{ C O N T E N T S }
Volume 8, Issue 3

President's Letter

Rost To Become
Next ISCB President

Rocky'05 Bioinformatics
Conference Colorado
in December

Update on
PLoS Computational Biology

Putting Students
in the Spotlight

Call for 2006
Awards Nominations

ISMB 2006 in Brazil

New ISCB Membership Site
Now Open

ISMB 2006
Call for Tutorials

RECOMB 2006 Registration Opening This Week

ISMB 2005 SIGs Recap

Israeli Bioinformatics Symposium 2005
A Prelude to ECCB’06

Advertising & Corporate Membership Opportunities

Post Your News, Events
and Degree Programs
on ISCB Website

Upcoming Events
& Conferences

News from the Field

Acknowledgements and Contributors



Copyright © 2005 International Society for Computational Biology.
All rights reserved

ISMB 2006 in Brazil: Knowledge Areas to Cover the Global Interests and Ignite and Broaden the Brazilian and Latin American Ascent of “Our Science”

Organizing a high profile scientific conference is not a novelty for Brazilian scientists. However, the 14th Annual International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB: www.iscb.org/ismb2006), to be held in Fortaleza from August 6 to 10, 2006, has a special significance for both Brazil and the international science scene; The organizing committee of the ISMB 2006 has been working hard during the last four years in order to first create adequate conditions within the ISCB itself before being able to win over the decision that the 14th annual ISCB meeting will not be in Europe or in the US, but at the heart of the tropical beach area of the Brazilian Northeast: the city of Fortaleza in the state of Ceara.

The ISCB should be congratulated for such a decision. Traveling off the beaten path, ISCB is showing its maturity by supporting the needs of its global membership and venturing into a very noble task: supporting interests already ignited for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics within the vibrant Brazilian scientific community, which is very eager to have an ever increasing international insertion.

Brazil has invested very prudentially in research areas such as genomics and bioinformatics. This trend started back in 1996 and as a pinnacle result obtained several complete bacterial genomes and initiated a number of projects aiming to complete some plant and animal genomes (http://watson.fapesp.br/onsa/Genoma3.htm).

"The focus of this project is to develop the ability to sequence the genetic material of a microorganism on a large scale, providing detailed genetic information important to agriculture and related areas."

Published reports in Nature and Science have crowned this effort (Nature - "Citrus Pathogen Sequenced" - vol.406, 13/07/2000), and, as a consequence, a number of related areas have started to flourish – the Brazilian Computational Biologists and Bioinformaticians certainly did not miss such an opportunity.

In 2004, a new society was formed: the Brazilian Association for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (AB3C: http://www.ab3c.org) as an affiliated society of the ISCB. In October, 2005 the first annual meeting of the AB3C, the X-meeting, was held in Caxambu, in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais (http://www.x-meeting.com), with the participation of a very significant number of keynote speakers from outside the country: Rich Roberts, Pavel Pevzner, Stephen Altschul, Michael Ashburner, Eberhart Voit, Jonas Almeida, Peter Roepstoff, Rama Ranganathan, Steven Brenner and Michael Gribskov. The accepted papers are to appear in the open access journal: Genetics and Molecular Research (http://www.funpecrp.com.br/gmr/year2004/vol4-3/index.htm) which is enjoying an increasing impact index. The X-meeting was our prelude into the second annual meeting of the AB3C, which is to be held together with the ISMB 2006.

Thus far the ISMB 2006 has been enjoying very significant support across the globe. We have gathered a “dream-team” to compose our Organizing Committee, with Amos Bairoch, Nobuhiro Go and Barry Honig having joined us as members of our special Advisory Committee. They have given worthy suggestions on the scientific areas we will be covering in our program, ensuring that we attain the most in terms of presenting the largest spectrum of activities but also allowing for some new additions to the program. This platform was then taken to the next level by the program chairs, Phil Bourne and Søren Brunak (past chairs of the ISMB conferences in 2000 and 2001, respectively). The ISCB Conferences Committee, headed by Janet Kelso and Burkhard Rost, added some suggestions before the final list of topic areas for the ISMB 2006 program was approved. Through this process, the following list of areas will make up the ISMB 2006 scientific program:

Topic Area
General Description
(not meant to be inclusive)
Sequence Analysis
Methods and biological advances based on the analysis of primary RNA, DNA and protein sequences.
Evolution and Phylogeny
Phylogenetic methods and biological advances resulting in an increased understanding of the relationship between species.
Comparative Genomics
Methods and biological advances from large scale genome sequencing and comparison.
Methods and biological advances associated with transcription Including all regulatory mechanisms.
Methods and biological advances using for example NMR, mass spectrometry and improved understanding associated with any aspect of the protein complement of a cell
Databases & Data Integration
Descriptions of advances associated with novel database content and improved methodologies for data access and dissemination
Development, novel use and methodologies associated with the formal description of biological data.
Text Mining & Information Extraction Methods and biological advances associated with the analysis of the existing biological literature, including NLP and benchmarking experiments.
Structural Bioinformatics Methods and biological advances associated with the analysis of 3D atomic structure and beyond, including cheminformatics and large assemblies.
Systems Biology Methods and biological advances associated with an improved understanding of complete biological systems, for example, gene regulatory networks, protein-protein interaction networks, metabolic pathways, whole cell simulation and beyond.
Human Health Methods and associated biological advances specifically targeted to the human conditions and human diseases.
Molecular and Supramolecular Dynamics Methods and biological advances in the modeling of dynamic biological systems at any scale.
Special Sessions (by invitation from the Program Committee Chairs)
PLoS: Bridging the Scales Invited session from the best of PLoS journals and others describing the use of computational methods and their outcomes at other than the molecular scale and their potential impact on molecular biology, examples include advances in neurobiology, cell biology, organ physiology and population biology.
Latin American Bioinformatics Developments in Latin America of interest to a wider audience and designed to promote further collaboration in the region.
New Frontiers Panel discussion with invited speakers and audience participation on the vision for the field of computational biology and what we should do now to meet that vision.
Late Breaking Research A set of parallel sessions mapped to topic areas 1-13 which are invited oral presentations taken from the submitted poster abstracts.

The ISMB conference kicks off each year with two days of Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings and a day of tutorial sessions. The SIGs are now confirming plans and organizing their scientific programming, and Shoba Ranganathan is again chairing the Tutorial sessions for 2006. A line-up of 12 half-day tutorials will serve an educational function by providing a focused perspective on the presenter’s field of research. The call for tutorial proposals opened in November and will close on January 9, 2006. Nearly immediately thereafter, on January 13th, the call for papers and posters for presentation during the main conference days will open with a paper submission deadline of March 1st, and a poster submission deadline of May 8th.

It is also a distinct pleasure for us to see that our initiative to organize a Nobel Laureate keynote address for each of the four days of the congress has had such a positive response from invited Nobel Laureates. We have three such talks confirmed and are currently in contact with another Nobel Laureates in order to complete our program.

We are confident that this exciting program in such a wonderful, tropical destination will attract the attention of researchers thought the globe and result in a gathering in keeping with the tradition of excellence of the ISMB conferences. The ISMB 2006 organizing committee is also pleased to work together with the organizers of the event which is to mark 20 years of SwissProt operations. This event will take place just before the ISMB 2006, making Fortaleza a world’s capitol for the Computational Biology and Bioinformatics communities for two full weeks.