16th Annual
International Conference
Intelligent Systems
for Molecular Biology

Metro Toronto Convention Centre (South Building)
Toronto, Canada

































































Call for Proposals: Special Interest Groups at ISMB 2008 - NOW CLOSED

ISMB 2008 will be preceded by two days of Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings, on Friday and Saturday, July 18-19, 2008. This call is an invitation for scientists and professionals working in bioinformatics and computational biology to submit proposals to organize SIG meetings.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 SIG proposals due
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
SIG provisional acceptance notification
Wednesday, April 2, 2008 SIG preliminary program due
Friday, May 2, 2008 SIG program finalized & posted online
Friday, June 6, 2008 SIG handout materials (CD and/or printed) due

What is a SIG meeting?
A SIG meeting is a one- or two-day meeting about a specialized area that is of interest to ISMB attendees and is held in conjunction with ISMB. It should provide a broad and/or deep perspective on the cutting edge of a field of research; in particular, it should not focus primarily on the organizers' work. It may or may not cover a topic that is also addressed in the main conference-if it does, it should cover the topic more extensively than the conference does.
Follow these links to see examples of previous SIG meetings:

ISMB/ECCB 2007 (Vienna)
ISMB 2006 (Fortaleza)
ISMB 2005 (Detroit)

We have up to 14 room-days for SIGs. We may use them for 7 two-day meetings, 14 one-day meetings, or a combination, depending on the submitted proposals. Each participant will register for a primary SIG but will be free to circulate between parallel sessions.

Scheduling innovations
In response to requests for the entire ISMB experience to be shorter, we will try a new schedule this year. SIG meetings will start a day later than in the past: they will be held on the two days just prior to the paper presentations (i.e., Friday and Saturday, July 18-19, 2008). The second day of SIG meetings will therefore take place in parallel with the tutorials.

In addition, one or two SIG meetings will be held as parallel tracks during the main meeting. Each proposal may indicate a preference for when its meeting should be held; we will try to respect these preferences but do not guarantee that all SIGs will receive their preferences.

Responsibilities of SIG organizers and ISCB / ISMB
SIG organizers are responsible for the scientific content of the SIG meeting. They may invite speakers, publish a call for submissions, or use a combination. They are expected to operate within the context of ISMB procedures, including finalizing the program and providing materials by the deadlines, working within the budget, etc.

Delegates to all SIG meetings will receive handouts from all SIG meetings, to facilitate movement between sessions. The handouts may be on a CD, in printed form, or both; this will be decided later, in part depending on the preferences of SIG organizers. Of course, a CD can include more material than printed handouts, and in particular might contain speaker slides and other reference materials.

Organizers will collect and prepare handout materials. They are responsible for ensuring that the material that they submit may be legally used and that appropriate copyright permissions have been arranged. Speakers are expected to grant permission to ISMB to copy and distribute these materials, including making them available for sale.

SIG organizers may host and maintain a SIG website.

Please pay particular attention to the deadlines for submitting the program of speakers and the handout materials (in electronic form). SIG participation is much more effective when delegates can view the schedules on the web ahead of the meeting and when they receive the handouts from all SIGs together.

ISCB will handle the logistics of holding the SIG meeting in conjunction with ISMB 2008 and will take the financial risk for holding the meeting. This includes managing registration, promoting the meeting, preparing delegate handouts from the provided materials, providing a room and audio-visual services (Internet access, projector & screen, microphones, etc.), and supplying food.

Please review the ISCB/SIG Relationship document for more detailed information.

Satellite Meetings
A Satellite Meeting is similar to a SIG meeting but has logistical and/or financial needs that cannot fit conveniently into the SIG structure. Satellite Meeting proposals will be considered along with SIG proposals. Proposals should highlight why the meeting ought to be held as a Satellite Meeting instead of as a SIG. Note that SIG delegates will not be able to attend Satellite Meeting sessions and vice versa, and handout materials will be separate as well.
How to apply
Please include the following sections in your proposal, in the indicated order. The entire proposal should be no more than four pages long.
  1. Title (up to 20 words, and preferably worded to pique delegates' interest)
  2. Topic: Describe the field to be covered by the SIG meeting and its relevance for ISMB participants (about one page)
  3. Meeting details
    1. Duration (1 or 2 days)
    2. Preference for being scheduled before or in parallel with the main meeting (or indicate if it does not matter)
    3. Expected sessions / topics, if possible with an explanatory paragraph about each
    4. Draft of the time schedule
    5. How presentations will be selected (invitation, call for submissions, etc.)
    6. Possible speakers (This is not required, but may add weight to the proposal-indicate speakers who have already agreed to participate.)
    7. Previous meetings of this or related SIGs, with attendance statistics
    8. List of special requests not covered in the ISCB/SIG Relationship document referenced above, noting if any request is essential to conducting the SIG (ISCB will try to be accommodating but cannot guarantee to supply specially-requested items). A Satellite Meeting proposal should explain why the meeting should be held as a Satellite Meeting instead of as a SIG.
    9. Potential sources of sponsorship for the meeting
  4. Information about organizers: For each organizer, include full name (including title), affiliation, e-mail and postal addresses, telephone numbers (work and cell, if available, including country and city codes), fax number, URL of home page, qualification to organize this meeting
Proposals should be saved in Word (.doc) or Acrobat (.pdf) format. Name the file using the family name of the first organizer (i.e., John Doe's proposal should be in a file named doe.doc or doe.pdf).
Proposals should be submitted by e-mail to by Wednesday, December 12, 2007.

Proposal Evaluation
Proposals will be evaluated by a committee: Hershel Safer (chair), Jill Mesirov, and Trey Ideker. The committee will consider the following criteria:
  • Relevance and interest of the proposed program to ISMB attendees
  • Relevant expertise and experience of the organizers
  • Effectiveness of the proposed SIG meeting organization
  • Clarity and quality of the proposal
Contact information
If you have any questions about the SIG meeting proposal process, please send e-mail to