Front Range Computational & Systems Biology Symposium



The Second Annual Front Range Computational & Systems Biology Symposium will be held in the Scott Bioengineering Building at Colorado State University from July 25-26, 2016.  This year the topic is Sensing and Sequencing Microbes.

Registration is now closed.  Contact Carol Wilusz ( if you wish to modify your registration.


Mon July 25
noon-3pm        Workshop on Genomics Data Visualization by Dan Sloan (Colorado State University)
– this workshop is FULL.  Waitlisted individuals will be notified shortly whether they can attend.
3-6pm               Poster Session open to graduate students, undergraduates and post-docs.
Poster Presentation List

Tue July 26        Oral Presentations – full schedule can now be viewed here

8:15 am Opening Remarks
8:30-10:05am Session I: Microbiomes
Chair: Jane Stewart (Colorado State University)
10:05-10:30am Coffee break
10:30-11:15am Session I continues
11:15-noon Session 2: Pathogen Detection and Discovery
Chair: Mark Stenglein (Colorado State University)
Noon-1pm Lunch break (a light lunch is provided for registered attendees)
1:00-2:35pm Session 2 continues
2:35-3pm Coffee Break
3:00-4:15pm                            Session 3: Modeling of Infection
Chair: Mike Kirby (Colorado State University)
4:15-4:30pm Short Break
4:30-5:30pm Non-Academic Careers Discussion Panel
Moderator: Stu Tobet
Josep Bassaganya-Riera (BioTherapeutics Inc)
Steve Simske (Hewlett Packard)
Kim Pepin (USDA-APHIS)
Richard Kulesus (Archer DX, Boulder CO)
Jared Snider (Archer DX, Boulder CO)
Laura Griffin (Archer DX, Boulder CO)
Career Panelist Bios
5:30-5:45pm Closing Remarks and Poster Awards

Keynote Speakers

sawyerSara Sawyer CU-Boulder – “HIV, Flu, and Flaviviruses:  Why these viruses infect the species that they do, and how they evolve to infect new species”

Dr. Sara Sawyer is an Associate Professor in the BioFrontiers Institute at CU Boulder.  She moved her lab to Colorado in 2015 from the University of Texas Austin. Dr. Sawyer specializes in viral restriction factors and viral entry receptors, and the role that these genes play in governing the host tropism of viruses circulating in nature. The Sawyer lab is known for combining research in virology with tools from molecular evolution, population genetics, bioinformatics, and genomics. They work predominatly on HIV, flaviviruses, and influenza virus.

s200_daniel.jacobsonDan Jacobson Oak Ridge National Laboratories – “Integrated Systems Biology Network Models: Adventures with 42,000 Phenotypes”

My lab focuses on the development and subsequent application of mathematical, statistical and computational methods to biological datasets in order to yield new insights into complex biological systems. Our approaches include the use of Network Theory and Topology Discovery/Clustering, Machine Learning and Linear Algebra (primarily as applied to large-scale multivariate network modeling). These mathematical and statistical methods are applied to various (meta)Omics data sets (Genomics, Phylogenomics, Transcriptomics, Proteomics, Metabolomics, Microbiomics, Chemiomics, etc.) individually as well as in combination in an attempt to better understand the signaling, transcriptional, translational, degradation and kinetic regulatory networks at play in biological organisms and communities. Oak Ridge National Laboratories is home to one of the world’s largest supercomputers, thus my lab uses petascale computing to analyze and model complex biological systems and we are actively involved in the development of exascale applications for biology.

JosepJosep Bassaganya- Riera
– President & CEO, Biotherapeutics Inc; Professor & Director, Center for Modeling Immunity to Enteric Pathogens, Virginia Tech.
Modeling mucosal immune responses in inflammatory bowel disease”

Dr. Josep Bassaganya-Riera is the Director of the Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory (NIMML). He has held and currently holds many research grants from various sources including the National Institutes of Health, the United States Department of Agriculture, and industrial corporations. He is the Principal Investigator and Director for the Modeling Immunity to Enteric Pathogens (MIEP) project, a $10.6 million Center that investigates the immunoregulatory mechanisms underlying infections with gut pathogens by applying mathematical systems to mucosal immunology. He is also Principal Investigator on an R01 award designed to study the mechanisms of immune modulation by abscisic acid. Dr. Bassaganya-Riera has published over 90 scientific papers, 7 patents and manages an active research portfolio of $12M. Dr. Bassaganya-Riera is the Founder of BioTherapeutics, a pre-clinical stage biotech Company with the mission to develop novel personalized medicine interventions for human diseases.

SimskeSteve Simske – HP Fellow, Hewlett Packard

“Sensing and Meso-Fluidics for Life Sciences Manufacturing” 


sloanGENOMICS DATA VISUALIZATION.  Dan Sloan, Colorado State University.  This workshop will introduce participants to various computational tools for data visualization with the goal of generating accurate, informative, and attractive figures, which is an increasingly important part of scientific communication. The examples will be tailored to genetic and genomic datasets, but the tools should be broadly useful even for researchers working in other disciplines. There will be three specific learning goals for the workshop: 1) to generate circular representations of genome maps and data using Circos, 2) to generate complex multipanel data plots with the ggplot package in R, and 3) to use R as a tool for drawing geometric shapes and figures such as gene maps. Participants with no prior experience working from the command line are advised to take an online Linux or Unix tutorial prior to attending the workshop (for example: Laptops (Macs) will be provided. Participants wishing to use their own machines may do so but will need to install some software prior to the workshop. Details on required software will be provided to registered participants in advance.  Registration will open soon!

Featured Speakers

Kim Pepin,  Research Biologist USDA APHIS “ Inferring disease transmission dynamics from surveillance data”
Jessica Metcalf, Senior Research Associate, UC-Boulder
Nick Walter, Assistant Professor, National Jewish Health  “ Monitoring TB treatment responses using M. tuberculosis transcriptomics”
Greg Ebel, Associate Professor, Colorado State University “Intrahost population dynamics of West Nile virus: Insights from experimental evolution studies”
Elizabeth Ryan, Associate Professor, Colorado State University
Michael Kirby, Professor, Colorado State University
Henry Adams, Assistant Professor, Colorado State University

Registration is closed.


Poster Information

Graduate students and post-docs may present work in any area connected to computational biology.  Undergraduate students may present research from any STEM discipline. Prizes will be awarded for the best posters.  The display area is 4’x4′.


Scott Bioengineering Building, 700 Meridian Avenue, Fort Collins CO 80521


For more information contact Carol Wilusz  (, tel: 970 491 4919


We thank the following for support:


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