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

Submit an abstract

Abstract submissions

Talks and poster presentations are scheduled on 12 and 13 September 2023. The main conference topics are:

  • Dynamics of immune processes: from responses to pathogens to immunotherapy
  • Deciphering ecology and evolution with creative genomics approaches
  • Machine Learning algorithms for advancing spatial biology
  • Methods in single-cell data analysis: from pre-processing to biological inference
  • Precision medicine: harnessing big data for cancer and other complex diseases
  • Proteins in 3D: the dynamics of protein structures and their interactions

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

If you have been part of an interesting project combining private and public sector stakeholders, companies of all sizes and researchers are invited to present their joint projects during the special session on industry-academia collaborations

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

  • 9 January 2023 - Call for abstracts opens
  • 15 March 2023 - Call for abstracts closes
  • beginning June 2023 - Abstract acceptance notification
  • 12 and 13 September 2023 - 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. 

A ‘best presentation’ course will be organized 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 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.

We encourage submissions from both new and experienced researchers.

1. A clear structure

Keeping the structure of your abstract clear and simple will make it easier 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 neutral language: reviewers are generally allergic to claims such as the research is of tremendous impact on 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 for [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 to another application with your SIB LDAP or university account while signing in to the [BC]2 conference platform, the system will automatically recognize 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 for the conference. You will be able to register for [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.

Reviewing process

All submitted abstracts go through a blind peer-review process carried out by the Scientific Committee.

  • The abstracts and the scores are confidential.
  • Each abstract is evaluated by two different and independent session chairs, who are a member of the Scientific Committee
  • The Scientific Committee oversees the process to verify all is fair and provides further review in case the scoring is not sufficient.
  • Submitters may choose to have their submission reviewed for an oral presentation, poster pitch + poster or poster only. If you weren't selected for an oral presentation or a poster pitch, your abstract will automatically be considered for a poster.
  • The Scientific Committee makes the final selection of abstracts to be included in the conference programme. The selection process is based on a predetermined upper limit of abstracts that can be accepted into the conference programme which is of ca. 40 abstracts, of which approximately 20 are oral presentations and 20 are poster pitches.
  • Accepted abstracts will be notified by email by the abstract review deadline.

Session descriptions

Session chairs: Marija Bulijan and Adrian Egli 

Session description: Generation of large-scale datasets by new technologies accompanied by bioinformatics analyses is currently transforming the study of immune processes. Together with computational and mathematical models, this research supports novel insights into the diversity and specificity of immune responses and allows for the mechanistic understanding of the underlying processes. This session aims to cover work that spans from the characterization of host-pathogen interactions and microbiome’s dynamics to dysregulations of immune system in autoimmune diseases and immune deficiencies as well orchestration of the immune’s response to cancer. 

Topic includes but is not limited to: immunity, immunogenetics, systems immunology, immunotherapy, computational immunology, immune dynamics, infectious diseases, multiscale modeling, immuno-oncology 

Session chairs: Roman Arguello and Claudia Bank

Session description: The ever-growing diversity in sequencing technologies, along with their decreased costs, has promoted new and innovative experimental designs for answering questions in ecology and evolution. In addition to their application to model species/systems, considerable promise comes from their application to non-model species and lesser or difficult-to-study  systems. This symposium will showcase discoveries achieved by  leveraging novel and creative sampling, sequencing, and analysis approaches in evolutionary and ecological genomics to understand the most pressing questions within the field. Potential examples include ultra-low coverage sequencing of many individuals for the inference of haplotypes and population histories or the inference of biological diversity from minimal environmental DNA samples.

Topic includes but is not limited to: Population genetics, metagenomics, molecular and experimental evolution, phylogenetics, phylogenomics, comparative genomics, population structure, adaptation, individual-based models, population dynamics, coexistence, multi-species communities, community stability, community diversity, environmental DNA

Session chairs: Maria Brbic and Raphael Gottardo

Session description: Over the past two decades, the world of biomedical research has undergone a fast digital transformation, representing both a challenge and an opportunity. This is particularly true in biomedical imaging, where recent advances in sequencing- and imaging-based approaches have led to spatial transcriptomics and spatial proteomics, enabling the unbiased quantification and localization of genes or proteins throughout a given tissue. The resulting data can then be analyzed to generate critical insights from patient samples (e.g., tumor biopsies). These insights can, for example, help select cancer treatment options and identify mechanisms of response and relapse to a specific treatment. Despite their extraordinary potential, spatial datasets present significant challenges for analysis. Spatial experiments generate large and complex datasets requiring specialized computational tools able to leverage the spatial structure of cells in a tissue. This session aims to discuss open computational problems in spatial biology and present recent machine-learning algorithms to decipher tissue structure and cellular organization using spatial data.

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

Session chairs: Valentina Boeva and Charlotte Ng

Session description: Clinical implementation of the promises of precision medicine in oncology and complex diseases requires in-depth molecular characterization of patient samples and robust data analysis tools. To face this challenge, new experimental and computational technologies are being developed to characterize the genomic, transcriptomic, and other molecular characteristics of profiled samples. 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, single-cell data analysis methods for cancer and complex diseases

Session chairs: Xavier Deupi and Torsten Schwede

Session description: the folding of proteins into their biologically functional 3D structures is a complex and sensitive process that is crucial to their activity. Accordingly, misfolded proteins are linked to a variety of malfunctions and diseases. Due to the importance of protein 3D structures and their dynamics for their activity, huge efforts have gone into their prediction and determination. With recent breakthroughs by deep-learning based methods such as AlphaFold, highly accurate protein structure predictions have become available for a large part of the protein universe. This session aims at highlighting some of the recent advances in protein structure determination and prediction and to exploring new opportunities that are becoming possible by the interplay between computational and experimental approaches.

Topic includes but is not limited to: protein structure determination, protein structure prediction, computational and experimental approaches to study protein complexes, ligand and co-factor interactions, protein dynamics, disorder and denaturation, post-translational modifications, benchmarking of computational approaches.

Session chairs: Santiago Carmona and Marianna Rapsomaniki

Session description: Single-cell technologies are revolutionizing biomedical research, enabling characterization of biological systems at an unprecedented scale and resolution. Robust computational methods are the backbone of this revolution. In this session, we invite submission of abstracts discussing new computational methods to process and interpret high-throughput single-cell/single-nucleus data, including scRNA-seq, scATAC-seq, scDNA-seq, CyTOF, high-dimensional flow cytometry – and multi-omics approaches that combine multiple assays.

Topic includes but is not limited to: normalization, clustering, dimensionality reduction, data representation & visualization, cell type classification, temporal dynamics, gene regulatory and cell communication networks, batch-effects correction, lineage tracing, perturbation analysis, and multi-modal data integration.

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