Upcoming YoungCB event:

Check out this exciting event (15 May, Utrecht) especially for first year PhD students!


YoungCB: Who are we?

YoungCB is an organization of (PhD-) students, young researchers, and young professionals in bioinformatics, computational biology, and systems biology in the Netherlands, who aim to initiate and stimulate scientific discussion as well as collaboration between young scientists. The organization is the official Regional Student Group (RSG) Netherlands of the International Society of Computational Biology (ISCB). We strongly believe that there is a lot to learn from each other and there is nothing more inspiring than working on new ideas together. We closely collaborate with the BioSB Research School and the ISCB Student Council to achieve this. Embedding in these organizations allows us to play a stepping-stone role in the national and international communities.

What do we do for you?

We are creating a scientific and social network for young computational biologists. This is being achieved by different activities such as science cafes, company visits, and the annual PhD retreat the day preceding BioSB (the Dutch Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Conference). Science cafes are social gatherings in a cafe/bar where (young) PIs discuss their career path and give insight into making career decisions. The informal setting of these cafes encourages an open, informal discussion between scientists. Company visits are organized to companies and institutions that show a strong bioinformatics component. Previously we visited for instance the Hyve in Utrecht, Agendia in Amsterdam, DSM in Delft, and BaseClear in Leiden. The annual PhD retreat precedes the BioSB conference. In previous years career talks were given by national and international scientists, soft skill talks and workshops on topics such as non-verbal communication and presentation skills, and flash presentations by (PhD-) students on their work.

How to get involved?

Getting involved in this community is an excellent opportunity to meet others in the field of bioinformatics, computational biology, and systems biology. We provide a platform to exchange ideas and discuss your research topic with other young scientists both on a national and an international level. Do you want to know more? Do you have ideas for a new activity? Let us know! Join the discussion and become a part of our network by sending an e-mail with your contact details to, follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter (@RSGNetherlands).

Current board members:

    • Swier Garst – TU Delft

    • Fabienne Kick – UMC Utrecht

    • Vartika Bisht – Hubrecht Institute, Utrecht and Annogen B.V., Amsterdam

Swier Garst (TU Delft)

Swier started his PhD in February 2022 at Delft Bioinformatics Lab at the Delft University of technology. His work is mostly focussed on federated learning and its applications for healthcare and biological research. Swier joined the youngCB board in spring of 2022.

Fabienne Kick (UMC Utrecht)

Fabienne started her PhD in February 2023 at the Neurology department of the UMC Utrecht. Her work is on rare variant association analysis in patients with the disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), to uncover parts of the genetic complexity seen in ALS. Fabienne joined the youngCB board in spring 2023.

Vartika Bisht (Hubrecht Institute, Utrecht and Annogen B.V., Amsterdam)

Vartika started her PhD in February 2021 at Annogen B.V., a biotechnology start-up in Amsterdam while being affiliated with Utrecht University through Wouter de Laat at the Hubrecht institute. She is a part of the multidisciplinary ENHPATHY consortium created in the frame of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions (MSCA)-ITN-ETN European Training Networks. Her work primarily focuses on genome-wide identification and functional assessment of variants amongst patients with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome ( HLHS ) and Ritscher Schinzel syndrome ( RTSC ) in order to find causal mutations amongst these patients. Vartika joined the youngCB board in spring 2023.