Keynote Speakers

Professor Nicola Mulder

Professor Nicky Mulder heads the Computational Biology Division at the University of Cape Town, and leads H3ABioNet, a large Pan African Bioinformatics Network of 27 institutions in 17 countries.

H3ABioNet aims to develop bioinformatics capacity to enable genomic data analysis on the continent. She is also co-PI of a Sickle Cell Data Coordinating Centre. Prior to her position at UCT, she worked for 9 years at the European Bioinformatics Institute in Cambridge, as a Team Leader. At UCT her research focuses on genetic determinants of susceptibility to disease, African genome variation, and microbial genomics and infectious diseases from both the host and pathogen perspectives. Her group provides bioinformatics services and develops new algorithms for the analysis of complex African genetic data. Prof Mulder is actively involved in training and education as well as curriculum development in Bioinformatics and Genomic Medicine. She is co-chair of GOBLET Learning, Education and Training Committee and sits on a number of Scientific Advisory Boards for African and International projects.

Russell Schwartz

Professor and Head, Computational Biology Department Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA

Dr. Schwartz works broadly on models and simulations of biological systems, including work in computational genomics, phylogenetics, population genetics, and biophysics. The largest area of his lab’s work in recent years has been computational cancer biology, with specific focus on algorithmic development related to clonal evolution in cancers and resulting tumor heterogeneity. His lab also pursues work in stochastic simulation, with primary focus on models and model inference methods for simulating complex self-assembly dynamics.

Dr. Schwartz is an active member of GOBLET and has played a key role in development of Curriculum Guidelines for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology as member of the Curriculum Task Force of the ISCB Education Committee.

Yeşim Aydın Son

Assoc. Professor and Head of Department, Graduate School of Informatics, Medical Informatics, Middle East Technical University, Çankaya, Ankara, Turkey

Dr. Yeşim Aydın Son is a medical scientist holding an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Genome Sciences and Technologies. She is a full-time faculty of METU Graduate School of Informatics since 2010 and promoted to the Assoc. Prof. position in the Bioinformatics Program in 2017. The main focus of her research is the modeling of chronic and complex diseases based on integrated genomic and clinical data. Her group has released a java based integrated software called METU-SNP, for genome-wide association and prioritization of SNP biomarkers through a novel AHP based algorithm. Her group continues to investigate the application of different data mining approaches to better associate genotyping data with diseases. They have proposed the SVM-ID3 hybrid method in 2014, which has been shown to outperform only the SVM method for the modeling of prostate cancer. Genomic Data-based modeling of Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, are among her ongoing projects.