Canadian Computational Biology Conference 2016, Toronto, Canada | By Shruti Srivastava

torontoHi, I am Shruti. Most of all my friends in the NSERC CREATE Host-Parasite Interactions (HPI) group know me but for my new friends I want to let them know: who am I and what my business is here. I am a second year M.Sc student at the University of Calgary, working on helminths under the supervision of Dr. James Wasmuth and Dr. Derek McKay. My work in the lab focuses on identification of HPI through bioinformatics approaches. Yes, I use computers to solve biological questions relevant to HPI.

Recently I had a chance to attend a conference at the University of Toronto (U of T), Canada. It was called the Canadian Computational Biology Conference which is one of the first of its kind in Canada. It was co-hosted by the Great Lakes Bioinformatics Consortium (GLBC) and the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB). The conference was actively held for four days from May 16-19, 2016. Victoria College at U of T, one of the most beautiful buildings around the campus, was chosen as its venue.

Victoria College

GLBIO CCBC’16 was a way to reach out to the bioinformatics community across North America. Around 270 people attended this very first computational biology conference here in Canada. All four days were packed with outstanding keynote talks, original research and flash talks, workshops and poster sessions. The various sessions provided the delegates with opportunities for networking. Career building sessions were organized to help budding scientists and many students. Each day started with an opening keynote talk followed by either 15 or five minutes’ flash talks. An ice-breaking session happened at the welcoming reception at the Duke of York Pub. It was an interesting evening, hearing renowned scientists talking about varied research topics in casual setting.

I managed to attend a workshop on best practices used in programming amidst those interesting talks. I also got an opportunity to present my research in front of some inquisitive minds in research. I enjoyed this conference to the fullest!

Victoria College

I got ample time to roam around in the city. Since we were staying at the most happening street of Toronto, the Yonge street, exploration became easy. I ended this wonderful trip by visiting Niagara Falls.

NSERC CREATE HPI supported all the expenses associated with the trip. I therefore want to highly thank my supervisors, Dr. James Wasmuth and Dr. Derek McKay, our program coordinator, Teresa Emmett and HPI executives for providing me this opportunity.






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