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ISCB News and Announcements

ISMB 2018

ISCB Communities of Special Interest (COSIs)
at Heart of ISMB

The ISMB 2018 conference has been designed to make it easy for researchers sharing common interests to come together and listen to exciting new developments in their field. At the heart of the meeting are seventeen established communities (COSIs – Communities of Special Interest) reflecting most of the major research themes and training in computational biology. ISMB welcomes abstract submissions to all of these communities as well as general bioinformatics. The 2018 featured ISMB COSIs are listed below. To learn more about each community, click on the COSI logo.

3DSIG: Structural Bioinformatics and Computational Biophysics

It is impossible to fully understand
biological systems without understanding the 3D structure of their constituting parts and their interactions. 3Dsig focuses on structural bioinformatics and computational biophysics and has become the largest meeting in this growing field.

CAMDA: Critical Assessment of Massive Data Analysis

The large, complex data sets for the Critical Assessment of Massive Data Analysis (CAMDA) contest include built-in truths for calibration. In an open-ended competition, however, both seasoned researchers and cunning students push the boundaries of our field, with unexpected questions or angles of approach often bringing the most impressive advances.

Evolution and Comparative Genomics

Evolution and comparative genomics are deeply intertwined with computational biology. Computational evolutionary methods, such as phylogenetic inference methods or multiple sequence alignment are widely used, yet remain far from “solved” and are indeed intense areas of research.

The MICROBIOME Community of Special Interest aims at the advancement and evaluation of computational methods in microbiome research, especially metaomic approaches. Based on the Critical Assessment of Metagenome Interpretation (CAMI), the COSI supplies users and developers with exhaustive quantitative data about the performance of methods in relevant scenarios.

RNA: Computational RNA Biology

RNA track covers the full range of research topics in the field of RNA Biology, from computational and high-throughput experimental methods development to their application in different aspects of RNA processing, structure, and function in both normal and disease conditions.

VarI: Variant Interpretation
VarI-COSI track discusses the recent advances in the methodology for the annotation and analysis of genetic variants. The VarI-COSI meeting is dedicated to the recent advances in the analysis and interpretation of the genetic variants.


Bio-Ontologies Community of Special Interest Group (COSI) covers the latest and most innovative research in the application of ontologies and more generally the organisation, presentation and dissemination of knowledge in biomedicine and the life sciences.

CompMS: Computational Mass Spectrometry

COSI CompMS promotes the efficient, high-quality analysis of mass spectrometry data through dissemination and training in existing approaches and coordination of new, innovative approaches.

Function SIG: Gene and Protein Function Annotation

The mission of the Function Community of Special Interest (Function-COSI) is to bring together computational biologists, experimental biologists, biocurators, and others who are dealing with the important problem of gene and gene product function prediction, to share ideas and create collaborations. The Function COSI features the Critical Assessment of Function Annotation, an ongoing community challenge aimed at improving methods for protein function prediction.

MLCSB: Machine Learning in Computational and Systems Biology

Systems Biology and Machine Learning meet in the MLCSB COSI. The community is the place for researchers of these areas to exchange ideas, interact and collaborate.

NetBio: Network Biology
As large scale, systems-level data are becoming increasingly available, modeling and analyzing them as networks is widespread. Network Biology Community serves to introduce novel methods and tools, identify best practices and highlight the latest research in the growing and interdisciplinary field of network biology.

SysMod: Computational Modeling of Biological Systems

The Computational Modeling of Biological Systems (SysMod) aims to create a forum for systems modelers and bioinformaticians to discuss common research questions and methods. The session will focus on the conjoint use of mathematical modeling and bioinformatics to understand biological systems functions and dysfunctions.

ISCB thanks the
many COSI leaders and track chairs who keep these communities vibrant and engaging.

BioVis: Biological Data Visualization

The BioVis track aims to educate, inspire, and engage bioinformatics and biology researchers in state-of-the-art visualization research and visualization researchers in problems in biological data visualization.

Education: Computational Biology Education
Education-COSI focuses on bioinformatics and computational biology education and training across the life sciences with a goal to foster a mutually supportive, collaborative community in which bioscientists can share bioinformatics education and training resources and experiences, and facilitate the development of education programs, courses, curricula, etc., and teaching tools and methods.

HitSeq: High-throughput Sequencing

HiTSeq is a community of special interest devoted to the latest advances in computational techniques for the analysis of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) data. Sessions will be devoted to discussing the latest advances in computational techniques for the analysis of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) datasets and will provide a forum for in-depth presentations of the methods and discussions among the academic and industry scientists working in this field.

iRegSys: Regulatory and Systems Genomics
Regulatory genomics involves the study of the genomic control system, which determines how, when and where to activate the blueprint encoded in the genome. Regulatory genomics is the topic of much research activity worldwide. Since computational methods are important in the study of gene regulation, the RegSys COSI meeting focuses on bioinformatics for regulatory genomics.

TransMed: Translational Medical Informatics

TransMed covers the current developments in the field of clinical and translational medicine informatics. Analysis of large amounts of multi-omics, imaging (medical and molecular), mobile sensor, clinical and health records data is paving the way for precision medicine. In the TransMed track, we will explore the current status of computational biology and advance machine learning approaches within the field of clinical and translational medicine.