With speakers such as Roser Vento-Tormo, Klaus Mayer, Helen Parkinson and Patrick Aloy, a wide variety of life sciences fields were on display showcasing why bioinformatics is key to this research. 85 posters added to insights into the current state of this exciting field.
During the conference #useGalaxy offered two poster prizes, which were won by: Sema Elif Eski (ULB, BE) and Simon van Heeringen (Radboud Universiteit, NL).
Impressions of ABSL20
Here is what the two conference reporters Li Liu and Bram Van den Bergh had to say about the meeting.
Li Liu (VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology):
"Bioinformatics uses improvements in the multiple areas of computer science and information technology to solve complex problems in life science. The conference invited 21 speakers to present their insightful talks on four scientific topics - Microbial & plant genomics: from simple to complex; Structural informatics and proteomics; Data integration, machine learning and network; Single-cell bioinformatics. The reception at city hall, the poster sessions and the conference dinner provided an ideal platform for researchers on driving collaboration and spotlighting scientific research.
The key themes, ideas and considerations that emerged from the two days of the conference, along with some future goals will promote the different research fields in the future."
Bram Van den Bergh (VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology):
"The 3rd edition of ABLS20 followed in the recipe of its previous 2 predecessors. New bioinformatic insights were shared on a broad range of topics in life science: from analysis of single proteins to single cells, communities and systems; from the fascinating spread of bacteria to the complex evolution of plants and other eukarya. Many interesting talks further opened my wet lab biased eyes for the importance of strong bio-informatic knowledge in life sciences.
For example, Nick Loman’s mobile labs enabled on-site, epidemiologic research across the world, Thijs Ettema corrected my old-school view of a 3-clade tree of life and Wim Vrancken showed how context of amino-acids can in fact be conserved to conserve backbone stability. ABLS20 also emphasized on the importance of proper data integration, correlation and analyses. Turns out that good old PCA often still does the trick (if implemented correctly) as Aedin Culhane brightly explained and that correlation studies using omics often suffer from various confounding effects as detected by Sofie Forslund.
All these interesting talks were nicely paired with interesting posters, often displaying impressive visualizations of various datasets, and enough time and space to interact with some food and drinks.
Even as a wet-lab scientist, I learned a lot. So next edition in 2022? A no-brainer for me!"