Keynote Speaker

Professor Christine Orengo


Christine Orengo is a computational biologist, whose core research has been the development of robust algorithms to capture relationships between protein structures, sequences and functions. She has built one of the most comprehensive protein classifications, CATH, used worldwide by tens of thousands of biologists, and central to many pioneering structural and evolutionary studies.

CATH structural and functional data for hundreds of millions of proteins has enabled studies that revealed essential universal proteins and their biological roles, and extended characterisation of biological systems implicated in disease e.g. in cell division, cancer and ageing. CATH functional sites have revealed protein residues implicated in enzyme efficiency and bacterial antibiotic resistance. This data also identified genetic variations likely to be driving human diseases and the drugs that can be repurposed to offset the pathogenic effects.

Christine is a Vice President of the International Society of Computational Biology (ISCB). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and Elected member of EMBO since 2014, and a Fellow of ISCB since 2016. She is a founder of ELIXIR 3DBioInfo.


Professor John Mattick


John Mattick is SHARP Professor of RNA Biology at UNSW Sydney. He was recently previously Executive of Genomics England (2018-2019), and Director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney (2012-2018), where he established one of the first HiSeq X10 sequencing and clinically accredited genome analysis facilities. He was previously the Foundation Director of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience and the Australian Genome Research Facility at the University of Queensland.

He has published over 300 research articles and reviews, which have been cited over 80,000 times. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Health & Medical Sciences, and the Australian Academy of Technology & Engineering. He is also an Associate Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization.

He has received numerous awards including the inaugural Gutenberg Chair at the University of Strasbourg, the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Medal, the Human Genome Organisation Chen Medal for Distinguished Academic Achievement in Human Genetics and Genomic Research, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Bertner Award for Distinguished Contributions to Cancer Research.

Dr. Laxmi Parida


Dr. Laxmi Parida is an IBM Fellow, Master Inventor and heads the Computational Genomics at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, USA. She is a visiting professor at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York.

Over the last 10 years, she has led the IBM Science team in the Cacao Consortium (with MARS, USDA), the Genographic Project with National Geographic, the Bioinformatics team in the “Sequence the Food Supply Chain Consortium” across multiple IBM labs in different geographies, and the science team in the personalized cancer medicine system “Watson for Genomics”. Her research areas include population genomics, cancer genomics, plant genomics, bioinformatics, algorithms (including AI)  and topological data analysis. She has published over 200 peer-reviewed research papers; edited 10 volumes and authored a monograph on pattern discovery in bioinformatics.

She holds over 40 US patents. She is on the advisory board of NYU Engineering School and editorial board of BMC Bioinformatics, Journal of Computational Biology and an Associate Editor, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics and SIAM Journal of Discrete Mathematics.