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VanBUG Bioinformatics Seminar

February 16, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Our seminar is ~1.5 hour long followed by networking over light refreshments.
If you are interested in attending this seminar in person (or the meet-the-speaker session before the seminar at 5PM), please fill out our RSVP form.

Cullen Family Lecture Theatre (Room 1477) *
Providence Building, Level 1
St. Paul’s Hospital
1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6
* The theatre is at the basement level. See our visual guide for way-finding.

Live Stream:
Zoom meeting available at https://www.vanbug.org/ on seminar day.
Featured Speaker:
Assistant Professor, Computer Science, University of Victoria
Talk Title:

Unravelling RNA function through structure prediction


Until recently, RNA molecules were considered merely the carrier of information from DNA to proteins. This view, however, has changed as numerous functional roles of RNA molecules have now been discovered. Determining RNA function is complex and, in some cases, still infeasible experimentally. As RNA’s function is mainly determined by its shape, computational methods determining RNA structure provide unique opportunities to help in determining RNA function.
During my academic career I have extensively studied RNA structure in order to aid with function determination. In this talk, I showcase some of the algorithms we developed via their application in determining some functional sites of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. I further discuss their potential in discovering novel treatments and vaccines for current and future contagions, highlighting some challenges and future opportunities.


Dr. Hosna Jabbari is currently an assistant professor at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Victoria. Prior to joining the University of Victoria, Dr. Jabbari held an assistant professorship at the University of Vermont, USA. She completed her PhD from the University of British Columbia. Her main research goal is to help diagnose and cure human diseases by developing novel diagnostics and therapeutics through research using techniques from bioinformatics, data science and computational genomics. Dr. Jabbari is the founding director of the Computational Biology Research & Analytics (COBRA) lab, and a faculty fellow at the Institute of Aging and Lifelong Health.

Trainee Speaker:

Caralyn Reisle

PhD Candidate, Dr. Steven Jones Lab, University of British Columbia
Talk Title: