Viruses 12(12) (Dec 6 2020)
The International Virus Bioinformatics Meeting 2020 was originally planned to take place in Bern, Switzerland, in March 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic put a spoke in the wheel of almost all conferences to be held in 2020. After moving the conference to 8-9 October 2020, we got hit by the second wave and finally decided at short notice to go fully online. On the other hand, the pandemic has made us even more aware of the importance of accelerating research in viral bioinformatics. Advances in bioinformatics have led to improved approaches to investigate viral infections and outbreaks. The International Virus Bioinformatics Meeting 2020 has attracted approximately 120 experts in virology and bioinformatics from all over the world to join the two-day virtual meeting. Despite concerns being raised that virtual meetings lack possibilities for face-to-face discussion, the participants from this small community created a highly interactive scientific environment, engaging in lively and inspiring discussions and suggesting new research directions and questions. The meeting featured five invited and twelve contributed talks, on the four main topics: (1) proteome and RNAome of RNA viruses, (2) viral metagenomics and ecology, (3) virus evolution and classification and (4) viral infections and immunology. Further, the meeting featured 20 oral poster presentations, all of which focused on specific areas of virus bioinformatics. This report summarizes the main research findings and highlights presented at the meeting.