BioExcel’s webinar series continue with a presentation by Marc Baaden, CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique).



For several years now, my team pursues the goal to study complex molecular assemblies through interactive visualization, manipulation and analysis approaches to aid hypothesis generation and exploration of complex datasets. The UnityMol framework [1] forms a central tool for these investigations and is based on the Unity3D game engine.
A first line of research tries to help with the 3D context, for instance through content-guided navigation, exploded views and semantic links between molecular objects and their analysis data [2].

Concerning the molecular representations, we extended the UnityMol repertoire to include specific visualizations for sugar molecules [3] and have now also included coarse-grained systems by default. These are particularly apt for interactive simulations, even in the classroom or via crowdsourcing.
A particular focus lies on the integration of dedicated hardware such as large, high-resolution display walls, or more recently head-mounted virtual reality headsets or augmented reality setups.

[1] Lv et al., Game on, Science – how video game technology may help biologists tackle visualization challenges, PLoS ONE 8(3):e57990, 2013

[2] Trellet et al., Interactive Visual Analytics of Molecular Data in Immersive Environments via a Semantic Definition of the Content and the Context, IEEE VR 2016/VR 2016 Workshop on Immersive Analytics

[3] Pérez et al., Three-Dimensional Representations of Complex Carbohydrates and Polysaccharides. SweetUnityMol: A Video Game Based Computer Graphic Software, Glycobiology 25, 2015, 483-491; doi: 10.1093/glycob/cwu133


Dr Marc Baaden, CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique).

Dr. Marc Baaden (MB) is internationally recognized for research characterizing membrane proteins via high performance computing, comprising the development of novel bioinformatics methods and approaches offered to the scientific community. Large scale simulations of membrane proteins and complex biological systems are a distinctive expertise as well as the association of bioinformatics, high performance computing and scientific visualization with experimental and clinical biomedical research. Research on the GLIC receptor constitutes a major pillar of MB’s research since 2008, with many high-impact publications, for instance in Nature, Structure [1], NSMB, PNAS and Embo J [2].

A second pillar is the development of scientific visualization and original tools in the context of large volumes of data (‘Big Data’) which has led to significant contributions such as 3 state-of-art reports on molecular graphics [3] and a Faraday Discussion #169 [4] on Molecular Simulation and Visualization.

Find Marc on social media:
– twitter handles: @baam93 and @UnityMol
– LinkedIn:
– ResearchGate:
– ResearcherID: C-6623-2008
– ORCID ID :: 0000-0001-6472-0486

Register for webinar

Title: Immersive visual exploration of biomolecular systems in virtual reality – from static views to interactive dynamics

Date: 4th October, 2018
Time: 15:00 BST / 16:00 CEST

Registration URL:

Webinar ID: 621-138-707


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