IWBDA 2014: 6th International Workshop on Bio-Design Automation

Prooceedings now available.


The Sixth International Workshop on Bio-Design Automation (IWBDA) will bring together researchers from the synthetic biology, systems biology, and design automation communities to discuss concepts, methodologies and software tools for the computational analysis and synthesis of biological systems.

The field of synthetic biology, still in its early stages, has largely been driven by experimental expertise, and much of its success can be attributed to the skill of the researchers in specific domains of biology. There has been a concerted effort to assemble repositories of standardized components; however, creating and integrating synthetic components remains an ad hoc process. Inspired by these challenges, the field has seen a proliferation of efforts to create computer-aided design tools addressing synthetic biology's specific design needs, many drawing on prior expertise from the electronic design automation (EDA) community. The IWBDA offers a forum for cross-disciplinary discussion, with the aim of seeding and fostering collaboration between the biological and the design automation research communities.

IWBDA is organized by the non-profit Bio-Design Automation Consortium (BDAC). BDAC is an officially recognized 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.

Topics of interest include:

ACS Synthetic Biology IWBDA 2014 Special Issue

We would like to invite all attendees to submit original work to the ACS Synthetic Biology “IWBDA 2014” Special Issue. ACS Synthetic Biology has the highest editorial standards, offers rapid publication of your research findings and imposes NO author submission, page, color, or cover art charges. We are looking for high quality submissions, for peer-review, as either short Letters or full-length Articles. The submission deadline is September 30, 2014.

If you wish to submit your research to the ACS Synthetic Biology “IWBDA 2014” Special Issue, please see the ACS Synthetic Biology Invitation for instructions on preparing your manuscript.

Key Dates


The workshop will take place at the Photonics Center, 8 St. Mary's Street, Room 906, Boston, Massachusetts. Directions and a map are here.

IWBDA 2014 is co-located with Synthetic Biology Boston (SB2) in Boston, MA.





Hudson Robotics

Twist Bioscience

ACS Synthetic Biology
Raytheon BBN Technologies

Information about sponsorship is available here.

Keynote Speakers

Orit Shaer
Reality-Based Interaction for Bio- Design

Synthetic biology requires a multidisciplinary, collaborative design environment in order to engineer the complex biological systems of the future. Applying advances in Human Computer Interaction to bio-design tools could potentially enhance innovation and discovery in synthetic biology.

Over the past two decades, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) research has generated a broad range of interaction styles that move beyond the desktop into new physical and social contexts. Key areas of innovation in this respect include tabletop, tangible, and embodied user interfaces. These interaction styles leverage users' existing knowledge and skills of interaction with the real non-digital world, thus are often referred to as Reality-Based Interfaces. By drawing upon existing skills, reality-based interfaces offer the promise of a natural, intuitive, and often, collaborative form of interaction.

In this talk I will present a collection of software tools for bio design, which, utilize reality-based interaction techniques. We developed theses software tools to address specific technical synthetic biology challenges while simultaneously advancing the way in which users interact with computing environments. Through these case studies, I will highlight what design factors are important for developing reality-based interfaces for bio design that enhance discovery and innovation.

Orit Shaer

Dr. Orit Shaer is the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Media Arts and Sciences at Wellesley College. She directs the Wellesley College HCI Lab. Her research in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) focuses on 3D, tangible, tabletop, and mobile interaction. a user interface for genomic research, and the development of computational tools for enhancing innovation in bio-design. Dr Shaer is a recipient of several National Science Foundation and industry awards including the prestigious NSF CAREER Award, Agilent Technologies Research Award, and Google App Engine Education Award. She received her PhD and MSc in Computer Science from Tufts University. She has been a research fellow in the Design Machine Group at the University of Washington and in the University College London Interaction Center.

Tuval Ben-Yehezkel
Advanced DNA Editing Platforms

Our ability to engineer biological systems depends, to a large extent, on our ability to physically write the DNA code that programs them. In this talk I will outline recent developments in biochemistry and automation technologies that advance our ability to deliver designer DNA libraries for advanced synthetic biology projects.

Tuval Ben-Yehezkel

Dr. Tuval Ben-Yehezkel performed his PhD and post doc work at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel under the supervision of Prof. Ehud Shapiro in the field of synthetic biology. Specifically, he focused on developing methods for rapid writing of genetic material through the implementation of innovative biochemistry and automation technology and applying them to various biological problems. He is now a visiting scientist at the Weizmann institute of science and has recently founded a start-up company focused on applying synthetic biology technology for the rational design and construction of synthetic viruses aimed to function as live-attenuated vaccines.


See the program and information for presenters.


Student scholarships are available for IWBDA. Please see this PDF for details on how to apply.

Submit to the "IWBDA 2014 Scholarship Track" on the Easy Chair site. Your submission (as an abstract or attached document) must include the following:

  1. Your name and email address
  2. Your school and year of study (e.g., junior, 2nd year graduate student)
  3. A brief summary of your scientific research and work experience
  4. Your expected travel expenses
  5. A short statement (about 100 words) detailing why you seek support and how you plan to participate in the workshop (oral presentation, poster, etc.)

Abstract Submission

Abstracts should be two pages long and referenced, following the ACM SIG Proceedings templates at www.acm.org/sigs/publications/proceedings-templates. Inclusion of figures is encouraged. Indicate whether you would like your abstract considered for a poster presentation, an oral presentation, or both. Include the full names, affiliations and contact information of all authors. Abstracts should be submitted in pdf format and should not exceed two pages.

Abstracts will be reviewed by the Program Committee. Those that are selected for oral and poster presentations will distributed to workshop participants and posted on the workshop website.

Call For Abstracts full pdf

Abstract submission is now closed.

Access your submitted abstract at www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=iwbda2014

Organizing Committee

Contact us at: iwbda-exec AT lists.bio-design-automation.org

Email List

Sign up for the announcements email list here.

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