Translational bioinformatics (TBI) is a relatively young discipline that spans a wide spectrum from data to diagnostics and therapeutics. TBI involves applying novel methods to the storage, analysis, and interpretation of a massive volume of omics data, and it bridges the gap between bench research and real-world application to human health. The Translational Bioinformatics Conference (TBC) series has aimed to highlight the multidisciplinary nature of TBI, and it provides an opportunity to bring researchers together to exchange ideas between biology, informatics, technology, and clinical fields worldwide.
Since its inauguration in 2011, the TBC series has grown into one of the most successful international multidisciplinary conference series. The first 3 years of the conferences were hosted by Korean scientific societies, while TBC 2014 was hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Huiquan, China, and TBC 2015 was hosted by the Japanese Association of Medical Informatics in Tokyo, Japan. TBC 2016 was hosted again in Seoul, Korea, and TBC 2017 will be held at the Meyer and Rene Luskin Center in Los Angeles, CA, United States. There has been a total of 255 research presentations in the TBC series, involving 18 participating countries: Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Seventy-six papers have been published in high-quality journals, including the Journal of American Medical Informatics, BMC Medical Genomics, and BMC Medical Informatics, and a further 15 are in press.
The studies reported on at TBC 2016 mainly focused on inferences of new knowledge by the flexible application of informatics methodology to various dimensions of omics data, and suggested ways to apply this knowledge to clinical practice. The success of the TBC series indicates that the explosion of high-throughput data is changing the paradigm of medicine to being proactive, preventive, and precise, by creating new knowledge through interdisciplinary research using both traditional and evolutionary informatics methods.