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Call for Special Session Proposals - ISMB 2020

Opens: Monday, November 4, 2019.

Chair: Mathieu Blanchette, McGill University, Canada
Co-chair: Sushmita Roy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States

Special Sessions Submissions

ISMB 2020 features a Special Sessions track for emerging research areas that will run throughout the conference in parallel to other tracks (except the keynote presentations). In its structure, each session(s) provides a more in-depth look at the subject matter presented. Proposals for special sessions should be submitted via the online submission system at here by January 30, 2020.

Special Sessions Deadlines
Monday, November 4, 2019 Call for Special Sessions Opens
Thursday, January 30, 2020 Special Session Proposal Submission Deadline
Thursday, February 27, 2020 Special Session Acceptance Notification
Thursday, April 16, 2020 Special Session Program Deadline

Special Sessions have the purpose of introducing the ISCB community and conference delegates to relevant 'hot' topics that are not already covered in the COSI tracks. Sessions can be considered as mini-symposia on timely topics, or new emerging area presented by top experts.

A wide range of topics is possible, as long as they are of relevance to computational biology and bioinformatics. We also encourage topics that are marginal to computational biology but clearly will need the involvement of such expertise in the near future. The proposed topics for Special Session might, for example, cover emerging themes the conference is not currently approaching with the desired proficiency. Some attractive topics include:

Interpretable machine learning
Bioinformatics and Climate Change
Imaging-based bioinformatics
Plant genomics
Privacy-preserving bioinformatics
The other omics: metabolomics, lipidomics

We encourage you to submit a proposal on an area that you deem as important to the computational biology community and may impact the future of the field.

Proposals should include the following details:

  1. Title (up to 12 words, preferably worded to pique delegates' interest)
  2. Topic: Describe the field to be covered by the session(s) and its relevance for conference participants (about one page)
  3. Meeting details
    1. Duration (time allotments can range from morning: 2 hours 25 minutes, afternoon 3 hours 20 minutes or up to a full day of 5 hours and 45 minutes)
    2. Expected sessions / topics, if possible with an explanatory paragraph about each
    3. A draft schedule showing how the sessions / topics will be organized including placement of keynotes, accepted talks, panel discussions, etc.
    4. How presentations will be selected (invitation, call for submissions, etc.)
    5. Possible speakers. This is not required, but may add weight to the proposal—indicate speakers who have already agreed to participate. NOTE: See Special Session Registration information for more details about compensation.
    6. Previous meetings of this with attendance statistics, if held before
    7. Potential sources of sponsorship for the session(s). ISCB provides session organizers with one-day complimentary day passes for invited speakers (maximum of four (4) per session) attending ISMB for the sole purpose of presenting within the Special Session. We encourage the organizers to approach experts from related fields and communities that are not necessarily attending ISMB routinely. Organizers will be responsible for raising sponsorship for additional complimentary registrations.
  4. Information about the organizers: full name (including title), affiliation, e-­mail and postal addresses, telephone numbers (work and mobile, if available, including country and city codes), URL of home page, and qualifications to organize this meeting.

This call is an invitation for scientists and professionals to submit proposals for Special Sessions for ISMB 2020, to take place at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, Canada.

Special Session Registration:

Organizers must identify the session speakers designated to receive the complimentary one-day registrations by May 15, 2020 by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in order to receive special registration instructions. Organizers and presenters within the Special Sessions are responsible for their own travel costs and if attending the full conference are responsible for the full conference registration fee. If needed, organizers are encouraged to seek sponsorships and/or use grant funds available to them to cover their own and their speakers' travel and registration costs.

If you have questions contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Special Sessions Submissions