What is ISCB?
Who are the ISMB 2008 Conference Chairs?
Who do I contact for information on the conference?
Where will the conference be held?
What is the address of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre?
Where is Toronto, Canada
Where can I get more information on visiting Toronto?
Do I need a visa to enter Canada?
Toronto Pearson International Airport
What is Toronto's Time Zone?
What is the Electrical Current?
What is the International area code?
What language is spoken in Toronto?
What language will the conference sessions and materials be presented?
How do I get around Toronto?
What is the custom on tipping?
What can I do to ensure my personal safety?
What is the currency?
What is the climate like in Toronto?
Where can I find information on places to worship in Toronto?
How can I pay to register for ISMB?
How do I get from the airport to my hotel?
Where do I register when I arrive?
Can I get a refund on the Canadian Goods and Services Tax (GST)?
What should I do if I lose something?
What are some of the attractions that Toronto has to offer?
Q. Where is the closest car rental company to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and InterContinental Hotel.
Q: What is ISCB?
A: The International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) is the parent organization of the annual conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB). The ISCB is dedicated to advancing the scientific understanding of living systems through computation. The ISCB communicates the significance of our science to the larger scientific community, governments, and the public at large. The ISCB serves a global membership by impacting government and scientific policies, providing high quality publications and meetings, and through distribution of valuable information about training, education, employment and relevant news from related fields. ISCB membership offers many benefits including reduced conference registration fees to several high impact events and reduced subscription prices for a selection of journals of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. In 2007 ISCB's membership exceeded 2500 for the first time in its ten year history. Members are from more than 50 countries and include over 800 students and nearly 500 post doctoral researchers. A member's meeting and a meeting of the Board of Directors for the Society are held annually in conjunction with the ISMB conference.
Q: About ISMB?
A: The ISMB conferences began 1993 and were the driving force behind the founding of the International Society for Computational Biology (www.iscb.org) in 1997, which has been organizing this conference ever since. ISCB is the only society representing computational biology on a worldwide scale and its flagship conference ISMB has become the largest conference on computational biology worldwide. ISCB continues to see ISMB as its major flagship annual event.
The ISMB conference aims at attracting the top research contributions in all areas of computational molecular biology. Typical, but not exclusively, the topics of interest are: Sequence analysis, Evolution and phylogeny, Comparative genomics, Protein structure, Molecular and supramolecular dynamics, Molecular evolution, Gene regulation and transcriptomics, Proteomics, Systems biology, Ontologies, data bases and data integration, Text mining and information extraction, and Human health.
Q: Who are the ISMB 2008 Conference Chairs?
A: The conference chairs for ISMB 2008 are:
Burkhard Rost, Conference Chair, Columbia University, New York, USA
Michal Linial, Conference Co-chair, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
Jill Mesirov, Conference Co-Chair, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, USA
Thomas J. Hudson, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Toronto, ON, Canada
Q: Who do I contact for information on the conference?
A: You can get information on the conference from:
c/o BJ Morrison McKay
International Society for Computational Biology
Pharmaceutical Sciences Building,
Room 3230 9500 Gilman Drive, MC 0743
La Jolla, CA 92093-0743 USA
Phone: +1-780-414-1663 Fax: +1-780-414-1664
Q: Where can I get more information on visiting Toronto?
A: The Toronto Convention Bureau offers details about visiting Toronto including maps and downtown information. For information visit: http://www.torontotourism.com/visitor/HomePage.htm
Q: Do I need a visa to visit Toronto, Canada?
A: Canada has one of the most advanced customs organizations in the world, and our borders and the processes we have in place to manage them are critical to our ability to provide Canadians and visitors to Canada with the security and opportunity they expect. Visitors entering Canada must clear Canada Customs border security upon entry.
Entry into Canada Effective January 23, 2007, American visitors travelling by air require a valid passport to re-enter the United States.
American visitors crossing the border by land (car, bus, train) or sea do not require a passport to re-enter the United States at this time. The U.S. Government is planning to require passports for travellers crossing the border by land and sea beginning in 2008.
Visitors may be asked to verify citizenship and should therefore carry at least one of the following documents: birth certificate, naturalization certificate, Green Card or passport. Photo identification is also required, so visitors should carry their driver's license or other valid photo ID with them.
For more information on travel security and border procedures, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security web site.
Visitors from other countries can visit the Canadian Government web site for more information or contact the Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate responsible for their region. Within Canada, call Citizenship and Immigration Canada at 1-888-242-2100.
Bringing children into Canada
If you are travelling with children, you should carry identification for each child. Divorced parents who share custody of their children should carry copies of the legal custody documents. Adults who are not parents or guardians should have written permission from the parents or guardians to supervise the children. When travelling with a group of vehicles, parents or guardians should travel in the same vehicle as the children when arriving at the border. Customs officers are looking for missing children and may ask questions about the children who are travelling with you.
Q: Toronto Pearson International Airport
A: Toronto Pearson International Airport is Canada's principal airport, and ranks among the top 30 world airports in terms of passenger traffic and aircraft movements. There are over 76 scheduled and charter airlines currently serving Toronto Pearson International Airport. Air carriers provide non-stop service to 26 Canadian and 42 United States (transborder) destinations and same-plane service to 56 other International cities.
Q: What is Toronto's Time Zone?
A: Toronto, during the conference will be Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). For a world clock visit here.
Q: What language is spoken in Toronto?
A: Canada has two official languages, English and French. English is the primary language. In addition to these, the top 5 languages spoken in Toronto are Chinese, Italian, Tamil, Portuguese and Spanish.
Q: What language will the conference sessions and materials be presented?
A. All conference presentations and materials will be presented in English
Q: How do I get around Toronto?
Public Transit - Explore Toronto on one of North America's finest transportation systems - the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). With easy to navigate subways, buses and streetcars, getting around the city is a snap. When using the TTC a single fare will take you anywhere in the city on a one way trip. You can freely transfer between subway, streetcar and bus, but make sure you obtain a transfer when and where you pay your fare. On buses and streetcars, exact change is required.
There are a number of different taxi companies in Toronto - each has a distinct look.
Fares are standard, metered and non-negotiable.
The driver should start the meter at the beginning of your ride and stop it when you reach your destination
Refuse to ride in a taxi without an operational meter
If your service was acceptable, a 10-15% tip is customary
The Underground City
PATH is downtown Toronto's underground walkway linking 27 kms (16 miles) of subterranean shopping, services and entertainment. Follow the brightly coloured PATH signs and you'll reach your downtown destination easily in weatherproof comfort.
Accessible Toronto Toronto is an accessible destination. A great resource for travelers with disabilities is EnableLink, a screen reader-friendly site. To learn more about specific Greater Toronto entertainment venues, lodging and more search Ontario and then Toronto at Access Guide Canada or visit Access Holidays Canada Inc.
Q: What is the custom on tipping?
A: If you're happy with the service you receive, a 15-20% tip on the pre-tax bill is a standard expression of appreciation when dining out in the city. Note that some restaurants automatically add this gratuity when serving large groups, so be sure to check your bill.
Tips are also expected for services such as haircuts, shoe shines and taxi rides. 15-20% is standard in these situations as well.
Q: What can I do to ensure my personal safety?
A: Toronto is one of the safest cities in the world. It has earned its reputation as a clean, peaceful city thanks in large part to the professionalism and dedication of the city's emergency service agencies and personnel.
Toronto's universal emergency number is 9-1-1. Use it for police, fire and medical emergencies - in any language.
Toronto Police Services has over 5,000 uniformed officers on patrol in the city and can be reached at 416-808-2222.
Toronto boasts the largest municipal Emergency Medical Service in Canada, with 850 paramedics based in 41 stations across the city.
Every subway car is equipped with emergency strips which, when activated, will alert transit authorities to medical or other emergencies.
All subway platforms have designated waiting areas (DWAs) equipped with video surveillance and two-way speaker systems.
Buses offer a "Request-Stop" program between 9:00 p.m and 5:00 a.m. which allows passengers to exit the bus between regular TTC stops.
Q: What is the currency?
A: Toronto offers visitors world-class products without world-class prices. A favourable exchange rate doesn't hurt either. So be sure to pack an extra bag for the loot you'll want to bring back home.
Toronto (Canada's) currency is the Canadian Dollar
For denominations under five dollars we use coins - some we've even given cute names: the loonie ($1), the toonie ($2)
US dollars are accepted in most Toronto establishments, although you'll receive change in Canadian funds and exchange rates will differ from merchant to merchant
You'll find cash machines/ATMs in most banks, hotels and shopping centres
Travelers cheques and credit cards are accepted at most (but not all) major retailers
Currency exchange is available at banks and kiosks throughout the city and at the airport
Q: What is the climate like in Toronto?
A: Summers in Toronto are warm and the humidity is great for your skin! Midsummer temperatures range from 61-81 F/16-27 C, with quite a few days in the 90s F/32-35 C.
Q: Where can I find information on places to worship in Toronto?
A: Toronto is home to a vast multicultural population and is welcoming to all. For places of worship in Toronto please click here.
Q: How can I pay to register for ISMB?
A: Delegates can pay on-line using the following credit cards or mail in a Check. Accepted credit cards are: Mastercard, Visa, Diners Club and American Express.
Q: Where do I register when I arrive?
A: Conference Registration is available from Thursday, July 17 to Wednesday, July 23 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The registration area will be marked with signage and delegates will receive a notification prior to the conference start of the exact location.
Q: Can I get a refund on the Canadian Goods and Services Tax (GST)?
A: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a 5% tax that is charged on most goods and services sold or provided in Canada.
In addition the Province of Ontario, purchases made are also subject to the 8% Provincial Sales Tax (PST)
Tax Rebates Services
These companies offer services that ensure your visit to Toronto is less taxing. Visit them online, call or download their rebate application forms using the links below:
Q:What are some of the attractions that Toronto has to offer?
A: Toronto provides individuals and families with a variety of activities while visiting the conference. Some options are presented at: Toronto Attractions
Q. Where is the closest car rental company to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and
A. Enterprise Car Rental has an outlet at SIMCOE PLACE, 200 FRONT ST W. Details are available here: http://www.enterprise.com/car_rental/deeplinkmap.do?transactionId=WebTransaction1&gpbr=C247&bid=004&cnty=CA