Biocomputing Retreat 2019

Date: 17-20 February 2019
Venue: Hotel Saigerhöh
Saiger Höhe 8-10
D-79853 Lenzkirch-Saig

Risk versus Security in Science

Sunday, 17 February

15:30h Welcome, short summary of activities and outlook. Group leaders (5’ presentation each)

Newcomer presentations

Introduction of the newcomers or those, who haven’t presented for ages. If you feel omitted (see below) or are already a retreat oldie, please let us know.

(3’ presentation + 1’ discussion)

  • Joseph Christian Somody, Bork
  • Ulrike Trojahn, Bork
  • Suguru Nishijima, Bork
  • Sebastian Schmidt, Bork
  • Askarbek Orakov, Bork
  • Jesus Alvarado Valverde, Gibson
  • Nicolas Palopoli, Gibson
  • Emma Dann, Huber
  • Tania Christianse, Korbel
  • Wolfram Höps, Korbel
  • Ianthe van Belzen, Korbel
  • Dimitrios Konstantinidis, Patil
  • Sergej Andrejev, Patil
  • Max Frank, Stegle
  • Rodrigo Gonzalo Parra, Stegle
  • Mathias Kalxdorf, Stegle
  • Jan Gleixner, Stegle
  • Anna Mathioudaki, Zaugg
  • Mathias Saver, Zaugg
  • Ruby Ponnudurai, Zeller
  • Jelle Scholtalbers, BioIT/Other
  • Thileepan Sekaran, BioIT/Other
Introduction into team work on Tuesday. Group leaders
Invited Speaker Talk: Pains and gains from applying for a group leader position. Michael Zimmermann (Yale University, Department of Microbial Pathogenesis)
“Behind the scenes” of negotiating an entire package of Nature (and other) papers on a pan-cancer analysis. Jan Korbel (Genome Biology Unit)

Monday, 18 February

Retreat award nomination (1 slide, max 3′):
– Best 2018 paper in Biology with a substantial Bioinformatics component (in a subfield sufficiently different from yours and not in the top 10 lists of Science/Nature/Cell/ F1000 or similar!). It must be only one, so make a decision.
– Most risk-taking successful, living scientist in natural science (outside EMBL).
– Most successful living scientist with a predictable, yet long lasting trajectory of incremental projects in natural sciences (outside EMBL).
The winner in each category will receive a free drink!

Please submit your nominations via the voting system on 12 February 2019 at the latest. Note that the newcomers among you have to upload presentations as well when registering for the voting system.

15:30h Retreat award nominations. All
Free slots for Group Leaders and Participants presentations (5-10’ presentation each)

  • EMBL Bio-IT: What is it and how can I get involved? Malvika Sharan and Toby Hodges
  • Risk taking in entrepreneurship and academia Theodore Alexandrov

Tuesday, 19 February

Team presentations (15’ presentation + 5’ discussion):

15:30h What makes an important scientific discovery. More details will be provided on Sunday.

Wednesday, 20 February

Departure and travel back to Heidelberg. Please check-out from hotel at 12:00h by the latest.

Useful information


The stay at the Saigerhoeh hotel includes accommodation in a shared double room and half board with a delicious breakfast buffet and a very nice three course dinner. Mineral water will be available for dinner, but not in the meeting room. Additional soft drinks, alcoholic drinks and coffee are not included in the hospitality, also not over dinner. Lunch is not included, since most people might be outside over lunch time. There are supermarkets and bakeries in the surrounding area that can be reached by car. It is recommended to take mineral water and perhaps small snacks with you. The hotel has a wellness area with swimming pool and sauna, which is complimentary to your stay.

Outdoor activities

The programme starts at 15:30 h, which means that you will have time for outdoor activities in the morning. This retreat takes place in a wonderful area, where you can go for skiing, cross-country skiing, running, and hiking tours. It is therefore recommended to bring winter/snow outdoor clothing and shoes to the retreat. These leisure activities are organised in small groups on a spontaneous basis. Join your colleagues for that and have fun!


You can travel to this retreat by car or by train. There will be volunteers to drive there and you can join them in their cars. There will be a meeting to arrange the transport 10-15 days prior to the retreat and we will come back to you with more information after this meeting. Feel free to travel by train and please let us know that, so that we do not need to reserve a slot in one of the cars for you.