The first of its kind workshop on bioinformatics entitled Introductory Computational Biology Course was held at MU – Varna on 1-2 July 2021. The forum was held online with the support of TranStem project, and was organised by Dr. Manlio Vinciguerra, European Research Area (ERA) Chair in the field of Translational Stem Cell Biology at MU – Varna. Dr. Vinciguerra has invited prominent Italian lecturers who, within the two-day course, presented the core of the bioinformatic processing of genetic, protein and multi-OMICS data.

During the first day of the workshop Dr. Agnese Giovannetti made a presentation entitled: Next Generation Sequencing and Human Genetic Diseases: from Theory to Practice. Then, Tommaso Matza, head of the expert team, discussed a topic dealing with bioinformatic analyses of mitochondrial genome entitled Mitochondrial Genome: Modelling the Network for Interaction of the Residues of the Respiratory Circuit Subunits, next he went on to present some practical cases.

On the second day of the course Dr. Tommaso Biagini shifted the focus of attention from nucleic acids to proteins with his presentation on: Proteins: from Sequencing to 3D Structure and Function Prediction. Francesco Petricelli, a PhD student, developed the topic: In Silico Structural Analysis to Assess the Impact of Missense Genome Variants. The course ended with a summary presentation on:  Multi-OMICS – Appearance of Systemic Thinking by Dr. Tommaso Matza.

More than 30 researchers from the Departments of Genetics, Pathology and Anatomy of MU – Varna and representatives of the Centre for Translational Medicine and Cell Therapy at UMHAT “St. Marina” – Varna were active participants at the event. The organisers made a promise the next course of that kind to be held in attendance (face-to-face) format.

TranStem project is funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020 Program. The project aims to raise to world levels the research studies in the field of stem cells at the University and in the region. The project implements research developments focused on both fundamental studies on stem cells and their clinical application for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. The Research Institute of MU – Varna has established a research group of prominent scientists in the field of translational stem cell biology, headed by Dr. Manlio Vinciguerra, D.Sc.