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BiHELab, Cargo lab and ETH together.

Panayiotis Vlamos


Researchers in BiHELab focus their work on recent advances in geriatrics and neurodegeneration, ranging from basic science to clinical and pharmaceutical developments. BiHELab’s goal is to help bridge the translational gap from data to models and from models to drug discovery and personalized therapy by fostering collaborations and developing original quantitative approaches to biological and clinical problems..

Ilias Kotsireas


Researchers in CARGO Lab have been effectively using the Blue Gene/Q Platform (BGQ) at SOSCIP (Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform), which is designed to handle large-scale applications that require massive parallel processing power. The SOSCIP platform, Canada’s fastest supercomputer, is a research and development consortium that pairs academic and industry researchers with advanced computing tools to fuel innovation leadership in Canada within the areas of agile computing, health, water, energy, cities, mining, advanced manufacturing, digital media and cybersecurity. The consortium supports collaborative research projects between academic researchers and industry partners (SMEs and large companies) that aim to solve complex problems, develop products and services. On the BGQ, certain algorithms have exhibited a 2000-fold speedup, which can considerably increase the applicability of various algorithmic techniques..

Ioannis Tarnanas

ETH Zurich & University of St. Gallen

As a university of science and technology, ETH Zurich is committed to the study of a diverse range of subjects, which allows knowledge to be shared and combined in original and future-oriented ways. The sixteen departments cover a broad academic spectrum, while all kinds of strategic initiatives, competence centres and networks encourage cross-disciplinary cooperation.

The establishment of a new Research Center entitled ‘Research Center on Computational Biomarkers (RCCBM)’ was announced on November 2016 on Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus by the Directors of the CARGO Lab and BiHELab. The center activities, will be focused on studying human biomarkers. Professors Ilias Kotsireas and Panagiotis Vlamos stated that the future aims of precision medicine will be based on personalized measurements of specific biomarkers. The Bioinformatics and Human Electrophysiology Lab of the Department of Informatics of the Ionian University is tracing new biomarkers concerning neurodegenerative diseases and constructs frailty functions depending on them. The CARGO Lab of Wilfrid Laurier University develops and implements sophisticated data mining algorithmic techniques which can be applied to the analysis of clinical data, providing exact results for the evolution of the biomarkers, involved in specific biological mechanisms.

The Center’s activities are focused on studying human biomarkers, especially those enabled in neurodegeneration, while the future aims of precision medicine will be based on personalized measurements of specific human biomarkers. The two laboratories combine their work in the direction of establishing new diagnostic algorithms providing a precise diagnostic or even prognostic profile for individuals.

RCCBM will engage in collaboration opportunities with health organizations, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies in Canada, in order to gather and evaluate clinical date at a large scale. The center will encompass tools from Applied Mathematics, Data Mining, Modeling, Biophysics, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Neuroinformatics, High‐performance computing and Computational Mathematics in Biology.

The center is hosted at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus. 

Panayiotis Vlamos

Professor Panayiotis Vlamos: Director, BiHELab

Dr. Panayiotis Vlamos is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Informatics at the Ionian University. He received his Diploma in Mathematics from the University of Athens and his Ph.D. degree in Mathematics from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece. He is the director of “Bioinformatics and Human Electrophysiology Lab” and of “Computational Modeling Lab” at the Department of Informatics, Ionian University.

Ilias Kotsireas

Ilias Kotsireas: Director, CARGO Lab 

My research is in the areas of symbolic computation and combinatorial designs. I use algorithmic, meta-heuristic and high-performance computing techniques to study existence questions for combinatorial designs. I am interested in theoretical and algorithmic aspects of solving systems of polynomial equations.

Ioannis Tarnanas

Ioannis Tarnanas, ETH Zurich & University of St. Gallen  

Senior Research associate at ETH Health-IS Lab Health, Professor at ETH Zurich & University of St. Gallen, University of California, San Francisco and Trinity College, Dublin will contribute with their work in RCCBM. Dr. Ioannis Tarnanas has been also selected for the 2016 Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) Scholars program. GBHI trains international health providers as leaders, advocates, and key stakeholders in the global fight against dementia.

Major Contributors  

Michael Harney - Ioanis Gkigkitzis -  Ioannis Haranas -  George Paxinos -  Cliffornd Centros -  Petros Spachos -  Dragomir Stanojevic


February 24, 2017, The Fields Institute

Since the decoding of the Human Genome in 2003, bioinformatics, data mining, and machine learning techniques have been involved in uncovering patterns and increasing amounts and types of different data produced by profiling technologies applied to clinical samples, animal models, and cellular systems. Yet, progress on unravelling biological mechanisms, that have been implicated in the pathogenesis of many diseases, has been restricted, in part due to the characteristic complexity of biological systems. Although scientific community has achieved notable progress in deciphering the areas of cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, neurodegenerative diseases have proved to be more perplexed and very challenging. 

Afflicted neurons in most neurodegenerative diseases display in general complicated and dissimilar pathological features before the catastrophic incidence of vast neuronal loss at the late stages of the diseases. The complex nature of neuronal pathophysiology inevitably implicates system wide alterations in fundamental cellular mechanisms such as transcriptional regulators and signal cascades as a cause. Moreover, most clinical trials into treatments for neurodegenerative diseases and especially for Alzheimer’s disease have failed. 

A probable reason for the high failure rate is that treatments are being tested on those who already have irreversible impairment to the brain. So, treatments that slow or stop further neuron deterioration will be more effective if they are applied at earlier stages of the disease. Nowadays there is a clear need for a widely available, inexpensive and reliable method to early screen for these diseases. Also, by detecting dementia at earlier stages, it should be possible to design better clinical trials for treatments that make a real difference and improve people’s lives.

Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are a global health, economic and social emergency. More than 40 million people worldwide are estimated to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders and predictions suggest this number may double by 2050.

Modeling and simulating the molecular processes of biological cells and tissues is a craft and an art. In “Computational Models for Neurodegeneration” workshop a panel of bioinformatics and modeling approaches that have recently been developed to identify candidate mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases based on publicly available data and knowledge will be described by prominent scientists. In the Computational Models for Neurodegeneration workshop, participants will be enlightened in specific topics that include: Applied Mathematics, Data Mining, Modeling, Biophysics, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Neuroinformatics and Computational Mathematics in Biology. The purpose of this workshop is to bring together experts from the mathematical, computational, and medical scientist’s communities and provide a platform for the exchange of ideas. The workshop is envisioned to survey the state-of-the-art in modeling, mathematical analysis, and computational practice mostly on the field of neurodegenerative diseases, while exploring new application domains and promoting new collaborations..

Siv Sivaloganathan, University of Waterloo
Panayiotis Vlamos, Ionian University
Ioannis Tarnanas, ETH University Zurich 

Michael Harney, Intermountain Healthcare IMC, Enterprise Genomics Core

Ilias Kotsireas, WLU

Stanley Liang, York University






Total publications