Posted by Fiona, November 2016

The 11th International Conference of Genomics - report from Shenzhen # ICG11

The BGI has inaugurated their new headquarters in the newly built China National Gene Bank by making it the location of the annual ICG conference.

The new building is big and the project is an impressive feat - I am comparing to my photos of the building site from last year - I am amazed at how fast this massive site was built.


On November 3rd I was invited as a speaker at the Women in Omics session, organised by Laurie Goodman. The session was at the same time an exhibit of great science by women scientists and a mix of life and work lessons learnt by women in the field. I was in awe when Marilyn M Li from the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia presented her life story of how she made her way to a professorship in the US through hard work through tough times growing up in China. Take home message: 'Learn the skill of balancing'n In the presentation of Monica Munoz-Torres I laughed out loud when she compared the inconvenience of PDF publishing with fruit moshed to a smoothie. Check out her tool for collaborative genome annotation: Apollo Gene Browser - it is Open Source - Go use it! :)

The presentations were too many to mention here, but I must say I really enjoyed the great atmosphere of science and collaboration. I focused my presentation on why I left my job to become an entrepreneur: From bioinformatics Scientist to Entrepreneur.


The second session I presented in was the session on Data Sharing and Analysis, where I along with Thomas Lemberger and Monica Munoz-Torres presented how data must be both well-annotated and discoverable to be useful: Genome projects around the world and how you find data for your research.


I took the opportunity to give some examples of how many data sources are available where you can find lots of publicly available genomic data - if you just know where to look!

For a primer of where to look, check out the 30 data sources listed in our paper: DNAdigest and Repositive - Connecting the World of Genomic Data

It was a great conference, amazing speakers, incredible views from the venue, and great people abound - among others it was great to hang out with the guys from Veritas Genetics and sampling the local cuisine. And an extra thanks to Gigascience for the trip to the Dapeng Fortress on Sunday, and to OmicsCloud for giving me an excellent tour of Hong Kong! Looking forward to seeing you all again soon!

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Fiona Nielsen

Fiona Nielsen

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
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