{ C O N T E N T S }
volume 5, issue 2

President’s Letter

Register for ISMB 2002

Host ISMB 2004 or 2005

David Baker: 2002 Overton Prize Recipient

Overton Endowment

ISMB 2002 Committees

ISMB 2002 Sponsor and Exhibitor Opportunities

Best Paper Award by SGI

ISMB 2002 SIGs

ISMB Goes Down Under in 2003

Hot Jobs! ISMB 2002 Job Fair

ISCB Board Nominations

Bioinformatics Pioneers: ISMB 2002 Keynote Speakers

Anna Tramontano: Bioinformatics in Europe

Software Recommendations

ISCB’s Affiliated Regional Groups

ISCB Staff Introduction

Fellowship Recipients

Events and Opportunities

Newsletter Homepage

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I have the honor of being the first female Vice President of the ISCB as well as representing my European colleagues on the Society’s Executive Committee. As such, I hope to succeed as efficiently and brilliantly as my predecessors in keeping the Society vital and forward-looking.

I first became interested in computational biology nearly twenty years ago, I took a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco’s (UCSF) Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, where I discovered molecular graphics. While at UCSF, my collaboration with Henry Dayringer and Robert Fletterick, yielded the first version of a popular molecular graphics package that is still widely used today. Later, I joined Arthur Lesk’s group in the Biocomputing Programme at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg. The Programme—coordinated by Chris Sander—set in motion the field of computational biology in Europe. Most active research groups in Europe today—as well as a few in other parts of the world—can be traced back to that period and to the many fruitful collaborations computational biologists initiated, over a beer, in the EMBL canteen!

I suppose I was witness to the adolescence of a science leaving infancy. Certainly in silico biology is a mature science now experiencing immense popularity. Sudden popularity in the movie business, as well as in science, carries risks. Growing interest in bioinformatics and computational biology may lead to an erosion of the terms caused by the temptation to “jump on the band wagon” for the sake of the resources that are becoming available.

In my view, the Society has a duty to play an active role in minimizing the negative effects of this new celebrity by setting rigorous scientific standards, by expanding our community with the active recruitment of young talented scientists, and by providing them with educational opportunities.

ISMB, the Society’s annual meeting, represents the most effective tool for pursuing these goals, through the rigorous selection process for scientific contributions: the organization of tutorials, the visibility of the meeting, and the diversity of scientific interests. The success of the meeting continues to represent a precious and unique resource for the development of bioinformatics and computational biology worldwide.

I am extremely optimistic about the role regional groups can play in the ISCB. As an international society, we have the opportunity to face many situations with different needs and expectations. We need to muster the creativity, wisdom, and cooperation of everyone in the society to ensure we remain engaged, both geographically and scientifically. We must communicate and build strong bonds with local groups and ask for their guidance during these exciting times.

In the few months I have served as Vice President, I have discussed these issues with a very responsive and attentive board of directors. I intend to continue to support these causes and hope that the members of the Society will continue to help me achieve my goals.