July 17-18, 2024

Quest for orthologs 2024

Welcome to QFO 8

"Connecting communities in the quest for orthologs"

The organizing committee is happy to welcome you to our the QFO website! Here you will find more information about the event, the speakers and the schedule.

  • Location: Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada.
  • Dates: July 17-18, 2024
  • Abstract submission period: 1-Feb-2024 to 26-April-2024
  • Registration period: 1-March-2024 to 26-April-2024

Proteins and functional modules are evolutionarily conserved even between distantly related species, and allow knowledge transfer between well-characterized model organisms and human. The underlying biological concept is called ‘Orthology’ and the identification of gene relationships is the basis for comparative studies.

The Quest for Orthologs (QfO) is a joint effort to benchmark, improve and standardize orthology predictions through collaboration, the use of shared reference datasets, and evaluation of emerging new methods.

  • Confirmed speakers so far: Dr. Elena Kuzmin, Dr. Markus Hecker and Prof. Christine Orengo (detail below).
  • Program TBA

Cancellation Policy: Unfortunately, we will not be able to refund the registrations fees.

Registration fee: 150 Canadian Dollar.

Chairs of organizing committee: Aida Ouangraoua (Université de Sherbrooke) and Abdoulaye Banire Diallo (Université du Québec à Montréal)

Committee: Dannie Durand (Carnegie Mellon University), Erik Sonnhammer (Stockholm University), Felix Langschied & Ingo Ebersberger (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt), Karen Reynard (Université du Québec à Montréal), Paul D Thomas (University of Southern California), Natasha Glover, Sina Majidian & Yannis Nevers (University of Lausanne & SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics).


  • Dr. Elena Kuzmin

    Dr. Elena Kuzmin

    Assistant Professor, Department of Biology Canada Research Chair Tier 2 in Synthetic and Functional Genomics Centres for Applied Synthetic Biology & Structural and Functional Genomics, Concordia University & Adjunct Professor, Department of Human Genetics Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Institute, McGill University

    Dr Kuzmin's lab aims to enhance the understanding of the genotype-to-phenotype relationship and genome evolution using a combination of systematic genetic screening (trigenic interaction screens, high-content screens, overexpression screens and CRISPR screens), genome sequencing (bulk and single cell DNA and RNA sequencing), genome engineering and synthetic biology approaches.

  • Dr. Markus Hecker

    Dr. Markus Hecker

    Professor and Canada Research Chair in Predictive Toxicology, University of Saskatchewan, Toxicology Centre and School of the Environment & Sustainability

    Markus Hecker is a Professor and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Predictive Toxicology and Chemical Safety with 26 years of experience in conducting research in environmental toxicology and chemical safety assessment. He is considered a global expert in environmental risk assessment, ecotoxicogenomics, hazard characterization of contaminants in native fishes and amphibians, and development of alternatives to live animal testing. Dr. Hecker is a member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada, an endowed guest professor at Goethe University in Frankfurt (Germany) and a visiting/guest professor at Xiamen University (China). He served as the co-Editor-in-Chief of Aquatic Toxicology and is/was an advisor/expert to several national and international organizations including Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the European Food Security Agency and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Markus has authored or co-authored over 230 peer-reviewed papers, review articles, editorials and book chapters over his career (H-Index: 61).

    Keywords: Adverse outcome pathways, alternatives to animal testing, aquatic toxicology, cross-species extrapolation, ecological risk assessment, endocrine disruption, environmental DNA, fish biology, in vitro assays, new approach methods, one health, test validation, toxicogenomics.

  • Prof. Christine Orengo

    Prof. Christine Orengo

    Professor of Bioinformatics, Structural & Molecular Biology, Div of Biosciences, University College London

    The Orengo Group's research focuses on how proteins function and evolve, how relatives in a family acquire new functions and how they evolve to operate in different biological contexts. Over twenty years ago, the group established the CATH evolutionary classification of protein domains which is a partner resource in InterPro and widely accessed. The Orengo Group develops methods for predicting functions for proteins and the networks they participate in. They are interested in integrating heterogenous functional genomics data to learn how protein networks rewire during evolution and under different biological conditions. To optimise and validate these methods the group collaborate with experimental groups characterising the signalling processes involved in development, neuropathic pain, ageing and cancer. Orengo has collaborated with over 30 groups worldwide and several consortia including the EU funded InteGr8, Biosapiens, EMBRACE, ENFIN, IMPACT, Europain consortia exploiting CATH tools and data, the NIH funded MCSG, SGCID consortia researching structural genomics and the CRUK funded LPC and DDIP consortia researching biological networks. The original CATH resource publication has been cited ~2600 times. Christine Orengo became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology in 2014, an elected member of EMBO in 2014, and a Fellow of the International Society of Computational Biology in 2016. She has been on the board of ISCB since 2011 and a Vice president of ISCB since 2013.

Help us advertising the QfO8 event!


Université du Québec à Montréal

Registration period

March 1, 2024 - 13:00 until April 26, 2024 - 17:00

Submission period

January 24, 2024 - 08:00 until April 26, 2024 - 17:00

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact qfo8team@gmail.com .

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