7th Annual Louisiana Conference on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
The 7th Annual LBRN Conference on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics-LSU, Baton Rouge, LA is organized by the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network (LBRN) and hosted at the LSU Digital Media Center. The conference brings together researchers from Louisiana and abroad to learn about cutting edge research in bioinformatics and computational biology. This year speakers from NYU, Virginia Tech, Thomas Jefferson University and other leading institutions across the US were joined by a delegation from the University of Haifa, Israel. The conference was attended by over 300 participants and began with a welcome by the provost of LSU, Dr. Stacia Haynie, main organizer Dr. Gus Kousoulas and opening session by Dr. Alfred Tauber. Dr. Tauber spoke about the significance of Citizen Science in the era of Big Data and how these approaches are exemplified by institutions like LSU. With continued efforts by Faculty, students and staff and active involvement from leaders in the field, LSU is positioned to advance and support Bioinformatic integration at institutions within the state and south east US.
Keynote Lecture by Dr. Tauber
Before the conference began, Dr. Tauber spoke at the LSU School of Veterinary and Medical Sciences. The trip was a part of a coordinated effort to bring together researchers from across Louisiana and from University of Haifa that utilize big data and computational biology.
The delegation was led by Dr. Alfred Tauber who came by special invitation from the organizing committee and leadership at Louisiana State University where the conference was hosted. Dr. Tauber, Dr. Leonid Brodsky, the director of the Tauber Bioinformatics Research Center and Dr. Hanoch Kaphzan from the Sagol Department of Neuroscience presented at the conference as keynote speakers. Before the conference, Julia Panov from
Dr. Kaphzan’s Neurobiology lab led a 2-hour workshop on bioinformatics using the T-BioInfo platform developed at the Tauber Bioinformatics Research Center at the University of Haifa.
University of Haifa and LSU sign a memorandum of understanding.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between University of Haifa and Louisiana State University to collaborate. Provost Dr. Stacia Haynie and Dr. Alfred Tauber signed the MOU and discussed the importance of international collaboration and faculty and student exchange in the areas of bioinformatics, marine biology and energy. The meeting was held together with Dr. Gus Kousoulas, Associate Vice President of Economic Development and Dr. Hector Zapata, Associate Vice Provost for International Programs. In part, this collaboration is driven by a joint interest between the Tauber Bioinformatics Research Center and the Louisiana State University Center for Computation and Technology to develop an infrastructure for bioinformatics across the state of Louisiana.
Upon arrival, Dr. Kaphzan and Julia Panov from the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Haifa were greeted by the leadership of LSU Center of Excellence in Neuroscience (https://www.medschool.lsuhsc.edu/neuroscience/). After a tour of the center, the Haifa University delegation had a discussion of research topics and educational programs with researchers and leadership. During his speech at the conference, Dr. Hanoch Kaphzan shared his lab’s research on Angelman syndrome and neuroscience at the University of Haifa. As a part of this research, Julia Panov worked with public domain NGS data to test many of the lab’s hypotheses on the underlying molecular mechanisms of Angelman syndrome. The data and findings were presented at the conference and workshop where over 40 participants from across the state joined to learn how to apply analysis methods to epigenetic and transcriptomic data.
Dr. Leonid Brodsky presented his research on viral micro evolution and on multi-omics integration in Cancer. In of LSU School of Veterinary Sciences, LSU Center for Computation and Technology and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. The LSU researchers utilizing the T-BioInfo platform for Big Data Analysis are developing proposals to incorporate the platform in the LSU computational infrastructure to help researchers across the state leverage bioinformatics in their research projects.
Poster Presentations by Pine Biotech
In Louisiana, the Tauber Bioinformatics Research Center is working in collaboration with Pine Biotech, a US company that has licensed the T-BioInfo platform from University of Haifa. Pine Biotech is commercializing the T-BioInfo platform and using it for educational support and research projects across 7 campuses in the state of Louisiana.
The LBRN Bioinformatics Training program started in 2018 and supported over 200 users across the state with pilots at 4 campuses with the projection to reach 1000 users by the end of 2019. As a part of the expansion, an online program is being developed with the LSU Center for Continuing Education and the LSU Center for Computation and Technology. Pine Biotech continues to work closely with LSU leadership, LBRN member campuses and University of Haifa researchers to make bioinformatics more accessible.