BioVis 2012–a conference on visualization of biological data

This announcement came across the Cytoscape mailing list today. Ah, if I were young again I’d do a project on this–I love to think about how to display and interact with the bonanza of data we’ve got rolling in. Announcement below, with links to the conference embedded. You can see the original on the Cytoscape mailing list here.


Dear colleagues,

Are you already planing your trip to BioVis ( in Seattle this October? If not, then this a good time to get started. BioVis will take place on October 14th and 15th as part of the IEEE VisWeek conference.

Poster and contest entries are due on June 27th. For details about the contest see below.

Our program is quickly taking shape and we are happy to announce that Christof Koch, CTO of the Allen Institute of Brain Science and Professor of Biology and Engineering at Caltech will be the BioVis 2012 keynote speaker. He will speak about the computational and informatics challenges of “MindScope”, a large-scale effort to synthesize genomic, anatomical, physiological and theoretical knowledge into a description of the wiring scheme of the cortex, at both the structural and the functional levels.

We are excited to introduce our second annual data visualization challenge. Like last year’s contest, this contest draws its inspiration from biological expression Quantitative Trait Locus (eQTL) data analysis. In 2011 we looked at how this data, which essentially catalogs how (potentially millions of) genotypic differences in an individual, cooperate to produce (potentially tens of thousands of) gene expression differences. While obviously a grand challenge, and pressing need for the biological and medical fields, the real payoff for this data comes from being able to use easily accessible sources of this data for an individual, for example blood, or saliva, to make predictions about difficult to access organs, such as brain or heart, where the immense regulatory network contains both similarities and differences.

To address this need, our 2102 challenge builds on the successes of 2011 and addresses differential eQTL – analysis of the differences between eQTL regulatory networks in different tissues, and the corresponding challenge of conveying the biological meaning contained in immense volumes of metadata, regarding these differences.

We invite contest contributions, big and small, to either the needs of visualizing and presenting the eQTL difference data, or the metadata, or any sub-aspect of these challenging problems. These are significant unsolved needs in the biological and life-sciences communities, and every contribution, will make a positive impact in this exciting and emerging field. There are two phases of competition and one has a choice of participating in either phase.

For more information, please see The contest entries are due June 27, 2012.

We are looking forward to seeing you this October,

Jessie Kennedy, Raghu Machiraju and Nils Gehlenborg
BioVis 2012 General Chairs

PS: I love to test this sort of software if anyone wants to hire me to do some of that!