{ C O N T E N T S }
Volume 9, Issue 2

President's Letter

Welcome to ISMB 2006!

Student Council Events

Mathieu Blanchette
Overton Prize

Michael Waterman
Senior Scientist
Accomplishment Award

One Year of
PLoS Computational Biology

PLoS CB Education Column
- Call for Contributions

BioLINK and BioCreAtIvE:
Linking Text to Biological Resources

ISCB Officer and Student
Council Leadership Elections

MentorNet News

Post your Events & News

Announcing ISMB/ECCB 2007

Premier 2006 Meetings

Student Travel Fellowships

Newsletter Cover Image Competition

News from the Field

Key Dates for Key Meetings

Bioinformatics Books
on ISCB Website

Upcoming Conferences
& Events




Copyright © 2006 International Society for Computational Biology.
All rights reserved.

Welcome to ISCB 2006!

To orchestrate a conference of this magnitude is no small feat. Feat, as defined by Dictionary.com, is "An act of skill, endurance, imagination, or strength; an achievement." Everyone involved in ISMB 2006, from the site selection committee all the way through to the local organizing committee, employed each of those qualities along the way, and all can be enormously proud of their significant achievements.

But what exactly are those so-called achievements?

Well, the road to Brazil began with a bid to host the conference over three years ago, and at long last the full ISMB delegation arrived (albeit a smaller delegation than ISMBs of the recent past). This journey was significant for several reasons: it is only the second time ISMB has been held outside North America and Europe in the 14 year history of the conference; it is ISCB's first conference event in South America; it is a testament to Brazilian scientists that their work is now showcased on the world stage by hosting this important conference; and it is an exceptional experience for all delegates to travel off the beaten path to learn more than just science by also gaining an understanding of different cultures, cuisines, languages, and the colorful hospitality of local hosts. Surely Brazil does not disappoint in any of these opportunities!

Scientific achievements, as noted by the program chairs in the proceedings editorial, include another first, such that the ISMB 2006 papers are open access and were made freely available to the worldwide community ahead of the conference and subsequently through an online-only version of the journal Bioinformatics, volume 22, issue 14. Of 404 submitted papers addressing 13 topic areas, a total of 67 were selected for oral presentation, resulting in a 16.6% acceptance rate. Separately a review of submitted abstracts drew 212 submissions resulting in 23 full-length talks in the first-ever PLoS Track of Oral Presentations accommodating of more biologically focused research talks without the requirement of publication in the
conference proceedings. The poster session drew more than 600 submissions, including those for the late-breaking posters of particularly recent research results and works in progress. And over 30 technical demonstrations, 12 tutorial sessions, four special interest group meetings and one satellite meeting rounded out the
scientific agenda for a full week of learning and exchange on the beautiful northeastern coast of Brazil. To top it all off, the 20th anniversary of SwissProt, the manually curated section of the UniProt Knowlegdebase, descended upon Fortaleza in the week preceding ISMB 2006, enabling a full 12 days of science for those fortunate enough to attend both events.

At the time of this writing, ISMB 2006 is just days away. By the time you read this, however, ISMB may be a thing of the past. Wherever you may be, mark your calendar now for ISMB/ECCB 2007, a joint conference in Vienna, Austria, July 21-25, 2007. Several committees and endless hours of volunteer effort over the months ahead will coalesce into more acts of skill, endurance, imagination, and strength to once again achieve a bioinformatics conference not to be missed. Another feat ahead, if we do say so ourselves, and we hope to see you there.