the High Road to ISMB/ECCB 2004
When David Gilbert
got up on stage at ISMB 2003 to give the audience a primer on next
years conference, few people, even among the organizers of
next years conference, were expecting him to remove his shirt.
He did so to ensure that no one would be in any doubt as to the
geographical location of ISMB/ECCB 2004Glasgow, Scotlandby
revealing a T-shirt emblazoned with a map of Scotland. If you missed
this spectacle, Davids presentation (without the striptease
act) can be downloaded from the conference website at www.iscb.org/ismbeccb2004.
The UK is the
ideal venue for ISMB/ECCB 2004: it has one of the largest and strongest
bioinformatics communities in the world and it is home to the European
Bioinformatics Institute, Europe's premier provider of
bioinformatics resources. It also has a strong tradition in bioinformatics
teaching, offering several masters and BSc courses. Scotland plays
an active role in the UKs bioinformatics scene: it is home
to a number of world-class
organizations that are pushing the frontiers of biotechnology and
bioinformatics, from eScience (the UKs National eScience Centre
is based in Glasgow and Edinburgh) to the application of bioinformatics
to agriculture and medicine (think Dolly the sheep and genome mapping
projects for an entire
farmyard). Bioinformatics has been identified as an area of key
strategic interest in Scotland, and Scottish Enterprise, Scotland's
economic development agency, is promoting the development of biotechnology
bioinformatics in Scotland.
Apart from the
state-of-the art Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, an unparalleled
range of places to stay and its excellent international air links,
Glasgow is undoubtedly one of Europe's most vibrant Cultural Capitals.
It has some of the best arts venues, shopping,
wining and dining in the UK, not to mention stunning views of the
surrounding countryside. Around the city there are numerous reminders
of Glasgow's impressive architectural heritage. The work of Charles
Rennie Mackintosh, art deco architect and designer of world renown,
can be seen throughout the city; this provided the inspiration for
our conference logo.
will not be the only unique thing about next years conference.
As well as being the first time that ISMB is held jointly with ECCB,
the European Conference on Computational Biology, we will be making
a concerted effort to put the bio back into
bioinformatics. Hot topics at ISMB/ECCB 2004 are likely to include
genomics, evolution and phylogeny, transcriptomics, proteomics,
structural biology, pathways, networks and systems, and applications
of bioinformatics. The message from the programme committee is this:
get collaborating with your friends in the wet lab and come to Glasgow
to showcase the fruits of your labours.
As well as providing
an exciting and innovative programme, we want to ensure that you
get a proper Glaswegian welcome. Whisky tasting and Scottish dancing
are likely to be part of the festivities; haggis and deep fried
Mars bars are strictly optional. Look out for the call for papers
in September or, better still, sign up to receive conference updates
and news at www.iscb.org/ismbeccb2004/prospects.php.