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Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker I

Prof. Hesham H. Ali
University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA

Hesham H. Ali is a Professor of Computer Science and Lee D. and Wilma Seemann Distinguished Dean of the College of Information Science and Technology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). He currently serves as the director of the UNO Bioinformatics Core Facility that supports a large number of biomedical research projects in Nebraska and surrounding region. He has published numerous articles in various IT areas including scheduling, distributed systems, data analytics, wireless networks, and Bioinformatics. He has also published two books in scheduling and graph algorithms, and several book chapters in Bioinformatics. He has also been leading a Research Group that focuses on developing innovative computational approaches to classify biological organisms and analyze big bioinformatics data. The research group is currently developing several next generation big data analytics tools for mining various types of large-scale biological and medical data. This includes the development of new graph theoretic models for assembling short reads obtained from high throughput instruments, as well as employing a novel correlation networks approach for analyzing large heterogeneous biological and health-related data associated with various biomedical research projects, particularly those associated with aging and infectious diseases. He has also been leading two projects for developing secure and energy-aware wireless infrastructure to address tracking and monitoring problems in medical environments, particularly to study mobility profiling for healthcare research.

Plenary Speaker I

Prof. Dong-Qing Wei
Shanghai Jiaotong University, China

Prof. Dong-Qing Wei is a professor of bioinformatics in the Department of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics, College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiaotong University and editor-in-Chief of Interdisciplinary Sciences- Computational Life Sciences. Prof. Wei’s research is in the general field of bioinformatics with more than 250 journal papers, 9 monographs with 5000 SCI citations and an H factor of 45. Prof. Wei is best known for contributions to the development of molecular simulation tools and statistical models with applications to a wide range of chemical, physical and biological systems, from electrolytes, to polar liquids, to ferroelectric liquid crystals, to combined Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical (QM/MM) systems, to membrane proteins and protein-ligand and protein-protein complexes applied to computer aided drug design.

Speech Title: "Personalized Drug in the Era of Big Data and Precision Medicine"

Abstract: The cytochrome P450 (CYP450) superfamily acts as an important role responsible for the oxidation of almost 90% currently used drugs. As variations of Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNPs) in human CYP450 genes will cause different drug effects and even adverse effects, studies on SNPs of human CYP450 genes can be used for indicating the most possible genes associated with human diseases and relevant therapeutic targets, predicting the drug efficacy and adverse drug response, investigating individual gene specific properties and then providing personalized and optimal clinic therapies. We have made extensive bioinformatics studies of CYP450 SNPs and its impact on the drug metabolism in the frame work of personalized medicine, i.e., SNPs prediction, the substrate specificity, comparative molecular field analysis, molecular dynamics simulation and QM/MM studies of the metabolic mechanism. Based on structure of membrane protein targets acquired by bioinformatics tools, and database of molecules extracted from the Traditional Chinese medicines, various cheminformatics procedures, in the context of network pharmacology, were performed to screen for potential active compounds. A molecule were obtained, named wgx-50 which is an effective component from the Sichuan pepper.   Extensive experiments strongly suggest that wgx-50 possess biologic functions against AD. Discoveries were also made in its potential role in anti-aging.

Plenary Speaker II

Assoc. Prof. Kwoh Chee Keong
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Dr. Kwoh Chee Keong is in the School of Computer Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University. His is the Assistant Chair of Graduate Studies and the Programme Director, MSc (Bioinformatics). He was the Deputy Director, Biomedical Engrg Research Centre, NTU, and Deputy Director, Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Engineering Cluster (BPE) Cluster and had an joint appointment in the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. He received his Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering (1st Class) and Master in Industrial System Engineering from the National University of Singapore in 1987 and 1991 respectively. He received his Ph.D. degrees from the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of London in 1995. His research interests include Data Analytics and Mining, Soft Computing and Graph-Based inference; applications areas include Bioinformatics, Health informatics and Biomedical Engineering. He has done significant research work his research areas and published many quality international conferences and journal papers. His is in the Editorial Board Members and Associate Editor for of The International Journal of Data Mining and Bioinformatics; IEEE Access; TheScientificWorldJOURNAL; Network Modeling and Analysis in Health Informatics and Bioinformatics (NetMAHIB); Theoretical Biology Insights; and Bioinformation. He has been Guest Editor for many journals such as JMMB; International Journal on Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Engineering and others. He has been often invited as a organizing member or referee and reviewer for a number of premier conferences and journals, including GIW, IEEE BIBM, RECOMB, PRIB, BIBM, ICDM, and iCBBE just to name a few. Dr. Kwoh is a member of The Institution of Engineers Singapore, Association for Medical and Bio-Informatics, Imperial College Alumni Association of Singapore (ICAAS). He has provided many service to professional bodies, various appointments from Ministry of Social and Family; Ministry of Law; and Ministry of Transport in Singapore and was conferred the Public Service Medal by the President of Singapore in 2008.

Speech Title: "Analyzing the Virulency of Influenza Viruses: Challenges and Solutions"

Abstract: Influenza has been a major and persistent threat for public health for centuries, causing deaths and huge economic loss worldwide every year. Among the three types denoted as A, B and C, influenza A viruses are the most virulent due to their high mutation rate, frequent genetic reassortment and short generation time, which have caused several pandemics in recent history. The human influenza viruses undergo rapid evolution (especially in hemagglutinin (HA), a glycoprotein on the surface of the virus, which enable the virus population constantly evade the human immune system. This talk, by presenting selected research activities, will provide an overview of some technologies and approaches, such as characterize the evolution of influenza viruses for better selection of vaccine candidates and the prediction of pandemic strains; studies focused on the antigenic evolution analysis, aiming for characterizing the evolutionary path of influenza viruses and predicting the next generation of dominant strains; to address the challenges and solutions on both in the micro- and macro-scale study.

Invited Speaker I

Dr. Xi Xie
Sun Yat-Sen University, China

Dr. Xi Xie got his Ph.D degree in 2014 at Stanford University in Prof. Nick Melosh’s lab, and got postdoctoral training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Prof. Robert Langer and Prof. Dan Anderson’s lab from 2014-2016. In 2016, he was awarded with National Thousand Youth Talents Plan (China), and has been working as Professor in School of Electronic and Information Technology at Sun Yat-Sen University, and as adjunct professor in The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University. Dr. Xie’s lab has been working on nanodevices and nanomaterials for biomedical application, flexible electronics and bioelectronics, wearable electronics, and biomedical engineering. He has published many papers on high impact journals such as ACS Nano and Nano Letters as first author or corresponding author.

Speech Title: "Nanoneedle Cell Penetration for Intracellular Drug Delivery"

Introduction of biomolecules across the cell membrane with high efficiency is a challenging yet critical technique in biomedicine. Vertically nanoneedle arrays have been recently reported to offer new opportunities to access a cells' interior by directly breaching the cell membrane, yet microscopic understanding of how and when the nanowires penetrate cell membranes is still lacking. First, to elucidate the possible penetration mechanisms, a continuum elastic cell mechanics model is presented to address how penetration occurs, and explore the characteristics that affect penetration. Our results reveal that cell penetration is likely to occur only for a limited time window during cell adhesion. The penetration effects of nanoneedle geometry and cell properties are systematically evaluated. Nanoneedle cell penetration efficiency is low, and were unable to achieve efficient DNA plasmid transfection. A nanoneedle-electroporation platform was developed to achieve highly efficient molecular delivery and high transfection yields with excellent uniformity and cell viability. Cellular engulfment of the nanoneedles provides an intimate contact, significantly reducing the necessary electroporation voltage and increasing homogeneity over a large area. Biomolecule delivery is achieved by diffusion through the nanoneedles and enhanced by electrophoresis during pulsing. The system was demonstrated to offer excellent spatial, temporal, and dose control for delivery, as well as providing high-yield co-transfection and sequential transfection.


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