National level conference on Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Aim: The big data in biology is creating an opportunity for both hypothesis and observation driven new science and new technologies. The conference brought together experts from diverse areas to share their vision on emerging dimensions of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology while taking stock of the various software tools and databases developed in the country.

SCFBio@A glance: The Supercomputing Facility for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, IIT Delhi was created with the funding of Department of Biotechnology under the guidance of Principal Investigator Prof B Jayaram with a vision to develop novel scientific methods and new softwares for genome analysis, protein structure prediction and in silico drug design and for human resources training.

A two day national conference on Breaking Barriers through Bioinformatics and Computational Biology was organized at IIT Delhi from July 31.

The main focus of the conference was on how to leverage current strengths of research community to seek answers to some fundamental questions in biology, generate new technologies and employment opportunities and to identify what it takes the country to become a leading contributor to the field of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology.

Around 200 delegates including those from different IITs, IISc, IISER, CSIR labs and industry participated in the event.

The Chief Guest for the function was Prof Alok Bhattacharya, JNU; Chairman Bioinformatics Task Force, DBT, Chairman, National Supercomputing Mission and Vice President INSA. Guest of Honour was Dr T Madhan Mohan, Advisor DBT.

Delivering his welcome address, Prof Jayaram, coordinator SCF Bio enlightened the audience with the contribution made by his team in the area of computational biology and bioinformatics.

Speaking on the occasion Prof Bhattacharya exhorted the scientists that identification of new molecules should not be the ultimate goal of the bioinformatics researchers. “The scientists should make efforts for analysis of toxicity and the efficacy measurement at computational level. There are challenges for computational biologists like deep learning and its integration with medical data. These need to addressed.”

Stressing on the need to imbibe an interdisciplinary and integrated approach, IIT Delhi director Prof V Ramgopal Rao urged the participants to work in the areas which has a direct social relevance.