The second Bioinformatics Contest — an online programming competition among individuals — took place in February 2018.

Almost 3000 participants from 103 countries with background in Computer Science, Molecular Biology, and Machine Learning participated in the Contest.

Winners 2018

1st place (GOLD)
Kirill Tsukanov – 5882.35 points

2nd place (SILVER)
James Matthew Holt – 5642.76 points

3rd place (BRONZE)
Gennady Korotkevich – 5160.58 points

4th place
Víctor López Ferrando – 4964.48 points

5th place
Roman Cheplyaka – 4875.94 points

The Finals scoreboard

1st prize:
Whole Exome Sequencing or Oxford Nanopore MinION*

2nd and 3rd prizes:

23andMe DNA Service and Engineer Your Own Fluorescent Yeast Kit

4th and 5th prizes:
23andMe DNA Service or Engineer Your Own Fluorescent Yeast Kit

6th-20th prizes:
Honorable Prize: Bioinformatics T-Shirt

According to the well-known International journal of science Nature Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that creates and applies computational methods to analyse biological data.

In order to inspire Bioinformaticians and Biologists and to attract more Computer Scientists to the field, Bioinformatics Institute in 2017 launched Bioinformatics Contest – annual online programming competition focused exclusively on bioinformatics problem solving.

In February 2018 Bioinformatics Institute in cooperation with ITMO University, Rosalind and Stepik held the Contest for the second time. Around 3000 people from more than 100 countries all over the world participated in the Contest. 409 of them advanced to the Finals.

Here are the winners of the Bioinformatics Contest 2018:

  • 1st place: Kirill Tsukanov, 5882.35 points (Russia)
  • 2nd place: James Matthew Holt, 5642.76 points (USA)
  • 3rd place: Gennady Korotkevich, 5160.58 points (Belarus)
  • 4th place: Víctor López Ferrando, 4964.48 points (Spain)
  • 5th place: Roman Cheplyaka, 4875.94 points (UK)

6th-20th places: Ruoyun Hui, Jeffrey Ho, Rayan Chikhi, Jessica Chung, Michael Roberts, Andrey Lando, Roberto Rosati, Michal Punčochář, Petr Popov, Winslow Johnson, Arno Velds, luis Paulin, Yoshiaki Yasumizu, David Eccles, Akiyama Osamu.

The finals standings are available on:

The Contest was organized in two online rounds – the Qualification Round and the Finals. In both rounds participants were to solve bioinformatics problems by using programming skills and analyzing data sets. Participants were required to solve certain number of qualification problems to advance to the Final Round.

The Qualification Round lasted for a week and consisted of three problems (with 11 sub-problems). The Finals consisted of five challenging problems (with 21 sub-problems) and lasted for 24 hours on February 24, 2018.

This year the Contest team focused on making the problems more relevant to specialists who work in the field of Biology and Bioinformatics. So, the problems were dedicated to: plasmid recombination process, analysis of phylogenetic networks, searching for tandem repeats, breeding, and several others. All the problems remain available online by the following link: (free registration required).

The problem sets were developed by the team from ITMO University – the only 7-time winner of the world's top programming competition and an alma mater to the most of the top ranked competitive programmers) with a help from experts from other institutions. The organizers also want to thank Alexander Predeus and David Eccles for contributing to the problem ideas.

We genuinely hope that the Contest inspired you to continue bioinformatics research and to pursue a career in this field which remains so highly demanded nowadays!
Contest Team
Vitalii Aksenov
ITMO University
Developers Coordinator
Alexey Sergushichev
ITMO University
Developers Coordinator
Artem Vasiliev
ITMO University
Alexandr Tkachenko
Bioinformatics Institute, St. Petersburg State University
Vitalii Demyanyuk
ITMO University
Nikita Alexeev
ITMO University
Maria Atamanova
ITMO University
Ilya Zban
ITMO University
Grigory Shovkoplyas
ITMO University
Ekaterina Vyahhi
Bioinformatics Institute
Ksenia Spiridonova
ITMO University
Aleksandra Panteleeva
Bioinformatics Institute
Nikolay Vyahhi
Stepik & Rosalind