16th Annual
International Conference
Intelligent Systems
for Molecular Biology

Metro Toronto Convention Centre (South Building)
Toronto, Canada


Conference Chairs

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

Honorary Chair:
Thomas J. Hudson, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Toronto, ON, Canada

Burkhard Rost Burkhard Rost obtained his doctoral degree (Dr. rer. nat.) from the University of Heidelberg (Germany) in the field of theoretical physics. He began his research working on the thermo-dynamical properties of spin glasses and brain-like artificial neural networks. He moved briefly (1988-1990) in peace/arms control research designing simple non-intrusive sensor networks to monitor aircraft. He entered the field of molecular biology at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany, 1990-1995), spent a year at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI, Hinxton, Cambridgshire, England, 1995), returned to the EMBL (1996-1998), joined the company LION Biosciences for a brief interim (1998), and arrived at Columbia University in 1998. In 1992, Dr. Rost developed the first Internet server for structure prediction (PredictProtein), and contributed a number of methods that predict aspects of protein structure.

His major research contribution has been the combination of machine learning tools and evolutionary information. His academic research goal is to contribute toward the understanding of molecular evolution; his technical objective is to contribute toward a coarse-grained modeling of a cell. Current research focuses on the prediction of protein function from sequence and structure and structure prediction. It includes the prediction of subcellular localization, of protein-protein and protein-substrate interactions, the prediction of impacts of residues mutations, the analysis of protein networks, the development of a dynamic view of the protein sequence/structure universe, the development of improved alignment algorithms, and the development of software systems that meet today's challenges.

Michal Linial Michal Linial is a Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, where she heads The Sudarsky Center for Computational Biology. She is a founder (1999) and the chair of the undergraduate and graduate joint programs in Computer science and Life Science at the Hebrew University.
She received her PhD from the Hebrew University's Medical School (1986) in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. During her post-doctoral training in Stanford University, she engaged in molecular neuroscience with the goal of deciphering the molecular makeup of the synapse. She joined the Hebrew University (1989) and was a driving force in merging computational and analytical tools with classical wet biology.

Her laboratory is active in the two arenas - She leads a wet lab as well as a computational group. Her research interests span a broad range of topics such as stem cells, neuronal differentiation, synapse regulation, cell biology of secretory systems and the molecular mechanisms that underlie behavior. With the maturation of large-scale technologies, she has become involved in developing methods for target selection in Structural Genomics, protein family classification and the development of methodologies for the analysis of large-scale biological data sets. She is particularly interested in introducing powerful computational tools to meet the needs of the biological and bio-medical research communities. Among the web tools developed by her research group are PANDORA, ProtoNet, and EVEREST. One of her main recent areas of activity is proteomics where she combines experimental, technological and computational work.

She is the current Chair of the European Conference in Computational Biology, and a member of the steering committee of RECOMB. She is a member of ISCB's Board of directors, and is active in the Conference and Education committees and a liaison to the ISCB Student councils.

Jill Mesirov Jill Mesirov is chief informatics officer of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard where she directs the Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Organization. She is also a member of the MIT Center for Cancer Research and adjunct professor of bioinformatics at Boston University.

Dr. Mesirov is a computational scientist who has spent many years working in the area of high-performance computing on problems that arise in science, engineering and business applications. Her current research interest is computational biology with a focus on algorithms and analytic methodologies for pattern recognition and discovery with applications to cancer genomics, genome analysis and interpretation, and comparative genomics. In addition, Mesirov is committed to the development of practical, accessible software tools to bring these methods to the general biomedical research community.

In 1997, Dr. Mesirov came to the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research, now part of the Broad Institute, from IBM, where she was manager of computational biology and bioinformatics in the Healthcare/Pharmaceutical Solutions Organization. Before joining IBM in 1995, she was director of research at Thinking Machines Corporation for 10 years. She has also held positions in the mathematics department at the University of California at Berkeley, the Institute for Defense Analyses' Center for Communications Research in Princeton, and as associate executive director of the American Mathematical Society.

Dr. Thomas J. Hudson Dr. Thomas J. Hudson is President and Scientific Director of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR). He is recruiting more than 50 internationally recognized principal investigators to implement OICR's Strategic Plan, which focuses on prevention, early diagnosis, cancer targets and new therapeutics.
Dr. Hudson was the founder and Director of the McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre and Assistant-Director of the Whitehead/MIT Center for Genome Research. Internationally renowned for his work in genomics, he led the effort to generate dense physical and gene maps of the human and mouse genomes. He is a leader in the development and applications of robotic systems and DNA-chip based methodologies for genome research. Dr. Hudson and his team were founding members of the International Haplotype Map Consortium.

In 2007, Dr. Hudson was appointed Professor (status-only) at the University of Toronto. He taught in the departments of Human Genetics and Medicine at McGill University and practiced medicine at the McGill University Health Centre - Montreal General Hospital (Division of Immunology and Allergy).

Dr. Hudson is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. One of the co-founding members of P3G, he is its Scientific Director. He is editor-in-chief of the journal Human Genetics.