{ 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


Introducing …
African Society for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (ASBCB)

By Patrick O Erah
President, ASBCB

Above is a group photo of the founder members of the society at the 2004 WHO TDR Bioinformatics training course.

Previously the African Bioinformatics Network was formed at a meeting in South Africa in 2002. Major achievements of ABioNET included the ABioNET website and affiliation with the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB). While the Network made some progress in advancing the application of bioinformatics and computational biology in many parts of Africa (as indicated by the significant number of applications for, amongst others, the WHO/TDR Course), some major constraints including lack of a functional organizational structure significantly affected the group’s activities.

In order to facilitate the actualisation of the vision, mission and objectives of ABioNET, it was decided at a meeting in South Africa in February 2004 that ABioNET should transform to a Society now known as African Society for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (ASBCB) (www.asbcb.org) and the following were elected as members of the Governing Council:

President – Dr Patrick O Erah, PhD
Vice President – Jaco de Ridder
Honorary Secretary – Daniel Masiga, PhD
Honorary Treasurer – Nicky Mulder, PhD

The merits of this decision include enhanced support for individuals, professionalism, increased credibility amongst other professionals, improved opportunities for networking, enhanced access to bioinformatics and computational biology information and education, and greater opportunities for raising funds through registration fees, grants and other sources.

All those who intend to retain their previous ABioNet membership or become new members of ASBCB should visit the new website to fill the online membership application form (http://www.asbcb.org/Membership.html ). For the avoidance of doubt, all members of ABioNET as at February 2004 (including all participants of the WHO/TDR training courses in SANBI from 2002 to February 2004) should fill the online registration form. Membership fee for 2004 has been waved for all members.

Please find time to read through the decisions taken at the meeting in February 2004, the constitution of ASBCB and the plan to move the Society forward (http://www.asbcb.org/const.html , http://www.asbcb.org/vision.html , http://www.asbcb.org/mission.html , and http://www.asbcb.org/objectives.html ). Opinions on the constitution and activities planned will be welcome by Daniel Masiga at dmasiga@icipe.org .