Seminars, events & talks

Friday, 29th March, 2019, 10.00 - 11.00

Continual Reinforcement Learning in 3D Non-stationary Environments

Dynamic and always-changing environments constitute an hard challenge for current reinforcement learning techniques. Artificial agents, nowadays, are often trained in very static and reproducible conditions in simulation, where the common assumption is that observations can be sampled i.i.d from the environment. However, tackling more complex problems and real-world settings this can be rarely considered the case, with environments often non-stationary and subject to unpredictable, frequent changes. In this talk we discuss about a new open benchmark for learning continually through reinforce in a complex 3D non-stationary object picking task based on VizDoom and subject to several environmental changes. We further propose a number of end-to-end, model-free continual reinforcement learning strategies showing competitive results even without any access to previously encountered environmental conditions or observations.

Speaker: Vincenzo Lomonaco, DISI Department, University of Bologna, Italy

Room Ramón y Cajal, PRBB Innner square

Wednesday, 27th March, 2019, 12:00

Enabling comorbidity analyses from real world clinical data

Speaker: Dra. Laura Furlong, investigadora Miquel Servet de l’IMIM, professora associada de la UPF i coordinadora del Grup de recerca en Informàtica Biomèdica Integrada del GRIB (IMIM-UPF).

Room Sala Xipre (1a planta IMIM)

Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 12:00 - 13.00

The DisGeNET knowledge management platform for disease genomics

The rapid advances in disease genomics and genetics of the last two decades have made it possible to catalog a large volume of genetic alterations found in patients for a broad spectrum of diseases: cancer, Mendelian, rare, and complex diseases. These data are freely available, but scattered across different repositories and catalogs. Furthermore, accessing, navigating and analyzing this information is a challenge due to its heterogeneity, and lack of standardization. To overcome these challenges, we have developed DisGeNET (, one of the largest available repositories of genes and variants involved in human diseases. In the seminar, we will present the release 6.0 of DisGeNET, and discuss several case studies, in the areas of drug discovery and disease genomics.

Speaker: Janet Piñero, Integrative Biomedical Informatics, GRIB (IMIM/UPF)

Room Aula 473.10 (PRBB, 4th floor)

Friday, 23th November, 2018, 10.00 - 11.00

Deep Reinforcement Learning for Partially Observable Environments

Many real-world sequential decision-making problems are partially observable by nature and the environmental model is often unknown. Examples include visual occlusions, unobserved latent causes like in healthcare or when we rely on noisy sensors. Consequently, there is a great need for reinforcement learning methods that can tackle such problems given only a stream of observations.  In this talk, I will briefly present the two fundamental approaches how partial observability can be tackled when we want to learn a policy, namely memory or inference. Subsequently, I will present our recently proposed algorithm "Deep Variational Reinforcement  Learning" (DVRL) which combines learning a model with particle filtering to allow the agent to reason more effectively about the unobserved state of the environment.

Speaker: Maximilian Igl, Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford, UK

Room Marie Curie, PRBB Innner square

Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 12:00-13:00

Is ribosome profiling better than RNA-seq for estimating protein abundances? A case study in Saccharomyces cerevisiae in normal and oxidative stress conditions

Yeast cells respond dynamically to different environments; often this response involves adjusting the abundance of different proteins. In many published experiments, this cellular response is studied by proxy-measuring variations in transcript abundance across different conditions using high throughput RNA sequencing. However, variations in transcript abundance do not always reflect changes in protein abundance. Ribosome profiling, or Ribo-seq, specifically targets only the ribosome-protected fragments of RNA; as there is pervasive translation of ribosome-assocaiated RNAs, this would be expected to provide a more accurate view of changes at the protein level than RNA-seq. We performed a differential gene expression analysis of oxidative stress in baker's yeast using RNA-seq, Ribo-seq, and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. A subset of genes involved in oxidation-reduction processes is detected by RNA-seq and Ribo-seq, but RNA-seq also identifies many genes which are not significant in the Ribo-seq analysis which suggests that significant changes in mRNA abundance do not always result in different protein abundance. Furthermore, the proteomics data more closely resemble the Ribo-seq results than RNA-seq. Our findings demonstrate that there could be limitations to using RNA-seq when making inferences about changes in protein abundance and the potential of Ribo-seq to fill this gap.

Speaker: Will Blevins, Evolutionary Genomics, GRIB (IMIM)

Room Aula 473.10 (PRBB, 4th floor)

Thursday, 26th April, 2018, 12.00:13.00

Understanding Complex Systems Using High-Dimensional Neural Network Potentials

Speaker: Jörg Behler, Theoretical Chemistry Institute of Physical Chemistry, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany

Room Xipre 173.06 (PRBB, 1st floor)

Sunday, 15th April, 2018

3rd European Conference on Translational Bioinformatics: Biomedical Big Data Supporting Precision Medicine

The conference will be held at Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) on April 16-17th 2018. This meeting follows on from the success of the European Conference on Translational Bioinformatics (ECTB) series hold in 2016 at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark; and in 2017 at the European Bioinformatics Institute, UK. As in past editions, the 2018 meeting will bring together scientists, developers, and entrepreneurs who are interested in translating genomics and bioinformatics research into healthcare tools and services. The meeting will be relevant for researchers, computational biologists and entrepreneurs from start-ups and established companies interested in epidemiology, cancer genomics and precision medicine. Registration is open here.  For further information of the event, speakers and agenda, please visit the website

Room PRBB Auditorium

Thursday, 12th April, 2018, 11:00 - 12:00

Artificial intelligence: From predictions to sequential decision making

Speaker: Anders Jonsson, AI&ML Research group, Information and Communication Technologies Dep, UPF

Room Xipre 173.06 (PRBB, 1st floor)

Tuesday, 20th March, 2018, 11:00 - 12.00

Thesis defense: "Next generation of informatics tools for big data analytics in drug discovery".

Speaker: Maria del Carmen Carrascosa Baena, Systems Pharmacology, GRIB (IMIM)

Room 61.127, UPF Campus del Mar (Dr. Aiguader 80, 1st Floor)

Wednesday, 7th February, 2018, 12:00-13.00

Measuring ribosome profiling at isoform level: a step towards unveiling alternative splicing funcional impact

The alternative processing of transcribed genomic loci through alternative transcript initiation, splicing and polyadenylation, is an intermediate step in mRNA maturation, between transcription and translation. These mechanisms produce different mature mRNA transcripts and determine the transcript repertoire of cells. There is evidence showing that the differential production of transcript isoforms, especially through the mechanism of alternative splicing, is crucial in multiple biological processes such as cell differentiation, acquisition of tissue-specific functions, DNA repair, as well as in multiple pathologies, including cancer. This has been exhaustively shown at RNA level but it remains elusive at protein level. Sequencing of ribosome-protected RNA fragments, or ribosome profiling, provides detailed information on the transcripts being translated in the cell. In this work, we have developed a pipeline for the quantification of individual transcript coding sequences (CDSs) from ribosome profiling using both RNA-seq and Ribo-seq data from multiple datasets. Moreover, we investigated at wich extend the isoforms that can be detected with ribosome profiling show further evidence of translation.

Speaker: Marina Reixachs, Computational RNA Biology, GRIB (IMIM/UPF)

Room Aula 473.10 (PRBB, 4th floor)

Site Information