarto? Web-app 101: How to develop and host an interactive R/Shiny web application? R-package 101: When, why, and how would you create your first R-package? Quick tour on how to set up the backend that supports a workflow, data tables and visualizations, for a multi-functional web-app such as MolEvolvR.

May 15, 2023 1:00 PM — 5:00 PM
Virtual (Montreal, Canada

Workshop material:

Hosted w/ Jake Krol, Faisal Alquaddoomi