{ C O N T E N T S }
volume 6, issue 3

President’s Letter

ISMB 2003


SGI Awards

Sponsorship Opportunities

Rocky 1


ISCB Staff Introduction

Strategic Planning

Government Relations

Special Interest Groups



PSB 2004

Book Review


Events and Opportunities

Newsletter Homepage

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ISCB President-Elect Elections Process

From August 22 through September 5, 2003, all ISCB members will have the opportunity to vote for the next President of the Society by casting votes for the newly created position of President-Elect. The Board of Directors created this position earlier this year as the first step in an effort to develop a clear leadership path within the Society.

Current Officers (President Gribskov, Vice President Tramontano, Treasurer Rocke, and Secretary Bryant) were all elected last year to serve two-year terms that will expire on January 21, 2005. As Gribskov and Rocke are both running for President-Elect the winner will serve simultaneously in his current role through the expiration of his term. If a non-Officer runs in the future, the President-Elect would become an ISCB Officer and Executive Committee member for one year in a “training” role alongside the President before taking over the presidency for the following term.

A review of each of the President-Elect candidate statements is presented below. Full statements, including Curriculum Vitae and a synopsis of current research work, can be viewed at www.iscb.org/candidate_list.php. Beginning August 22 members will be able to cast votes on the ISCB website by logging in on the membership page at www.iscb.org/login.php and selecting President-Elect Election from the menu that presents on the left of the page.

    CANDIDATE: Michael Gribskov, Ph.D., Adjunct Associate Professor, University of California, San Diego

    1. What do you think are the major issues facing ISCB over the next three years?
      • Finances—ISCB is highly dependent on the ISMB meeting for operating funds. This puts the entire society at risk if the ISMB meeting is less successful than expected.
      • Scientific leadership—ISCB needs to play a stronger role in organizing cutting edge meetings, book series, workshops, etc. that are of the highest quality.
      • Improved structure of the society to better interact with members to accomplish scientific and policy goals.
    2. How do you plan to address these issues? How should the society address these issues?
      • The executive committee and board is currently working to diversify funding sources to lower our dependence on ISMB. Solutions include a corporate sponsorship program, an improved contract with OUP (publisher of the society journal, Bioinformatics), and belt tightening at ISCB.
      • It is time to move beyond just ISMB and sponsor a wider suite of meetings that focus on the cutting edge of research. We should also consider an expanded tutorial program to improve the general standard of training. Other possible activities such as a book or text series are under consideration.
      • A major accomplishment this year has been initiation of a process of strategic planning. Changes are being implemented now to improve the structure of ISCB.
    3. What nonscientific expertise do you bring to the Board?
      • Experience running a lab with an annual budget of ~$ 1M
      • Experience on ISCB board of directors; 1 yr experience as ISCB VP; 1 yr experience as ISCB President
      • Service on many advisory boards, government review panels, program committees, and editorial boards.
    4. Apart from your research, what service have you performed for this field or ISCB so far?
      • In the long term, I think the strategic planning process, in which we are now engaged, will have the greatest impact on the success of ISMB.
      • Initiation of a successful corporate sponsorship program will be very important.

    CANDIDATE: David Rocke, Ph.D.
    , Professor, University of California, Davis

    1. What do you think are the major issues facing ISCB over the next three years?
      • The finances of ISCB are not yet on a firm footing. They are too dependent on a single meeting (ISMB) and the present revenues are not sufficient to sustain the needed growth of the society.
      • The organization of ISCB needs some improvements to better meet the goals of the society.
      • We need to continue to improve the ISCB sponsored publications. We need to explore the eventual establishment of additional high-quality publication outlets for our work.
      • We should explore more extensive cooperation with other related professional societies, including joint sponsorship of meetings and possibly journals. These may include societies from both the biological side (such as our fellow FASEB societies) and from the computational/mathematical/statistical side such as ACM, IEEE, SIAM, and ASA.
      • We should assist in developing curricula and publications to further education in computational biology and bioinformatics.
    2. How do you plan to address these issues? How should the society address these issues?
      • I believe that we are beginning as a Board of Directors (BOD) to address many of these issues. I think an important additional route to improvement is to gain information from our sister societies both in biology and in computation/mathematics/statistics. How are they financed? What services do they provide for members? How is the board and staff organized? How are committees appointed? We need to investigate more extensively the opinions of our members on what ISCB can do for them and for the discipline. We should conduct a carefully-planned, scientifically-designed survey of members and potential members (such as attendees at relevant meetings) to help in the already ongoing strategic planning effort.
    3. What nonscientific expertise do you bring to the Board?
      • Although I am now appointed in the College of Engineering and the School of Medicine at UC Davis, I spent 25 years teaching statistics and management science in schools of business. Through teaching, seminars, and some formal course work, I have acquired a working knowledge of the basic business disciplines, including finance, accounting, and management information systems. I now manage a research center with a $3 million budget, and have been Vice-Chair of my main department. I have also been Treasurer of ISCB for a year and a half, and have a good idea of the financial and organizational challenges we face.
    4. Apart from your research, what service have you performed for this field or ISCB so far?
      • I have been Treasurer of ISCB since January 2002. As a member of the Executive Committee of the BOD, I have been involved in all major decisions. Besides the budget, I am currently responsible for negotiating the renewal of the contract with Oxford University Press for the Bioinformatics Journal.