BioSB 2020 – first online Bioinformatics & Systems Biology conference

Close to three hundred participants from academia and industry joined us during the two-day BioSB 2020 conference on October 27 and 28. This year’s edition has been different in many ways. Topics covered many aspects of life science research and ranged from microbial evolution to machine learning & AI and precision medicine. Read more

The conference featured exciting keynote lectures from Erik van Nimwegen, Judith Zaugg and Bernhard Palsson, and a full program with 15 parallel sessions and over sixty posters. The conference was organized by the Utrecht Bioinformatics Center together with the BioSB research school.

BioSB Young Investigator Award 2020

Jasmijn Baaijens was selected as the winner of the BioSB Young Investigator Award 2020. Jasmijn who is now working at the department of Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School in Boston, did her PhD in bioinformatics at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in the group of Prof. Alexander Schönhuth. Her PhD research focused on algorithm development for reconstruction and analysis of microbial genomes, in particular in the context of viral infections.  Read more

Jasmijn received the award during the award ceremony on October 27th followed by an honorary lecture with the title: ‘A reference-free solution to the viral quasispecies assembly problem’.

Results of online interaction

To stimulate interactivity during this online event, we set up both a conference app (NetworkApp) and online meeting place (Gather.town). The latter was also used to organize the online poster sessions. It was great to see so many creative posters (flashes) being set up and the online platforms being used by so many people to catch up and talk to each other. The importance of these contacts are stressed by the first steps that have been set towards a Dutch computational immunology community.

Organization 

As this was the first online edition of the BioSB conference, we had to redesign the entire conference setup. Not only the preparation of a full array of technical tools to facilitate the different types of sessions. Thanks to the extensive preparations and large team of people running the conference in the background, the two-day conference ran without any major glitches and has received many positive feedback from participants. Looking back on this, it can definitely be said that the organizing committee can be proud of what has been achieved.

BioSB 2021

Next year’s edition of BioSB 2021 is planned for June 15 and 16, so please mark your agenda and hope to see you all there again!