BioSB PhD retreat 2015

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The RSG retreat 2015 preceding the Netherlands Bioinformatics and Systems Biology (BioSB) Conference 2015 was hosted in Lunteren, Netherlands, on 19 May, gathering 24 (PhD-) students and young professionals in bioinformatics and systems biology from all over the Netherlands.

Program overview
Sjoerd Huisman – Welcome and introduction to YoungCB
Flash presentations
Niclas Nordholt – “The growth-rate dependence of a gene regulatory function in Bacillus subtilis”
Tim Offermans – “The Structural Role of a-bulges in G Protein-Coupled Receptors”
Tom van den Bergh – “Protein superfamily data integration”
Sarah Stolle – “Metabolic network robustness during ageing”
Mohammed El-Kebir – “Unmixing a tumor”
Lieneke Kusters – “Privacy-preserving model for DNA sequences”
Celia van Gelder – BioSB Update
Bas E. Dutilh – “Metagenomics: a motivating career move”
Flash presentations
Damarius Fleming – “Genomic diversity and markers of tolerance in livestock”
Anne-Claire Martines – “The effects of high-fat diet and fasting on MCAD KO mice”
Jochem Evers – “Automated improvement of ZnCys4 complexes”
Terry Hwa – “Driven by function: a personal journey from physics to biology”
Dinner and social activities

Sjoerd Huisman gave the welcome speech with a short introduction on the activities organised by RSG Netherlands. This also included presenting our new local name “Young Computational Biologists (YoungCB) Netherlands” and welcoming all young bioinformaticians and systems biologist to join our community.

Celia van Gelder gave an update on the Netherlands Bioinformatics and Systems Biology (BioSB) Research School and their upcoming courses. Also she talked about ECCB16, which will be held in Den Haag, Netherlands, encouraging us to take part in the ESCS16.

Bas E. Dutilh, Assistant Professor at Theoretical Biology and Bioinformatics, Utrecht University, gave the first career talk “Metagenomics: a motivating career move”.

Again this year, we gave the participants the opportunity to do a 5 min flash presentation of their research.  9 of the participants took this opportunity and we got very good feedback on this. It is an easy, fast way to introduce to your peers what you are working on and also led to scientific discussions later on. It was very clear to see the diversity in the field, which of course reflects the recent merging of the bioinformatics and systems biology communities in the Netherlands.

Terry Hwa, PI at Laboratory for Quantitative Microbiology, U.C. San Diego, gave the second career talk “Driven by function: a personal journey from physics to biology”.

The evening program consisted of a dinner at the local pizza restaurant, social activities and drinks, where we continued with discussions and networking.

During the BioSB conference the RSG Netherlands board was in charge of the poster committee. In addition RSG Netherlands also held a BOF session to encourage even more people to join the network of young bioinformaticians and systems biologists. This was a very successful meeting were we got one new board member with a systems biology background.