International Workshop

Understansding Complexity in Life Sciences

14 - 15 february 2019



Marta Bertolaso

(FAST - Campus Bio-Medico University, Rome, IT)

Silvia Caianello

(ISPF, CNR, Naples, IT)

Lilia Alberghina

(SYSBIO/ISBE.IT – Centre of Systems Biology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, IT)


Andrea Pensotti

(FAST - Campus Bio-Medico University, Rome, IT)


Università di Milano Bicocca

Room U4-08 “Luisella Sironi”, Building U4, Piazza della Scienza 4,- Milan.



Conference aims and scope

High Throughput Technologies and computational sciences are more and more present in biological research. This model, which is both sustained by scientific results and by industrial interests, is leading science towards a crossroad: will life sciences succeed in understanding complex biological functions by using only technology, Big Data and artificial intelligence? Or do we need to develop new theoretical frameworks and mathematical models to drive experiments and data interpretation? Or, more likely, do we have to integrate the two approaches?
This workshop aims to draw the main scenarios we are facing and analyse the concrete case of the Organ-on-Chip model.

Organ on Chip model

The need for a more effective biological experimental setup to study inter-level regulatory processes is pushing both biomedical sciences and technology toward new goals. In particular, the merging of cell biology, nanotechnology and microengineering techniques has fostered the development of advanced 3D in vitro models such as organoids and organ-on-chip for recapitulating in vitro the physiological and pathological dynamics of tissues and organs, and even functional interactions among different organs (bodies-on-chip).
These technologies also allow to better analyse metabolic and regulatory circuits, overcoming traditional limits of one or two-dimensional analysis. They finally open new scenarios for personalized medicine and drug discovery. This breakthrough will be particularly effective for cancer, autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases research.
How can we assess the reliability and promises of these new technologies and their potential contribution in the understanding of biological phenomena in a complex and uncertain scenario?


This workshop will help scientists, medical doctors, investors and policy makers to assess the effectiveness of this new research approach, which are needed in order to rationalise investments in human resources and funding. This event will be equally useful for professional people involved in communication and dissemination processes of the new technological advancement in biomedical research.
Nowadays we are witnessing huge investments in research (Human Genome Project is just an example), but also we have to face disappointing results: the “war on cancer” is still not won after many decades and the research on neurodegenerative diseases in still in the dark. In this scenario the promise of computational sciences represent a clear light, but before betting all our efforts on this path in terms of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence it is wiser recalling the basic aims of science: deductive and inductive approaches, experimental guidance and search for basic laws which govern each process.

Call for participation

The organisation will dedicate an entire session to short talks.
Abstract submission deadline: January 20th 2019
Please submit your abstract to this address:
Each abstract should report name, affiliation, email, title and no more than 200 words.
The organisation will select the abstracts for short talks. The others will be presented as posters.


Registration fee:
Day 1: 35,00 euros
Day 2: 25,00 euros
All Congress: 50,00 euros
On site registration will be allowed but authors submitting abstracts have to report before January 20th 2019

Click here to register