Genomics in Action 2024

A multi-colored graphic with information about the Genomics in Action conference on Feb. 1-2 by the Knight Campus Graduate Internship Program
10th annual Genomics in Action explores next big data science challenges

The conference, set for Feb 1-2 at the Knight Campus, provides an opportunity for scientists from across disciplines to connect with each other and with those who are putting research into practice in both the clinic and in industry

A woman speaking at a podium
Dr. Leslie Coonrod speaking at Genomics in Action in 2023

Now in its tenth year, Genomics in Action brings together industry and academic leaders to present and discuss bioinformatic and data science approaches and explore internship opportunities for master’s students at the University of Oregon. The free conference will take place Feb. 1-2 at the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact.

“It’s exciting to see how much this meeting has evolved over the past 10 years,” said Stacey Wagner, assistant vice president for master’s programs at the Knight Campus. “This field is rapidly advancing. Revolutionary approaches that were alluded to ten years ago are now commonplace. These same approaches have been co-opted into the student’s training and highlighted in their poster presentations. We can’t wait to hear about new innovative approaches and the next big challenges at the event.”

A decade in, Genomics in Action now attracts more than 200 participants each year. In its first iteration, the conference was called the Big Data Meeting. Organizers from the Knight Campus Graduate Internship Program (KCGIP) are excited to welcome back more than 50 alumni to celebrate the success and growth of this event. The program has nearly 200 alumni and a close-knit scientific community.

“Alumni are returning to Genomics in Action as program partners to hire their own interns and we get to see how much they have matured as scientists. Now they are the experts,” Wagner said.

This year’s conference is presented in a hybrid format with opportunities for networking, engaging alumni panels, speakers, and more. While the in-person registration deadline has closed, there is still time for participants to register for remote attendance by Jan. 29.

A highlight of the conference is bringing together students and industry partners, who get a chance to interact with each other for the first time. For students, it’s a chance to present posters from fall and winter projects. For partners, it’s an opportunity to present their work to the UO scientific community. Organizers encourage the greater UO community to interact with partners from across the country at this event. Likewise, industry leaders will have a chance to connect with scientists who work from inside and outside of their fields.

“This is such a great opportunity for scientists from across disciplines and sectors to connect on their common approaches and compete for interns,” said Leslie Coonrod, the director of the KCGIP Bioinformatics and Genomics Track.

It’s no wonder that the original name for this conference had “big data” in the title. Coonrod sees this discipline as a way to use computers to push biology in research and innovation. In her work with students, she focuses on how bioinformatics can “answer interesting biology questions using the power of computers and algorithms.”

“We’re well into the age of big data — big sequencing data, proteomics data, imaging data,” Coonrod said. “You can't analyze that data unless you put computers and algorithms into your process.”

You can learn more about the conference in this video interview with Coonrod.

Bioinformatics and Genomics is one of five tracks in KCGIP, which offers an accelerated master’s degree while students work at paid industry internships with the program’s many partners. The other tracks include Optical Materials and Devices, Polymer Science, Photovoltaics and Semiconductors, and Molecular Sensors and Biotechnology. A new track in data science is in development. KCGIP has a 98-percent graduation rate, and most students complete their degree within 15 to 18 months. Ninety percent of graduates are employed within three months of completing their internship.

10 years of Genomics in Action

Join us in celebrating 10 years of Genomics in Action, an event that brings together industry and academic leaders to present and discuss bioinformatic approaches and explore internship opportunities for master’s students.

Full Conference Information