BHBD Holds 2020 Annual Meeting

BHBD Secretariat  Jul 26, 2020

The 2020 Annual Meeting of the Global Biodiversity and Health Big Data Alliance (BHBD) was successfully held online on July 21, 2020, hosted by Prof. Yiming Bao, Chairperson of the council. From 7 countries (Brazil, China, France, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand), 12 BHBD member representatives participated the meeting. Three issues covering 6 topics mainly focused on COVID-19 were announced and discussed in the meeting.


Each of the participating members reported recent activities and achievements, particularly on COVID-19. Prof. Bao firstly introduced the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Resource (2019nCoVR) developed by National Genomics Data Center (NGDC), Beijing Institute of Genomics (BIG), Chinese Academy of Sciences and China National Center for Bioinformation (CNCB). He also shared the information of an international collaboration project application on the development of novel detection system for SARS-CoV-2, funded by Ministry of Science and Technology of China, and invited interested parties to join. Prof. Abbasi from QAU, Pakistan described the SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing project with BIG, which just obtained high quality viral genomic sequences of 150 samples from Pakistan. Prof. Ribeiro de Vasconcelos from LNCC, Brazil reported their work and a BRICS program on COVID-19 currently in joint application with China, Russia, India and South Africa collaborators. In addition, the meeting discussed future plans, including scientific research, biological data sharing, and international training. All attendants agree to strengthen the mutual cooperation on scientific research and international grant application within the network of BHBD, making more contributions for the development of the alliance.


In the following council meeting, three new regular member applications (two from Pakistan and one from Morocco) were approved, with the total number of BHBD members growing to 27 from 12 countries. Moreover, Prof. Yongbiao Xue (BIG/CNCB) and Prof. Phatha P. Majumder (National Institue of Biomedical Genomics, India) were accepted as new members of the scientific advisory board of BHBD. The council also agreed to postpone the ANSO-CU supported bioinformatics training program originally scheduled for July 2020 to July 2021.