Seminars, events & talks

Tuesday, 9th December, 2014, 18:45

Real world data from Catalonia

This talk is included in the agenda of the European Medical Information Framework (EMIF) Colloquium.

The event will be held on December 10, between 18:00 - 20:00 at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) auditorium. It will be followed by a networking drink on the PRBB terrace.  There will be simultaneous interpretation available. Please register your attendance by 30th November at For more information on the EMIF Project see website:

Speaker: Ferran Sanz, Director of GRIB

Room PRBB Auditorium

Tuesday, 2nd December, 2014, 12.00-13.00

Rational design of antibodies targeting intrinsically disordered proteins

In biological systems nearly all processes are governed by interactions between protein molecules, which have evolved to perform an innumerable variety of functions. The ability of some proteins, such as antibodies, to interact with high affinity and specificity is being increasingly exploited for therapeutic and diagnostic applications. Yet, using current methods it is laborious and often difficult to generate antibodies against specific epitopes within a protein, in particular within disordered regions. Likewise, the successful development of antibody-based drugs is often hindered by their relatively poor solubility, which leads to aggregation at the high concentrations necessary for effective storage and delivery. 
I will present two computational approaches to rationally modify interactions between protein molecules, including antibodies. The aim of the first is to hamper aberrant interactions by predicting mutations that improve the solubility, while retaining native state and activity. Its application to a single-domain antibody demonstrates that solubility changes upon mutation are estimated with great accuracy, thus offering a cost-effective strategy for the production of soluble proteins. The second consists in the rational design of protein-protein interactions by engineering a scaffold to bind to virtually any target disordered epitope in a protein. We validate this method by designing five single domain antibodies to bind different epitopes within three disease-related intrinsically disordered proteins (α-synculein, Aβ and IAPP). The results show that all antibodies bind to their target with good affinity and specificity. As an example of an application we carried out further experiments on one of these antibodies to show that it inhibits the aggregation of α-synuclein at low substoichiometric concentrations, and that binding indeed occurs at the selected epitope.

Speaker: Pietro Sormanni, PhD Student, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge

Room Aula room (470.03 – 4th floor)

Wednesday, 19th November, 2014, 11:00-12:00

Recent Developments in RNA structure prediction and RNA design

Speaker: Ivan Dotu; Biology Department, Boston College.

Room Aula room (470.03 – 4th floor)

Monday, 10th November, 2014

b·debate "Big Data in Biomedicine. Challenges and opportunities". Sanz, Ferran. Comitè organitzador

Barcelona, 11-12/11/2014. organitzada juntament amb Bioinformatics Barcelona (BIB),  European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), Biocat i Fundació La Caixa.

Sunday, 9th November, 2014, 12:30

Bioinformatics in the Era of Big Data

Bio{medical}informatics is a field that has emerged through the analysis of data primarily generated by other researchers. As such it is a leading indicator for what biomedical research will involve in the era of big data, taken here to imply large diverse datasets at different biological   scales - from molecules to populations. Does the model by which we have accessed such data thus far scale to the future? I will argue that the answer is no and new approaches are needed which would change how we do our science.

Speaker: Philip E. Bourne, Associate Director for Data Science (ADDS) at the National Institutes of Health (USA)

Room Ramon y Cajal

Wednesday, 22th October, 2014, 11:00

Analysis and visualization of multidimensional cancer genomics data

Cancer is a complex disease caused by somatic alterations of the genome and epigenome in tumor cells. Increased investments and cheaper access to various technologies have built momentum for the generation of cancer genomics data. The availability of such large datasets offers many new possibilities to gain insight into cancer molecular properties. Within this scope we'll present two methods that exploit the broad availability of cancer genomic data: Oncodrive-ROLE, an approach to classify mutational cancer driver genes into activating and loss of function mode of actions and MutEx, a statistical measure to assess the trend of the somatic alterations in a set of genes to be mutually exclusive across tumor samples. Nevertheless, the unprecedented dimension of the available data raises new complications for its accessibility and exploration which we try to solve with new visualization solutions: i) Gitools interactive heatmaps with prepared large scale cancer genomics datasets ready to be explored, ii) jHeatmap, an interactive heatmap browser for the web capable of displaying multidimensional cancer genomics data and designed for its inclusion into web portals.

Speaker: Michael Schroeder - Biomedical Genomics group of GRIB

Room Sala Ramón y Cajal

Thursday, 16th October, 2014, 9:30 - 11:30

Bioinformatics: how it can support the FIC?

WHO-FIC Network. World Health Organization - Family of International Classification Annual meeting 11-17 October, 2014, Barcelona The WHO-FIC network is an International collaboration that aims to promote the appropriate selection of classifications in the range of settings in the health field across the world. The primary mandate of the Collaborating Centres for the WHO Family of International Classifications (WHO-FIC) is to support and promote the development and use of WHO classifications such as ICD (the International Classification of Diseases) and ICF (the International Classification of Functioning and Disability) in support of health and health services.

Speaker: Ferran Sanz

Room Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona (CCIB) Plaça de Willy Brandt 11-14 - Barcelona

Tuesday, 7th October, 2014, 12:00

Clues to molecular mechanisms from the concerted action of genes

Speaker: Robert Castelo - Head of Functional Genomics group (GRIB)

Room Ramon y Cajal

Tuesday, 7th October, 2014, 8-14/10/2014

V Beyond The Genome: Cancer Genomics, Harvard Medical School, Boston ( USA). Lopez Bigas, Nuria. Organizing committee.

Thursday, 4th September, 2014, 11.00-12.00

Illuminating biology through navigating big data in drug discovery.

Methods like phenotypic screening, next generation sequencing and high content screening have become standard in drug discovery. All these methods yield a huge amount of data, which need to be processed and analyzed in order to be able to extract biologically relevant conclusions out of them. This novel, richer, more complicated data landscape means we need state-of-the-art in silico approaches to increase the probability of a lead compound to be disease relevant. This requires data analytics approaches informing on relevant assays, compound subset design to probe the biology, visualisation of complex biological data, and target/MOA hypotheses generation.

Speaker: Elisabet Gregori Puigjané; In silico Lead Discovery Group at the Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research

Room Xipre (seminar 173.06-183.01), PRBB.

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