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College of Computing and Mathematics


Information & Computer Science Department


Presents an Online Seminar


"Machine-Learning in the Context of CRISPR Research"



Date: Thursday, 10th November 2022

Time:  1:00 am – 1:40 am

Location: Bldg. 76 Room 1226



Dr. Rolf Backofen,


Computer Science Department

University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany



As microbial genomes become available at an increasing rate, searching for CRISPR systems is an essential task for determining both evolution of CRISPR system and new CRISPR-related functions. Bioinformatics has always been a driving force in this respect. We also had realized, however, that the annotation of CRISPR system is a difficult and labor-intensive work.

In recent years, the situation has improved by applying state-of-the-art machine learning approach to detect and annotated CRISPR systems. In this talk, we will discuss various annotation task that have been solved in our group using advanced machine learning. One lesson to be learned is that we do not have a swiss knife in machine learning that can be used for all tasks. Instead, many problems require specific ML-solutions, most likely due to the fact that we still have limited data available.


Short bio of presenter:

Prof. Backofen studied computer science at the University of Erlangen, and received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Saarland in December 1994, where he worked at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). He received his habilitation from the University Munich (LMU) in February 2000. He was holding the chair for bioinformatics at the University of Jena from November 2001 till June 2005. After declining an offer for a full professorship at the University of Linz in 2004, became the holder of the chair for Bioinformatics at the University of Freiburg, Institute of Computer Science. His main research focus is RNA bioinformatics, post-transcriptional regulation and the analysis of HTS-data. Further research interest includes constraint programming, structure prediction in simplified protein models, detection of RNA sequence/structure motifs, prediction and evaluation of alternative splice forms, description and detection of regulatory sequences. He is coauthor of the book "Computational Molecular Biology: An Introduction" (Wiley&Sons, Mathematical and Computational Biology Series, 2000). In 2019-2021, he was dean of the faculty of engineering at the University of Freiburg. Currently, he is coordinating the center of excellence in RNA Bioinformatics, and he is a member of the scientific advisory board of EXILIR, the European initiative for life science data analysis. His Galaxy team is running the server, one of the largest instances in Europe with more than 50.000 users.



All faculty, researchers and graduate students are invited to attend.


Information & Computer Science Department, College of Computing and Mathematics

Telephone: +966 (13) 860 2175, Email:, Website:


Copyright © 2014 King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals



10 Nov 2022


01:00 PM to 01:40 PM