IWBDA 2021: 13th International Workshop on Bio-Design Automation, Online

13th International Workshop on Bio-Design Automation

IWBDA 2021 Proceedings now available!

Detailed program and IWBDA 2021 Calendar are available!

Keynote Speakers: Dr. Tijana Radivojevic and Dr. Thomas E. Gorochowski


As the scope of the global health crisis has become evident, the IWBDA Planning Committee believes it is prudent to hold IWBDA 2021 online.

We are currently considering a variety of ways to make the event interactive, engaging, and accommodating across different time zones. There will be a small fee for PIs and industry members to cover software fees and annual IWBDA expenses. Student attendance will be no charge for the first 100 students.


The Thirteenth 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:

  • Design methodologies for synthetic biology.
  • Standardization of biological components.
  • Automated assembly techniques.
  • Computer-aided modeling and abstraction techniques.
  • Engineering methods inspired by biology.
  • Domain specific languages for synthetic biology.
  • Data exchange standards and models for synthetic biology.


IWBDA 2021 will be held online.


IWBDA 2021 will be conducted virtually using Zoom. You must register for a free Zoom account to help facilitate the meeting. Please contact us with any registration questions.

Key Dates

  • Abstract submission deadline: August 7, 2021 August 13, 2021
  • Paper Reviews Released: August 31, 2021
  • Workshop proposal submission deadline: September 4, 2021
  • IWBDA: September 20-24, 2021

Call for Papers

Call for papers : Link

Please submit the abstracts using the: Submission link. If you do not have an easy chair account, please create one by following the instructions specified here.

New this year!
  • We've extended the length of the abstracts! Submissions can now be up to two pages excluding images and citations.
  • This year, we've partnered withbiorxiv to create a dedicated channel for IWBDA submissions: IWBDA bioRxiv Channel. Authors can choose to submit and upload the final (and reviewed) version of the abstract to biorxiv. Once the abstract is hosted in biorxiv, the BDAC and IWBDA organizing team will tag the appropriate abstracts under the IWBDA channel.
  • This year, there will be no poster sessions. Instead, participants will have the option to present shorter talks (5-10 minutes). All submissions will be considered for both regular and short talks.
Abstract Details:
  • We have created a template for IWBDA Abstracts in Overleaf which can be found here.
  • While submitting your abstract for review, please use
    \documentclass[sigchi, review]{acmart}
    in the latex document.
  • If your abstract is accepted, please use
  • Inclusion of figures is highly encouraged!
  • Include the full names, affiliations and contact information of all authors.
  • Abstracts should be submitted in pdf format.

Call for Workshops

Call for workshops : Link

Applicants may propose to conduct workshops of interest to the IWBDA community. This year, we are inviting workshops in any of the following formats:

  • Short Demo (30 minutes - 1 hour): this is ideal for anyone who would like to demo a tool, script, library, or new resource to the community. Please note that this can also include tools and software presented at previous IWBDA conferences or other venues.
  • Short Workshop (1 - 2 hours): for workshops that require engagement with the audience but do not require half a day or the entire day.
  • Half-day workshop (4 hours)
  • Full-day workshop
For any questions or concerns please contact either Marilene Pavan or Prashant Vaidyanathan.

ACS Synthetic Biology IWBDA 2021 Virtual Special Issue

ACS Synthetic Biology would like to invite all IWBDA attendees to submit their original work to the journal to appear in the "IWBDA 2021" Virtual Special Issue. Both full-length Articles and concise Letters are welcome. The submission deadline is February 28, 2022.

If you wish to be part of this special collection, please see the ACS Synthetic Biology Invitation for further information and instructions.

Keynote Speakers

Tijana Radivojevic
Tijana Radivojevic

Dr. Tijana Radivojevic is a Data Scientist at Agile BioFoundry and Joint BioEnergy Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL). Her current interests lie in helping bioengineering become a mature engineering discipline. She has been working on development of machine learning based algorithms and tools for guiding and predicting outcomes of bioengineering, while capturing the associated uncertainty. Prior to joining LBNL, her research focused on development of methodologies in computational statistics, applied across domains such as finance, reservoir simulation, molecular simulation, breast cancer. Tijana holds a PhD degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of the Basque Country, Spain, and MSc, BSc degrees in Financial Mathematics from the University of Novi Sad, Serbia.

Thomas E. Gorochowski
Thomas E. Gorochowski

Dr. Thomas E. Gorochowski is a Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Bristol and Co-Director of the Bristol BioDesign Institute (BBI). His laboratory focuses on exploring the molecular and biophysical mechanisms that individual cells and groups of cells use to make sense of their world and process information. By applying tools from the field of synthetic biology to create new genetic systems from the ground-up, his laboratory then probes these artificial systems using novel techniques based on diverse content-rich sequencing methods and advanced computer models, with the aim of better understanding the rules governing how biological parts are best pieced together to perform useful computations. Elucidating the computational architecture of living cells and cellular collectives opens new ways of effectively reprogramming them to tackle problems spanning the sustainable production of materials to novel therapeutics, while also providing fundamental insight into how biology orchestrates the complex processes and structures sustaining life.


IWBDA 2021 Booklet

Organizing Committee

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

  • General Chair - Prashant Vaidyanathan, Microsoft Research
  • Program Committee Chair - Marilene Pavan, LanzaTech
  • Publication Chair - Jenhan Tao, Generate Biomedicines
  • Logistics Chair - Alexis Casas, Imperial College London
  • Co-Web Chair - Aaron Adler, BBN Technologies
  • Co-Web Chair - Prashant Vaidyanathan, Microsoft Research
  • Finance Chair - Traci Haddock-Angelli, iGEM Foundation

Virtual Chairs:

  • Jet Mante
  • Dimitris Papamichail
  • Andrea Cristina
  • Martin Gutierrez
  • Lukas Buecherl
  • Alejandro Vignoni
  • Kenza Samlali

  • Past Co-General Chair - Eric Young, Worcester Polytechnic Institue
  • Past Co-Local Chair - Natalie Farny, Worcester Polytechnic Institue
  • Past Program Committee Chair - Bryan Bartley, BBN Technologies
  • Past Co-Web Chair - Aaron Adler, BBN Technologies
  • Past Co-Web Chair - Prashant Vaidyanathan, Microsoft Research
  • Past Finance Chair - Traci Haddock-Angelli, iGEM Foundation

Email List

Sign up for the announcements email list here.

Anti-harassment Policy

The International Workshop on Bio-Design Automation will not tolerate harassment of workshop participants. Examples of such prohibited practices would include gossiping, slurs, offensive or derogatory comments, or other verbal or physical conduct. This includes sexual harassment as defined as "unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature" not only when the conduct is made as a condition of workshop participation ("quid pro quo" harassment), but when the conduct creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive workshop environment. IWBDA participants who feel they are being harassed by participants, organizers, or support staff should make it clear to the individual(s) that such behavior is offensive and unwelcome. Any participant who believes he or she has been subjected to harassing conduct can report the matter to the IWBDA organizing committee or the Bio-Design Automation Consortium (BDAC) executive committee.


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