JHU researchers sitting around a table at the RECOMB gala dinner.
JHU researchers at the RECOMB gala.

JHU CS student-led teams won two Best Poster Awards at the 27th Annual International Conference on Research in Computational Molecular Biology held April 16–19 in Istanbul, Turkey. RECOMB is a leading international conference on algorithmic computational biology, bridging computational, mathematical, statistical, and biological sciences.

This year’s overall Best Poster Award was awarded to “Mod.Plot: A Rapid and Interactive Visualization of Tandem Repeats,” presented by current PhD student Alex Sweeten, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor Michael C. Schatz, and Adam Phillippy, head of the Genome Informatics Section and senior investigator in the Computational and Statistical Genomics Branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute. Mod.Plot is a dot plot visualization tool that can visualize an entire human Y chromosome in under two minutes on a single laptop, providing a truly interactive rendering of genomic repeats to help improve the analysis of complex genomic regions.

A group of current PhD and postdoc students under the advisement of Ben Langmead additionally won Best Poster Award at RECOMB-Seq, a satellite workshop on biological sequence analysis held prior to the main conference; Vikram Shivakumar, Omar Ahmed, Sam Kovaka, and Mohsen Zakeri presented and gave a short talk on their work, “Sigmoni: efficient pangenome multi-classification of nanopore signal,” a classification method that enables rapid adaptive sampling and filtering on large pangenomic databases.

Alex Sweeten receiving a Best Poster Award certificate. Two other conference attendees stand on either side of him.

Alex Sweeten receives Best Poster Award.

Other JHU RECOMB 2023 research presenters include:

Proceedings Papers
  • “Efficient taxa identification using a pangenome index” by Omar Ahmed, Massimiliano Rossi, Christina Boucher and Ben Langmead
  • “Dashing 2: genomic sketching with multiplicities and locality-sensitive hashing” by Daniel Baker and Ben Langmead
  • “DandD: Utilizing Delta-Delta (Δ𝛿) to Quantify Sequence Content Similarity Among Subsets” by Jessica Bonnie, Omar Ahmed, Daniel N. Baker, and Ben Langmead—also presented as a proceedings paper at RECOMB-Seq
  • “WGT: Tools and Algorithms for Recognizing, Visualizing and Generating Wheeler Graphs” by Kuan-Hao Chao, Pei-Wei Chen, Sanjit A. Seshia and Ben Langmead—also presented as a proceedings paper at RECOMB-Seq
  • “Nanopore signal alignment, analysis, and visualization with Uncalled4” by Sam Kovaka, Paul W. Hook, Vikram Shivakumar, Katharine Jenike, Luke Morina, Roham Razaghi, Winston Timp, and Michael C. Schatz—presented at RECOMB-Seq
  • Panagram: Alignment-free and interactive pan-genome visualization” by Katharine Jenike, Sam Kovaka, Matthias Benoit, Srividya Ramakrishnan, Shujun Ou, James Saterlee, Stephan Hwang, Iacopo Gentile, Anat Hendelman, Michael Passalacqua, Xingang Wang, Michael Alonge, Hamsini Suresh, Ryan Santos, Blaine Fitzgerald, Gina Robitaille, Edeline Gagnon, Melissa Kramer, Sara Goodwin, W. Richard McCombie, Jaime Prohens, Tiina E. Särkinen, Amy Frary, Jesse Gillis, Joyce Van Eck, Ben Langmead, Zachary B. Lippman and Michael C. Schatz—presented at RECOMB-Seq