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ISCB Student Council Newsletter #2, March 2006

Dear Student Council Member!

It’s my great pleasure to introduce you to the first newsletter of the year 2006. The Student Council has initiated interesting activities during the first quarter of this year.

We have established new collaborations with several small and big bioinformatics societies in the world. In our effort to unify the student communities, we have achieved the first milestone by founding the foundations for a prospective partnership with groups in Japan and Central America. At the same time, we also focus on career-oriented events towards generating new employment opportunities. After the great success of the last Student Council Symposium in Madrid, the Student Council is speeding its efforts to organize the next Student Council Symposium at ISMB 2006 in Brazil.

I would also like to point out that the nomination period for Student Council leaders for the 2007 - 2008 term has begun in February and will end on May 26th. Please consider to nominate motivated individuals that are willing to serve the student community.

Please send comments and questions about this newsletter to Thank you!

Vijaya Parthiban, Student Council Chair

News from the Student Council Leadership

Chair By-Elections

A by-election for the position of the Student Council Chair was held in late December 2005 after Amandeep S. Sidhu stepped down from the position, which he had been holding since summer 2005. The election was held among the actively participating Student Council members following a procedure coordinated with the ISCB administration. Vijaya Parthiban was elected as the new Student Council chair. He took office on January 6th, 2006 and his term will end on January 21, 2007. Sarath Chandra Janga will remain vice chair until then.

Nomination Period for Student Council Leaders Election

The nomination period for the Student Council Leaders Election has opened on February 15th and will close on May 26th, 2006. The elections will run with the ISCB officer elections in September. The following leadership positions are open for nominations: Student Council chair, vice-chair, secretary, and Student Council representative to the ISCB Board of Directors. Please see for a description of the positions. If you would like to nominate a person that you consider to be suitable for one of the positions please don't hesitate we look forward to new contributions to the activities of the Student Council. Elections will be held online from September 22nd to October 6th, 2006. Elected leaders will take office on January 21th, 2007 and serve for one year after a training period of 4 months from fall 2006 to January 2007. Detailed information about the nomination and election process can be found at

Collaboration with Students in Central America

In an effort to reach out to a greater number of countries in the world, the Student Council has initiated negotiations to create a new regional network in Central America, led by Allan Orozco. Mr Orozco, assistant lecturer at University in Costa Rica, has stressed the abundance of biotechnology-related resources in the region. He has talked of the willingness of the Costa Rican ministry of Science and Industry to provide the logistics and funding to start a campaign involving major governmental funding bodies to enable the development of computational biology in the region through the ISCB. Among the projects currently discussed it is of special interest to organize a scientific event in the area of San Jose (Costa Rica), which would bring together local businesses, international corporations and renowned academic leaders. This year's ISMB, which is being held in Brazil, will be an outstanding opportunity to get many students and businesses to boost the computational biology field in Latin America. Additionally, the Student Council will organize the 2nd ISCB Student Council Symposium at ISMB and hopes to attract a great number of students from the region to this unique event. More about the planning of this event can be found below. [Contributed by Manuel Corpas.]

Collaboration with Students in Japan

ESF (European Science Foundation) and JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) jointly organized a workshop on "Functional Genomics: From the Bench to Bioinformatics" in Kanagawa, Japan. Scientists and students from Japan and Europe were invited to this workshop. Prof. Satoru Miyano was one of the organizers of this workshop on behalf of the JSPS. During the workshop Vijaya Parthiban, the current Student Council Chair, gave a presentation explaining the benefits of collaborations between the Student Council and other organizations. A possible collaboration with Japanese Society for Bioinformatics (JSBi), one of the largest bioinformatics societies in the world, was discussed. Prof. Miyano was highly interested to coordinate the efforts taken by the Student Council to collaborate with JSBi. Initially, the Student Council will submit a proposal to the JSBi explaining the possibilities of having joint ventures. Similarly, the JSBi will also share their plans and ideas. Please click the following link for more information on the JSBi: [Contributed by Vijaya Parthiban.]

Student Council Logo

The Student Council finally has its own logo, which is now featured on our website and the wiki. Variants can be found on the resource pages on the wiki: The logo was designed by Nils Gehlenborg and approved by the ISCB executive committee and the two ISCB board liaisons to the Student Council.

Proposed Projects

We are currently looking to recruit people who are able the help the team of Student Council leaders. We are planning to set up a few projects and we encourage you to join one of the project groups. It will give you the chance to join one of the subcommittees of the Student Council, which will look great on your CV and might give you some credit for Student Council elections, which are coming up soon.

Three projects have been proposed so far:

  1. The coordination of a survey among Student Council members to find out what expectations students have about the work of the Student Council and what they think we should focus on
  2. Investigation into an automated system for review processes for conferences
  3. Creation of a mailing list for people interested in events organized by the student council

For the described projects above we are looking for people who would be able to create web forms, or are willing to learn this from experienced leaders. We will need some people who will be able to gather questions and make them as concise as possible and we need some people who will be able to write down requirements for a peer-review system and can set up such a system. If you are willing to help and can commit a bit of time please send an email to the Student Council Marketing Representative ( [Contributed by Sanne Abeln.]

Relaunch of forum and launch of SC wiki

The student council recently launched its wiki, by joining the MIT based OpenWetWare (, a web-based community formed for the open sharing of information and protocols in biology. The wiki complements the Student Council's website and gives members the opportunity to take on an active role and get involved with current activities. The Student Council forum has also recently been relaunched in order to promote discussion and answer questions about the upcoming ISMB conference in Brazil in August. If you are looking for details of the Student Council Symposium or wanting to find someone to share a room with in Brazil then this might be a good place to start. When posting to the forum, remember that you can check "Notify me when a reply is posted" to be reminded by e-mail. [Contributed by John Cumbers.]

Preview of Upcoming Activities


On April 13th, 2006, the BRC will be holding BioMeet RTP (Research Triangle Park) 2006 in Durham, North Carolina. This event serves to bring together scientists from academia, industry, and governmental institutions to candidly discuss current topics in bioinformatics and address contemporary trends. While these events occur in condensed regions of both a corporate and academic population, attendance is open to anyone who would like to attend. The keynote for this year is Dr. David B. Searls, Sr Vice President of Worldwide Bioinformatics at GlaxoSmithKline. While all BioMeet events serve to facilitate networking and collaboration between academia and industry, formats adapt to the region that they are housed. This year, we will be focusing on allowing academic researchers in attendance to give brief talks on the highlights of their research, thereby increasing their visibility for all those in attendance. Over 40 companies have been invited and substantial sponsorship has been provided by SAS, ConstellaGroup Informatics, Becton Dickinson Technologies, and GlaxoSmithKline. Companies in attendance tend to be on all sides of the bioinformatics pipeline to increase the depth of coverage. Downstream affects of these conferences are going to serve to populate entries into the Student Council's Project Pairing Program as well as provide the catalyst for forming local affiliated groups in high-traffic bioinformatics regions. You may visit the conference site at: or learn about the BioMeet initiative at: Anyone interested in helping with these events or would like to host one in their area should contact [Contributed by Victor Weigman Jr.]

2nd ISCB Student Council Symposium at ISMB 2006

Encouraged by the success of the first Student Council Symposium (SCS-1) in Madrid last year, the Student Council leadership has decided to organize the second Student Council Symposium (SCS-2) in Fortaleza, Brazil, directly preceding ISMB 2006. SCS-2 will be held on August 6th as a full day event in parallel to the ISMB tutorials. Like last year, the Student Council Symposium will be a forum for students and young researchers in the field of computational biology. Participants will have the opportunity to present their work to an international audience, build a network within the computational biology community and develop important soft skills in an environment that fosters exchange of ideas and knowledge. Accomplished scientists will give an overview of their respective research areas and provide participants with advice on how to build a successful career in a rapidly evolving discipline. This is a rare opportunity for aspiring scientists to interact with the pioneers of the field. You will receive more information about this event in a separate email in the near future.

BioSysBio and Young Bioinformaticians' Forum 2007

The Student Council will be supporting the next BioSysBio conference, which will be held together with the Young Bioinformaticians' Forum at the soon to be completed Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre in the UK. The conference, aimed at students and postdocs working in biotechnology, will include sessions in computational systems biology, bioinformatics and synthetic biology. More information can be found at [Contributed by John Cumbers.]

Student Council Calendar

March 2006

April 2006

  • 13th: BioMeet RTP 2006 in Durham, NC, USA

May 2006

August 2006

  • 6th: 2nd ISCB Student Council Symposium in Fortaleza, Brazil
  • 7th - 10th: ISMB 2006 in Fortaleza, Brazil

September 2006

  • 22nd: Election period for Student Council leaders begins.

October 2006

  • 6th: Election period for Student Council leaders ends.

January 2007

  • 21st: Elected Student Council leaders take office.


ISCB Student Council Website Check our website often for updates on our activities.

BiomeetRTP 2006 Website

ISMB 2006 Website

OpenWetWare Wiki and Student Council Forum

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