A recharged AR-BIC 2019 a big success

The fifth annual meeting of the Arkansas Bioinformatics Consortium (AR-BIC) convened on February 25-26, bringing together the state’s bioinformatics community under the theme Bioinformatics in Food and Agriculture. Not only were Arkansas’ research campuses well represented, dignitaries from the Food and Drug Administration, the University of Florida, Johns Hopkins, the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center and more were on hand to lecture and collaborate.

“It’s our largest attendance to date,” announced ARA President & CEO Jerry Adams during his opening remarks. “We have an exceptional agenda, and it’s comprehensive and very full.”

Indeed it was. Hosted at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), AR-BIC featured about 20 lecturers, a poster contest with cash prizes, and three pre-session workshops. The  workshops – a first for the event – were led by Drs. Samantha Robinson and Giovanni Petris of the University of Arkansas, and Jason Williams of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

“About fifty people attended each workshop,” said Mr. Adams. “I think this underscores how important it is to have an educational component to the Consortium.”

The annual event, which is growing in popularity every year, is chaired by Dr. Weida Tong, Director of the Division of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics at the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) and organized in part by the Arkansas Research Alliance. AR-BIC is an Arkansas-centric bioinformatics community aimed at developing, leveraging, and enhancing state-wide scientific collaboration, thus forming a stable environment available to support the Arkansas-wide research, education, training, and entrepreneurial/industrial activities in life sciences-related computing.

Poster Contest Winners

Research poster presentations have long been an AR-BIC staple. But this year, the Consortium offered cash prizes to those judged to be the very best. Dr. Shraddha Thakkarr, who helped judge the event, noted the importance of poster presentations among the research community.

“Of course, you can post the content of the posters online,” she said, “but the poster presentations are where you can really share your work one-on-one and personally foster collaborations.”

This year, seven prizes were awarded, though both Dr. Tong and Dr. Thakkar praised the overall quality of the work.

For the first time, AR-BIC featured a poster contest with cash prizes.

Student

First Place: Ujwani Nukala (AR-BIC 25), UAMS

Second Place (tied): Xiangwen Liu (AR-BIC 34), NCTR
Second Place (tied): Xiaofan Wang, (AR-BIC 32) University of Arkansas

Third Place: Nirman Nepal (AR-BIC 34), Arkansas State University

Post Doc

First Place (tied): Anuj Kumar (AR-BIC 37), University of Arkansas
First Place (tied): Kapil Khadka (AR-BIC 19), NCTR

Undergraduate 

First Place: Kate Sanders (AR-BIC 29), Hendrix College

 

Artificial Intelligence Campus Demonstration Held In Little Rock

On Friday, February 15, professors and students from seven Arkansas research universities met at the Arkansas State University System Office in Little Rock to demonstrate projects related to solving problems through artificial intelligence.

Representatives from the University of Arkansas, UAMS, UALR, Arkansas State, UAPB,  Arkansas Tech University and Philander Smith College participated in intra-campus collaborations on a host of AI projects, including self-driving automobiles, medical imaging, genomics, and more.

 

Kaimen Zeng, Arkansas Tech, demonstrates new breakouts in self-driving technology.

 

“The AI Campus has brought students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty together in teams with coaches across the state, with each of the projects starting at the frontier of the artificial intelligence discipline,” according to Dr. Xiuzhen Huang, director of AI Campus, professor of computer science at Arkansas State, and Arkansas Research Alliance Fellow.

In addition to groundbreaking research, the event featured introductory statements from Dr. Kelly Damphousse (Arkansas State University Chancellor), Dr. Lynita Cooksey (A-State Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Research), Dr. Larry Cornett (Vice Chancellor for Research, UAMS) and Dr. Fred Prior (Professor & Chair, Department of Bioinformatics, UAMS).

“150 years ago, Arkansas was on the geographic frontier,” said Bryan Barnhouse, COO of ARA. “Today, Arkansas is on the scientific frontier of artificial intelligence.”

 

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AR-BIC 2019: It’s a whole new consortium

The Arkansas Bioinformatics Consortium (AR-BIC), held this year on February 25 – February 26, 2019, is an Arkansas-centric bioinformatics community aimed at developing, leveraging, and enhancing state-wide scientific collaboration, thus forming a stable environment available to support the Arkansas-wide research, education, training, and entrepreneurial/industrial activities in life sciences-related computing.

 

This year, we’ve instituted a number of exciting changes, including:

  • A new theme: Bioinformatics in Food and Agriculture
  • A new poster contest, with $2000 in cash prizes
  • A new location: UAMS Jackson T. Stephens Spine and Neurosciences Institute (Little Rock, AR)
  • Workshops: a series of concurrent, hands-on, pre-conference workshops focusing on data analytics
  • FREE Registration Here

Learn more by downloading the following materials:

AR-BIC 2019 Flyer_

RVSDAR-BIC2019 AGENDA

RELEASED: The Official 2018 AR-BIC Schedule

On April 23-24, the 4th Annual Arkansas Bioinformatics Consortium convenes at Embassy Suites in Little Rock, bringing together the state’s bioinformatics community for a unique opportunity to network and exchange ideas.

This year’s agenda is packed, featuring speakers and presenters deeply connected to the present and future of bioinformatics. Download by clicking the link below.

AR-BIC 2018 Agenda