Sydney Bioinformaticians Get Together

Towards the end of one excellent conference (ANZOS 2014) I saw the call for another workshop, and so threw in an abstract. The abstract was accepted as a post-grad talk, and so I would be presenting at the Sydney Bioinformatics Research Symposium 2014. This was a smaller, though still well-attended affair hosted at the CPC.

There were some noteworthy highlights. Prof Andreas Zankl (a clinician) give a stunning talk littered with computer science, he and his team (of 3!) are designing a new database and user interface to collate together data and opinion on bone dysplasia. It was just so strange to have a GP tell me about the semantic web. As with last year, this year’s gathering had a “fast forward” hour wherein those with posters were given 2 minutes (exactly, you were cut short the second you overran) to draw attention to their work. It’s an adrenaline fuelled experience for the presenters, well aided by David Lovell’s considerable talent as an MC.

My own talk was on neutrophil swarming, and specifically how automated calibration can be integrated into the simulation development cycle to help refine the model. It was very well received, moreso than I think most other talks I’ve given thus far in my career. My approach in using simulation to test biological hypotheses differs from typical bioinformatics work, which is concerned with making sense of large quantities of high throughput data. I think both communities enjoyed learning a bit more about how the other’s approach works.

This year has not lacked for interesting conferences and workshops, though I’ve barely left Sydney. Its fantastic here, but I suppose the downside of living in an exotic place is that the conferences tend to come to you, rather than giving your the opportunity to head abroad.