Last gathering of

From September 4-7, 2017, around 200 scientists from a variety of disciplines participated in the 3rd International Conference on Systems Biology at ETH Zurich. The event represented the conclusion of and showed that the initiative's philosophy of interdisciplinarity has resulted in fruitful collaborations and results which would otherwise never have been achieved.

This third and final Conference included talks by leading international and Swiss researchers. The scientific program reflected the current state-of-the-art in the now maturing field of systems biology research, highlighting quantitative approaches at multiple scales, from single molecules and cells to whole tissues and organisms. Bart Deplancke, chairman of the conference’s scientific committee, emphasized the "highly exceptional quality" of the research presented at the conference, which stems not least from the close collaboration of researchers from different fields.

In addition to the program of scientific talks, the conference included three poster sessions with lively discussions and exchange. Over 140 authors presented their latest research in five different categories. The winners of the Best Poster Awards were:

Winner Category
Norman Juchler, ZHAW Medical Systems Biology
Karthik Sekar, ETHZ Physics of Living Systems
Onur Tidin, EPFL Single-Cell Biology
Homa Mohammadi Peyhani, EPFL Synthetic Biology
Silvia Domcke, FMI Systems Genomics
The winners of the Best Poster Awards: (from left) Karthik Sekar (ETHZ), Silvia Domcke (FMI), Onur Tidin (EPFL). Not pictured: Norman Juchler (ZHAW), Homa Mohammadi Peyhani (EPFL)

Asked about her impression of the conference, Best Poster Award winner Silvia Domcke states: "I especially liked the broad spectrum of different research areas presented at the conference. Following the talks on topics I don't usually read papers about and seeing what I could adapt for my own work was truly inspiring."  

Overall, the feedback by the participants confirmed that, although initially unfamiliar to many researchers, the interdisciplinary approach has led to fruitful research projects and results that would otherwise not have been achieved.

This was the last gathering of researchers, as the initiative will come to an end in 2018. Next year there will be another valuable platform for scientific exchange between different systems biology-related disciplines in the form of the Systems Biology Symposium at the annual Life Sciences Switzerland (LS2) meeting in February 2018.