The Global BioImage Analysts’ Society (GloBIAS) is a non-profit association currently in preparation. It aims to officially launch as a registered society in the next 2 years, and to become a worldwide scientific society for everyone interested in bioimage analysis.
This project is based on the successful initiative "Network of European Bioimage Analysts" (NEUBIAS), started in 2016 and supported through COST Action #15124. GloBIAS aims to pursue the NEUBIAS activities worldwide with the same spirit and discipline, provide the community with a sustainable base (educationally and financially) through a formal Society, and welcome scientists involved in bioimage analysis worldwide. Initial funding for the foundation process has been provided by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (https://chanzuckerberg.com/imaging/society-for-knowledge-exchange-in-bioimage-analysis/) for the first two years, after which the Society aims to be sustained by membership fees and revenues from other activities e.g. from scientific consulting and training.
The core of the NEUBIAS concept has been in the triangular interaction between three different types of experts in the Bioimage Analysis domain from academia and industry. 1) Bioimage Analysts: those who are experts in using various analysis tools, such as open-source software or computational infrastructures, to tackle life science questions and extract quantitative measurements of biological systems using image data. 2) Bioimage Analysis Software Developers: Experts with strong backgrounds in computational science and programming, who implement new software tools and utilities for bioimage analysis, and maintain those resources. 3) Life and Imaging Scientists: life scientists and imaging experts, whose major work is in “wet lab” research or on developing and maintaining microscope systems, but have strong interests in bioimage analysis. Some conduct more-than-professional-level software implementations and apply those custom tools to their biological questions. Note that these distinctions in expertise by three types are not exclusive. Some experts may take on multiple roles in the above-mentioned domains, based on their level of expertise and research interests. All these experts are expected to conduct their activities following FAIR principles.
The reciprocal exchange of ideas, techniques, and feedback between these different types of experts has been the core concept and the driving force of NEUBIAS, where various activities have been realised to promote interdisciplinary communications. The implementations of this core concept have flourished as successful outcomes such as: Symposia, Training Schools, BIII database, BIAFLOWS, F1000 NEUBIAS Gateways, Textbooks, and NEUBIAS Academy webinar series. Above all, NEUBIAS activities and training focused on defining and empowering the new professionals of "Bioimage Analysis" in the life sciences. By now, more “Bioimage Analysts” are becoming visible worldwide, including those who do not recognize themselves as such. GloBIAS aims to use the core concept of NEUBIAS, scale up the size and reach of the community, and deliver its novel value at a global scale.
Some of the activities of GloBIAS already planned include 1) Knowledge exchange between members, 2) Creation and maintenance of a repository of training materials, 3) Consolidating standards for bioimage analysis, 4) Regularly organizing in-person workshops, and 5) Regular online events. These activities will be taken into action by various working groups of GloBIAS, each constituted by the future members of GloBIAS society.
Bridging NEUBIAS and GloBIAS
Based on the joint online meeting of CZI-GloBIAS and NEUBIAS core members on 4th December 2023, we agreed on the following items, including the relationships between the two entities.
The Principal investigator (PI) and Co-Principal Investigators (Co-PIs), who were the proposers of the CZI grant, and the community manager, constitute the CZI GloBIAS Steering Committee (Hereby GSC).
The primary aim of the GSC is to officially launch GloBIAS by registering the Society and ensuring the execution of the milestones proposed in the CZI grant application during the next two years.
GloBIAS aims to be established as a non-profit association. Its charter will incorporate the spirit of NEUBIAS, adapting them to the global bioimage analysis landscape.
The GSC proposes to work together with the members of NEUBIAS to achieve a continuation of the activities offered by NEUBIAS at the global level.
Once the Society is up and running, its members will decide on the governance, organization, and tools of the society, including resource management and offered interactions with the bioimage analysis community.
The Society will apply for additional funding to create more opportunities, and aims to sustain the continuation of all the activities offered by NEUBIAS e.g. training schools, symposia, taggathons/hackathons, if the members agree on this continuation.
Initially, GloBIAS will concentrate on the milestones of the CZI grant and would like to involve any member of the bioimage analysis community, including previous NEUBIAS members, interested to contribute in its work.
During this process of preparation of the Society, the engagement with new potential members, especially those at an early career stage, will be intensified, to encourage the new generation of Bioimage Analysts to join and contribute to the Society.
The GSC will work to connect to the relevant global initiatives, communities and infrastructures to engage the image analysts across the globe in the creation and organization of GloBIAS.
GloBIAS aims to exchange ideas and seek input from the large knowledge base already around.
The communication channels on X and YouTube will be mutually linked between NEUBIAS and GloBIAS but will remain separate channels. GloBIAS will create its own webpage and link it to the NEUBIAS webpage, which will continue to exist.
All people interested and involved will be regularly updated, at least quarterly, regarding the actions and plans of GloBIAS via several channels (e.g. LinkedIn, webpage, email newsletters, etc.) to share the progress of the preparation of GloBIAS society.
The members of NEUBIAS commit to coordinate with GloBIAS members to avoid scheduling of overlapping activities and both, GloBIAS and NEUBIAS, commit to maintain a mutually open communication, to avoid duplication of effort and concentrate resources on the achievement of common goals.
Rocco D’Antuono, Julia Fernández-Rodríguez, Christa Walther, Graeme Ball, Sebastian Munck, Romain Guiet, Paula Sampaio, Christian Tischer, Beth Cimini, Ofra Golani, Simon F. Nørrelykke, Mafalda Sousa, Elnaz Fazeli, Florian Levet, Kota Miura, Clara Prats, Robert Haase, Chong Zhang, Perrine Paul-Gilloteaux, Anna Klemm, Bram van den Broek, Fabrice Cordeliers, Aymeric d’Hérouël, Julien Colombelli, Nataša Sladoje, Sébastien Tosi, Raphaël Marée, Peter Horvath, Martin Schätz