Academic Staff and Students Present at ICBBT 2024

06 Jun 2024

The 16th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedical Technology (ICBBT 2024) was successfully held in Chongqing, China from May 24 to 26, 2024. More than 100 experts and scholars from China, Canada, Thailand, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Oman, Morocco, and other countries and regions participated in the conference and conducted in-depth discussions and exchange of deas on bioinformatics, biomedical technology, and other related conference topics.

Dr. Francesco Zonta, Associate Professor from the Department of Biological Sciences, School of Science, XJTLU delivered an excellent invited talk on "In Silico Design of Therapeutic Antibodies," demonstrating an approach that combines Molecular Dynamics simulations with intelligent sequence sampling algorithms to explore the antibody sequence landscape and identify variants with improved biochemical properties. Additionally, he designed a potent antibody capable of blocking connexin hemichannels, which play critical roles in various pathological conditions, including ischemic injury and cancer.

Dr. Faez Iqbal Khan, an Assistant Professor from the Department of Biological Sciences, School of Science, XJTLU also delivered an excellent talk on "Computational Insights into SARS-CoV-2 Inhibition: Investigating Drug Derivatives and Natural Compounds," which was met with rapt attention. His study showcased how computational screening revealed that psilocybin-mushroom metabolites and some natural compounds possess inhibitory effects against key proteins of SARS-CoV-2.

Students' Projects

Yuanyuan Wang, a promising PhD student under Dr. Khan's guidance in the School of Science at XJTLU, delivered her oral presentation on "In Silico Studies of Potential Therapeutics for SARS-CoV-2: Drug Screening, Mechanisms of Action, and Implications for Therapeutic Application."

Through comprehensive molecular dynamics simulations, her research revealed how specific temperature conditions affect the structural dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Utilizing in silico methodologies, Yuanyuan's work pinpointed active compounds from a variety of sources, including Withania somnifera, as potential inhibitors against the virus. Her analysis and subsequent findings on the binding affinity of drugs like Remdesivir and Paxlovid towards the SARS-CoV-2 proteins were highlighted.

An undergraduate student, Jiahao Zhang from the School of Science at XJTLU, presented an innovative study titled "Differentiating Amino Acids from Nanopore Sequencing.”

His work was able of accurately distinguishing all 20 proteinogenic amino acids, including their post-translational modifications. Jiahao's meticulous research leveraged advanced machine learning models, notably Random Forest, achieving an impressive 99.04% validation accuracy in amino acid differentiation. This breakthrough paves the way for significant advancements in molecular biology and medical diagnostics, highlighting the pivotal role of computational approaches in enhancing our understanding of complex biological systems.

As the conference drew to a close, the team from the School of Science at XJTLU reflected on their experiences. Dr. Khan, Dr. Zonta, Ms. Yuanyuan, and Mr. Jiahao had an opportunity to share their knowledge and important scientific discoveries on an international stage, forged new connections and collaborations in research and act as great ambassadors of the commitment to excellence in research and scholarly work that has become synonymous with the dynamic and growing School of Science at XJTLU.

Material: Dr Faez Khan
Review: Professor John Moraros


06 Jun 2024