AdvCompBio CONFERENCE 2019


Fostering collaboration among women scientists

The first Advances in Computational Biology conference will bring together researchers working on systems biology, omics technologies, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing with applications to biology from both the public and private sectors.

One of the main purposes of the conference is to visualize and promote the research done by women scientists and for this reason, all presenters will be women, although the conference is open to everyone. We want to create a space to foster collaborations between scientists, providing an excellent opportunity to share ideas and build research networks.

The programme will include poster and oral presentations, as well as keynotes from leading scientists in the computational biology and high-performance computing fields. The keynote speakers of the conference are: Christine Orengogroup leader of Orengo Group at University College London, Natasa Przulj, group leader of the Life Sciences – Integrative Computational Network Biology at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and Marie-Christine Sawley, director of the Exascale Lab at Intel.

The confirmed chairs of the conference are: Alison Kennedy, director of the STFC Hartree Centre, Janet Kelso, group leader of the Minerva Research Group for Bioinformatics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, and Nuria Lopez-Bigas, leader of the Biomedical Genomics Research Group at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine Barcelona.

Furthermore, the participants will have the opportunity to interact personally with women leaders in the fields of IT, academic research and politics that support the conference (Carmen Vela Olmo, Ángeles Delgado, Gemma Fargas Ribas, Guayente Sanmartin, Sonia Ruiz, Cristina Espinosa, Janet Kelso).

The conference is organised by the Bioinfo4Women programme from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS) with the collaboration of IMIM-UPF Research Programme on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB) and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). It is an affiliate conference of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB). Currently we are negotiating support from other international associations, institutions and companies.

Scientific Sessions will include

  • Learning from biological sequences

Including population genomics, evolutionary genomics, systems biology, transcriptomics, sequence analysis.

  • When Computational Biology meets medicine

Including biomedical applications, mutational landscapes, clinical genomics

  • Machines speeding up research

Including high performance computing, machine learning in the life sciences, imaging data analysis, dynamic simulations and algorithm development

Important dates

Open Registration May 6th, 2019
Abstract (poster /talk) submission opens   May 6th, 2019
Abstract (poster /talk) submission deadline     July 1st, 2019 
Poster or talk acceptance decision  September 1st, 2019
Registration deadline      November 1st, 2019


Christine Orengo, Ph.D. University College London (UCL)

 Christine Orengo is a computational biologist, whose core research has been the development of robust algorithms to capture relationships between protein structures, sequences and functions. She has built one of the most comprehensive protein classifications, CATH, used worldwide by tens of thousands of biologists, and central to many pioneering structural and evolutionary studies. 

CATH structural and functional data for hundreds of millions of proteins has enabled studies that revealed essential universal proteins and their biological roles, and extended characterisation of biological systems implicated in disease e.g. in cell division, cancer and ageing. CATH functional sites have revealed protein residues implicated in enzyme efficiency and bacterial antibiotic resistance. This data also identified genetic variations likely to be driving human diseases and the drugs that can be repurposed to offset the pathogenic effects.

Christine is a Vice President of the International Society of Computational Biology (ISCB). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and Elected member of EMBO since 2014, and a Fellow of ISCB since 2016. She is a founder of ELIXIR 3DBioInfo.

Natasa Przulj, Ph.D. Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS)

Prof. Przulj is recognized for initiating extraction of biomedical knowledge from the wiring patterns (topology, structure) of large real-world molecular (omics) networks. She designs new algorithms for mining and integrating the wiring patterns of sytems-level, heterogeneous omics networks.  She applies them uncover new biological and medical information and gain deeper biomedical understanding.

She is an elected academician of The Academy of Europe, Academia Europaea, and a Fellow of the British Computer Society. She is an ICREA Research Professor at Barcelona Supercomputing Center. She has been a Professor of Biomedical Data Science at University College London (UCL) Computer Science Department since 2016. She received two prestigious European Research Council (ERC) grants, the ERC Consolidator grant titled “Integrated Connectedness for a New Representation of Biology” (2018-2023) and the ERC Starting Independent Researcher Grant titled “Biological Network Topology Complements Genome as a Source of Biological Information” (2012-2017). She was awarded the British Computer Society Roger Needham Award in 2014 for a distinguished research contribution in computer science by a UK based researcher within ten years of their PhD.  She held a prestigious NSF CAREER Award for the project titled “Tools for Analyzing, Modeling, and Comparing Protein-Protein Interaction Networks” in 2007-2011 at University of California Irvine.

Prof. Przulj is a member of the Editorial Boards of Bioinformatics (Oxford Journals),Scientific Reports (NaturePublishing Group) and Frontiers in Genetics (Frontiers), an Associate Editor of the Journal of Complex Networks (Oxford Academic) and BMC Bioinformatics (BioMed Central), a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of theHelmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI / Braunschweig, Germany), and the Proceedings / Area Chair / COSI Lead of Protein Interactions, Molecular Networks and Network Biology tracks at the ISMB/ECCB 2015, ISMB 2016 and ISMB/ECCB 2017, ISMB 2018 and ISMB/ECCB 2019.

Marie-Christine Sawley, Ph.D. Intel

Marie-Christine Sawley

Marie-Christine joined Intel France in December 2010 as the Exascale Lab Director in Paris, and since then, of the collaboration with Barcelona Supercomputing Center.

She completed a PhD in plasma physics at CRPP-EPFL in 1985 on analytical and numerical studies of the coupling phenomena between electromagnetic waves and magnetically confined plasmas. In 1997, she joined the “Mastering the Technology Enterprise” curriculum at IMD in Lausanne.

Active in HPC and scientific computing for the last two decades, Marie-Christine has been the director of CSCS, the Swiss national supercomputing centre for 5 years 2003 – 2008, before joining CMS Computing at CERN. Prior to this, she was one of the proponents and drivers for establishing the Vital-IT centre of the Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics in 2002 in partnership with HP and Intel.

Marie-Christine has also conducted a number of prominent activities in the area of scientific and technology, such as for the EPFL CRAY collaboration in 1994-95, EPFL Alinghi project in 2002-03, Swiss TX cluster at EPFL and promotion of ETH Zurich and Swiss industries in the building of the CMS detector at CERN in 2008.


Thanks to the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science initiative the participants will have the opportunity to interact personally with women leaders in the fields of IT, academia research and politics that support the conference, in small round tables and in an informal, relaxed environment.

  • Carmen Vela Olmo. Former Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation (SEIDI), 2012-2018.
  • Ángeles Delgado. President of Fujitsu in Spain.
  • Gemma Fargas Ribas. Vice-Chancellor of Social Responsibility and Equality of the Polytechnic University of Catalunya BarcelonaTech (UPC).
  • Guayente Sanmartin. General Manager of the HP’s Large Format Design Business.
  • Sonia Ruiz.Director of the Gender Mainstreaming Department, Barcelona City Council.
  • Cristina Espinosa. Associate Director of Policy Government Affairs in Oncology of MSD. Member of the Board of Directors of the Spanish Chapter of the ISPOR Society. 
  • Janet Kelso. Group leader of the Minerva Research Group for Bioinformatics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

This activity requires prior registration and is free of charge. There are limited places, the organization will contact attendees to inform on the table they have been assigned to.








Check out our youtube playlist with all recorded seminars.

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