Leading Professional Society for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
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ISCB News and Announcements

 ISCBacademy Webinar Series
Mark your calendars for Tomorrow, October 8, 2020!
Please use the link below to find more information or to register for:

October 8, 2020 at 1:00PM EDT, Indigenous Voices in Computational Biology: An Introduction to Ethical Genomic Research with Indigenous People by Rene Begay, hosted by ISCB

Indigenous communities through the world have distinct languages, culture, political structures, and ways of knowing. For too long, these communities have been exploited for material goods, land, and more recent for biospecimens. It is important to note that Indigenous people are not anti-science but rather support science that includes their intrinsic perspectives and expertise. Indigenous scientists are emerging across the world bridging science, policy, technology, and Indigenous ways of knowing to determine how their communities can benefit from genomic and clinical health research. The Indigenous Voices in Computational Biology series from the ISCB Academy will highlight the work conducted by Indigenous researchers in the United States, New Zealand, and other countries. Topics will include genomic data sharing, ethical engagement with Indigenous peoples in paleogenomics, and how to responsibly conduct research on Indigenous ancestors (ancient DNA). As a result, Indigenous scientists have developed their own Native biobank and hosted an international Indigenous genomics conference to discuss ethical concerns within their communities and present community based genomic research that integrates Indigenous knowledge. This presentation will introduce the series overarching themes and provide the framework that encourages ethical engagement with Indigenous communities in genomic research.

Hosted by:

The International Society for Computational Biology

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RSG with DREAM 2020, November 16-19, 2020
Submit Your Research to RSGDREAM 2020
Abstract Submission for Oral Presentation and Poster
Deadline: Monday, October 5, 2020

The RECOMB/ISCB Conference on Regulatory and Systems Genomics invites abstracts for consideration for oral presentations or participation in a poster session. Abstracts may be either original unpublished work or original work that was published or accepted for publication in a high-impact journal between January 1, 2020 and November 1, 2020. Unpublished work will be considered for either an oral or poster presentation.

Some possible topics include:

  • Network visualization and analysis
  • Regulatory motifs and modules
  • Epigenomics and chromatin state
  • Non-coding RNAs
  • Regulatory networks
  • Co-transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and translational regulation
  • Signal transduction networks
  • Genetic, molecular, and phenotypic variation and human disease
  • Cellular signatures of biological responses and disease states
  • Mathematical modeling and simulation of biological systems
  • Methods for systematic validation of high-throughput biological predictions
  • Single-cell transcriptomics
  • Single-cell proteomics
  • Metabolomics
  • Microbiome
  • Machine learning methods for systems biology
  • Translational systems biology
Poster presentations will be more dynamic than ever!  Each poster will have an image and abstract of the poster as well as a 3-5 minute flash talk pre-loaded into the Poster Hall.  Additionally, there will be an asynchronous Q&A chat function as well as two live poster sessions where attendees can drop by your poster for a presentation.
Key Dates:

  • Author notifications will occur on or around Monday, October 19, 2020
Submit Your Research
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 ISCBacademy Webinar Series
Mark your calendars for Wednesday, September 30, 2020!
Please use the link below to find more information or to register for:

September 30, 2020 at 11:00AM EDT, RAxML-NG: a fast, scalable and user-friendly tool for maximum likelihood phylogenetic inferenceI by Alexey Kozlov and Alexandros Stamatakis, hosted by EvolCompGen COSI

Phylogenies are important for fundamental biological research, but also have numerous applications in biotechnology, agriculture and medicine. Finding the optimal tree under the popular maximum likelihood (ML) criterion is known to be NP-hard. Thus, highly optimized and scalable codes are needed to analyze constantly growing empirical datasets.

We present RAxML-NG, a from-scratch re-implementation of the established greedy tree search algorithm of RAxML/ExaML. RAxML-NG offers improved accuracy, flexibility, speed, scalability, and usability compared with RAxML/ExaML. On taxon-rich datasets, RAxML-NG typically finds higher-scoring trees than IQTree, an increasingly popular recent tool for ML-based phylogenetic inference (although IQ-Tree shows better stability). Finally, RAxML-NG introduces several new features, such as the detection of terraces in tree space and the recently introduced transfer bootstrap support metric.
The code is available under GNU GPL at https://github.com/amkozlov/raxml-ng. RAxML-NG web service (maintained by Vital-IT) is available at https://raxml-ng.vital-it.ch/.

Hosted by:


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 International Society for Computational Biology

ISCB Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee Sponsors Special Webinar Series -
Indigenous Voice in Computational Biology

ISCB, through the organization of its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, is sponsoring a series of presentations of Native voices for its membership, the broader scientific community, and the general public to highlight Indigenous research and to help build capacity for computational biology in Indigenous communities.

Recently, Indigenous authors have published several high impact articles on topics related to genomic data sharing [1], engagement with Indigenous peoples in paleogenomics [2], and responsible research on ancient DNA [3] that are important to the computational biology community.

Indigenous communities have unique and significant perspectives with respect to knowledge generation (e.g. [4-6]) in many fields related to computational biology, including biomedical and agricultural research. Many biologists are looking to traditional ecological and Indigenous knowledge to inform approaches to climate change, mass extinction and ecosystem degradation. Indigenous epistemological approaches are also important in investigations of human health and well-being [7].

Please join us for this important opportunity to learn from each other on the second Thursday of each month at 1pm Eastern Time, starting October 8, 2020 (time subject to change occasionally). Confirmed speakers include:

OCT 8 Rene Begay, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Indigenous Health Disparities
NOV 12 Keolu Fox, University of California, San Diego, Inclusivity and Precision Medicine Initiatives
DEC 10 Krystal Tsosie, Native BioData Consortium, Bioethics of Indigenous Genomics
JAN 14
Matt Anderson, Ohio State University, Microbiome
FEB 11
Stephanie Russo Carroll, Native Nations Institute, Indigenous data sovereignty
MAR 11
Maui Hudson, University of Waikato, Biocultural Labeling and Maori Community Ethics

1. Keolu Fox, “The Illusion of Inclusion — The ‘All of Us’ Research Program and Indigenous Peoples’ DNA” New England Journal of Medicine 2020; 383:411-413 https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMp1915987
2. Krystal S Tsosie, Rene L Begay, Keolu Fox, Nanibaa’ A Garrison, “Generations of genomes: advances in paleogenomics technology and engagement for Indigenous people of the Americas,” Current Opinion in Genetics & Development 2020; 62:91-96 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gde.2020.06.010
3. Jennifer K. Wagner, Chip Colwell, Katrina G. Claw, Anne C. Stone, Deborah A. Bolnick, John Hawks, Kyle B. Brothers, Nanibaa’ A. Garrison, “Fostering Responsible Research on Ancient DNA,” The American Journal of Human Genetics 2020; 107 (2): 183-195 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.06.017
4. Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (University of Otago Press 1999)
5. Brian Yazzie Burkhart, “What Coyote and Thales can Teach Us: An Outline of American Indian Epistemology.” American Indian Thought: Philosophical Essays, edited by Anne Waters (Blackwell, 2004), 15-26.
6. Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants (Milkweed Editions 2013)
7. Krystal S. Tsosie, Katrina G. Claw "Indigenizing Science and Reasserting Indigeneity in Research," Human Biology, 91(3), 137-140, (9 June 2020)


 International Society for Computational Biology

ISCB Announces Results of the
2020 Officer Leadership Elections!


The Board of Directors of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) is pleased to announce the results of the recent elections.

Members of the society elected the following as Officers beginning January 2021:

Alex Bateman, Vice President
Michelle Brazas, Secretary

For additional information on ISCB's annual nominations and elections procedures, please see https://www.iscb.org/leadership-nominations-and-elections

The next call for nominations of directors, officers and student council leaders will open February 2021, for terms beginning in January 2022.



 International Society for Computational Biology
Submit Your Nomination - ISCB Awards & Fellows

Nominations Deadline - 02 December

Annually, ISCB recognizes four scientist through its Awards program.

The 2021 Annual Awards Nominations period is now open. Submit your nomination for one of these important awards today.

The program is nomination based and we strong encourage the submission of nominations that are diverse in nature.

The award winners will be announced in Spring 2021.


Nominate a scientist for one of the four distinguished awards below
The Overton Prize is awarded for outstanding accomplishment to a scientist in the early to mid-career stage (up to a decade post-degree), who has already made a significant contribution to the field of computational biology.
ISCB Overton Prize Award
The Senior Scientist Accomplishment Award recognizes a member of the computational biology community who is more than two decades post-degree and has made major contributions to the field of computational biology.
ISCB Accomplishment by a Senior Scientist Award
The Outstanding Contributions to ISCB Award is in recognition of outstanding service contributions by any member toward the betterment of ISCB through exemplary leadership, education, service, or a combination of the three.
ISCB Outstanding Contributions to ISCB Award
The ISCB Innovator Award is given to a leading scientist, 10-20 years post-degree, who consistently makes outstanding contributions to the field of computational biology and continues to forge new directions.
ISCB Innovator Award

Recognize a Colleague for Distinguished Science:
Nominations for the 2021 Fellows Class are Open!

Nominations Deadline - 08 December

The International Society for Computational Biology introduced the ISCB Fellows Program in 2009 to honor members that have distinguished themselves through outstanding contributions to the fields of computational biology and bioinformatics. During the inaugural year of the program, ISCB conferred the Fellow status on the seven winners-to-date of the ISCB Accomplishment by a Senior Scientist Award, and recognized these distinguished scientists during the ISMB/ECCB 2009 conference in Stockholm, Sweden. Since then ISCB has sought nominations from our community of members, which are reviewed and voted upon by a selection committee.

We consider two types of Fellow nominations:

(i) Academic nominees: These are nominees who have done the bulk of their work in academia, including government and research institutions. Such nominations must demonstrate primarily excellence in research, which includes the development of methods or resources that advance research. The nomination can be strengthened by pointing to service to the computational biology community, education and/or administration.

(ii) Industry nominees: These are nominees who have done the bulk of their work in industry. Such nominations must demonstrate primarily the impact of their industrial work on the field. The nomination can be strengthened by pointing to research, education, or service to the computational biology community, e.g. by providing research infrastructure.

The Fellows program is nomination based and we strong encourage the submission of nominations that are diverse in nature.

New Fellows are introduced at each year's ISMB conference.

Scroll through the list of previous ISCB Fellows:




 International Society for Computational Biology

ISCB in partnership with Oxford University Press to launch new open access journal, Editor in Chief Search Begins

The International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) in partnership with Oxford University Press (OUP) has entered into an agreement to launch a new open access journal - provisionally titled Bioinformatic Advances.

ISCB invites applications for the position of Editor-in-Chief.

The journal will be a broad-scope, open-access journal dealing with multiple aspects of computational biology, particularly methodological papers focused on systematic validation of simulated or real biological data, and theoretical analyses of such data. The Editorial team will consist of ISCB appointments led by an experienced Editor-in-Chief and supported by a further team of Associate Editors and a scientific advisory board.

Candidates should have a strong record of recognized scholarship, a broad base of knowledge in the field, demonstrated leadership and communication skills, and appropriate time to devote to the journal. Understanding of publishing ethics and familiarity with an open access journal model is essential. Previous editorial experience and the ability to clearly articulate a compelling vision for the journal are other key factors on which candidates will be evaluated.

Learn more about the EIC search and submit an application at

Application Deadline is October 19, 2020.



ISCB-LA SoIBio BioNetMX Virtual Symposium,  October 28 - 29, 2020
Register for ISCB LA
Be a part of the ISCB-Latin America SoIBio BioNetMX Symposium on Bioinformatics 2020 - Don't forget to reserve your spot at a workshop or tutorial!

Registration Deadline: October 19, 2020

Join a distinguished group of attendees for the ISCB-Latin America SoIBio BioNetMX Symposium on Bioinformatics 2020, bringing together scientists from different disciplines, such as Biology, Informatics, Genomics, Mathematics, Statistics, Ecology, Medicine, etc, to solve relevant biological questions.

This two-day event will feature:

  • Invited speakers
  • Roundtable networking breakouts
  • Women in STEM panel discussion
  • Flash talks selected from an open call for abstracts
  • Scientific talks selected from articles submissions to Interface Focus Journal
Cabana Registration Waiver Fellowships
Deadline for applications: September 30, 2020 (Midnight UTC )

The GCRF-funded CABANA project is delighted to offer registration waiver fellowships for researchers to attend the ISCB-LA SoIBio BioNetMX Symposium. The fellowships are open to scientists at any stage of their career. Early-stage researchers and researchers from minority groups are especially encouraged to apply.

CABANA project - Capacity Building for Bioinformatics in Latin America
Don't forget to reserve your spot at an ISCB LA Workshop

Space is limited and complimentary, workshops & tutorials will take place online on October 22nd to 27th.

Workshop: Train the Trainer/Entrenamiento de Instructores/Treine o Treinador
9:00AM - 1:00PM Mexican Central Time (CT) on October 22 & 23, 2020

Tutorial: Discovery and phylogenetic characterization of animal viruses from metagenomic samples
9:30AM - 1:30PM Mexican Central Time (CT) on October 24 & 25, 2020

Workshop: Machine Learning in Bioinformatics using Galaxy
9:00AM - 5:00PM Mexican Central Time (CT) on October 26, 2020

Workshop: Identification of disease-associated genetic variants from next-generation sequencing data
10:00AM - 2:00PM Mexican Central Time (CT) on October 26 & 27, 2020

Workshop: Management and good practices in the assembly of bacterial, archaea and fungal genomes
9:00AM - 1:00PM Mexican Central Time (CT) on October 27, 2020

Workshop: Introduction to structural bioinformatics for evolutionary analysis
1:00PM - 5:00PM Mexican Central Time (CT) on October 27, 2020

Workshop: How to annotate protein-coding genes in genomic sequences
1:00PM - 5:00PM Mexican Central Time (CT) on October 27, 2020

Opportunities to submit
Deadline for Poster Submissions: September 30, 2020

Time remains to submit your research. Submit your research for a poster presentation!

Conference areas:

  • Bioinformatic strategies and methods to unravel RNA Genomics
  • Computational Molecular Biology to Study Evolution in Microorganisms
  • Development of Tools and Applications: Usability and Accessibility
  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Methods applied to Human Genetic studies
  • Methods and Algorithms in Computational Molecular Biology
  • Population dynamics and Evolution in Eukaryotes
  • Strategies in Cancer Genomics: From family to population studies
  • All other related areas

 ISCBacademy Webinar Series
Mark your calendars for Wednesday, September 16, 2020!
Please use the link below to find more information or to register for:

September 16, 2020 at 12:00PM EDT, Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) Phase III by Zhiping Weng, hosted by ISCB

The human and mouse genomes contain instructions that specify RNAs and proteins and govern the timing, magnitude, and cellular context of their production. To better delineate these elements, phase III of the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) Project has expanded analysis of the cell and tissue repertoires of RNA transcription, chromatin structure and modification, DNA methylation, chromatin looping, and occupancy by transcription factors and RNA-binding proteins. Here we summarize these efforts, which have produced 5,992 new experimental datasets, including systematic determinations across mouse fetal development. All data are available through the ENCODE data portal (https://www.encodeproject.org), including phase II ENCODE and Roadmap Epigenomics data. We have developed a registry of 926,535 human and 339,815 mouse candidate cis-regulatory elements, covering 7.9 and 3.4% of their respective genomes, by integrating selected datatypes associated with gene regulation, and constructed a web-based server (SCREEN; http://screen.encodeproject.org) to provide flexible, user-defined access to this resource. Collectively, the ENCODE data and registry provide an expansive resource for the scientific community to build a better understanding of the organization and function of the human and mouse genomes.

Hosted by:

The International Society for Computational Biology

Register for an ISCB Webinar
Upcoming Webinars: 
GLBIO 2021 -  May 10-13, 2021, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities
FINAL Call for Special Session Proposals

Deadline: September 14, 2020

Submit Special Session Proposal
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities,  2021 Great Lakes Bioinformatics Conference,  May 10 - 13, 2021Join us at the University of Minnesota -
Twin Cities for the
2021 Great Lakes Bioinformatics Conference
May 10 - 13, 2021

200 Oak St., Minneapolis, MN 55455
The conference is organized by the Great Lakes Bioinformatics Consortium to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of research findings and methods. An important goal for the conference is to foster long term collaborative relationships and networking opportunities within the domain of computational approaches to biology. The program will include oral presentations, poster presentations, invited keynote speakers and tutorials.