Invited Speakers of ICBBT 2023


Invited Speaker I

Prof. Feng Guan
Northwest University, China


Dr. Feng Guan is a professor in the College of Life Sciences at Northwest University. He received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from China Agriculture University. After completing his Ph.D. he went to University of Washington, Seattle, as a postdoc supervised by Dr. Sen-itiroh Hakomori. In 2011, he moved back to China, and got a full professor position in Jiangnan University, China. And in 2017, he translocated to Northwest University, Xi'an. Dr. Guan's current research involves integrating omics techniques to identify dysregulated glycan chains during tumor development and progression, and investigating the role of these glycan chains in cell adhesion, growth, and apoptosis.


Speech Title: "Function of Bisecting GlcNAc Modification in Breast Cancer"


Abstract: Glycosylation, as a prevalent post-translational modification on proteins, affects many physicochemical properties of glycoproteins, including solubility, conformation, stability, bioactivity, and half-life. Bisecting GlcNAc, a specific type of N-glycosylation characterized by a β1,4-linked GlcNAc attached to a core β-mannose residue and catalyzed by N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase MGAT3, regulates processing and elongation of N-glycans on proteins. Our group has shown that bisecting GlcNAc is down-regulated in breast cancer and that overexpression of MGAT3 increases bisecting N-GlcNAc on EGFR, suppressing EGFR/Erk signaling. Additionally, we found that high levels of bisecting GlcNAc suppress metastasis of recipient cells induced by small extracellular vesicles derived from breast cancer. We observed a decrease in the level of bisecting GlcNAc structures in chemoresistant breast cancer cells and tissues, accompanied by increased P-gp expression. We discovered that P-gp can be modified by bisecting GlcNAc, with high levels of bisecting GlcNAc suppressing P-gp activity, suggesting that bisecting GlcNAc plays a crucial role in chemoresistance.


Invited Speaker II

Ms. Lei Zhang
Research Scientist in Bioinformatics and Omics Data at China National GeneBank DataBase, China


Lei Zhang received her B.S degree in computer science and M.S. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from HUST (Huazhong University of Science and Technology). She severed as project manager for Signal Transduction and Transcriptome Engineering in China-UK HUST-RRes Genetic Engineering and Genomics Joint Laboratory, executive director of Tivoli Education Technical Support in IBM GPSG RDC(Wuhan)(as internee). She joined CNGBdb as a research scientist in data curation and mining. Broad project experience in whole genome sequencing analysis of Model plants and animals, Genome-Wide Association Studies about Individuals and Groups, metagenome analysis of microbiome, rare disease associated SNPs detection and Pharmacogenomics research. She has published several academic papers and conference reports in scientific research, owns a number of invention patents. Current interests include biological big data mining, integration, management and sharing, aiming to provide all-in-one data service integrated data processing, data archiving, data online analysis and data application in Life Sciences.


Speech Title: "CNGBdb: An Integrated Data Platform for Multi-omics Data Sharing and Analysis in Life Science"


Abstract: Dramatic advancement of DNA Sequencing technology has revolutionized the research approaches and benefits human health, agricultural science, and pandemic control. Here, CNGBdb provides a comprehensive solution of data sharing, workflow management, elastic cloud computing resource and trusted collaboration environment for research and industries in life science. CNGBdb has been certificated by FAIRsharing, and is included in re3data and OpenDOAR. CNGBdb has been recognized by many journals/publishers, such as Elsevier, Cell Press, Science, Wiley, Taylor & Francis, Oxford, etc. CNGBdb has been designated as a supported data repository for the Earth BioGenome Project (EBP). CNGBdb is diligently seeking CoreTrustSeal(CTS) certifications. To promote data sharing, CNGBdb uniformly assigns a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) for each submitted project.At this stage, the CNGBdb platform has made numerous unique datasets available for use, including the CNGB Sequence Archive system(CNSA), Spatial TranscriptOmics DataBase system(STOmics), CODEPLOT automatic analysis system, and COVID-19 genome sequence datasets. First and foremost, CNGB Sequence Archive system is a system for archiving global omics data, dedicated to the storage, management and sharing of omics data, promotes the reuse of omics data and the development of life sciences. Moreover, Spatial TranscriptOmics DataBase is a comprehensive portal that integrates spatiotemporal omics literature, tools, and data. Furthermore, CODEPLOT provide an enterprise level of elastic cloud computing resource to run parallel jobs in batch mode, based on highly scalable, high-performance, enterprise-class Kubernetes clusters and Docker container technology. In short, CNGBdb is a reliable and flexible bioinformatics data platform in life science, which aims to promote the efficient sharing, cooperation, and utilization of omics data in research and industries.


Invited Speaker II

Assoc. Prof. Shweta Gupta
Jain University, India


Dr. Shweta Gupta is Associate Professor at Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Jain University, Bengaluru, India. Her research focusses on solving societal problems which includes Cognitive Diseases, Bioinformatics, Bionics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. She is Senior Member of Hong Kong Group of Conferences (HKCBEES) and Member of Elsevier Advisory Panel, also was awarded as Senior Scientist for her exemplary work from Science and Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India to present her research work pertaining to Epilepsy at ICBBT2015, Singapore. Her research work primarily focuses on treatment of Cognitive Diseases especially Epilepsy and Parkinson’s Disease using Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and other methods. She has filed Patents which have been accepted and commercialized as products. She became Guest Editor and Editor of reputed USA Journal and Books at very young age. She was awarded Certificate of Merit for Outstanding academic performance and being among the top 0.1 percent of successful candidates of C.B.S.E.Board in XII standard. She is Session Chair in Department of CSIS, BITS Pilani, K. K. Birla Goa Campus, India at International Conference on Advances in Data-driven Computing She is Expert member in various research schemes in Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India especially for “Start-up India” an initiative launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India and worked on various research projects and provided various consultancy solutions to Government of India and reputed Companies.


Speech Title: "Bioinspired Algorithms for Treatment of Cognitive Diseases using Future Technologies"


Abstract: Bio-Inspired Algorithms and Devices for Treatment of Cognitive Diseases Using Future Technologies considers new tools for early detection of cognitive brain diseases using devices and algorithms whose basic concept is taken from nature and discusses design, analysis, and application of various bionics or bio-inspired algorithms. Covering topics such as depression and cognitive science, this invited talk is an ideal resource for researchers, academicians, industry professionals, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, engineers, instructors, and students. As there are no proper medical tests available to predict certain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s at an early stage, there is a need to further study and consider the potential uses of bio- and nature-inspired algorithms and future technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, machine learning in correlation to disease detection and treatment. Bio-inspired computing-based techniques are gaining importance in the current engineering research domain, particularly for solving complex optimization problems. These are stochastic search techniques which are developed to achieve near-optimal solutions to large-scale optimization problems.Starting with wireless Neurostimulators to non-invasive devices and then emergency contact devices with machine learning algorithm embedded in a Smartphone to detect early Cognitive Diseases.


Invited Speaker IV

Prof. Yi Wang
Southwest University, China


Prof. Yi Wang currently is a professor and doctoral supervisor at the Biological Science Research Center, Southwest University. He received his bachelor's and doctoral degrees from Zhejiang University and Chongqing University, respectively, and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, Davis and Berkeley. His research interests include genomics, single-cell omics, and artificial intelligence. Professor Wang has led multiple national and provincial-level research projects and has published over 40 high-quality papers with a total citation count exceeding 3,300. His work has been recognized as highly cited papers in the ESI. He also serves as an editorial board member and reviewer for several international journals, and is an Associate Editor of iMeta journal.


Speech Title: "Exploring Orthologous Data to Reveal Species Evolution and Genetic Diversity"


Abstract: Advancements in comparative genomics research have led to a growing interest in studying species evolution and genetic diversity. To facilitate this research, various powerful tools has been developed to efficiently identify and annotate orthologous clusters and infer phylogenetic relationships across multiple species. However, current tools for analyzing orthologous data are limited in their analysis and visualization capabilities. To address these issues, a new integrated analysis platform has been developed. This platform includes several important new features, including enhanced orthologous cluster identification accuracy, improved visualization capabilities for numerous sets of data, and wrapped phylogenetic analysis. Furthermore, this platform provides gene family contraction and expansion analysis to support researchers better understanding the evolutionary history of gene families, as well as collinearity analysis to detect conserved and variable genomic structures. With its intuitive user interface and robust functionality, this new platform offers a vast improvement over previous tools for comparative genomics research. By providing a more comprehensive and integrated approach to analyzing orthologous data, this platform will help researchers gain deeper insights into species evolution and genetic diversity.




Previous Invited Speakers


Invited Speaker I

Prof. Leyi Wei
Shandong University


Prof. Leyi Wei is currently a full Professor at School of Software, Shandong University, China. His research interests include bioinformatics and artificial intelligence. He has published 100+ peer-reviewed papers, receiving 4000+ citations in Google Scholar with h-index=40. His work has been recognized through the reception of awards, including Highly Cited Researcher" in Cross-Field (Released by Clarivate Analytics, 2021), ACM SIGBIO Rising Star Award (2021), and many others. He is now serving as Associate Editor and the Editorial Board member for a number of well-known journals, such as Frontiers in Genetics, Methods, BMC Genomics, and Current Bioinformatics, etc.


Speech Title: "Accelerating Bioactive Peptide Discovery via Mutual Information-based Meta-learning"


Abstract: "Recently, machine learning methods have been developed to identify various peptide bio-activities. However, due to the lack of experimentally validated peptides, machine learning methods cannot provide a sufficiently trained model, easily resulting in poor generalizability. Furthermore, there is no generic computational framework to predict the bioactivities of different peptides. Thus, a natural question is whether we can use limited samples to build an effective predictive model for different kinds of peptides. To address this question, we propose Mutual Information Maximization Meta-Learning (MIMML), a novel meta-learning-based predictive model for bioactive peptide discovery. Using few samples from various functional peptides, MIMML can sufficiently learn the discriminative information amongst various functions and characterize functional differences. Experimental results show excellent performance of MIMML though using far fewer training samples as compared to the state-of-the-art methods. We also decipher the latent relationships among different kinds of functions to understand what meta-model learned to improve a specific task. In summary, this study is a pioneering work in the field of functional peptide mining and provides the first-of-its-kind solution for few-sample learning problems in biological sequence analysis, accelerating the new functional peptide discovery."


Invited Speaker II

Assoc. Prof. Shirley Weng In Siu
University of Saint Joseph


Shirley Weng In Siu is an Associate Professor at the University of Saint Joseph. She received her PhD in Natural Sciences from Saarland University (Germany) in 2010. Between 2012 and 2021, she was Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Macau and the head of the Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Laboratory. Her research focuses on computational drug discovery, biomolecular simulation, cheminformatics and machine learning. She pioneers the application of swarm intelligence and machine learning to solve problems in protein ligand docking, drug target identification, and prediction of biological activity and toxicity. She is interested in finding new chemical and biological agents with pharmaceutical potential. Shirley also has great interest in the biophysics of proteins, membranes and polymers. Using molecular dynamics simulations, she has studied the conformational dynamics and mode of action of peptides that are antimicrobial, anticancer, and neurotoxic. She has been involved in the development of membrane lipid force fields and more recently in the modelling of self-assembling monolayers on biochips. Shirley is the author/co-author of more than 60 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers.


Speech Title:"Sequence-based Machine Learning Approaches to Identify Anticancer Peptides"


Abstract: In recent years, with the vigorous development of machine learning algorithms (ML), more and more ML-based methods have been developed to facilitate the discovery of new anticancer peptides (ACPs) and drugs. In this talk, the machine learning workflow to develop ACP prediction models and the different numerical representations for peptide sequences will be explained. Then, the deep learning method called xDeep-AcPEP for predicting biological activity towards six tumor cells will be presented. I will show that multi-task learning is a good strategy to improve model performance by learning a common feature representation and latent relationship between subtasks. Moreover, as a step towards an interpretable model, I will discuss our attempt to correlate the prediction results with the input sequences, i.e., ask the model why it predicts what it predicts. It is believed that finding the most influential residue or subsequence for the predicted biological activity is the first question users might want the prediction model to answer.


Invited Speaker III

Dr. Faez Iqbal Khan
Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University


Dr. Faez Iqbal Khan is an Assistant Professor of the Department of Biological Sciences at the Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. Dr. Khan received his Ph.D. degree in Computational Chemistry (Bioinformatics) from Durban University of Technology, South Africa. He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Biomedical Science and Bioinformatics. Dr. Khan carried out further research work and teaching at Rhodes University (South Africa), South China University of Technology, and the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China. His primary research focuses on Protein engineering, Protein folding, drug design and Protein dynamics. Dr. Khan established wide-ranging collaborations with BRICS countries and mentored several postgraduate students. He has authored over 70 publications in international peer-reviewed journals which are well cited.


Speech Title:"Potential Multi-target Inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2"


Abstract: Development of new drugs is a time taking and expensive process. Comprehensive efforts are being made globally towards the search of therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2. Several drugs such as remdesivir, favipiravir, ritonavir, and lopinavir have been included in the treatment regimen and shown effective results in several cases. Among the existing broad-spectrum antiviral drugs remdesivir is found to be more effective against SARS-CoV-2. Remdesivir has broad-spectrum antiviral action against many single-stranded RNA viruses including pathogenic SARS-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). We proposed that remdesivir strongly binds to membrane protein (Mprotein), RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase (RDRP) and Main Protease (Mprotease) of SARS-CoV-2. It might show antiviral activity by inhibiting more than one target. Additionally, we identified the compounds fangchinoline and versicolactone C exhibiting strong binding to the target proteins with structural deformation of three structural proteins (N, S and M). The inhibitory effects of these compounds from this study against SARS-CoV-2 should be experimentally validated. Further, psilocybin-mushroom that contains the psychedelic compounds such as psilacetin, psilocin, and psilocybine were screened and found to be inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 Mprotease. The psilacetin was found to inhibit human interleukin-6 receptors to reduce cytokine storm. The binding of psilacetin to Mprotease of SARS-CoV-2 and human interleukin-6 receptors changes the structural dynamics and Gibbs free energy patterns of proteins. These results suggested that psilocybin-mushroom could be utilized as viable potential chemotherapeutic agents for SARS-CoV-2.













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