The [BC]2 Scientific Committee is inviting abstract submissions on biological and bioinformatics research and applications, as well as development of methods and software.


Abstract submissions

Talks and poster presentations are scheduled on 14 and 15 September 2021. The main conference topics are:

  • Artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer vision
  • Cancer biology and precision medicine
  • Evolutionary dynamics and ecology
  • Pathogens, immune systems and host-pathogen interactions
  • Population genomics in human health
  • Spatiotemporal gene expression dynamics and single-cell approaches

Abstracts that do not fit into any of the above mentioned categories can be submitted under the category “Others”.

A limited number of screens will be available, to facilitate the presentation of software, simulations, imaging results or other complex analyses and research. Demonstrating to participants for example how to run your software, being able to show animations, or zooming into complex 3D microscopy images, may help to better communicate your message. When submitting your abstract for the categories Poster + poster pitch (see below for details) or Poster only, you will be asked to indicate if and which elements of your research will benefit from this interactive poster format. The Scientific Committee will assess your needs and assign screens according to necessity and availability.

Important dates

  • 18 March 2021 - Call for abstracts opens
  • 16 May 2021 - Call for abstracts closes
  • End of June 2021 - Abstract acceptance notification
  • 14 and 15 September 2021 - Presentation at [BC]2

Submission categories

Abstract submissions are possible in the following three presentation categories:

  • Oral presentation:  a presentation of approximately 15 minutes to introduce the scientific question, a few key results and/or future directions and challenges of the project; authors are encouraged to bring a poster as well.
  • Poster + poster pitch: a poster, together with a short presentation of 5 minutes during the main session describing the poster.
  • Poster only

Participants submitting an abstract for the categories oral presentation and poster + poster pitch should participate on-site. For more details, please have a look at the COVID-19 section.

A ‘best presentation’ course will be organised prior to the conference. Authors of selected abstracts are invited to join this course free of charge.

Abstract structure and submission

All abstracts must be presented in English. Abstracts can be saved and modified, but no modifications are possible after having submitted your abstract or the submission deadline.

When writing your abstract, please make sure to describe your main research question, and results in plain, neutral language. The abstract text should not exceed 2'500 characters (~ 400 words).

Make sure you read the tips on abstract writing (box below) to make sure you put all the odds on your side when submitting!

Abstracts have to be submitted via the online submission system of the [BC]2 conference platform. You can find more information on how to create an account and submit your abstract in the box below.

1. A clear structure

Keeping the structure of your abstract clear and simple will make it easier both for reviewers and participants to understand your research. Your abstract should contain:

  • an opening (2-3 sentences) to introduce your topic;
  • your hypothesis (1-2 sentences);
  • methods and results (4-6 sentences) describing how you addressed your hypothesis;
  • a conclusion (1-2 sentences) summarising your discoveries.

2. Less is more

How often have you stumbled across an abstract that was too long and detailed to read? Don’t make the same mistake! Describe only one or two key results of your research, there is no need to go into all the details and to exhaust the provided word limit.

3. Choose the right words

Use common everyday words as much as possible: reviewers and participants come from different scientific and linguistic backgrounds and may not be familiar with technical details, acronyms or field-specific jargon. E.g. replace long words with shorter ones (methodology -> methods), and simplify words and expressions whenever possible (employ -> use, or in order to -> to).

4. Don’t exaggerate

Avoid too many adjectives and stick to a neutral language: reviewers are generally allergic to claims such as the research is of tremendous impact for the well-being of all future generations. Simply saying that your results may positively impact the health of future generations may be closer to reality =)

5. Get active

Use active voice over passive! The passive sentence An analysis to simulate the impact of temperature on protein folding was conducted is more difficult to read than its active version We simulated the impact of temperature on protein folding.

The same holds true for nouns and verbs: An increase in folding speed was observed for proteins at higher temperatures is more complicated (and longer) than Folding speed increased at higher temperatures.

6. Choose the right keywords

To better understand your abstract, reviewers and participants will focus on keywords. Integrate some common vocabulary and keywords to guide them: e.g. if you are working on next-generation sequencing technologies - then say it! - and don’t mumble around new methods to sequence DNA.

7. Get feedback

Share your abstract with colleagues and friends outside your academic field: if the abstract is well structured and clearly written, they will understand the key message - judging its scientific quality and relevance for the conference is only a second step and will be done by the reviewers.

1. Create an account

To submit an abstract to [BC]2, you have to create an account on the [BC]2 conference platform.

There are three different ways to create an account:

  1. Are you an employee at SIB?
    Use your SIB LDAP to sign in to the [BC]2 conference platform.
  2. Are you a SIB Member, or at a Swiss university?
    Use your university account to sign in to the [BC]2 conference platform. Depending on whether your university already integrated SWITCH edu-ID or not, you will have to use your SWITCH edu-ID account or your normal university account. For security reasons, SWITCH recommends closing your browser window after the session.
  3. Neither at SIB, nor affiliated with a Swiss university?
    No problem! Create a new account to sign in to the [BC]2 conference platform.

Please note:

  • If you are already signed in another application with your SIB LDAP or university account while signing in to the [BC]2 conference platform, the system will automatically recognise you.
  • Once you created an account, you need to continue using the same login option (SIB LDAP, university account or newly created account)!
  • Creating an account does not equal a registration to the conference. You will be able to register to [BC]2 using the same account as soon as the registration is opening.

2. Complete your profile

Before submitting an abstract, please update your account profile with the required information.

3. Go to "My abstracts"

Click on your user icon on the top-right corner of the screen, and go to "My abstracts". Here, you will find an overview of all your submitted abstracts. To create a new abstract, click on "Submit a new abstract".

4. Write and submit your abstract

You can now write your abstract. If you wish to save your abstract and resume at a later point, you can do so by clicking on "Save draft". If you are happy with your abstract, submit it by choosing "Submit abstract". Once submitted, you can still see, but no longer modify your abstract.

Session descriptions

Session chairs: Karsten Borgwardt and Julia Vogt

Session description: Machine learning techniques are revolutionising the analysis of large amounts of biological data from medical imaging, discovering new biomarkers to predicting protein structures or the uncovering of evolutionary processes. This session aims at not only presenting and discussing current techniques and applications of AI, machine learning and related techniques, but is also open to new computational methods with the potential of changing future bioinformatics workstreams. 

Topic includes but is not limited to: artificial intelligence, medical and biological data science, machine learning methods and applications, computer vision, medical imaging

Session chairs: Valentina Boeva and David Gfeller

Session description: Clinical implementation of the promises of precision medicine in oncology requires in depth molecular characterization of tumors and robust data analysis tools. To face this challenge, new experimental and computational technologies are being developed to characterize the genomic, transcriptomic, cellular and spatial heterogeneity of tumors. This session aims at covering the latest technological and computational developments in this fast-evolving field.

Topic includes but is not limited to: precision medicine, novel methods for cancer data analysis, multi-omics data integration in the context of cancer, single-cell data analysis methods for cancer

Session chairs: Sara Mitri

Session description: Comparative genomic analyses between species, but also within a population of the same species, can illuminate how species evolve, interact with each other and adapt to environmental cues and changes. This session is open to research projects from a wide range of topics: from the development of software and methods to analyse population structures and dynamics, to the phylogenetic inference or the characterization of species’ evolutionary features. To highlight the diversity of life on our planet, research findings from model organisms as well as non-model organisms and populations are welcome.

Topic includes but is not limited to: evo-devo, molecular and experimental evolution, phylogenetics, phylogenomics, comparative genomics, population structure, adaptation, individual-based models, population dynamics, coexistence, cooperation and conflict, multi-species communities, community stability, community diversity

Session chairs: Jaques Fellay and Richard Neher 

Session description: Disease-causing agents such as bacteria and viruses are constantly evolving to adapt to and escape the host’s immune system. Though recent years have substantially increased our understanding on how pathogens evolve, may be treated and how our body’s immune system functions, many questions remain open. This session aims to not only highlight the recents advances in fields related to Immunology and Infectious disease, but also welcomes research on the molecular mechanisms of Pathogen Evolution and Phylogenetics. 

Topic includes but is not limited to: immunity, immunogenetics, infectious diseases, phylogenetics, coevolution, host genomics, pathogen genomics, systems immunology

Session chairs: Sven Bergmann and Olivier Delaneau

Session description: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified tens of thousands of common genetic variants, associated with complex traits in “healthy” and “sick” individuals. These genetic variants can differ between human sex, populations or ancestries, and connecting genetic variants with specific phenotypic information is not straightforward. This session thus aims to integrate, one one hand, the latest (multi-omics) solutions helping us to understand the genetic architecture of human populations, with scientific findings on the impact of genetic variants on human body and health on the other hand.

Topic includes but is not limited to: genome-wide association studies, genetic architecture of complex traits, statistical genetics, integrated multi-omics, polygenic risk score, fine mapping

Session chairs: Bart Deplancke, Charlotte Soneson and Michael Stadler

Session description: From transcriptomics, to proteomics and multi-omics: understanding the spatiotemporal expression profiles of genes across tissues and single cells is key to understanding how cells process information, differentiate, interact and contribute to an organism's well-being or disease. This session welcomes all research helping us to better understand this complex interplay; be it on the biological process itself or the development of new methods and software to analyse and combine the variety of data types.

Topic includes but is not limited to: cellular heterogeneity, cell differentiation and trajectories, spatial organization of cells, transcriptomics / proteomics / multi-omics, single cell measurements and analysis, statistical methods for omics and single cell data, software tools for omics and single cell data

COVID-19 and presenting on-site

Presenters of oral presentations and poster pitches are asked to participate in [BC]2 in person. Exceptions can be made if presenters are prevented from coming due to a sudden COVID-19 quarantine or infection.

In case the event has to move 100% online due to local health restrictions, all presentations are maintained as planned but will be given virtually via the [BC]2 conference platform. Presenters will be informed and briefed on time.