Welcome to the ISCB Community News Blog

This blog collects news, announcements or other information which could be of interest to our ISCB members. We are a group ISCB members who volunteer to populate this blog on a regular basis. In case you want to become an "ISCB-News Reporter" yourself, let us know: contact ISCB
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pathview: pathway based data integration and visualization

Pathview is a newly released/published R/Bioconductor package for pathway based data integration and visualization. It maps and renders a wide variety of biological data on relevant pathway graphs. Pathview easily integrate with pathway and functional analysis tools for large-scale and fully automated analysis pipelines.

The pathview package was recently published in Bioinformatics:
http://bioinformatics.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/06/11/bioinformatics.btt285.full

The package is available through Bioconductor and R-Forge:
http://bioconductor.org/packages/release/bioc/html/pathview.html
http://pathview.r-forge.r-project.org/
Please try it out and let me know if you have any comments/suggestions. Thank you!

URL: http://bioconductor.org/packages/release/bioc/html/pathview.html

Contact Person: Weijun Luo (luo_weijun@yahoo.com)

Monday, June 24, 2013

New Funding Opportunity for Computational Drug Discovery

The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) program is requesting proposals for innovative computational approaches to predict the efficacy of compounds to treat and prevent dementia. Details can be found at the associated URL.

The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (www.alzdiscovery.org) is a not-for-profit donor-funded organization that seeks to rapidly accelerate the discovery of drugs to prevent, treat, and cure Alzheimer's disease, related dementias, and cognitive aging. We are the largest private funder of drug discovery for Alzheimer's disease in the world, currently funding research in academic and biotech organizations in 18 countries. We also provide research resources for drug discovery including conferences, workshops, advisory panels, and a network of CROs and consultants for drug discovery.

Please do forward this RFP to any researchers or organizations who may be interested in this funding opportunity.
URL: http://alzdiscovery.org/assets/content/static/RFP_for_Computational_Modeling_approved_May22.pdf

Contact Person: Penny Dacks (pdacks@alzdiscovery.org)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Aviv Regev recently Named HHMI Early Career Scientist

Aviv Regev, associate professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a core member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, was recently named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator. Regev was among 27 biomedical scientists selected as new HHMI investigators from 1,155 applicants. According to HHMI, the initiative represents an investment in basic biomedical research of approximately $150 million over the next five years. This support gives HHMI investigators the freedom to explore new research directions.

Regev, an ISCB member since 2002, was awarded the ISCB Overton Prize in 2008. Her research centers on understanding how complex molecular networks function and evolve in the face of genetic and environmental changes, over time-scales ranging from minutes to millions of years. She was named an Early Career Scientist of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2009 and is a recipient of the NIH Director's Pioneer Award and a Sloan fellowship from the Sloan Foundation.

ISCB congratulates Aviv on her recent achievements and on her selection to this distinguished group of researchers.

URL: http://www.broadinstitute.org/history-leadership/leadership/scientific-leadership/core-members/aviv-regev

Contact Person: ISCB Admin (assistant@iscb.org)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

FASEB Responds to Criticisms of NIH Communications Expenditures

Bethesda, MD - Correspondence co-authored by FASEB leadership and staff that responded to criticisms of National Institutes of Health (NIH) communications expenditures was published in the May 30, 2013 issue of the journal Nature. Prompted by series of articles in The Cancer Letter in which spending by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Office of Communications and Education (OCE) was criticized (also covered in Nature), the US Congress launched an inquiry into all "public relations" expenditures by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In its response, FASEB emphasized the value of communications the NIH mission and that reduction of spending to these programs would provide virtually no relief to loss of capacity to fund research sustained by NIH as a result of sequestration, a decade of flat funding, and inflation.

In addition to the content of the Nature correspondence, FASEB would like to highlight the following additional points related to the inquiry of NCI OCE expenditures and spending by the NIH on communications efforts more broadly:

· Many NCI OCE activities are in response to Congressional mandates or requests.
· The NCI OCE produces many resources for cancer patients, doctors, researchers, and the American public including: educational brochures; the Physician Data Query, an online resource that provides peer-reviewed summaries on cancer research, treatment, care, and prevention, as well as a database of past and current clinical trials; and toll-free phone lines for cancer information and tobacco cessation.
· While some critics noted spending reductions at NCI OCE (by 34 percent since 2006 not adjusting for inflation), the cancellation of the NCI Cancer Bulletin in January 2013 was not acknowledged – further evidence that NIH leadership has and continues to address mission creep.
· FY 2013 cuts to the NIH budget due to sequestration (approximately six percent of the NCI budget) dwarf the less than one percent of the NCI budget devoted to NCI OCE expenditures in 2012. Further reductions in communications and education spending will not greatly improve the financial situation of NCI or NIH, but may make biomedical discoveries less accessible to the patients, physicians, and the public.
· This congressional inquiry came during a critical period in which the efforts of senior NIH staff members were diverted from portfolio planning to accommodate sequestration cuts to respond to the inquiry.

The value of science is exponentially increased when it is shared with and utilized by society at large. Therefore, FASEB strongly supports the efforts of the NCI OCE as well as related offices within other NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs), as communication with and education of the public is integral to the pursuit NIH's overall mission.
URL: http://www.FASEB.org

Contact Person: Lawrence Green (lgreen@faseb.org)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

University of Texas researcher uses algorithm to simulate molecular movements in real time

A researcher at The University of Texas uses an algorithm called Milestoning to simulate the molecular movements of important biological molecules, like myosin and reverse transcriptase.

Ron Elber, a researcher at UT's institute for Computational Engineer and Sciences, uses Milestoning to simulate how molecules move in space and over time. The technique provides insights into important processes, which may be used in research across fields, especially in the area of drug development.

Milestoning also is an advancement from many computational approaches which can model atomic detail for only short time frames. Milestoning, on the other hand, can theoretically model molecular motions over any time frame.


URL: http://www.ices.utexas.edu/about/news/223/

Contact Person: Monica Kortsha (mkortsha@ices.utexas.edu)