In February 2019 Bioinformatics Institute in cooperation with ITMO University, Rosalind and Stepik organized the third online programming competition — Bioinformatics Contest 2019.

Every year it attracts more than three thousand bioinformaticians, computer scientists, and biologists from all over the world. The Contest is focused on solving bioinformatics problems using programming and data analysis.

The ultimate goal is to solve as many problems as possible within 24 hours to become the best competitive bioinformatician in the world. Everything is set up online. Submissions are auto-graded in real time.

This year 3329 people from 105 countries participated. 489 of them moved onto the Final Round for a chance to win whole exome sequencing or genetic engineering home lab kit or Oxford Nanopore MinION (by winners choice!).

Here are the winners of the Bioinformatics Contest 2019:

  • 1st place (GOLD): Gennady Korotkevich, 6310.13 points
  • 2nd place (SILVER): Nikolay Budin, 5211.06 points
  • 3rd place (BRONZE): Zakhar Iakovlev, 4921.51 points
  • 4th place: Michael Kirsche, 4744.26 points
  • 5th place: Yuchen Zhou, 4576.74 points

6th-21st places: Sergey Zolotarev, Yury Semenov, Dinara Usmanova, Virgile Andreani, Kira Kondratyeva, Rayan Chikhi, Gretchen M Wright, Kirill Tsukanov, Tatsuhiko Naito, Natalyya Ginzburg, Frederik Andersen, Michal Punčochář, Vladimir Kovačević, Pavel Chuprikov, Mihail Krivonosov, Dohoon Lee.

The finals standings are available on

The Contest was organized in two rounds – the Qualification Round and the finals. Participants were required to solve a certain number of qualification problems to advance to the Final Round.

The Qualification Round 2019 lasted for a week (February 2–10) and consisted of three problems with 12 sub-problems. The Final Round lasted for 24 hours starting on February 23 and included five challenging problems with 27 sub-problems.

The problems were dedicated to cancer and chromosome rearrangements, epigenomic marks, transposable elements, bacterial communities, sequencing errors, and several others. All the problems remain available by the following link: You can also listen to the podcast starring Gennady Korotkevich, the 1st place winner, and Alexey Sergushichev, one of the organizers.

The problem sets were developed by the team from ITMO University – the only 7-time winner of the world's top programming competition and well-known for the top-ranked competitive programmers.

In 2019 the team of developers included: Vitalii Aksenov, Alexey Sergushichev, Artem Vasiliev, Vitalii Demyanyuk, Nikita Alexeev, Ilya Zban, Grigory Shovkoplyas, Maria Atamanova, Dmitry Yakutov from ITMO University, and Sergey Aganezov from Johns Hopkins University. The organizers also want to thank German Demidov, Rayan Chikhi, and Mike Rayko for contributing to the problem ideas.

Participants identified themselves as computer scientists (29%), biologists (29%), bioinformaticians (16%), mathematicians (8%), and others. Most of the participants were interested in solving biological problems by figuring out efficient algorithms and by modeling biological processes.
Bioinformatics Contest 2019 was supported by our generous sponsors — JetBrains, Serokell, and Yandex, and we would like to sincerely thank them!

JetBrains is the world's leading vendor of professional development tools.

Serokell is an international software research and development company, specializing in the development of data-intensive projects, such as the implementation of IoT, Fintech, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence.

Yandex is a technology company that builds intelligent products and services powered by machine learning.

We do hope that computer scientists and biologists who participated in the event got inspired to pursue a career in bioinformatics and to become specialists so needed by the modern life sciences!

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