Leading Professional Society for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Connecting, Training, Empowering, Worldwide



Frequently Asked Questions

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. 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: Who do I contact for information on the conference?
A: You can get information on the conference from:

Steven Leard
ISMB/ECCB Conference Director
Phone: +1-780-414-1663
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Q: Where will the conference be held?
A: The conference will be held at the Congress Center Basel:

Congress Center Basel
Messeplatz 21
4058 Basel / Schweiz

Q: What are the conference hotels?
A: The ISMB/ECCB organizers have a variety of conference hotel rooms and discounted rates available for rooms close to the conference venue organized through the Basel Tourism Bureau - for details visit:

Q: Are Children allowed at the conference?
A: ISCB conferences are professional events. Children of registered ISCB conference attendees are welcome to attend the conference with their parent or guardian, as long as younger children are under the supervision of a parent or guardian at all times. Parents or guardians may bring children to educational events provided the child does not disrupt the event.

Q: Will child care be available at ISMB/ECCB 2019?
A: Yes, child care arrangements will be available through a professional child care service - more details will be available soon on how to register for this service.

Q: Can grant funds be used for child care when employees of grantee institutions attend project-related conferences and meetings?
A: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/family_friendly.htm#1344

Description of Child Care Offerings Required in Applications for NIH Conference Grant Support For applicants writing a conference grant, they must include in their application plans to identify resources for child care and other types of family care at the conference site to allow individuals with family care responsibilities to attend (see section IV of the funding opportunity announcement PA-10-071).

Q: Do I need a visa to visit Switzerland?
A: Depending on your country of origin, you may require a visa in order to enter Switzerland. Details are available at: https://www.ch.ch/en/entering-switzerland-visa/ 

Invitation letters required for visa applications will be sent with your confirmation after registration and full payment have been received. You must be registered and paid-in-full for the conference in order to receive an invitation letter. IMPORTANT: If you require a visa for entrance register early, it can take time for your application to be processed - do not delay in submitting your visa application. Registration refunds will only be considered if visa applications have been submitted prior to May 15.

Q: Travel to and within Basel?
A: EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg

Public Transport

The Congress Center Basel (Tram stop Exhibition Square) is easily accessible from all railway stations:

  • From the SBB/SNCF railway station, take tram no. 1 or no. 2 directly to the Exhibition Square (Messeplatz)
  • From the Badischer Bahnhof, take tram no. 1, no. 2 or no. 6
  • From Basel downtown take trams No. 6 or 14

Reservation in a Basel hotel includes the “Mobility Ticket” which allows you to use the public transportation system free of charge. The ticket will be handed out to you upon arrival at the hotel and is valid for the duration of your stay.

Mobility Ticket

Each guest staying in a hotel in Basel, receives a Mobility Ticket upon check-in. This allows free use of the public transportation system in the city of Basel and its environs (zones 10, 11, 13 and 15, incl. the way to and from the Airport). The ticket is valid for max. 30 days. On the day of arrival, the reservation confirmation from the hotel guarantees a free transfer by public transport from the train station or the EuroAirport. So please don't forget to print your hotel confirmation and to take it with you on the tram or bus!  

Air Travel

Arriving at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg

  • 15 minutes from the city center
  • Transfer to the city center by bus, taxi or rental car
  • Bus connections to the city center every 15 minutes, transfer time: 20 minutes
  • Take bus No. 50 until "Basel SBB" and then Tram No.2 until "Exhibition Square"
  • The EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse is served by several European airlines such as Air France, Lufthansa, Air Berlin or Easy Jet
  • For further information visit: www.euroairport.com/en/flights/scheduled-destinations.html
Arriving at Zurich Airport
  • Direct train connections to Basel every hour
  • Transfer time: approximately 1,5 hous
  • For further information visit: www.flughafen-zuerich.ch
  • Over 4,500 weekly scheduled and chartered flights from more than 160 destinations
  • All direct intercontinental flights into Switzerland land at Zurich, the largest airport of Switzerland
Rail Travel

Basel is an international rail hub: direct ICE, IC and EC daytime and night-time connections from Germany, Austria, Italy, France and the Benelux countries.

Swiss Travel Pass

The SBB offers the Swiss Travel Pass, an all-in-one ticket to travel by rail, road and waterway throughout the whole of Switzerland. And it includes many bonus benefits. For more details please click here.

Car Travel

Basel is located at the junction of the European north-south and east-west freeway axes. Travel by car is convenient and parking space is available at many hotels.

Swiss freeways are subject to a toll fee. If you are planning on driving on a Swiss freeway you therefore have to purchase a sticker to be placed on your windshield. The sticker costs CHF 40 and is available at borders, gas stations and post offices.


The official car park of the Congress Center Basel (Riehenstr. 101, 4058 Basel) pricing details are available here

Useful Links

Parking: www.parkhaeuser.bs.ch
Public Transportation in Basel: www.bvb.ch
Bus Travel: www.busradar.com
Swiss Railway: www.sbb.ch
German Railway: www.bahn.de
French Railway: www.sncf.com
Airport Basel: www.euroairport.com
Airport Zürich: www.flughafen-zuerich.com

Q: How do I get from the airport to my hotel?
A: A variety of options are available including taxi and public transit. On your day of arrival to Basel, the reservation confirmation from the hotel guarantees a free transfer by public transport from the train station or the EuroAirport. So please don’t forget to print your hotel confirmation and to take it with you on the tram or bus!

Q: Are Transit Passes (Mobility Tickets) available to delegates?
A: Each guest staying in a hotel in Basel, receives a Mobility Ticket upon check-in. This allows free use of the public transportation system in the city of Basel and its environs (zones 10, 11, 13 and 15, incl. the way to and from the Airport). The ticket is valid for max. 30 days. On the day of arrival, the reservation confirmation from the hotel guarantees a free transfer by public transport from the train station or the EuroAirport. So please don’t forget to print your hotel confirmation and to take it with you on the tram or bus!

Q: What is the local Time Zone?
A: Central European Time (CET) applies in Switzerland, in summer period, summer time applies (CET + 1).

Q: What is the Electrical Current?
A: The electrical current in Switzerland is 230 Volts AC, 50 Hz (continental European standard). Sockets take the standard, round-pinned European plugs. There is limited compatibility with other continental European plugs: the standard continental hexagonal plugs with two round pins (Euroconnectors, pin distance 19 mm [3/4 inch], pin diameter 4.0 mm [1/6 inch]) found on many electrical travel products may be used without any problems. Please do not forget to bring an adapter since German, French, and Austrian plugs with thick pins (diameter 4.8 mm [1/5 inch]) as well as Italian plugs with three thin pins in a row are not compatible with Swiss wall outlets, despite the equal distance of the two main pins on German, French, and Austrian plugs.

Q. In what language will the conference sessions and materials be presented?
A. All conference presentations and materials will be presented in English.

Q: What is the climate?
A: July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 67°F (20°C). Delegates should consider bring a light jacket or rain coat in case of summer rain showers.

Q: Where can I find medical or emergency information?
A: General emergency calls   112

Q: What is the custom on tipping?
A: Service is almost always included in hotel and restaurant bills. A further tip of a few coins is appropriate
(Restaurants 5 – 10%).

Q: What is the currency?
A: All official prices are indicated in Swiss Francs (CHF) which is the official currency in Switzerland. All major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops.

An ATM is located outside the Congress Centre to the left of the main entrance.

Q: How can I pay to register for ISMB/ECCB?
A: Delegates can pay on line during registration using a Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card. Delegates wishing to pay using a wire transfer would create an invoice at time of registration and then contract the conference registrar for instructions.

Q: Where do I register when I arrive?
A: Conference Registration is available from Sunday, July 21 to Thursday, July 25 at the Basel Congress Centre.


Basel Congress Centre - Watch for signage

Sunday, July 21

3:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
* registrants in the Student Council Symposium and Tutorials will receive instructions to collect their badge on-site in advance of general registration opening on July 21.

Monday, July 22 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 23 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 24 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 25 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.


Q: What should I do if I lose something at the conference venue?
A: A conference lost and found will be located at the conference information booth located at the Basel Congress Centre.

Q: What sightseeing opportunities are available in Basel?
A: Basel is an inspiration: located at the Swiss–German–French border, it is a welcoming, active, and enterprising city of open-minded citizens, who excel in business and the arts. Thanks to its manageable size and excellent public transport, it is quick and easy to get around the city.


Q: Can more than one talk be presented at ISMB/ECCB?
A: The same talk is not permitted to be given more than once as an oral presentation at ISMB/ECCB 2017. Research may presented as both a talk and poster. Researchers may submit more than one talk to the meeting. Having the same person deliver two (or more) different talks is possible (and not prohibited), but it is not encouraged. This allows for many people from one lab to present the work of the lab.

Q: What is the policy of photography or image capture at ISMB/ECCB?
A: ISCB encourages open sharing of science. As an author, you have the right to restrict the use of photography or any other form of capture of your research. If you do not wish to allow others to share your research, simply disclose this at the start of your oral presentation or add a note to your poster.

Q: What are the hashtags, twitter information for the conference?
A: These are the hashtags:

ISMB/ECCB is #ismbeccb.   @ISCB is the ISCB twitter handle.  (@infoISMB has been redirected to @ISCB)

We strongly encourage the use of Twitter at the conference to disseminate information.  ISCB kindly requests that you observe the Conference Code of Conduct when tweeting.  If you have a specific complaint, suggestion, or comment related to conference logistics, audio, heating and cooling, bathroom cleanliness, etc, we kindly request that you communicate your wish to a volunteer wearing a yellow shirt, go to the conference registration desk, or an ISCB team member.  Due to limited resources and the demands of managing the conference ISCB is unable to monitor Twitter fully and may miss an improvement request.

Q: Is there a nursing/lactation room available?
A: Yes, a room will be available at the Basel Congress Centre and the room location can be confirmed by visiting the conference information desk.

Q: What is a COSI?
A: A COSI is an ISCB community of special interest. These member communities are self-organized and have multiple activities or interactions throughout the year, as well as a dedicated scientific track at the ISMB/ECCB conference. An important goal of any COSI is to foster a topically-focused collaborative community wherein scientists communicate with one another on research problems and/or opportunities in specific areas of computational biology.

Q: What is the URL to the web version of the app?
The web version will be shown on the conference home page closer to the conference opening.