16th Annual
International Conference
Intelligent Systems
for Molecular Biology

Metro Toronto Convention Centre (South Building)
Toronto, Canada


Call for ISMB 2008 Special Sessions Proposals - NOW CLOSED

ISMB 2008 will feature a special track of 2 hour Special Sessions that will run throughout the conference in parallel to other tracks except the keynote presentations. These sessions have the purpose of introducing the ISMB community to relevant and "hot" scientific topics that are typically not within the focus of an ISMB meeting. Areas can be peripheral as long as they importantly impact computational biology and bioinformatics; they might cover emerging themes or topics that the ISMB is not currently approaching with the desired proficiency. The concept of Special Sessions was first introduced at ISMB/ECCB 2007 in Vienna. It became one of the most successful components of that meeting.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 Call for Special Sessions Opens
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Special Session Proposal Submission Deadline (Closed)
Tuesday, November 20, 2007 Special Session Acceptance Notification
Wednesday, January 23, 2008 Special Session Program Submission Deadline
Thursday, February 14, 2008 Final Acceptance of Proposal

This call is an invitation for scientists and professionals working to submit proposals for special sessions for ISMB 2008. Special sessions run the same schedule as all other parallel tracks. They have to be designed as half-day sessions (2 hours made up of four 25 minute presentation units). Sessions may include any form of presentation such as talks or panel discussions. All timelines have to be synchronized with other tracks. The regular presentation unit is of 30 minutes (this includes 5 minutes for the audience to move around). Preference will be given to emerging fields and to neighboring fields in which the ISMB community needs to acquire higher proficiency. Three special sessions on "Interactome: Networks and disease", "Health and diseases in our chromosomes: Mining genetic variations" and "Frontiers in cell imaging" have been pre-solicited. Additional sessions are covered by this open call. Potential fields of interest are Computational brain; Genomes variability; Increase in complexity: Cell to tissue. Additional topics of particular interest to the ISMB community are welcome. Special sessions are expected to provide a broad perspective on an emerging research field. Focus on an individual group, or even a rather narrow circle of activities, is not desired.
Proposals for special sessions should be submitted to the email address prior to October 31, 2007.

Submissions MUST include a one-page description of the field, its relevance to the ISMB community, and the reasons for planning a session on this topic at ISMB 2008. Submitters may want to shortly describe their role in the field of their proposal and their qualification to organize the Special Session. These explanations could be followed by a list of topics for possible presentations with one-paragraph descriptions. Finally, a draft of the time schedule for the session should be presented. A finalized list of speaker names is not necessary but may add weight to the proposal.
ISMB will not be able to financially support speakers or session organizers. In fact, speakers will also be required to cover registration. Therefore, we highly encourage session organizers to seek independent funding, and to include any commitment that they may have secured in the proposal. ISMB will cover for all costs arising from providing the space, facilities, and the audience.

All submissions will be evaluated by a committee, which will consider the following criteria:
  • Relevance, interest, and value of the topic to ISMB attendees.
  • Complementarity to the ISMB program provided by the other tracks.
  • Completeness, clarity, and quality of the session proposal.
  • Qualification of the submitter(s) to organize the workshop.
  • Likely success of the proposed session.
  • Overlap with other proposal or pre-selected activity.
  • Financial soundness may be a criterion.
Submitters of successful session proposals will be notified of their provisional acceptance by November 20, 2007. A maximum of seven sessions (including the pre-solicited sessions) will be presented at ISMB 2008. Organizers of special sessions are not required but encouraged to prepare written material on the session that will be presented online at the beginning of the conference. A complete version of the session schedule must be received by January 23, 2008, and the final acceptance decisions will be made by February 14, 2008.