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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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Past President Phil Bourne sends his farewell

ISCB Past President Phil Bourne

Dear Members:

2002 was a year in which the Society underwent major change in which it established itself as a professional body. In part through the appointment of an Executive Officer and office staff, and in part in how it represented our science worldwide. More scientists recognized what the Society does and what it has the potential to do. This recognition is important moving forward. Equally important will be to solidify a number of new initiatives: the Affiliated Regional Groups program, our membership in FASEB, a growing ISMB conference, our relationship to Bioinformatics and other journals, an expanded Web site, etc.

With greater recognition comes greater responsibility to do right by our members and our science. Members must be involved in all matters of importance to our science and be sure that the Society reflects your collective views. Clearly you want to be involved. Membership grew 23 percent this past year to 1700 and ISMB 2003 had over 1500 attendees, the most ever. It is gratifying to step down under these circumstances.

On a personal note, I would close by saying that because of my role I was able to travel to a variety of places and meet many more of you that I would have otherwise. This alone made the job worthwhile. It also made me realize that with a relatively low cost of entry, bioinformatics is being done everywhere worldwide. The Society needs to continually realize this. With that said, all that remains is to welcome and leave you in the capable hands of the new ISCB President, Michael Gribskov and the Executive Committee. Thank you one and all for your support of the Society.


The ISCB welcomes Michael Gribskov as its new President

ISCB President Michael Gribskov
As the new president of the ISCB, I want to first express my thanks to our immediate-past President, Phil Bourne, and the ISCB staff for having done a tremendous job over the last year in putting the society on a more business-like footing. The ISCB has experienced huge growth, and the new structures that have been put in place, while possibly not glamorous, have provided the necessary foundation both for continued growth and for improved service to the Society’s members.

Looking forward, the Society faces both challenges and opportunities. With our growth has come increasing recognition; on the part of policy-makers, who have requested our input on funding issues; on the part of universities who are considering founding bioinformatics or computational biology training programs; and on the part of scientists, searching for help in advancing science in their region and specialty. We also face great challenges in building a truly international society—one that brings together scientists from around the world, not just from the U.S. and Europe.

The ISCB is still a young society. I ask you, the members, to spend a few minutes thinking about what you would like the society to be, to think about what projects we should take on, and to consider where we can make a positive impact. And then speak up! New ideas, new hands, and enthusiasm are needed at all levels, and I, the board of directors, and the ISCB staff look forward to working with you over the years ahead.