{ C O N T E N T S }
Volume 7, Issue 2

President's Letter


Special Interest Groups

ISCB Student Council

2004 Call for Nominations

PSB 2004


Introducing ASBCB

ISCB as Member of FASEB

Events and Opportunities of Interest


ISMB/ECCB 2004 Conference Countdown
By Cath Brooksbank
On behalf of the Local Organizing Committee

Combining two of the world’s largest bioinformatics conferences – Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology and the European Conference on Computational Biology – has proved to be an exciting challenge: we had anticipated that this was going to be a big conference, but must confess to being quite taken aback by the level of enthusiasm that the joint conference has generated. The programme committee and the local organizing committee have been working extremely hard over the past few months to distil all your contributions into an especially fine blend with a uniquely Scottish flavour.

Online registration is open at http://www.iscb.org/ismbeccb2004/reg.html, and there are significant discounts if you register before 28 May 2004. Register here for the main conference, tutorials, special interest groups (SIGs) and the conference banquet. Places for the banquet are limited, so if you want to experience haggis and Scottish dancing first hand, register now.

We had a larger number of submissions than ever before for either ISMB or ECCB, so competition was especially tough this year, and the standard of accepted papers is very high. The programme committee had the unenviable task of choosing the very best papers from over 490 submissions. They have selected 67 papers – 50 long and 17 short, spanning genomics, evolution and phylogeny, sequence analysis, transcriptomics, proteomics, structural biology, pathways, networks and systems, biomedical applications, databases, ontologies and text mining. The programme committee opted for an acceptance rate of approximately 14% (the same as for ISMB 2003) and, because we had a larger number of submissions than ever before, there will be parallel sessions. The full programme will be available shortly at http://www.iscb.org/ismbeccb2004/detailed.html.

As well as the six keynote speakers highlighted elsewhere in this newsletter, we’re delighted to announce that the ISCB Overton Prize will be awarded to Uri Alon (Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel) and the ISCB Senior Scientist Accomplishment Award will go to David Lipman (National Center for Biotechnology Information, Bethesda, MD, USA). Information on our keynote speakers is also available at http://www.iscb.org/ismbeccb2004/keynotes.html. The programme will be organized so that no other talks will be concurrent with any of the keynote lectures.

We are delighted to have received over 950 poster abstracts. Space in the exhibition hall is tight but we’re going to do our very best to accommodate all the posters.

The purpose of software demos is to allow organizations and individuals to demonstrate software and/or hardware that is relevant to the molecular biology community. If you’d like to give your new bioinformatics resource an airing, why not sign up to give a demo? Take a look at the schedule at http://www.iscb.org/ismbeccb2004/demoschedule.html to check availability, and then sign up at http://www.iscb.org/ismbeccb2004/demos_all.html .

The first day of ISMB/ECCB 2004, Saturday 31 July, provides an opportunity for you get a sound grounding in an area of bioinformatics that might be new to you, via a selection of tutorials. We were inundated with proposals for tutorials this year and have selected 13 out of the 65 proposals submitted; you can learn more about these at www.iscb.org/ismbeccb2004/tutorials.html and sign up for one or two tutorials when you register for the conference.

ISMB/ECCB 2004 will be preceded by ten Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings. As well as the old ISMB favourites such as BOSC, BioPathways, Bio-Ontologies, SIGSIM, and WEB; the second Bioinformatics and Statistical Physics will be held as a SIG (the first was a satellite conference of the first ECCB conference in Saarbrücken, Germany, in 2002) and there are some completely new SIGs, including: Bioinformatics of Disease; Genome Annotation; and 3D:Structural Bioinformatics. Learn more about the SIGs at www.iscb.org/ismbeccb2004/sigs.html and register for them when you register for the main conference.

The organizers have put together an excellent range of sponsorship and exhibition opportunities: whether you’re a large multinational or just starting up we have a package that will allow you to make your presence felt at the world’s biggest bioinformatics event of 2004. The exhibition hall is filling up fast, so sign up now at http://www.iscb.org/ismbeccb2004/signup2.php to avoid disappointment. Register before 23 May to guarantee inclusion in the conference programme book.

Glasgow is an extremely well-connected city – by air, rail and road. Use the information at http://www.iscb.org/ismbeccb2004/trans.html to plan your journey. If you think you may need a visa to visit the UK, you can check at http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk .

The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) is close to the city centre and we have negotiated special conference rates at a range of different hostels and hotels, ranging from basic to splendiferous. Information on housing is now available at http://www.iscb.org/ismbeccb2004/housing.html and you can book online.

While you’re in Scotland, why not make the most of its wonderful scenery, historic cities and delicious whisky? Our Professional Conference Organizer, Concorde Services, is offering a range of tours. More information is available at http://www.iscb.org/ismbeccb2004/local_tours.html .