Bioinformatics conference explores the data mining potential of the human body

31 July 2014

With exponential increases in the amount of biological data now available to scientists through investigations such as the Human Proteome Project, a scientific conference will this week explore how bioinformatics can be used to mine that data and reveal new insight into the big questions of life and emergent potential for personalised medicine.

Hosted for the first time in Australia, the 13th International Conference on Bioinformatics (InCoB2014) is a coup for Australian researchers.

“Without bioinformatics, biologists and biomedical scientists cannot make any sense of the immense molecular data available today on human as well as other organisms,” says Macquarie University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Sakkie Pretorius. “As a synthetic biologist, I turn to bioinformatics when I need to understand how my favourite organism – yeast – functions.”

“Bioinformatics is an often overlooked but absolutely vital enabling science,” says Professor Shoba Ranganathan, Macquarie University Chair of Bioinformatics and President of APBioNet.

“It provides powerful computational tools to analyse the vast amounts of data generated from technologies such as genomics, proteomics and systems biology.” Professor Ranganathan has been instrumental in bringing InCoB2014 to Sydney, Australia.

“However, Australia hasn’t presented a national bioinformatics strategy since 2005,” said Professor Ranganathan. “We missed our chance to participate in the global human genome project but we now have a chance to make a difference. It is time to review and update this report to precipitate world-leading research for world-changing impact.”

The Conference’s theme is “Mining Biological Data for Transforming Industry and Health”. InCoB2014 will showcase cutting edge bioinformatics research, and applications to disease, health and agriculture.

New South Wales Chief Scientist and Engineer Professor Mary O’Kane will open the conference on 31 July 2014.

Plenary speakers include luminaries from leading institutes in Australia and the world:

  • Professor Gil Omenn, University of Michigan; Strategies and Progress of the HUPO Human Proteome Project
  • Professor Terry Speed, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute: Normalization of -omic data after 2007
  • Professor John Mattick, Garvan Institute of Medical Research: RNA at the epicenter of human development
  • Professor Terry Gaasterland, Scripps Genome Center: Integrating exome sequencing, mRNA-seq, and microRNA-seq to identify genes and mechanisms in optic nerve degeneration

Additionally, several well-recognised speakers and young researchers will present their work at InCoB2014. Industry partners will showcase state-of-the-art technologies and products in a collaborative environment towards influencing future health outcomes.

Macquarie University’s Professor Mark Baker, President-elect, Human Proteome Organization (HUPO), will comment on how proteins define human health, behaviour and emotions.

Professor Ranganathan will also challenge InCoB attendees to address how best we can use bioinformatics to mine biological data, in order to develop metrics to quantify health and to develop preventive healthcare strategies.

Event details:

International Conference on Bioinformatics (InCOB)
31 July – 2 August 2014
Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach
http://incob2014.org/

Filed under: Research Science & nature

The 13th International Conference on Bioinformatics (InCoB2014) is a coup for Australian researchers.

The 13th International Conference on Bioinformatics (InCoB2014) is a coup for Australian researchers.

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