The Fourth International Conference on Computational Biology:

Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology '96

ISMB'97, Halkidiki, Greece

Conference Information



Registration and other online forms

Local Registration (access limited to Washington University)

St. Louis

The Fourth International Conference on Computational Biology: Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology '96 will take place at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA June 12 to 15, 1996.


The purpose of the ISMB conference is to disseminate the latest developments in computational molecular biology and biophysics and to stimulate new work on the application of intelligent computational systems to problems in molecular biology. ISMB is a multidisciplinary conference bringing together scientists from computer science, mathematics, statistics, and molecular biology. The scope extends to any computational method or system supporting a biological task that is algorithmically, cognitively or conceptually challenging, involves a synthesis of heterogeneous information, or exhibits the emergent properties of an "intelligent system." From a computational perspective, areas of interest include adaptive systems, intelligent experimental control, data modelling, machine learning, artificial intelligence, combinatorics, stochastic optimization, string & graph algorithms, linguistic methods, and parallel computer technologies. Biological areas of interest include molecular structure, genomics, molecular sequence analysis, evolution and phylogenetics, adaptive experimental systems, and molecular biology generally. Emphasis is placed on the validation of methods using real data sets and on practical application in the biological sciences.

The ISMB conference has attracted large and enthusiatic audiences of scientists involved in application areas including artificial intelligence, structural biology, DNA, RNA and protein sequence analysis and structure prediction, genome mapping, gene identification, molecular biology data and knowledge bases, and modelling of biochemical processes. We are continuing the tradition of soliciting original papers which will be rigorously refereed and published (by AAAI Press and the MIT Press) in proceedings available at the conference. The conference proceedings are indexed in the Medline database.

The four-day conference will feature introductory and advanced tutorials (on June 12th), and presentations of original refereed papers, posters and invited talks (June 12-15).

Meeting on Interconnection of Molecular Biology Databases: Java/Corba Workshop

Previous ISMB Meetings

ISMB-96 Organizing Committee

ISMB-96 Program Committee

Host Institutions

The ISMB-96 conference is being jointly hosted by: The Institute for Biomedical Computing
Washington University Medical School
School of Engineering and Applied Science
at Washington University in St. Louis

Keynote Speakers

  • Prof. Robert Waterston
    Washington University, St. Louis

  • Prof. David Haussler
    University of California, Santa Cruz

  • Prof. Russell Doolittle
    University of California, San Diego

  • Prof. Chris Sander
    European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg

  • Poster Session

    Abstracts deadline: May 15, 1996

    A poster session will be held at the meeting to allow informal presentation of late breaking results and work in progress. One page abstracts for these posters will be included in a booklet (separate from the proceedings).

    Job Fair

    The ISMB meetings are unique in bringing together biological and computational scientists with interests in computational biology. With the automation of the experimental laboratory and the increasing use of databases and advanced information systems in the biotechnology industry, many employment opportunities exist for such individuals. To facilitate contact between job candidates and prospective employers, we have established an employment opportunities database for ISMB-96.

    You do not have to register for ISMB'96 to post either a job-opening announcement or your resume as long as it is relevant to computational biology.

    Both commercial and academic employers are encouraged to utilize this service. Rooms will be available at the conference for the purpose of employment meetings and conducting interviews.

    Vendor Fair

    Equipment demonstration and display facilities will be available for interested and relevant vendors. The vendors will have to arrange for all the equipment that they require. There is no extra charge, but commercial registration charges will apply for all representatives. The display may be in the main lobby or on another floor depending upon available space. Send email to with detailed request. Application deadline: May 15, 1996.

    Conference/Travel Fellowships

    Funds are available to support students, postdocs, and junior faculty, who wish to attend ISMB'96. A portion of the funds are limited to US citizens/permanent residents. Please complete the online application form, if you wish to be considered. Application deadline: May 1, 1996.

    Registration Costs

    Conference and Tutorial Registration form now available.

    Charges ISMB-96 (US dollars)

    Full-time student/postdoc:	$ 295
    Academic/Government:		$ 350
    Commercial:			$ 600
    The registration charges include admission, a copy of the proceedings, mixer on June 12 evening, all meals on June 13-15, 1996 (except dinner on June 13 and 14). A late fee of $50 for students/academic and $100 for commercial participants will apply after May 1, 1996. Tutorials and meals on June 12 will cost an additional $125. Registration does not include housing, though we have blocked rooms at some nearby motels.

    On-line registration

    Tutorial Costs

    Tutorials will take place on June 12, 1996. Tutorial registration includes admission to a morning and afternoon tutorial, accompanying notes, and meals for June 12.

    Tutorial Fees
    Full-time student: $35 (for 2 tutorials)
    (We strongly encourage all students to attend two tutorials.)

    Other: $95 (for 1 tutorial)
    Other: $125 (for 2 tutorials)

    Tutorial Schedule

    Morning Tutorials (10 am - 1pm):
    T-1 Intro to Molecular Biology (Roth)
    T-2 Intro to Machine Learning for Molecular Biology (Shavlik & Salzberg)
    T-3 Intro to Molecular Evolution and Phylogenic Reconstruction (McClure)
    T-4 Hidden Markov Models, Part 1: Using and understanding HMMs (UCSC group)

    Afternoon Tutorials ( 2-5pm):
    T-5 Automated Microbial Genome Analysis (Gaasterland & Sensen)
    T-6 Computation with Metabolic Pathways (Ouzounis & Karp)
    T-7 Recurrent Processes in Genome Evolution (Sankoff)
    T-8 Hidden Markov Models, Part 2: Building HMMs (UCSC group)

    HMM tutorials (T4 and T8)

    Registration closed on May 31, 1996

    Instructors: Kevin Karplus, Kimmen Sjolander, Richard Hughey, Leslie Grate.

    The morning and afternoon sessions are designed to give attendees an introduction to the theory underlying HMMs and direct hands-on experience building HMMs. Tutorial attendees will be encouraged to bring alignments in progress for refinement, search databases for homologous sequences, and so on. Attendance at both sessions is encouraged, since most of the theoretical aspects will be covered in the morning session, and advanced methods covered in the afternoon session.

    The morning session will enable attendees to build HMMs for existing alignments, search databases with these HMMs, and understand how to interpret these models. The theoretical issues covered during the morning session will include the mathematical foundations of stochastic models in general, and hidden Markov models in particular; Bayesian probability and information theory, and their relationship; the relationships between HMMs, profiles, and multiple alignments; and Expectation-Maximization (EM) and Maximum Likelihood parameter estimation techniques.

    The afternoon session is designed to equip participants to use hidden Markov model software (whether SAM or HMMer) to construct HMMs from unaligned sequences, refine existing alignments, and recognize fairly remote homologs in sequence databases through the use of sophisticated weighting schemes and incorporation of prior information.

    Conference Accommodatation

    Getting to St. Louis, Travel, Discount Airfares

    Additional items available for purchase on Friday and Saturday (June 14, 15)

    Copy of proceedings (1993, 1994, 1995, or 1996): $50
    Meal packages: $35/day.
    Additional Banquet ticket: $40.


    Full-length manuscripts from papers accepted for oral presentation will be published in archival proceedings. Copies will be distributed at the conference to registered attendees, and extra copies will be available for purchase from the publisher subsequently.

    The ISMB Proceedings are indexed in Medline and distributed to more than 1500 libraries worldwide. Proceedings from the previous ISMB meetings are available from AAAI Press.

  • ISMB '96
  • ISMB '95
  • ISMB '94
  • ISMB '93
  • Key Dates

    Paper Submissions:

    Papers due: Feb 6, 1996
    Replies to authors: Mar 15, 1996
    Revised papers due: Apr 1, 1996

    Poster Submissions:

    Abstracts due: May 15, 1996

    Tutorial Presentations:

  • Full proposals due: March 18, 1996
  • Replies to authors: April 1, 1996
  • Draft Handouts due: April 15, 1996
  • Final Handouts due: May 13, 1996
  • Tutorials Presented: June 12, 1996
  • Future Conferences

    ISMB'97, Halkidiki, Greece

    The organising committee of ISMB-96 would like to invite expressions of interest from any groups who would like to put themselves forward as hosts for the 1998 ISMB conferences. We anticipate that 1998 should be in North America. Expressions of interest should be emailed to


    Note: these hotlinks use a "mailto" feature of HTML that is not supported by all WWW viewers. If you encounter an error, just use regular email.

    David J. States (
    Pankaj Agarwal (
    Terry Gaasterland (
    Lawrence Hunter (
    Randall F. Smith (

    Institute for Biomedical Computing
    Washington University School of Medicine
    700 South Euclid Avenue
    St. Louis, MO  63110-1012
    Phone: (314) 362-2134
    FAX:   (314) 362-0234

    An ISMB contact page is available for links to ISMB people's home pages (including people from ISMB-94).

    A distribution mailing list is available for people who want to be informed about ISMB matters. Join it by sending mail to with the words

    subscribe ismb96
    as the body of the message.

    Local Arrangements

    The people responsible for the local organization, adminsitrative support, and systems support.
    ISMB-96 Home Page / June 16, 1996