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By Biocat

Research in the omic sciences (genomics, proteomics, systems biology, etc.) is generating huge amounts of data that incorporates key information for understanding the biological basis of life and many diseases. Managing and analyzing this information requires powerful computational tools, which are developed through bioinformatics. Healthcare and clinical research also generate highly valuable data with great potential, which is managed and exploited by the discipline called medical informatics.

Unfortunately, information generated by the omic sciences and bioinformatics tools are not giving rise to health-related applications at the pace that was initially expected. Furthermore, the information derived from medical applications isn’t being used to advance biomedical research. This lack of translational synergies between bioinformatics and medical informatics stems from many different causes. One of the possible reasons is a lack of collaboration between these two fields.

With the aim of fostering such dialogue, B·Debate —an initiative of Biocat and the "la Caixa" Foundation— and Pompeu Fabra University, under the framework of the European INBIOMEDvision project, are organizing a series of debates on this subject entitled Beyond Omics Revolutions: Integrative Knowledge Management for Empowered Healthcare and Research on 3 and 4 July at CaixaForum Barcelona. The event will feature some thirty world-renowned experts, including Dr. Anthony Brookes of the University of Leicester (United Kingdom); Dr. Søren Brunak of the Technical University of Denmark and the University of Copenhagen (Denmark); Dr. Peter Coveney of University College London (United Kingdom), and Dr. Johan van der Lei of the Erasmus University Medical Center (Netherlands).

The scientific leader for these debates is Dr. Ferran Sanz, director of the IMIM-UPF (Pompeu Fabra University) joint Research Program on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB), member of the European Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), scientific committee member and academic coordinator of the Spanish Technological Platform for Innovative Drugs, as well as the coordinator of the Spanish Institute of Bioinformatics (INB). "Just as an example, only 5% of the thousands of papers listed on Medline that are tagged with one of the two disciplines are listed with both tags. We believe that the necessary interdisciplinary collaboration can be promoted through in-depth debates among opinion leaders from both disciplines," explained Dr. Sanz.

Open symposium for the scientific community in Catalonia

After the debates, on 5 July, a symposium will be held for the whole scientific community in Catalonia. The event will feature some of the guest speakers, who will present the main lines of research in this field and the conclusions of the previous sessions.

Date: 5 July 2012
Time: 9 am to 2 pm
Venue: PRBB Auditorium • C/ Dr. Aiguader, 88 • Barcelona (Spain)

Registration free of charge. Send an e-mail to, with "Interès Beyond Omics-Bioinformatics" in the subject line.

News on other B·Debate activities




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