October 2020: The 15th Edmond J. Safra retreat
The 15th Edmond J. Safra Bioinformatics retreat took place on Wednesday October 14 2020 online. The bioinformatics community at TAU got together in a webinar for a full day of scientific and social activities.
The program included short scientific talks, one-minute poster highlight videos, a mixer in small chat rooms, a virtual treasure hunt, games, and prizes.
The 140 participants included faculty members, post-graduate and graduate students, and twenty 2nd and 3rd year undergraduate students of the bioinformatics program. Dr. Dudu Burstein, the retreat committee chair, led the event and moderated the activities.
The scientific program of the retreat included a keynote talk by Dr. David Golan, former Edmond J. Safra PhD fellows (Rosset lab, Statistics) and Co-Founder of Viz.ai company. Three short talks were given by new Edmond J. Safra Affiliates who introduced their new labs: Dr. Uri Ben-David (Medicine), Dr. Tzachi Hagai and Dr. Rotem Rubinstein (Life Sciences).
In addition, three bioinformatics graduate students gave short talks on their research. Danielle Miller, Edmond J. Safra PhD fellow (Stern & Burstein labs, Life Sciences), Dan Coster, Edmond J. Safra MSc student fellow (Shamir lab, Computer Science) and Dana Azouri, PhD student and head of the Edmond J. Safra young researchers' forum (Mayrose lab, Life Sciences).
The program included two poster highlight presentation sessions with 53 posters. Each poster presenter had a one-minute presentation to introduce it. The pre-recorded video presentations were creative and original. Participants voted online for the best highlight talk. The winners are listed here.
Poster viewing can be done here. There will be another vote for best posters, and prizes will be announced at the beginning of next month.
In mixer, PIs and students split into breakout rooms and discussed various meta-scientific topics. This session provided an opportunity for students from all degrees to meet each other and a PI in an informal manner and to discuss a subject of common interest.
The main extra-curricular activity was a virtual treasure hunt game, where participants solved geographic puzzles and riddles in small groups, using Google Earth to discover the city of Quebec, Canada. Token prizes were awarded to groups in the first five places.
In another fun activity, Shachar Kidor, bioinformatics undergraduate student, presented childhood photos of PIs, and the participants tried to identify them.
The organizing committee consisted of Dr. Dudu Burstein (Chair), Prof. Martin Kupiec and Dr. Asaf Madi, graduate students, Dov Gertz and Sagi Shaashua (Burstein lab, Life Sciences) and undergraduate student, Shachar Kidor.
We heard many excellent responses on all aspects of the retreat. We can again be proud of our community and students!
For pictures click here.