ISCB awarded ten travel fellowships to student/post doc members to attend ECCB’03. Pictured are (clockwise from far left): Majid Masso (USA), Benjamin Raphael (USA), Michael Gribskov (ISCB President), Orla O'Sullivan (Ireland), Stacia Wyman (USA), Sinead Leahy (Ireland), Marie Ellen Fahey (Ireland), Lesley Collins (New Zealand), Yuzhen Ye (USA) (Not pictured: Ali Al-Shahib (UK) and Elsa Petit (USA))

ECCB 2003 - An Enormous Success
by Bernard Prum
On behalf of the ECCB 2003 Organizing Committee

The second annual European Conference on Computational Biology (ECCB) was held September 27-30, 2003, in the Centre de Conferences de la Villette, Paris, France, in conjunction with the French National Conference on Bioinformatics, “Journees Ouvertes en Biologie, Informatique et Mathematiques,” (JOBIM 2003). The Scientific Committee Chair Persons were Hans-Peter Lenhof of Saarbrucken, Germany, and Marie-France Sagot of Lyon, France.

Attendance exceeded expectations, with almost 900 delegates in all. Roughly speaking, half of them were French colleagues who would typically attend JOBIM; but 13 % arrived from other continents. Eight invited talks and 42 shorter presentations were given and 287 posters displayed—21 of them being presented in 5 minute flash presentations. A choice of papers was published in a special issue of Bioinformatics, while the Proceedings gathers summaries of other papers and posters.

With ECCB 2003, the European Computational Biology Community continues with a revolving conference scheme that started in 2002, when ECCB was held for the first time in Saarbrücken, Germany, in conjunction with the German Conference on Bioinformatics (GCB). Within this scheme, a different European country or region will host ECCB every year. ECCB 2004 will team up with “Genes, Proteins and Computers VIII” in the UK, and be held as a joint conference with the Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB), in Glasgow, Scotland, between July 31 and August 4 (see related story in this newsletter).

ECCB 2003 was supported by “Informatique, Mathematique et Physique pour la Genomique” (IMPG), which is a part of the French Bioinformatics Research Program (Cnrs, Inra, Inria, Inserm and French Ministry of Education, Research and Technology), and by the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB). Some French institutions (Cnrs, Inra, Inria, Inserm, Cnrg, genopole, infobiogen) and a few private companies gave additional support to ECCB.

The local organization of ECCB 2003 was directed by Catherine Christophe from the Inra Jouy-en-Josas and Bernard Prum from the genopole in Evry. Invaluable contributions were made by the members of the local organizing committee, first of them Jocelyne Picart and Daniele Herzog.

More information, including posters abstracts, together with the selected short papers, appears on the website of the conference at