2014 wrap-up with a two-day event: COMBINE Student Symposium and Python Workshop

The new year is already in full swing and we thought we’d take some time to reflect on what COMBINE has achieved for our community last year; Year 2014 for COMBINE has definitely been one of expansion, with the opening of branches across Australia to foster local communities of computational biologists and bioinformaticians. We were also successful in delivering workshops, seminars and social events. But by far the biggest event of the year is the annual COMBINE Student Symposium.

The 2014 COMBINE Student Symposium was a two day event hosted at the Monash Parkville campus. A Python programming & Python libraries workshop took place on the Thursday 27th of November, and the annual COMBINE Student Symposium was held on the Friday 28th of November. The latter was followed by a social function sponsored by the Bioinformatics Postgraduate Student Association, where we all got a chance to reflect on a busy couple of days!

COMBINE Student Symposium 2014

Our main event of the year is the annual COMBINE Student Symposium and the 2014 edition was our most successful yet (booklet)! A total of 7 universities, 10 institutes, 3 research facilities were represented; our guest speaker David Budden gave an exhaustive overview of systems biology, and introduced us to his ongoing PhD project; we networked together during a surprise “speed-dating style” scientific mingle; our panel of established academics and professionals of bioinformatics and computational biology engaged us in insightful career talks; but importantly the symposium put students and early career researchers in the spotlight, with poster presentations and 8 great talks! Awards for best talks sponsored by the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Science and best poster by the ABiC conference went to:
Talk 1st prize: Zoe Anne Dyson – La Trobe University
Talk 2nd prize: Jane Hawkey – The University of Melbourne
Poster prize: Claire Gorrie – The University of Melbourne

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Python & Python libs workshop

After running a introduction to Python programming workshop earlier in the year, we wanted to get to the next level and offer our past workshops’ graduates a taste the possibilities offered by Python libraries. This event was well attended and appreciated; we got some great feedback and learned a lot from having a go a this workshop format, and we will surely deliver more of the same while keeping on improving the formulae.

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