IWBDA 2020: 12th International Workshop on Bio-Design Automation, Online

12th International Workshop on Bio-Design Automation

IWBDA 2020 will be online! Abstracts and Workshops proposals are due June 5.


As the scope of the global health crisis has become evident, the IWBDA Planning Committee believes it is prudent to postpone IWBDA 2020 to August 3-5 and hold the meeting online, with abstracts due June 5th.

We are currently considering a variety of ways to make the event interactive, engaging, and accommodating across different time zones. There will be a small fee for PIs and industry members to cover software fees and annual IWBDA expenses. Student attendance will be no charge.


The Twelfth International Workshop on Bio-Design Automation (IWBDA) will bring together researchers from the synthetic biology, systems biology, and design automation communities to discuss concepts, methodologies and software tools for the computational analysis and synthesis of biological systems.

The field of synthetic biology, still in its early stages, has largely been driven by experimental expertise, and much of its success can be attributed to the skill of the researchers in specific domains of biology. There has been a concerted effort to assemble repositories of standardized components; however, creating and integrating synthetic components remains an ad hoc process. Inspired by these challenges, the field has seen a proliferation of efforts to create computer-aided design tools addressing synthetic biology's specific design needs, many drawing on prior expertise from the electronic design automation (EDA) community.

The IWBDA offers a forum for cross-disciplinary discussion, with the aim of seeding and fostering collaboration between the biological and the design automation research communities.

IWBDA is organized by the non-profit Bio-Design Automation Consortium (BDAC). BDAC is an officially recognized 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.

Topics of interest include:

  • Design methodologies for synthetic biology.
  • Standardization of biological components.
  • Automated assembly techniques.
  • Computer-aided modeling and abstraction techniques.
  • Engineering methods inspired by biology.
  • Domain specific languages for synthetic biology.
  • Data exchange standards and models for synthetic biology.


IWBDA 2020 will be held online. Details will be forthcoming.

Key Dates

  • Abstract submission deadline: March 13, 2020 April 10, 2020 June 5, 2020
  • Workshops: August ?, 2020
  • IWBDA: August 3-5, 2020

Call for Papers

Call for papers : Link

Please submit all abstracts here https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=iwbda20. If you do not have an easy chair account, please create one by following the instructions specified here.

Abstract Details:

  • Abstracts should be two pages long and referenced. For your convenience, we have created a template for IWBDA Abstracts in Overleaf which can be found here. Indicate Research track when prompted. You can also download a sample pdf template here.
  • While submitting your abstract for review, if you are using latex please use
    \documentclass[sigchi, review]{acmart}
  • If your abstract is accepted, please use
  • Inclusion of figures is encouraged.
  • Please indicate whether you would like your abstract considered for a poster presentation, an oral presentation, or both.
  • Include the full names, affiliations and contact information of all authors.
  • Abstracts should be submitted in pdf format and should not exceed two pages.

Abstracts will be reviewed by the Program Committee. Those that are selected for oral and poster presentations will distributed to workshop participants and posted on the workshop website.

Call for Workshops

New for 2020!

Call for workshops : Link

Applicants may propose to conduct either half day (8am-12pm, 1pm-5pm) or full day workshops of interest to the IWBDA community. Proposals should be submitted here https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=iwbda20. Indicate Workshop track when prompted. If you do not have an easy chair account, please create one by following the instructions specified here.

Proposals need not follow the abstract template. Instead, please submit a 1/2 - 1 page description of the workshop, including activities, learning objectives, and why your workshop is of interest to the community. Also please include a brief agenda and contact info for the organizers.

Allan Kuchinsky IWBDA Scholarship

This year IWBDA will be soliciting applications for the 6th annual Allan Kuchinsky Internation Workshop on Bio-Design Automation Scholarship. Allan was a tremendous supporter of both synthetic biology as well as design automation. His contributions to projects such as Cytoscape and Eugene as well as numerous Agilent efforts was crucial in helping academic and industrial researchers develop state-of-the-art technologies and tools to lay the foundation for this field. This scholarship in some small measure attempts to recognize his tireless efforts by highlighting a student who shares Allan's vision for the field. This scholarship will provide support for one recipient to attend IWBDA (registration, airfare, hotel, and small travel stipend) along with a recognized poster presentation slot. Interested individuals should provide the following: IWBDA abstract, resume/CV, essay, and recommendation letter. For details, including how to apply, please see this PDF.

The Allan Kuchinsky scholarship is generously sponsored by Agilent.

Organizing Committee

Contact us at: iwbda-exec AT lists.bio-design-automation.org

  • General Chair - Eric Young, Worcester Polytechnic Institue
  • Local Chair - Natalie Farny, Worcester Polytechnic Institue
  • Program Committee Chair - Bryan Bartley, BBN Technologies
  • Co-Web Chair - Aaron Adler, BBN Technologies
  • Co-Web Chair - Prashant Vaidyanathan, Microsoft Research
  • Finance Chair - Traci Haddock-Angelli, iGEM Foundation

Local Organizers

  • Past Co-General Chair - Pietro Lio', University of Cambridge
  • Past Co-General Chair - Anil Wipat, Newcastle University
  • Past Co-General Chair - Jim Haseloff, University of Cambridge
  • Past Co-General Chair - Andrew Phillips, Microsoft Research
  • Past Co-General Chair - Sara-Jane Dunn, Microsoft Research
  • Past Co-Local Chair - Alexandra Ting, University of Cambridge
  • Past Co-Local Chair - Helena Andres Terre, University of Cambridge
  • Past Co-Local Chair - Zuliani Paolo, Newcastle Cambridge
  • Past Program Committee Chair - Prashant Vaidyanathan, Microsoft Research
  • Past Publication Chair - Prashant Vaidyanathan, Microsoft Research
  • Past Co-Web Chair - Aaron Adler, BBN Technologies
  • Past Co-Web Chair - Prashant Vaidyanathan, Microsoft Research
  • Past Finance Chair - Traci Haddock-Angelli, iGEM Foundation

Email List

Sign up for the announcements email list here.

Anti-harassment Policy

The International Workshop on Bio-Design Automation will not tolerate harassment of workshop participants. Examples of such prohibited practices would include gossiping, slurs, offensive or derogatory comments, or other verbal or physical conduct. This includes sexual harassment as defined as "unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature" not only when the conduct is made as a condition of workshop participation ("quid pro quo" harassment), but when the conduct creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive workshop environment. IWBDA participants who feel they are being harassed by participants, organizers, or support staff should make it clear to the individual(s) that such behavior is offensive and unwelcome. Any participant who believes he or she has been subjected to harassing conduct can report the matter to the IWBDA organizing committee or the Bio-Design Automation Consortium (BDAC) executive committee.

Related Synthetic Biology Conferences

Past Years