{ 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


Ten Special Interest Group Conferences to Lead Into ISMB/ECCB 2004

ISMB/ECCB 2004 is pleased to offer ten Special Interest Group (SIG) pre-conference meetings July 29 and July 30 at the Scottish Convention Center in Glasgow, Scotland . These one and two-day meetings are organized with distinct programming in the area of computational biology.

A number of the SIGs are currently soliciting presentations through a call for papers. Please take a moment to review the SIG information below and for more detailed information visit the specific websites.

One-day SIG meetings are:
Bioinformatics and Disease
Genome Annotation

Two-day SIG meetings are:
Bioinformatics and Statistical Physics
Bioinformatics Open Source Conference (BOSC)
3Dsig: Structural Bioinformatics

Brief descriptions of each SIG are outlined below. To register for any SIG meeting and the ISMB/ECCB conference visit: http://www.iscb.org/ismbeccb2004/reg.html . Participation in SIG meetings is not dependent on attendance at ISMB/ECCB, so if you will not be able to attend the main conference, but are able to attend one or more SIGs, be sure to register now before space fills up.

BioLink (1 day)
Date: Thursday, July 29
URL: http://www.pdg.cnb.uam.es/BioLink/
Contact: Lynette Hirschman at lynette@mitre.org

The BioLINK text mining SIG focuses on providing improved access to the biological literature and tools to help database curators with the maintenance of current and consistent biological databases. The 2004 SIG will focus on recent advances in this area and will include a report of the results from Critical Assessment of Information Extraction: BioCreAtIvE 2003. As in the past, the SIG will include a mix of invited and contributed papers and reports from related SIGs (BioOntologies, BioPathways) and relevant projects (e.g., BioMINT).

Bioinformatics and Disease (1 day)
Date: Friday, July 30
URL: http://www.bioinformatics.ac.uk
Contact: Hugh Morgan at hmorgan2@hgmp.mrc.ac.uk

Bioinformatics has become a fundamental tool for understanding the molecular basis of disease. It is now commonplace for candidate drug targets to be both suggested and validated through genomic research. Expression profiles derived through microarray analysis routinely give insight into disease aetiology. The study of polymorphisms provides information on the basis of inherited disease and susceptibility to common disease. These are but a few examples.

The CCP11 SIG on Bioinformatics and Disease will present keynote lectures from protagonists in the field. Primarily, however, it is an opportunity for young-blood scientists to present 20 minute talks on their bioinformatic success stories in this area. Abstracts of proposed talks should be submitted to the Programme Committee (see http://www.bioinformatics.ac.uk for details) who will then invite successful researchers to speak at the event.

Bio-ontologies (1 day)
Date: Friday, July 30
URL: http://bio-ontologies.man.ac.uk/
Contact: bio-ontologies@lists.man.ac.uk

The Annual Bio-Ontologies meeting has now been running for six consecutive years, as a SIG at ISMB. It covers all aspects of the use of ontologies to biological problems, including new applications of ontologies, and updates on previously published work.
The meeting consists of a series of talks, with no formal peer review, or publication. The meeting is generally attended by around 100 delegates, and tends to be lively. As such its a good opportunity to gain early feedback on new work.

The meeting is loosely themed; this years theme is "Ontologies and Images". We are now well used to annotating gene products and we've seen ontologies used in text analysis, but images are pervasive in bioinformatics -- how do we use ontologies to help us manage bio-images? Talks on this topic are especially encouraged, although not limited to this topic.
The conference organisers are Robert Stevens, and Phillip Lord, from the University of Manchester, and Robin MacEntire and Jim Butler from GSK.

Genome Annotation (1 day)
Date: Friday, July 30
URL: http://www.pdg.cnb.uam.es/PRE-SIG/
Contact: Alfonso Valencia at valencia@cnb.uam.es

This one-day meeting will review the main activities in genome annotation, definition of biological function, use of database annotations, and genome annotation based genomic/proteomic information. Key scientists will present their views on the needs and possibilities in each one of these areas. The goal of the workshop is to create an open forum for the discussion of the current problems, to foster the analysis of key scientific issues, and to promote the collaboration among scientists interested in this key area of Molecular Biology. The EC funded BioSapiens network dedicated to the development of integrated strategies for the annotation of genomes will coordinate this first activity.

WEB04 (1 day)
Date: Friday, July 30
URL: http://surya.bic.nus.edu.sg/web04
Contact: Shoba Ranganathan at shoba@els.mq.edu.au

“Bioinformaticians are hard to find!” is a complaint that is often uttered. We, the organizers of WEB04, firmly believe that bioinformaticians are not born but made. Education and training in bioinformatics is crucial to the survival of this burgeoning field. WEB04 focuses its attention on current issues facing bioinformatics education: curricula, course delivery: tools and infrastructure, training and pedagogy. Industry requirements are also essential to the development of successful educational programs. WEB04 is the fourth meeting, following on from the successful WEB meetings held earlier at Copenhagen, Edmonton and Brisbane. If you are interested in bioinformatics education, WEB is the one-day SIG meeting for you. If you have something to say, we would love to hear from you. WEB04 features an invited plenary speaker, short talks as well as posters. Oral and poster abstracts are due on May 7, 2004.

Bioinformatics and Statistical Physics (2 days)
Dates: Thursday, July 29 through Friday, July 30
URL: http://www.lifl.fr/~iri-bn/pages/SIG/
Contact: Dr. Ralf Blossey at ralf.blossey@iemn.univ-lille1.fr

This SIG is a follow-up to the ECCB2002 satellite workshop with the same title, held in Saarbrücken (Germany, http://www.zbi.uni saarland.de/ECCB2002/satellite/index.html). We invite contributions to bioinformatics from (statistical) physics-based methods. Topics include: DNA, RNA, gene prediction, microarrays, protein interactions, biological networks (metabolic, signal transduction, gene regulation), population dynamics, evolution. In particular, the 2004 edition has a special topical focus on the use of nanotechnology for the generation of novel data in bioinformatics. We thus especially encourage contributors to suggest corresponding topics of relevance for genomics, proteomics and cellomics. Contributors should send their abstracts to: ralf.blossey@iemn.univ-lille1.fr.

BioPathways (2 days)
Dates: Thursday, July 29 through Friday, July 30
URL: http://www.biopathways.org/
Contacts: Aviv Regev at aregev@cgr.harvard.edu and Vincent Schachter at vs@genoscope.cns.fr

The 6th BioPathways meeting will be organized by the BioPathways Consortium (www.biopathways.org), an open forum aimed at fostering computational approaches to the modeling, reconstruction, analysis and simulation of biological networks.

As in previous years, the meeting will include plenary sessions, presenting invited talks on various aspects of computational pathway biology such as systems scale analysis of molecular networks, reconstruction of pathways from heterogenous types of high throughout data, the evolution of molecular pathways, and the representation and visualization of pathway data. Each plenary session will include several long invited presentations (45'), followed by a panel discussion on the theme. This year will also include a tools session this, consisting of short presentations of relevant tools. Particular emphasis will be made on works along the themes of the plenary sessions, as well as research in pathway visualization and reconstruction, all of which are subjects followed by the consortium's workgroups.

Bioinformatics Open Source Conference (BOSC) (2 days)
Dates: Thursday, July 29 through Friday, July 30
URL: http://open-bio.org/bosc2004/
Contact: Darin London at dlondon@ebi.ac.uk or send mail to bosc@open-bio.org

The 5th annual Bioinformatics Open Source Conference (BOSC'2004) is organized by the not-for-profit Open Bioinformatics Foundation (http://open-bio.org). The meeting will take place July 29-30, 2004 in Glasgow, Scotland and is one of several Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings occurring in conjunction with the 12th International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology. The focus of the meeting will be on current and emerging open source informatics tools and toolkits. BOSC provides a forum for developers, project groups, users and interested parties to meet personally, exchange ideas and collaborate together. Keynote speeches from well-known Open Source Bioinformatics leaders are being planned.

SIGSIM (2 days)
Dates: Thursday, July 29 through Friday, July 30
URL: http://biosim.genebee.msu.su/sigsim_en.php
Contact: Prof Igor Goryanin at Igor.Goryanin@gsk.com

One of challenges in the modern biology is that a huge amount of biological data should be integrated and analyzed to plan new series of wetlab or clinical experiments. The range, quality, and level of biological complexity are very different and ambiguous. The new knowledge covers different biological entities and processes, from genes, molecular mechanisms of DNA repair transcription factors to toxicogenomics and personalized medicines. Ultimately, all information fluxes should be combined, and analyzed together to give a real understanding of biological process and to find the best therapeutical intervention. Pathways reconstruction and mathematical modeling of cellular processes is one of possible ways to tackle this complex problem.

3Dsig: Structural Bioinformatics (2 days with Dinner)
Dates: Thursday, July 29 through Friday, July 30
URL: http://3dsig.weizmann.ac.il/
Contacts: Ilan Samish at 3Dsig@weizmann.ac.il

We are happy to announce the first 2-day special interest group meeting on Structural Bioinformatics. Previous ISMB conferences have had many attendees interested in the field, but lacked a session devoted to it. The time is ripe to initiate a tradition of a focused meeting on aspects associated with 3D bioinformatics. These include topics such as: structural databases, structure representation, secondary structure and domain assignment, 3D data-mining, 3D programming modules, structure-based function prediction, membrane protein assembly, role of geometry and of energetics in protein structure and function, docking and protein-protein/ligand interaction prediction, structure prediction, structural genomics. A combination of plenary lectures, short presentations and structured panels/discussions should provide a good anchor for a program in which scientists in the field will be able to interact. Conference organizers are Ilan Samish, Marvin Edelman and John Moult.