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ISCB News and Announcements

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The International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB)

The Nomination Period for ISCB Officers and Board of Directors is Open!

The Nomination Period for ISCB Officers and Board of Directors is Open!

Call for ISCB Board of Directors Nominations Deadline: April 16, 2020
Call for ISCB Officer Nominations Deadline: May 31, 2020

The International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) is encouraging members to submit nominations for the Society’s leadership - Board of Directors and open Officer positions.  Nominations are submitted at www.iscb.org/nominate (you must login to your membership record to access the nomination form). In all cases, self-nominations will not be accepted.

The 2020 Officer positions to be elected are Secretary and Vice President.  If you know of excellent candidates that meet the eligibility requirements, please be sure to submit your nomination(s). Details of the positions, procedures, requirements, and timeline are available on the ISCB website at: https://www.iscb.org/leadership-nominations-and-elections.

We are looking forward to an active participation by the ISCB membership in the nomination and election process, and we thank you in advance for your qualified nominations.


We can all do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Here are some simple yet highly effective tips for guarding against this virus and others like it, that you can apply at home, at work, and at the conference: 

  • Wash your hands often with water and soap for at least 20 seconds (including between fingers, both palms, thumbs, and fingertips).
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into your elbow. (Discard tissues in closed containers.)
  • Do not touch your face or ears.
  • Clean shared surfaces and items
  • If you are ill, stay home and limit contact with others.

 International Society for Computational Biology

China Expresses Appreciation to Computational Biology Community

ISCB recently received a letter (click to view letter) from Xuegong Zhang, Ph.D., ISCB Fellow, expressing appreciation to the computational biology community for the quick analysis and research related to COVID-19 from the Chinese community.

Thomas Lengauer, Ph.D, ISCB Fellow, ISCB President, responded to the letter (click to view response) noting that a main goal of ISCB is to promote the necessity of open access research and data sharing. "The research that was performed in the early stages in regards to COVID-19 is a prime example of why data sharing is so important to our research community."

ISCB expresses its sympathy with all those communities affected by the virus. We strongly encourage our community to continue to take the proper preventive measures (tips can be found here.)

Access the ISCB COVID-19 Articles and Data Sharing Forum here.



 International Society for Computational Biology

ISCB Congratulates and Introduces the 2020 Class of Fellows!

The ISCB Fellows program was created to honor members who have distinguished themselves through outstanding contributions to the fields of computational biology and bioinformatics. Begun in 2009, 2020 marks the 11th anniversary of the program. In early December of each year, ISCB has sought Fellow’s nominations from our members, with eligibility restrictions based on selection criteria focused most heavily on the significance of scientific contributions.

We were pleased to receive many outstanding nominations this year, and the Fellows Selection Committee members carefully considered each one. Ultimately, twelve nominees were elected as this year's newest Fellows.

Serafim Batzoglou - 2020 ISCB FellowSerafim Batzoglou, Stanford University, DNAnexus, Illumina, Insitro, for foundational and innovative contributions to computational genomics in both academia and industry, through his visionary research, mentoring of young leaders and his own leadership and service to the community.

Judith Blake - 2020 ISCB FellowJudith Blake, The Jackson Laboratory, for her many contributions to bioinformatics over her distinguished career, most notably the Gene Ontology and the Mouse Genome Databases. These two resources are fundamental pieces of scientific infrastructure serving as foundational tools on which so much of genome-scale science is built.
Mark Borodovsky - 2020 ISCB FellowMark Borodovsky, Georgia Institute of Technology, for his influential research in developing algorithms of genome analysis as well as recognized leadership in education and community development.
Rita Casadio - 2020 ISCB FellowRita Casadio, University of Bologna, as one of the pioneers of machine learning based approaches for predicting protein structures, protein function and the impact of genetic variation. The methods from her group have been highly ranked in international competitions assessing prediction of protein structure (CASP), function (CAFA) and variant impact (CAGI).
Paul Flicek - 2020 ISCB FellowPaul Flicek, EMBL-EBI, as a leading figure in the field of genomics and for his tireless efforts advocating for open data and equal opportunities for women in science, including the Earth BioGenome Project in which he advocates workable data sharing practices.
Osamu Gotoh - 2020 ISCB FellowOsamu Gotoh, Kyoto University, a pioneer in computational biology and an exemplary professional researcher, specifically for his contribution to sequence alignment through the development of what is now known as the Smith-Waterman-Gotoh algorithm. 
Rafael Irizarryo - 2020 ISCB FellowRafael Irizarry, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute / Harvard T.S. Chan School of Public Health, for his pioneering work in expression analysis and development of statistical methods for expression analysis which are some of the most impactful in the entire field. He is one of the leaders of the open-source Bioconductor project since its beginning.
Laxmi Parida - 2020 ISCB FellowLaxmi Parida, IBM, for her breakthrough contributions to algorithms across diverse applications with impact to human health and society through IBM and clients. She was instrumental in the design of the core engine and accuracy of Watson for Genomics offering in precision oncology.
Katherine Pollard - 2020 ISCB FellowKatherine Pollard, Gladstone Institutes, University of California, a world leader in developing statistical models and open-source bioinformatics software for biological big data, with an emphasis on genomics. She has uncovered biomedical knowledge that would be missed without her rigorous computational approaches.
Ben Raphael - 2020 ISCB FellowBen Raphael, Princeton University, as a widely acknowledged leader in the area of computational and mathematical aspects of cancer genomics, with special emphasis on inferring tumor phylogenies.
Zhiping Weng - 2020 ISCB FellowZhiping Weng, University of Massachusetts Medical School, for her seminal contributions to computational biology and bioinformatics, specifically in structural biology (widely-used ZDOCK suite of protein-protein docking algorithms), regulatory genomics (pipelines for analyzing genomic and epigenomic data from ENCODE and PsychENCODE Consortia) and small-RNA biology (piRNAs).
Xuegong Zhang - 2020 ISCB FellowXuegong Zhang, Tsinghua University, for the development of computational methods for analyzing transcriptomic and RNA-seq data including the methods DEGseq, DEsingle, SCRL, scFly, and establishing an influential graduate program, educating a generation of students, and promoting the field of computational biology and bioinformatics in China.
ISCB will be honoring the 2020 Class of Fellows during ISMB 2020 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, July 12-16.

Congratulations, 2020 Class of ISCB Fellows!


ISCB-LA SoIBio BioNetMX 2020 | Oct 25 – 30, 2020 | Querétaro, Querétaro, Mexico

Submit Research to ISCB-LA

You can be part of the 2020 ISCB-LA SoIBio BioNetMX Conference. The conference is now accepting submissions for workshop and tutorials, articles for oral presentation, and abstracts for oral and poster presentation.

Call for Workshops
Deadline: May 25, 2020

We invite scientists and professionals working in the fields of bioinformatics and computational biology to submit high-quality proposals for tutorials, workshops or mini-courses (tutorial program). These sessions can be both full day or half day sessions and will take place on the 25th or 26th of October 2020.

More details and submission criteria
Call for Article Submissions
Deadline: May 1, 2020

The Interface Focus Journal has committed to creating a special issue for this conference with up to twelve peer-reviewed articles. Article submissions will close May 1st, giving enough opportunity for authors to prepare their manuscripts. Selected manuscripts will be slated for oral presentation at the conference. 

More details and submission criteria
Call for Abstract Submissions
Deadline: August 24, 2020

The conference invites abstracts for research that is topical to bioinformatics and computational biology for consideration for oral and/or poster presentation.

Talks and posters will be organized according to scientific topics, which are covered by the conference. Abstracts will be selected for oral or poster presentation on the corresponding session.

Details and submission criteria



 International Society for Computational Biology
The International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) is acutely aware that global science is facing substantial challenges regarding equity and inclusion. Current science is still dominated by males and by what is shortly called "the West". In our Society, we are vigorously working to bring this skew into balance. We are actively pursuing balance in our governing bodies, most relevantly in our Board of Directors and slate of Officers. Furthermore, we have implemented processes towards achieving more balance in our suite of award winners, Fellows, and invited conference keynotes.  We are guiding our affiliated conferences on the importance of diversity balance within their own programs. We also encourage our members to support these endeavors by providing nominations of excellent scientists from all corners of science and of the world to all of ISCB’s programs.

At the same time, we are aware that improving equity and inclusion is a process that requires long-term dedication. Progress indicated by corresponding statistics will only be observed gradually. Moreover, while the criterion of balance is an important one it is not the only one in science.

We continually revisit our procedures for progress towards equity and inclusion and assess their efficacy. We do not think that automated procedures of assessment are appropriate for this purpose. Algorithms performing such categorization suffer from inherent limitations that distort the notion of balance we are striving for. Specifically, categorization of disjoint regional, ethnic or gender groups of scientists, while easing classification, also functions divisively.

We are committed to continuing and strengthening our efforts towards achieving equity and inclusion in our Society and invite the members of our Society and the scientific community to engage in a dialog with us on this issue.

 International Society for Computational Biology

ISCB Announces 2020 Award Recipients
Judith Blake, Xiaole Shirley Liu, Jian Peng, Steven Salzberg

The International Society of Computational Biology (ISCB) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Accomplishments by a Senior Scientist Award, Overton Prize, Innovator Award, and Outstanding Contributions to ISCB Award. "The ISCB awards program highlights scientists in our field who are beacons at the junior, mid-term and senior career stage and scientists who have shown extraordinary commitment to our Society and the field at large,” said ISCB President, Thomas Lengauer. “Our awards committee under the leadership of Ron Shamir has thoughtfully and in an established process selected this year's awardees and has come up with a very impressive slate. I congratulate all award winners for their achievements and the awards committee for doing a fabulous job."
Steven L. Salzberg, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, is the winner of the Accomplishments by a Senior Scientist Award. Jian Peng, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is the Overton Prize winner. Xiaole Shirley Liu, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard School of Public Health, is the winner of the ISCB Innovator Award. Judith Blake, Jackson Laboratories, has been selected as the winner of the Outstanding Contributions to ISCB Award.

Steven L. Salzberg, PhD -  Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2020 Recipient of ISCB Accomplishments by a Senior Scientist Award Steven L. Salzberg, PhD
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, and Biostatistics,
Director, Center for Computational Biology, McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Recipient of ISCB Accomplishments by a Senior Scientist Award

The Senior Scientist Accomplishment Award recognizes a member of the computational biology community who is more than two decades post-degree and has made major contributions to the field of computational biology. Steven L. Salzberg is being honored as the 2020 winner of the ISCB Accomplishments by a Senior Scientist Award.­­
Steven L. Salzberg, is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, and Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins University, where he also is the Director of the Center for Computational Biology. Dr. Salzberg received his Ph.D in Computer Science, Harvard University in 1989.
His group’s research focuses on the development of new computational methods for analysis of DNA from the latest sequencing technologies.  Over the years, he and his group have developed and applied software to many problems in gene finding, genome assembly, comparative genomics, evolutionary genomics, and sequencing technology itself, taking new challenges and developing multiple novel, high-impact computational methods, many of which are in extremely broad use.
Dr. Salzberg is one of the most accomplished computational biologists in the world today. Over the past 20 years he has created, over and over again, strikingly innovative computational methods that addressed critical needs in genome analysis. One of his trademarks has been the development of algorithms that are not only accurate but also incredibly efficient, often representing dramatic leaps forward in technology. He has also been a leader in building computational methods to make novel biological discoveries, in species ranging from viruses to bacteria to animals. All of Salzberg’s bioinformatics systems have been released as free, open-source software, and he won the 2013 Benjamin Franklin Award for Open Science for his advocacy of open-source software and of open sharing of genome sequence data. 

Jian Peng, PhD,  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2020 Recipient of the ISCB Overton Prize Jian Peng, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, College of Medicine (by courtesy), Institute of Genomic Biology (affiliate)
Cancer Center at Illinois (affiliate), National Center of Supercomputing and Applications (affiliate), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Recipient of the ISCB Overton Prize

The Overton Prize recognizes the research, education, and service accomplishments of early to mid-career scientists who are emerging leaders in computational biology and bioinformatics. The Overton Prize was instituted in 2001 to honor the untimely loss of G. Christian Overton, a leading bioinformatics researcher and a founding member of the ISCB Board of Directors. Jain Peng is being recognized as the 2020 winner of the Overton Prize.
Jian Peng is an Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since his undergraduate degree in China, Jian Peng has pioneered the application of deep learning techniques to computational biology, including protein structure prediction, biological network analysis, and drug discovery, by developing highly innovative methods to successfully address non-trivial challenges.
Jian Peng has spearheaded some of the most impressive contributions to our field such as the application of deep learning techniques to protein contact map prediction, his invention of a novel computational framework for simultaneous dimensionality reduction of multiple heterogeneous biological networks, enabling state-of-the-art function prediction and drug discovery and the development of TransposeNet, an approach that translates discoveries from model organisms to human, for which adequate approaches did not previously exist.
Dr. Peng has established himself as internationally-renowned researcher in structure-based, genome scale prediction. 

Xiaole Shirley Liu, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 2020 Recipient of ISCB Innovator AwardXiaole Shirley Liu, PhD
Professor, Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Co-director, Center for Functional Cancer Epigenetics, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Recipient of ISCB Innovator Award

The year 2016 marked the launch of the ISCB Innovator Award, which is given to a leading scientist who is within two decades of receiving the PhD degree, has consistently made outstanding contributions to the field, and continues to forge new directions. Xiaole Shirley Liu is the 2020 winner of the ISCB Innovator Award.
Xiaole Shirley Liu has been an innovative and prolific computational cancer biologist. Her research focuses on algorithm development and integrative modeling of high throughput data to understand the specificity and function of regulator genes in tumor development, progression, drug response and resistance. With many contributions to the field, she was a natural choice for this year’s award.  
In computational biology, her laboratory developed widely used algorithms and tools for transcription factor motif finding, ChIP-chip/seq, chromatin accessibility profiles, CRISPR screen analyses, and tumor immune characterization. Many of her algorithms helped the community adopt new genomics technologies.
In transcription and epigenetic gene regulation, Dr. Liu has been a pioneer in using chromatin dynamics to predict trans-factors and cis-elements involved in biological processes and diseases. As a member of the mod/ENCODE consortium she helped establish best practices in ChIP-chip/seq. She and colleagues generated the first high throughput nucleosome map in the human genome, and identified the chromatin signature of embryonic pluripotency. Her work significantly advanced the understanding of the roles of many genomic and proteomic elements in cancer.
In translational cancer research, Dr. Liu contributed to the discovery of drug response biomarkers, drug resistance mechanisms, and effective combination therapies. Through analyses of large-scale compound and genetic screens as well as tumor profiling cohorts, her group revealed the functions of steroid hormone therapies, epigenetic inhibitors, gamma secretase inhibitor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and immune checkpoint inhibitors in different cancers. 

Judith Blake, PhD, The Jackson Laboratory, 2020 Recipient of the ISCB Outstanding Contributions Award Judith Blake, PhD
Professor, The Jackson Laboratory
Recipient of the ISCB Outstanding Contributions Award

The Outstanding Contributions to ISCB Award recognizes an ISCB member for outstanding service contributions toward the betterment of ISCB through exemplary leadership, education, and service. The 2020 recipient of the Outstanding Contributions to ISCB Award is Judith Blake.
Judith Blake is a Professor at The Jackson Laboratory.   Blake is one of the leaders and founding principal investigators of the Gene Ontology (GO) Consortium, which provides controlled structured vocabularies for molecular biology and has had tremendous impact on both molecular and computational biology. These are fundamental building blocks in a wide variety of bioinformatics and computational applications. Her research is in the area of functional and comparative genome informatics. She develops systems to integrate genetic, genomic and phenotypic information, and has had significant influence on semantic systems use in biology and on bio-curation as a field.
Dr. Blake is a prominent and loyal member of the ISCB, who has served on its Board of Directors and as the ISCB representative to the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. She chairs the ISCB Public Affairs and Policy committee,  while performing a variety of other roles on program and review committees.  
Dr. Blake is being recognized for her many years of significant contributions to both ISCB and the broad bioinformatics and bio-curation communities.

ISCB will present the Accomplishments by a Senior Scientist Award, Overton Prize, Innovator Award and Outstanding Contributions to ISCB Award, at ISMB 2020 (www.iscb.org/ismb2020), which will take place in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, July 12-16, 2020 where, in addition, Peng, Liu, and Salzberg will present keynote addresses during the conference.
Full bibliographical articles profiling the award recipients will be available in the ISMB 2020 focus issue of the ISCB newsletter later this year, as well as the ISCB Society Pages in OUP Bioinformatics, and F1000 Research ISCB Community Journal.



 International Society for Computational Biology
19th European Conference on Computational Biology, 5 - 9 September 2020 - Sitges, Barcelona

Call for Workshops/SIGs & Tutorials
Submission deadline extended to February 10, 2020

Don't miss the opportunity to submit your proposal to discuss scientific and technical issues, exchange research ideas, and share practical experiences on a range of focused or emerging topics in Bioinformatics.

Workshops/SIGs - Submit Your Proposal
Tutorials - Submit Your Proposal



ISMB 2020
Final Call for Proceedings & Special Sessions

ISMB 2020 - July 12 - 16, 2020, Montréal, Canada

  JANUARY 2020
  ISMB 2020 - July 12 - 16, 2020, Montréal, Canada
  ISMB 2020 - July 12 - 16, 2020, Montréal, Canada
  ISMB 2020 - July 12 - 16, 2020, Montréal, Canada

Did you forget to submit?  There is still time for two closing opportunities:

January 30, 2020

Submit full papers (not abstracts) consisting of new, non-published work, reporting theoretical, computational, and statistical advances in computational biology and its intersections with other fields.

Submissions are encouraged to report on advances in algorithm development and optimization, data structures, data visualization, artificial intelligence/machine learning, text mining, statistical inference, database and ontology development, image analysis, citizen and open science, etc. to analyze all types of biological data.

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Call for Special Session Proposals
- There's still time to submit!

January 30, 2020

ISMB 2020 features a Special Sessions track for emerging research areas that will run throughout the conference in parallel to other tracks (except the keynote presentations) --- Submit your proposal today!

Special Sessions have the purpose of introducing the ISCB community and conference delegates to relevant 'hot' topics that are not already covered in the COSI tracks. Sessions can be considered as mini-symposia on timely topics, or new emerging area presented by top experts.  Scroll through some attractive topic options here.

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ISCB Buzz: Latest News, Events & Announcements
Thank you for your service to ISCB

ISCB sincerely thanks the following individuals for their service as they end their leadership terms:
Reinhard Schneider, ISCB Board of Directors

Burkhard Rost, ISCB Board of Directors

Janet Kelso, ISCB Vice President
ISMB 2020 - July 12 - 16, 2020, Montréal, Canada

Opportunities to submit to ISMB 2020:

Call for Proceedings!
Deadline: January 30, 2020
ISMB 2020 invites submissions of full papers (not abstracts) consisting of new, non-published work, reporting theoretical, computational, and statistical advances in computational biology and its intersections with other fields.

Call for Special Sessions Proposals!
Deadline: January 30, 2020
Submit your ISMB 2020 Special Sessions Proposal for emerging research areas! Special Sessions introduce the ISCB community and ISMB delegates to relevant 'hot' topics that are not already covered in the COSI tracks.

Call for Tech Talks!
Deadline: May 7, 2020
Take this opportunity to showcase your latest software and/or hardware relevant to the bioinformatics/molecular biology community.

ISCB Career Center
ISCB Career Center – the place to post a job, search for a job, or upload your CV. Job posting and CV upload is complimentary for members. Nonmember may also participate for a nominal fee.

ISCB Career Center - Post a Job ISCB Career Center - Find a Job

ECCB 2020: Call for Workshops/SIGs & Tutorials
Submission deadline: January 30th, 2020
Don't miss the opportunity to submit your proposal to discuss scientific and technical issues, exchange research ideas, and share practical experiences on a range of focused or emerging topics in Bioinformatics.

Visit https://eccb2020.info/ for more information.
CTD2 DREAM Challenges
Be a part of the DREAM effort to improve targeted and personalized cancer treatments by participating in these current DREAM challenges sponsored by NCI's Cancer Target Discovery and Development (CTD2) Program. Please help us spread the word about these two exciting Challenges!
Registration is now open. Please be sure to read the instructions carefully. Additional information on satellite meetings:
RECOMB 2020 Satellite Meetings
Members Corner
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Senior Member Designation

The senior member designation is attained by members who are one decade post degree and who have demonstrated sustained contributions to the field of computational biology or to ISCB.
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