GLBIO 2012 HIGHLIGHTS
Over 320 attended the 2nd Annual Great Lakes Bioinformatics Conference (GLBIO) that was held May 15-17, 2012, at the University of Michigan. Eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces comprise the North American Great Lakes region, and this conference series aims to advance the computational approaches to biology within the region. Held for five years as the OCCBIO of the Ohio Bioinformatics Consortium, the meeting was rebranded in 2011 and adopted as the newest official conference of the International Society for Computational Biology. GLBIO, like OCCBIO before it, provides an interdisciplinary forum for students, faculty and researchers in academic, industry, nonprofit, and government labs to present, learn and discuss across a broad spectrum of bioinformatics topics.
Conference co-chairs Lonnie Welch (Ohio University) and Jim Cavalcoli (University of Michigan) continued the tradition started last year by organizing a group hike through the hills of the Nichols Arboretum adjacent to the University's Ann Arbor campus. Future collaborations were sparked as conference-goers got to know one another over discussions of the upcoming sessions while enjoying the inviting trails and sunny, summerlike skies.
Nine tutorials were presented on a range of topics, including high throughput sequencing, cancer 'omics, RNA 3D structure prediction, and supercomputing for bioinformatics. Russell Schwartz, Carnegie Mellon University, provided the opening keynote, Learning Population Histories from Genome Variation Data. Mercedes Pascual, University of Michigan, presented a keynote titled, Pathogen Diversity from an Ecological Perspective, and Michael Lynch, Indiana University, delivered a keynote about the Mutation, Drift, and the Evolution of Subcellular Features. A banquet was held at the University of Michigan Museum of Art, where Howard Cash, President and CEO of Gene Codes Corporation, shared his insight into developing DNA sequencing software with a keynote entitled, Designing Bioinformatics for the Wetware: Usability Challenges with Massive Amounts of Data.
Program Committee co-chairs Laura Brown (Michigan Technical University), Margit Burmeister (University of Michigan), and Elodie Ghedin (University of Pittsburgh), coordinated the selection of 38 oral presentations on topics of bioimaging, computational proteomics, disease models and epidemiology, gene regulations and transcriptomics, metagenomics, protein structure and function, population genomics, and sequence analysis. Also presented was a special session on undergraduate and graduate bioinformatics education, and the Ohio Bioinformatics Consortium held a career development session for their members and funders. A lively exhibition that included 17 sponsors, six additional exhibitors, and 75 posters furthered the conference goal of fostering collaborative relationships and networking opportunities while exposing attendees to many new ideas.
Within the last year the Great Lakes Bioinformatics Consortium (GLBC) has reorganized and regained official affiliate status with ISCB. Together, the GLBC and ISCB are now looking ahead to GLBIO 2013, which will be co-hosted by Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, with conference sessions at Carnegie Mellon. Mark your calendar today to join us May 14-16, 2013 in Pittsburgh. We hope to see you there!