Reports on InCoB 2003 in Penang, Malaysia
by Sheila Nathan, Rahmah Mohamed and Tan Tin Wee
300 participants from five continents gathered at this year's International
Conference on BioinformaticsInCoB2003 (September 8-10, 2003),
the annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Bioinformatics Network (APBioNet)
held at the Shangri-la Rasa Sayang Resort in Penang, Malaysia.
Besides the remarkable turnout, which underscores the importance
countries in the south-east Asian region are currently attaching
to the growth and development of Bioinformatics, the meeting also
attracted bioinformatics keynote speakers such as Ken Nishikawa
(Japan), Allen Rodrigo (New Zealand), Jotun Hein (UK), Bai-lin Hao
(China), Klaus Prank (Germany), Jingchu Luo (China) and key bioinformatics
leaders from the region, including Shoba Ranganathan who serves
as Vice President of APBioNet and an ISCB Board member. In addition,
20 foreign and local speakers were invited to present their latest
research findings on various topics such as genome information analysis,
the study of eukaryotic genomes, applications of nanotechnology,
bioinformatics grid and molecular phylogenetics and evolution.
of the conference included an industry showcase of the latest technologies
in high-end computing and data analysis drawing industry players
such as Genvea, Bruker, Open Source Systems, Apple, IBM, HP and
Sun Microsystems, as well as a Biotechnology Leaders Meeting on
Bioinformatics to develop a Bioinformatics Masterplan for the ASEAN
region. Sun Microsystems also released a beta version of their Sun
BioBox software suite.
Rahmah Mohamed of UKM, Co-Chair of the Organizing Committee, said
"As a result of hosting this prestigious event, local researchers
in the fields of biotechnology, mathematics, computer science and
information technology and engineering were exposed to the latest
findings, ideas and thinking on bioinformatics related research.
The conference successfully developed a sustainable relationship
between international research institutions and companies with local
researchers for exploitation of ideas, expertise and collaborative
research in bioinformatics related field. It has provided a platform
to seed and cultivate formal government-to-government level collaboration
in the advancement of bioinformatics infrastructure and human resource
development in our country."
InCoB conference series first started in Bangkok, Thailand in 2002,
and it was announced that the 3rd InCoB will be hosted from September
5-8, 2004 at the Aotea Centre, Auckland, New Zealand by the Allan
Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution (www.incob.org/).