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Vancouver Bioinformatics User Group

VanBUG (Vancouver Bioinformatics Users Group) is an association of researchers, other professionals and students in the B.C. Lower Mainland who have an interest in the field of bioinformatics, computational biology, and data sciences. VanBUG meets every month from September through April. Research presentations by bioinformatics leaders, students and industry representatives are followed by networking over pizza and refreshments

Upcoming meetings will be held monthly on Thursdays from 11:00am to 1:30pm and are free and open to all. The majority of VanBUG events will now be held simultaneously at UBC's Michael Smith Laboratories and SFU's Big Data Hub. The speaker will be present in-person at one location while the other location receives live video-streaming and Q&A. Both locations will have a post lecture social with free food and drink. Please refer to the Schedule page or subscribe to our Calendar for specific details regarding speaker location and room information.

As a service to the community, local VanBUG and other bioinformatics events are posted to the Calendar. Click Subscribe to subscribe to this calendar, so that all current and future events appear on your personal calendar.

Visit our sister groups for bioinformatics events in Montreal (MonBUG) and Toronto (TorBUG)!

VanBUG Monthly Event

Event Details


Thursday, May 9th, 2024 11:00am - 1:30pm PT


UBC, Michael Smith Laboratories, MSL 102

SFU Big Data Hub, room ASB 10900 (Live Stream Location)

If you are interested in attending this seminar, please fill out the RSVP form.

Featured Speaker: Dr. Sabrina Leslie

Talk Title: Multi-scale Seeing-Is-Believing Platform and Investigations: Imaging and Advancing RNA Vaccines and Genetic Medicines

Affiliation: - Associate Professor, Michael Smith Labs and Physics Department, University of British Columbia - Founder, Chief Scientific Officer and President, ScopeSys


SABRINA LESLIE, PhD. studied honours physics and mathematics at the University of British Columbia twenty years ago before moving to UC Berkeley where she obtained her PhD in optical physics in 2008, followed by her Mary Fieser post-doctoral fellowship in biophysics at Harvard University 2009-2011. There she invented the tether-free, high-throughput single-molecule imaging technology called Convex Lens-induced Confinement (CLiC), which established her as a pioneer in single-molecule investigations. In 2012, she became an Assistant Professor at McGill University and founded her research group in the Physics Department. There she developed CLiC into a platform technology and used it for new single-molecule studies of nucleic acids, proteins, nanoparticles, polymers, biologics and cells. In 2019 she was honoured with the Young Investigator Award from the Biophysical Society of Canada, and in 2020 she was elected to the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) College of New Artists Scholars and Scientists, an honour which includes her efforts to translate the value of her unique technology platform to society through the spin-out company from her lab called ScopeSys. In 2021, she and her team re-located to the Michael Smith Labs at UBC where her Associate Professor appointment is joint with the Department of Physics and Astronomy and affiliated with the School of Biomedical Engineering, Genome Science and Applied Technology and Bioinformatics programs. Dr. Leslie currently holds a Killam Accelerator Research Fellowship (2022-2024), to help accelerate her work and support the translation of her singlemolecule and single-cell microscopy and biophysics research to society.


Everything you experience, from the smoothness of your sunscreen to the effectiveness of your vaccine, ultimately comes from the interactions of single molecules. In this talk, we share our "tether-free" single-molecule platform for directly imaging the motion and interactions of single molecules as well as single cells in physiological conditions. We share how this approach can be used to investigate, quantitate and understand the detailed properties of, for instance, lipid nanoparticles containing mRNA cargo and thereby help standardize and improve new classes of nanomedicines. "Seeing is Believing": the inspiration of our imaging work is to apply new quantitative analyses to investigate and unlock the intricate dynamics of nanomedicines in the complex conditions inside living cells, with back-to-back experiments in precisely controlled femto volumes in our microfluidic imaging devices.

Trainee Speaker: Jordan Yu

Affiliation: - PhD Candidate, Tam and Frangou Labs, The University of British Columbia

Talk Title: Brain-Age Prediction: Systematic Evaluation of Site Effects, and Sample Age Range and Size