Introduction to Regular Expressions

Toby Hodges   2020-03-18   Comments Off on Introduction to Regular Expressions

Date(s) - 2020-03-18
09:30 CET - 16:00 CET


  • Supriya Khedkar
  • Toby Hodges


Do you often work with lots of data files on the computer, are you often trying to spot particular files or lines of text in them that are important for you?

If so, then using regular expressions could save you a lot of time and frustration!

Regular expressions (regex/REs) are a language designed to describe patterns of characters that you want to match in a body of text. For example, if you want to extract every Ensembl Gene ID in a GFF file, find tandem repeats in a large set of sequences, or extract every email address in a large document, regular expressions are the perfect tool. Regular expressions are incorporated into a wide range of software and programming languages, and the workshop will include examples of their use on the UNIX command line and in R and Python.

This workshop will provide an introduction to REs and cover some of the simple but powerful ways that these can be used to find patterns in large volumes of text data. The workshop will be interactive and driven by examples to demonstrate how you might use regular expressions in your work.


Participants are required to bring their own laptop to the workshop, with a text editor suitable for programming (e.g. Atom, Sublime Text, VSCode, Notepad++) installed. If you would like help with this installation, please contact Toby Hodges.


The workshop is open to everyone and free to attend for EMBL members. The workshop will take place online – you will receive connection information after you have registered.


This workshop is sponsored by de.NBI, the German Network for Bioinformatics Infrastructure.


Bookings are closed for this event.