- Conference marks the 20th anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome Project -
The 18th Annual Meeting of the International Conference on Genomics (ICG-18), titled ‘Collaboration for Omics: From the Electronic Century to the Biological Century’, was held in Singapore from April 22nd to 23rd. This was part of a multi-city conference taking place in China and Singapore from April 12th to 28th to mark the 20th anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP). The conference was chaired by Yang Huanming, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chairman of ICG, and Co-founder of BGI Group.
ICG-18 brings together prominent scientists, medical experts, and industry leaders from across the globe to discuss the latest advances and future prospects in genomics. Through in-depth communications and collaboration, the conference endeavors to foster global genomics research that promotes scientific innovation, benefits society, and aims to explore the various biological and technological challenges that the world currently faces.
Dr. Laurie Goodman, Publishing Director of GigaScience, spoke at the conference.
Underscoring the importance of women in science, Dr. Laurie Goodman, Publishing Director of GigaScience, part of BGI’s open access publishing division GigaScience Press, hosted a panel looking at the status of women in science over the past decade and some of their achievements.
Dr. Goodman introduced the purpose and significance of the Women Scientists Conference, elaborated on the many challenges that female researchers may face in their careers and lives, and proposed a series of suggestions to help women get more opportunities and support in their career development.
Prof. David McConnell, Fellow Emeritus, Genetics, Trinity College, University of Dublin, spoke at the conference.
Prof. David McConnell, Fellow Emeritus, Genetics, Trinity College, University of Dublin, was one of several speakers who celebrated the 80th anniversary of the lectures, later published as a book entitled ‘What Is Life’, given by leading physicist Erwin Schrodinger, that showed how science enables the human body to survive. Prof. McConnell described the book as “accelerating the world of genetics”. He also thanked Prof. Yang Huanming for making the latest Chinese translation of the book.
Prof. Fred Dubee, Co-chair of the ICG International Advisory Board and a Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, spoke at the conference.
Prof. Fred Dubee, Co-chair of the ICG International Advisory Board and a Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, highlighted that the event was being held on World Earth Day. He spoke about the first meeting of ICG-18, which took place in Zhangjiajie, China, and the native people who first established communities there.
Prof. Dubee noted: “What we learned from them is that they were able to thrive because they respected the environment that they had. And this is very important for us in these days when we are facing tremendous emergencies in terms of biodiversity, in terms of climate, in terms of nutrition, in terms of health.”
A series of panels examined the current state and future applications of genomics research as well as global innovative technologies and pharmaceutical processes, with leading speakers including Prof. Walter Bodmer, Director of the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine's Cancer and Immunogenetics Laboratory at the University of Oxford, Prof. Dean W. Felsher, Director of the Molecular Genetics and Cancer Research Center at the Stanford University School of Medicine and a member of the Stanford Cancer Center, and Prof. Andreas Bender, a professor at the University of Cambridge with research interests in computational chemistry and drug discovery.
Prof. Mohamed Hassan, President of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), spoke at the conference.
Prof. Mohamed Hassan, President of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), noted that more and more scientific research papers are being produced by scientists based outside the traditional research centers of the US and UK. He noted that since 2018, Chinese scientists have produced more papers in international peer review journals than US scientists. TWAS held a separate panel on the second day of the conference that examined ‘The Pandemic and the Future of Health in the Global South’.
The HGP provided the foundation for the rapid growth of genomics and the emergence of new technologies and research findings, providing unprecedented opportunities to improve the quality of human life. It took universities and research centres from the US, the UK, Japan, France, Germany and China working for 13 years to complete the full sequencing of the human genome.
Group photo of attendees at ICG-18 in Singapore.
BGI Group was founded in 1999 to participate in the HGP and undertook to sequence, assemble, and analyze a region on the tip of the short arm of chromosome 3, which was then estimated to account for about 1% of the entire human genome.
ICG-18 will continue in Hangzhou, China, from April 25th to 28th. ICG-18 celebrates the Spirit of the Human Genome Project, “Owned by All, Done by All, Shared by All”, and advocates global cooperation and sharing with all humankind, and facilitates international cooperation among developing nations in particular.