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volume 6, issue 1

President’s Letter



Executive Committee

ECCB 2002

Notable Figures

Government Relations


Events and Opportunities

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ISCB Expands International Affiliations

Over the past year, the ISCB’s Affiliated Regional Groups program has grown to include 13 affiliates in 10 countries over 4 continents, with more groups set to join in the next few months. The program, described in the Summer 2002 issue of the ISCB newsletter, is a means of creating and strengthening partnerships with regionally based bioinformatics groups throughout the world.

To emphasize the international aspect of the ISCB, the Board of Directors decided that developing an Affiliated Regional Groups program would create a structure of mutual recognition and support in the best interest of members from each group.
“We knew it was important that the ISCB become as wide-ranging as possible to further our mission to support an increased understanding of our science through communication and meetings,” said 2002 ISCB President Phil Bourne. Toward that end, the ISCB regularly sends announcements and newsletters to the designated contacts of each Affiliated Regional Group. Those contacts then pass along the announcements to their memberships, establishing a method for global communication of news and issues in the field of bioinformatics.

ISCB Vice President Anna Tramontano implemented the initiative to form the Affiliated Regional Groups program. “As the first female Vice President of the ISCB, I was pleased to be asked to take on this vital role toward community development,” she said. One of the benefits she recommended was that affiliates be invited to submit nominees from within their membership for ISCB Board of Director seats. Another initiative advocated by Tramontano was to allow Affiliated Regional Groups to apply for conference support from the ISCB. “Although our finances are primarily tied to matters directly involved with our Society and its membership, we have earmarked limited funds toward external conference support, and that includes our affiliates,” she said.

Student travel fellowships have also attracted potential affiliates to the ISCB. This year, the ISCB provided US$5,000.00 in student travel fellowships to the European Conference on Computational Biology (ECCB), which was jointly organized in 2002 with the German Conference on Bioinformatics (GCB). The GCB is the German Informatics Society’s (GI; see www.gi-ev.de) version of ISMB and in December, the GI became the ISCB’s newest affiliate.

Two other new affiliates for the ISCB are the Vancouver Bioinformatics Users Group (VanBUG; see www.vanbug.org) and the African Bioinformatics Network (ABioNet; see www.abionet.org). Both groups, formed in 2002, already have set up ambitious goals and plans for meeting them.

The ISCB is looking forward to interacting with the three new Affiliated Regional Groups in 2003, as well as furthering the Society’s relationship with all affiliates worldwide. For more information on affiliation criteria and benefits, please visit www.iscb.org/affiliates.shtml, or write to admin@iscb.org.