ISCB Officer Elections To Begin Soon

Vice President Candidates
Secretary Candidates
Treasurer Candidates

In February of this year Dietlind Gerloff, ISCB Nominations Committee Chair, put out a call for nominations to fill Board of Directors and Officer positions to take office in January, 2005. At the time of this writing the current board is electing the new board members, with an announcement to be made at the Open ISCB Business Meeting during ISMB/ECCB in Glasgow, Scotland on August 1.

The election of Officers is determined by a vote of the membership of the Society per the following schedule:

August 23

Final Officer candidates announced to membership with invitation to address questions to candidates

August 23- September 22
Q&A period between Officer candidates and members

September 22
Send Election materials to membership; in order to vote in the current election cycle, a member must have joined ISCB by this date.

September 22 - October 6:
Members cast votes on web site

October 11:
Final results announced to membership

October - January:
Training Period for new Officers and Directors

January 21, 2005
New Officers take office

The following members have been certified eligible to run, and have completed the candidate statement with the information below. Please review their statements as you consider your upcoming opportunity to vote. Then be sure to respond to the elections notice on September 22 by casting your vote online.

Vice President Candidates

Janice I Glasgow
Professor and Research Chair
School of Computing
Queen's University

Topics of Research:
My research involves the application of artificial intelligence techniques to the problem of determining protein structure. Approaches using crystallographic data and contact maps are currently being considered.

Major Issues Facing ISCB:
The major issue is the rapid growth of the field and how to maintain a cohesive society that can work cooperatively with smaller national groups.

Plans to Address Issues:
I believe one way to address the issue is to consider ways in which the societies major conferences can work together and with more local conferences. It may be that ISMB, for example, not occur every year but bi-yearly so the focus for the other years can be more local/national.

Non-Scientific Expertise:
• Member of editorial boards for several journals
• Previous Head of Department
• Previous President Canadian Society for Computational Studies of Intelligence
• Previous Vice-Chair International Federation for Information Processing (AI)
• Founder of Undergraduate Program in Biomedical Computing at Queen's University

Service to Field or ISCB:
• Member Board of Directors 1997 - 2000
• Member Conference Committee 2000 - present
• Program Chair ISMB 1998 Program Co-Chair ISMB 2002
• Member Program Committee ISMB 2001

Committees of Interest:
• Conferences (Have already served on this committee for several years.)

Burkhard Rost
Associate Professor
Columbia University, Biochemistry

Topics of Research:
We try to predict aspects of protein structure and function from the evolutionary information contained in families of protein sequences. The main current projects are to (1) predict functional classes for orphans, (2) the sub-cellular localization from sequence, and (3) protein-protein, and protein-substrate interactions from sequence and predicted structure. We also continue to work on structure prediction.

Major Issues Facing ISCB:
• Consolidation of society (financial/definition of what we want to gain from it/addition of more young members)
• Strengthen connections to experimental biologists, manage reach-out/close collaboration to related societies (Systems Biology)
• Improve scientific visibility.

Plans to Address Issues:
• Consolidation: Improve meetings of the society, in particular of ISMB - strengthen regional meetings, avoid break-off of groups (EECB) where possible - bring new members in by making it more appealing for them to join (e.g. let them vote what will be presented at ISMB) - give BOD and related people more time to discuss principle problems/issues/solutions
• Connections to related fields: Organize common meetings with other biologists and related disciplines, possibly find common publication forum
• Scientific visibility: Stronger support for Outreach committee - find new media (to coordinate with publication/education committee)

Non-Scientific Expertise:
SAB of LION Biosciences; associated with the early stages of beginning LION Biosciences; association with/work for Union of Concerned Scientists (in the 80s)

Service to Field or ISCB:
• ISMB Program Committee since 1995
• ISMB co-organizer 2002
• ISMB Area Chair since 2002
• ISCB BOD since 2002
• ISCB committee member (conferences/nominations/paper reviews-chair)

Committees of Interest:
Publications, Conferences, Education, Nominations

Barbara Bryant
Associate Director
Millennium Pharmaceuticals

Topics of Research:
I analyze microarray data from clinical samples to find patterns of gene expression predictive of response to a drug therapy.

Major Issues Facing ISCB:
• ISCB members and board have shown interest in having a voice in public policy. ISCB joined the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) in order to participate in their well-established and effective public affairs function. ISCB needs to connect its members more directly to the FASEB public affairs activities.
• ISCB also needs to identify ways to have such a voice in other countries.
• ISCB had a tough year financially in 2003. We need to be on good financial footing going forward.
• ISCB needs to have more of its members actively participating in its business. While ISCB has a very small staff, most of the work must be done by volunteers.
• ISCB needs to work more successfully with other groups and organizations.
• ISCB needs to continue to increase the quality of its conferences and journal.

Plans to Address Issues:
• ISCB needs to set up more electronic and face-to-face mechanisms to communicate with its members on public affairs issues.
• ISCB needs to identify and tackle issues of interest to the membership.
• ISCB needs to engage members from many countries in public affairs, and identify organizations with whom we could partner in affecting science policy.
• ISCB needs to diversify its sources of income, not relying so heavily on ISMB alone. The board of directors should be educated about and feel accountable for the financial health of the Society.
• ISCB needs to nurture its new Student Council, and find other ways to bring members onto committees and task forces. The governance structure of ISCB needs to be revisited in order to set up clear paths for development of individuals and participation by members.
• ISCB needs to aggressively identify potential partner and member organizations, and work with them to identify and carry out win-win relationships.
• ISCB needs to consider and adopt out-of-the-box ideas for change in both conferences and publications. We need to aggressively recruit biologists into our meetings and journal.

Non-Scientific Expertise:
• I have training and experience in facilitation and mediation.
• I served on the board of directors, including stints as Vice-President and President, of the non-profit, collaborative Cambridgeport Children’s Center.
• I have ten years of management experience in industry.
• My strengths are listening, capturing people’s concerns and ideas, and framing the issues.

Service to Field or ISCB:
• I have served on the board of ISCB for several years, including two and one half years as Secretary, on the Executive Committee.
• I was appointed the ISCB representative to FASEB’s board of directors. At FASEB, I sit on the Science Policy Committee, and I’ve been asked to chair the Corporate Relations committee, where we’ve taken on the tasks of identifying areas of joint interest between FASEB and industry, and drafting guidelines for FASEB’s interactions with industry.
• I’ve participated in strategic planning exercises for both ISCB and FASEB.
• I have acted as reviewer in the field of computational biology for NIH, conferences, journals, and the development of master’s degree programs.
• And, last but not least, I’ve organized the orienteering ice-breaker at the last three ISMB conferences.

Committees of Interest:
Publications, Conferences, Public Affairs & Policies, Affiliates & SIGs, Governance, Executive Committee (as Secretary since 2001)

Secretary Candidate (uncontested)

Michal Linial
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Dept of Biological Chemistry
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Topics of Research:
• Cell biological aspects of neuronal presynaptic functions and control of neurotransmitter release.
• Molecular and Genomics methodologies in the study of developing neurons and secretory model systems.
• Bioinformatics – Large-scale studies of biological sequences and their global organization.
• Genomics and Proteomics

Major Issues Facing ISCB:

• Bridging the gap between 'classical biology' and 'computational oriented research’ and ‘technological advances’ by increasing the dialog.
• Helping in introducing ‘neglected topics’ to the field of computational biology (i.e., computational neuroscience)
• Strong support for knowledge exchange and expertise sharing.

Plans to Address Issues:
• Supporting summer school, tutorials and focused advanced discussion groups.
• Merging with other regional major activities.
• Students exchange programs.
• Adding high quality reviews to publications in the field.

Non-Scientific Expertise:
• A 'problem solver'
• Large experience in organizing meeting at different level.
• Leading educational programs.

Service to Field or ISCB:
• ISCB Board of Directors -from January 2004
• Steering committee in ESF2002, ECCB2003
• Program committee in RECOMB, ISMB in recent years

Committees of Interest:

Conferences, Education

Treasurer Candidate (uncontested)

David M Rocke
Institute for Data Analysis and Visualization
University of California, Davis

Topics of Research:
The main focus of my research is the development of methods for the design and analysis of experiments using high-throughput assay data such as gene expression arrays, proteomics by mass spec, and metabolomics by NMR spectroscopy.

Major Issues Facing ISCB:
• The finances of ISCB are not yet on a firm footing. They are too dependent on a single meeting (ISMB) and the present revenues are not sufficient to sustain the needed growth of the society.
• The organization of ISCB needs some improvements to better meet the goals of the society.
• We need to continue to improve the ISCB sponsored publications. We need to explore the eventual establishment of additional high-quality publication outlets for our work.
• We should explore more extensive cooperation with other related professional societies, including joint sponsorship of meetings and possibly journals. These may include societies from both the biological side (such as our fellow FASEB societies) and from the computational/mathematical/statistical side such as ACM, IEEE, SIAM, and ASA.
• We should assist in developing curricula and publications to further education in computational biology and bioinformatics.

Plans to Address Issues:
I believe that we are beginning as a BOD to address many of these issues. I think an important additional route to improvement is to gain information from our sister societies both in biology and in computation/mathematics/statistics. How are they financed? What services do they provide for members? How is the board and staff organized? How are committees appointed? We need to investigate more extensively the opinions of our members on what ISCB can do for them and for the discipline. We should conduct a carefully-planned, scientifically-designed survey of members and potential members (such as attendees at relevant meetings) to help in the already ongoing strategic planning effort.

Non-Scientific Expertise:
Although I am now appointed in the School of Medicine and the College of Engineering at UC Davis, I spent 25 years teaching statistics and management science in schools of business. Through teaching, seminars, and some formal course work, I have acquired a working knowledge of the basic business disciplines, including finance, accounting, and management information systems. I now manage a research center with a $5 million budget, and have been Vice-Chair of my main department. I have also been Treasurer of ISCB for two and a half years, and have a good idea of the financial and organizational challenges we face.

Service to Field or ISCB:

• I have been Treasurer of ISCB since January 2002.
• As a member of the Executive Committee of the BOD, I have been involved in all major decisions.
• I am chair of the Finance Committee of the ISCB, and am helping with the financial aspects of ISMB.

Committees of Interest:
Publications, Conferences, Finance, Public Affairs & Policies