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ISCB News and Announcements

  • Celebrating preLights’ first Birthday
  • Applied Statistical Modelling and Health Informatics PG Cert, King’s College London
  • GLBIO 2019 - 2019 Great Lakes Bioinformatics Conference May 19 - 22, 2019, University of Wisconsin at Madison
  • Celebrating preLights’ first Birthday
  • Applied Statistical Modelling and Health Informatics PG Cert, King’s College London
  • ISMB/ECCB 2019, Basel, Switzerland, July 21 - July 25
  • Celebrating preLights’ first Birthday
  • Rocky 2019 - 17th Annual Rocky Mountain Bioinformatics Conference
  • Applied Statistical Modelling and Health Informatics PG Cert, King’s College London
  • Applied Statistical Modelling and Health Informatics PG Cert, King’s College London
March 10, 2009
Press Release

Webb Miller and Trey Ideker to Receive Top International Bioinformatics Awards for 2009 from the International Society for Computational Biology

The International Society for Computational Biology has named Webb Miller of Pennsylvania State University, USA as winner of its Accomplishment by a Senior Scientist Award for 2009, and the 2009 Overton Prize, for scientists in early- to mid-career, will go to Trey Ideker of the University of California, San Diego, USA.

Webb Miller began his career at Penn State in the late 1960’s as a computer scientist. By the time he entered the emerging field of bioinformatics in 1987 he was already a full professor there. Initially, his research revolved around developing algorithms for aligning pairs of DNA or protein sequences; he worked on the algorithms that were used in the BLAST program for searching databases for similar sequences, which is still one of the most widely used bioinformatics tools worldwide. His interests then changed to methods for aligning long DNA sequences and extracting functional information from them. Miller has made important contributions to the analysis of many vertebrate genomes including those of the mouse, chicken and rhesus macaque. He collaborated with David Haussler – his immediate predecessor as ISCB Senior Scientist Accomplishment Award winner – in the development of sequence-alignment software for the UCSC Genome Browser, which now provides access to about fifty complete genome sequences. Haussler praised Miller on being named for the 2009 award by saying, “Webb has played an essential role in nearly every vertebrate genome sequence project: he developed the first program capable of accurate comparative alignment for entire vertebrate-sized genomes.” Miller’s recent research interests include the bioinformatics of species extinction, and in November 2008 he published a paper in Nature that described a draft sequence for the woolly mammoth genome. In 2004 he was appointed to a chair in biology alongside the chair appointment he already held in computer science.

Established in 2003, ISCB’s Accomplishment by a Senior Scientist Award recognizes members of the computational biology community who have made major contributions to the field through research, education, service, or a combination of the three. Miller will be joining a prestigious group of previous winners, which includes David Sankoff (University of Ottawa, Canada), David Lipman (US National Center for Biotechnology Information, USA), Janet Thornton (European Bioinformatics Institute, UK), Mike Waterman (University of Southern California, USA), Temple Smith (Boston University, USA) and David Haussler (University of California, Santa Cruz, USA).

Trey Ideker also started his career as an engineer and computer scientist. A burgeoning interest in molecular biology led him to join a graduate program in molecular biology run by Leroy Hood, founder of the Institute of Systems Biology in Seattle, Washington. There, he began to model and analyse networks of molecular interactions using genome-scale measurements, an emerging field in which he became a pioneer. He was still a Ph.D. student when, in 2001, he published a classic paper demonstrating how biological networks are mapped and tested using a systems biology approach that has attracted well over 800 citations to date. He then took a fellowship at the prestigious Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts before joining the faculty at UCSD in 2003, where he is now an associate professor. In recent years, Ideker has developed a number of influential bioinformatics methods and resources including Cytoscape, a widely used open source program for visualising molecular networks. In 2003, his group was the first to demonstrate that protein networks can be aligned and compared across species, just like genome sequences. Since then, he has extended network comparison to incorporate many different interaction types, and used network-based methods to map the DNA damage response, compare host and pathogen networks, and classify diseases. He has already received many honours and was recognised as one of the top 10 innovators of 2006 by MIT’s Technology Review. Aviv Regev, the 2008 ISCB Overton Prize winner, commends the selection of Ideker for the 2009 award. "Trey's work has epitomized the power of integrating innovative computational methods with cutting-edge genomics. His pioneering work has set a model for doing systems biology that has been followed by numerous groups and has impacts for understanding the evolution of biological systems and for treating disease".

The Overton Prize was established in 2001 in memory of G. Christian Overton, a major contributor to the field of bioinformatics and member of the ISCB Board of Directors who died suddenly the previous year. The prize is awarded for outstanding accomplishment to a scientist in the early- to mid-career who has already made a significant contribution to the field of computational biology. Previous recipients are Christopher Burge (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, USA), David Baker (University of Washington, USA), W. James Kent (University of California, Santa Cruz, USA), Uri Alon (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel), Ewan Birney (European Bioinformatics Institute, UK), Mathieu Blanchette (McGill University, Canada), Eran Segal (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel), Aviv Regev (The Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, USA).

ISCB Award recipients are selected from among nominations received from the computational biology community. The awards committee thoroughly reviews the merits of all nominees and unanimously decides on a recommendation of each award winner to be approved by the ISCB president. Both awards will be presented at the Society’s prestigious Annual International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB), being held jointly with the European Conference on Computational Biology (ECCB) in Stockholm, Sweden, June 29–July 2.


For more information, please contact:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Executive Officer, ISCB
+1 858 822 0852

Note to Editors

The International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) serves over 2500 members from nearly 70 countries around the world by addressing scientific policies, providing access to high quality publications, organizing regional and international conferences, and serving as a portal to information about training, education, employment and news from related fields.


In Memory of Kamalakar-Rao Mettani

In February 2008, we were saddened to learn that we lost a valued member of our web development team, Kamalakar-Rao Mettani. Kamal was 31 years old and had just finished his Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree at the University of Applied Science Heidelberg, in the department of Computer Science.

His thesis presented a thorough study of the previous ISCB website and a detailed proposal to increase member benefits by allowing for greater web-based community interactions. Kamal received the university's distinguished honor of best master of science thesis in 2007.

Kamal and his thesis were key to the redevelopment of the ISCB web site, and for several months after receiving his degree, right up until the time of his sudden death, he personally worked with the ISCB staff and leadership to implement his plan. As you look through the new layout and functionality, please know that Kamal's energy and talents are part of every piece of code and design.

We are all proud to have worked with someone who was as bright, conscientious, and professional as Kamal, and know he will be missed dearly by all who knew him.

Therefore, as ISCB launches its new web presence, we dedicate this site to Kamalakar-Rao Mettani.

Most Sincerely,
The International Society for Computational Biology


Kamal receives his Master of Science Degree from Professor Gerd Moeckel
(SRH Heidelberg) and Dr. Reinhard Schneider (EMBL).

Kamal (pictured on the far right) joins his fellow graduates on stage.

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Excellence in Science Award 2009

“Recognizing the Research Accomplishments of Women Scientists”


December 1, 2007 - March 4, 2008

****** Electronic Submissions Only ******

The FASEB Excellence in Science Award is sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company to recognize outstanding achievement by women in biological science. All women who are members of one or more of the societies of FASEB are eligible for nomination. Nominations recognize a woman scientist whose career achievements have contributed significantly to further our understanding of a particular discipline by excellence in research.

Nominees are typically women who are relatively senior in their field and nationally known for their outstanding contributions in research, leadership, and mentorship. Recent winners include Mina Bissell, Frances Arnold, Elaine Fuchs, Marilyn Farquhar, Anita Roberts, and Janet Roussant.

The 2009 recipient will receive her award and present an Excellence in Science Lecture at the annual meeting of a FASEB Member Society. The award includes a $10,000 unrestricted research grant funded by Eli Lilly and Company, travel expenses, complimentary meeting registration, and a plaque in recognition of the award.

Nomination Procedures:

Nominators and their candidates must be members of a FASEB Society. Self-nominations will not be accepted.

All Nominations must be submitted on the FASEB Excellence in Science Award website. Access to the site is located at: www.faseb.org/excellenceinscience. Documents must be uploaded individually in PDF format. Submissions must include all of the following documents:

1. Nomination Letter, setting forth in detail:

  • The contribution(s) to the field that represents the nominee’s outstanding achievement in science;
  • Leadership and mentorship;
  • Evidence of national recognition;
  • Honors and awards; and
  • Synopsis of selected bibliography

2. Full Curriculum Vitae - including all publications

  • 5 Reprints – Exactly
  • 3 Letters of Support from Nominee’s peers– Minimum (maximum of 5)
  • 3 Trainee Recommendations - Exactly

For complete details go to: www.faseb.org/excellenceinscience


For questions, please contact:

Lin Stricker
Senior Executive Assistant
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
9650 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20814-3998

Tel. (301) 634-7092
Fax (301) 634-7049

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


View Talks from the ISMB Conference in Toronto

The ISMB 2008 conference in Toronto was touted as a scientific success, with lots of pre-conference excitement as well as positive press and accolades following the event. Now all site visitors can view the keynote talk entitled "Microbial Communities in Health and Disease," presented by Claire Fraser-Ligget of the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. This talk provides a taste of the quality of presentations given at the conference that are now available for remote viewing online.

The conference organizers and Society leadership are proud to make dozens of the talks from the conference available to current members when logged in to their membership accounts. To view the full selection of talks login here, or if you are already logged in, select the 'My ISCB' tab at the top of this page and within the ISCB User Menu select 'ISMB 2008 Multimedia'.

Access to the full listing of presentations now available online is an exclusive ISCB membership benefit. If you are not a current member we invite you to join to begin taking advantage of this as well as the many other benefits ISCB members enjoy. Please select the 'Membership' tab at the top of this page to join as a new member or renew an expired membership.

ISCB Officers Elected for Next Term

The Board of Directors (BoD) of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) is pleased to announce the results of the recent officer elections. Members of the Society cast their ballots online, electing the following board members, whose election includes a seat on the Society’s executive committee:

  • Vice President – Michal Linial, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
    Dr. Linial has been an actively contributing member of the ISCB BoD since January of 2004 and concurrently serves as chairwoman of the steering committee of the European Conference on Computational Biology (ECCB), ISCB’s conference partner for meetings held in Europe (e.g. ISMB/ECCB 2004 in Glasgow, ISMB/ECCB 2007 in Vienna, and ISMB/ECCB 2008 in Stockholm).
  • Treasurer – Reinhard Schneider, EMBL-Heidelberg, Germany
    Dr. Schneider has been actively shaping ISCB as its Vice President since January of 2006, and he has served on the ISCB BoD since 2005. His election to the position of Treasurer replaces long-term treasurer David Rocke, who has served in this role for the past seven years.
  • Secretary – Janet Kelso,
    Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany
    Dr. Kelso was elected to the ISCB BoD in January 2005, and a year later was appointed to fill the mid-term vacated position of secretary. Dr. Kelso has contributed enormously to the advancement of ISCB.This is her second reelection to this position while concurrently serving as chairwoman of the ISCB conferences committee.

Following the bylaws, the ISCB BoD appointed two additional vice presidents. Although this is not intended to set a precedent for future elections, these appointments will enable ISCB’s Executive Committee (EC) to carry out specific activities and nurture external relationships that are vitally important to the growth and future success of the organization as a whole. The BoD arrived at their final decision with careful consideration of the wishes of the membership as expressed by their votes, countered with the objective of providing the executive committee with additional proven contributors who will help carry the momentum of this core group of leaders throughout the next term. The appointed vice presidents are:

  • Vice President – Terry Gaasterland, University of California, San Diego, USA
    Dr. Gaasterland was a founding member of the ISCB BoD, served as Secretary from 1999-2000, and returned to serve as a VP in January 2007. She has and will continue to serve as the primary ISCB representative of the president at affiliated and co-sponsored conferences, such as RECOMB, InCoB and PSB. In addition, Dr. Gaasterland serves as the executive committee liaison to the San Diego based ISCB administrative staff, whose headquarter offices are at UCSD.
  • Vice President – Scott Markel, Accelrys, USA
    Dr. Markel joined the ISCB BoD in 2006, has been serving as a co-chair of the ISCB publications committee since 2007, and was instrumental in brokering the deal to renew ISCB’s partnership with Oxford University Press to once again designate Bioinformatics as an official journal of the Society. His excellent working relationship with both of ISCB’s official journals (PLoS Computational Biology has been our journal since 2005), and his continued efforts toward expanding the breadth and depth of ISCB’s publications, makes his appointment as a vice president particularly important to the BoD and EC alike.

Each of the above officers will begin their terms on January 21, 2009.  For additional information on ISCB’s annual nominations and elections procedures please see http://iscb.org/iscb-leadership-a-staff-/officers-and-board-directors/nomination-election-procedures. The next call for nominations of directors, officers and student council leaders will open February 16, 2009, for terms beginning in January of 2010.


 The ISMB 2008 Proceedings of the Toronto conference are available and can be purchased on our publication section.

ISMB Proceedings 


The registration for our Rocky Mountain Bioinformaticss Conference is open.

The conference will be held between December 4-7th, 2008 in Aspen/Snowmass.

Go the registration here. 

2009 Journal Subscriptions Now Available
Date: Nov 25, 2008

2009 discounted Journal Subscriptions are now available to ISCB members. To order just log into your ISCB membership page and select "subscribe to journals" from the menu on the left side of the page. Or purchase the journals of your choice when you renew your membership. The journal subscriptions run for the calendar year.

Contact Person: Suzi Smith (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Participate in ISCB Blogs on Hot Topics for Bioinformaticians

Share your thoughts!

ISCB is committed to advancing our science to the benefit of our members and the broader bioinformatics community, who in turn are committed to the improvement of human health. As such, we are seeking community input on hot topics that impact the way we work, learn and network. Become an ISCB blogger on the following topics, and be sure to return often (or set up an RSS feed) to see if your fellow bloggers agree, disagree or have shed some light on a different angle that might be of benefit to you as you tackle these issues yourself.

ISCB Members Receive Special Discount to AMIA Summit on Translational Bioinformatics

For the 2009 Summit on Translational Bioinformatics.
ISCB members use Coupon code: ISCB2009 for member rates to the Summit. We encourage you to join or renew your membership today to take advantage of $100.00 in savings for the member rates. The Summit will feature the presentation of research showcasing the synergy between the medical informatics and bioinformatics communities. We encourage you to share this information with your colleagues who might be interested research-related issues and best practices in translational science and computational biology. 

An excerpt of the program is included below, with a searchable program containing detailed information on sessions, presenters, tutorials, and posters at: http://summit2009.amia.org. Conducted in close partnership between AMIA and ISCB, the 2009 Summit will be an indispensible gathering for translational bioinformatics research and development worldwide. With the completion of human and model organism genomes, and the increasing utilization of biomedical computational methods, translational bioinformatics is evolving rapidly into a complex multidisciplinary field encompassing nearly all areas of biological, biomedical and clinical research.

Register Today and Save! (Click this link, select the registration tab on the blue header bar and proceed with on-line registration or download the printable registration form). There are 3 easy ways to register: Mail: AMIA, 4915 St. Elmo Avenue, Suite 401, Bethesda, MD 20814 | Fax: 301-657-1291 | Web: http://summit2009.amia.org.

Hotel Rooms might still be available
at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco. Follow this link to reserve your hotel room!

Notable News Bioinformatics
Register for the Stanford 10x10 Course and Receive a Complimentary Tutorial at the Summit! (Details noted below)
Stanford University is holding the 3rd offering of its AMIA 10x10 course, titled “Methods for Bioinformatics:  Representations and Algorithms for Computational Molecular Biology,” led by course director Russ Altman. The course begins on March 31st, so register now and hold your space in this sought after course! If you sign-up for the course now you will receive one complimentary tutorial of your choice at the 2009 Summit. You must register and pay for the Stanford course in order to receive your free tutorial. If you decide to withdraw or drop out of the course at a later time, your fee for the course will be returned to you minus the tutorial fee and a $50 processing fee. Click here to register. If you'd like to update or change your e-mail address, go to "AMIA Personal Member Profile" on the left-hand column of the AMIA Members Only site at http://www.amia.org/mbrcenter/mbronly/ or click here.