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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Monday, November 14, 2016

CASP12: Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction

One more week to register for CASP12:

The CASP 12 meeting registration is at: http://www.cevs.ucdavis.edu/confreg/index.cfm?confid=851&webid=4026

Specifics of the travel arrangements can be found at:

Let us all meet in Gaeta in December!
CASP organizers

12th CASP Meeting
December 10-13th 2016, Gaeta (Italy)

Subject: State of the art of methods for predicting protein structure, assembly, and function from sequence.

Scientific context: Results of the 12th international CASP (Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction) experiment.

Confirmed invited speakers:
Russ Altman - Stanford University - USA
Alexandre Bonvin - Utrecht University - NL
Guido Capitani - Paul Scherrer Institut - CH
Matteo Dal Peraro - Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne - CH
Edward H. Egelman - University of Virginia - USA
Francesco Gervasio - UCL - UK
Michael Levitt - Stanford University - USA

Organizers: John Moult (USA), Krzysztof Fidelis (USA), Andriy Kryshtafovych (USA), Torsten Schwede (CH) , Anna Tramontano (I),


The meeting will be held at Hotel Serapo (www. http://www.hotelserapo.com/en/), on the slopes of the Natural Park of Monte Orlando in a beautiful and panoramic corner overlooking Serapo Beach, very close to the city center and the old town of Gaeta.

The city itself, the so-called Ulysses Riviera, is embedded in a fascinating area, full of surprises, natural beauties, history, art and culture. It is conveniently located between Rome and Naples. It overlooks the Tyrrhenian Sea. Its history as a resort dates back to Imperial Rome. Nearby sites include the first-century BC mausoleum of general Lucius Munatius Plancus. Its old town is mostly medieval, showcased by narrow alleys, the massive 13th-century castle and the 12th-century Cathedral of Assunta e SantErasmo.


Deadline for late registration: November 14th, 2016

Registration fees (***):
Separate room Shared room
Late registration US$ 1,125 / ~1000 Euro US$ 1,020 / ~900 Euro
Accompanying person (*) US$ 340 / ~300 Euro
Extra day before or after the meeting (**): US$ 90 / ~80 Euro per person

(*) Includes accommodation and full board for the period of the conference and Gala Dinner.
(**) Includes accommodation and full board.
(***) Depending on the resources available, some students might be entitled to receive a partial refund of the registration fee. Eligible registered applicants will be contacted after the early registration deadline. The amount of reimbursement will depend upon available financial resources.
URL: http://www.predictioncenter.org

Contact Person: anna tramontano (anna.tramontano@uniroma1.it)

New Scientific Structure at ISMB/ECCB 2017

The 25th Annual International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology will be held jointly with the European Conference on Computational Biology from July 21 – 25, 2017, in Prague, Czech Republic, with Chairs Janet Thornton and Yves Moreau.

As always the conference will provide an intense multidisciplinary forum for disseminating the latest developments in bioinformatics/computational biology. In response to the increasing interest in the activities of the ISCB's Communities of Special Interest (COSIs) who have previously organized the Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings at ISMB, ISMB/ECCB 2017 will be organized with the active participation of the COSIs. ISMB/ECCB 2017 will be more streamlined and will have an outstanding scientifically effective program.

In previous years COSI/SIG meetings took place on the two days preceding ISMB. In 2017, the COSI/SIG meetings will be merged into the main meeting and aligned with the thematic structure around which ISMB-ECCB is organized. The new conference format will retain the key features that make ISMB a successful open conference, including the Proceedings paper talks, Highlights and Late breaking talks, outstanding Keynote lectures, technical talks and industry sessions. In addition, equal opportunities activities, a students' council day, tutorials and other activities will take place. The new structure is intended to bring a new energy and flow to the conference by centering it thematically around the vibrant ISCB COSI communities.

The new scientific program structure will reduce redundancy and make it easier, and less expensive overall, for attendees to follow the wide diversity of topics important to our field. Further, with the COSIs more central to the conference, networking within and between the scientific communities will be greatly enhanced. Each year, including 2017, conference program chairs will encourage the emergence of new scientific themes through special sessions for emerging communities.

ISMB-ECCB 2017 will have a simplified system for all the submissions including Proceedings talks and Presentations that include Highlights and Late breaking research, SIG submissions and a single registration for either two or four days which will allow participants to attend talks across multiple special interest areas.

ISMB-ECCB 2017 will enable intensified community involvement and bolster its reputation as the leading conference in the field, with the strongest scientific and technical program that showcases the best international developments in bioinformatics and computational biology.
URL: http://www.iscb.org/ismbeccb2017

Contact Person: Diane Kovats (executive.office@iscb.org)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Inaugural Roux Family Center for Genomics and Computational Biology Symposium

The Roux Center inaugural symposium will gather experts in computational and multi-dimensional genetics and genomics. Talks by leading scientists including; Eric Schadt, Ph.D., Yijun Ruan, Ph.D., Joseph R. Ecker, Ph.D., Richard Young, Ph.D., and Gary Churchill, Ph.D., will cover nuclear genomic architecture, large scale genomic biology and the implications of high-throughput and cutting edge technologies in human health and disease. A reception celebrating the Roux Family Center for Genomics and Computational Biology will complete the day.
Register now for this free event and engage with leading researchers and scientists in this developing area of genetics and genomics. A full schedule and other details for this symposium can be found at www.jax.org/Rouxsymposium.

URL: http://www.jax.org/Rouxsymposium

Contact Person: Erin McDevitt (erin.mcdevitt@jax.org)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sony Faculty Innovation Grant in Computational Biology and Human-Computer Interaction

Trialect is soliciting applications for Sony Faculty Innovation Grants in Computational Biology and Human-Computer interactions (please also see other areas of interest for Sony). Sony, as part of one of the world's most innovative and recognizable brands, is committed to high quality university research and innovation in North America. This Research Grant Program provides funding for cutting-edge academic research and helps build a collaborative relationship between faculty and Sony researchers. As the deadline is fast approaching, we are reaching out to see if your team is interested to submit a proposal. The details can be perused at: Sony Faculty Innovation Award​
URL: https://app.trialect.com/4943/display

Contact Person: Trialect Support (Support@trialect.com)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The BD2K Guide to the Fundamentals of Data Science Online Lecture Series

The NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) program (https://datascience.nih.gov/bd2k) is pleased to announce The BD2K Guide to the Fundamentals of Data Science, a series of online lectures given by experts from across the country covering a range of diverse topics in data science. This course is an introductory overview that assumes no prior knowledge or understanding of data science.

This lecture series is a joint effort between the BD2K Training Coordinating Center (BD2KTCC, http://www.bigdatau.org/), the BD2K Centers Coordination Center (BD2KCCC, https://bd2kccc.org/), and the NIH Office of the Associate Director of Data Science (ADDS, https://datascience.nih.gov/adds). For up-to-date information about the series and to view archived presentations, go to: http://www.bigdatau.org/data-science-seminars.

The series begins Friday, September 9th, and will run all year, once per week, on Fridays from 12:00pm – 1:00pm ET. For additional event information, contact Crystal Stewart (crystal.stewart@loni.usc.edu).

*** To join the meeting online:
*** To join by phone only: +1 (872) 240-3311; Access Code: 786-506-213
*** First GoToMeeting? Try a test session:


· 09/09/16 - INTRODUCTION to Big Data and the Data Lifecycle (Mark Musen, Stanford)
· 09/16/16 - SECTION 1: DATA MANAGEMENT OVERVIEW (Bill Hersh, Oregon Health Sciences)
· 09/23/16 - Finding and Accessing Datasets, Indexing, and Identifiers (Lucila Ohno-Machado, UCSD)
· 09/30/16 - Data Curation and Version Control (Pascale Gaudet, Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics)
· 10/07/16 - Ontologies (Michel Dumontier, Stanford)
· 10/14/16 - Metadata Standards (Zachary Ives, Penn)
· 10/21/16 - Provenance (Suzanne Sansone, Oxford)
· 11/04/16 - Databases and Data Warehouses, Data: Structures, Types, Integrations (Chaitan Baru, NSF)
· 11/18/16 - Social Networking Data (TBD)
· 12/02/16 - Data Wrangling, Normalization, Preprocessing (Joseph Picone, Temple)
· 12/09/16 - Exploratory Data Analysis (Brian Caffo, Johns Hopkins)
· 12/16/16 - Natural Language Processing (Noemie Elhadad, Columbia)


· 01/13/17 - Workflows/Pipelines
· 01/20/17 - Programming and Software Engineering, API, Optimization
· 01/27/17 - Cloud, Parallel, Distributed Computing, and HPC
· 02/03/17 - Commons: Lessons Learned, Current State
· 02/17/17 - Smoothing, Unsupervised Learning/Clustering/Density Estimation
· 02/24/17 - Supervised Learning/Prediction/ML, Dimensionality Reduction
· 03/03/17 - Algorithms, Optimization
· 03/10/17 - Multiple Testing, False Discovery Rate
· 03/17/17 - Data Issues: Bias, Confounding, and Missing Data
· 03/24/17 - Causal Inference
· 03/31/17 - Data Visualization Tools and Communication
· 04/07/17 - Modeling Synthesis

· 04/14/17 - Open Science
· 04/21/17 - Data Sharing (including social obstacles)
· 04/28/17 - Ethical Issues
· 05/05/17 - Extra Considerations/Limitations for Clinical Data
· 05/12/17 - Reproducibility
· 05/19/17 - SUMMARY and NIH CONTEXT

Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should contact Sonynka Ngosso (Sonynka.Ngosso@nih.gov) at 301-402-9816. Requests should be made at least 5 business days in advance of the event.
URL: https://datascience.nih.gov/bd2k)

Contact Person: Lisa Dunnebacke (lisa.dunnebacke@nih.gov)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Call fo Nominations: BIRD Awards 2016

To encourage budding bioinformaticists in India who have had made outstanding contributions in the area of Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics, we have initiated the Bioclues Innovation, Research and Development (BIRD) awards since 2011. The call for the 2016 is now open:

URL: http://www.bioclues.org

Contact Person: Prash Suravajhala (prash@bioclues.org)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

NIGMS PRAT Program Accepting Applications beginning September 3, 2016

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences' Postdoctoral Research Associate (PRAT) program is accepting applications from September 3 through October 3, 2016. PRAT fellows conduct research in scientific areas within the Institute's mission while in an NIH intramural research program (IRP) lab. Fellows receive 3 years of stipend support and additional benefits such as health insurance, a travel allowance, and professional development training activities, including a monthly seminar series designed specifically for fellows. Before applying, applicants must identify a potential preceptor in the NIH IRP and develop a research proposal. Applications must be submitted via the Fi2 funding mechanism (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-16-130.html).

For more information about the PRAT program, see http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Training/Pages/PRAT.aspx or contact Jessica Faupel-Badger at badgerje@mail.nih.gov.
URL: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-16-130.html

Contact Person: Jessica Faupel-Badger (badgerje@mail.nih.gov)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Informatics Research Funding

2017 Informatics Fellowships and Grants: Application Deadline: September 1, 2016

The goal of the PhRMA Foundation Informatics program is to promote development and use of novel informatics in an integrative approach toward understanding normal processes of human biology and disease processes. Our Informatics awards support career development of scientists, at the pre doc, post doc, research starter and sabbatical level, engaged in research that significantly integrates state-of-the-art information technology developed with advanced biological, chemical, and pharmacological sciences in the following areas:
Molecular, Medical (human), Pharmaco, Polpulation
Functional, Structural, Toxico, Pharmaco, Comparative
Systems Biology
Pathways and Networks, Integrative biology, Modeling and simulation
Molecular Epidemiology
For detailed award information visit our website at www.phrmafoundation.org

URL: http://www.phrmafoundation.org

Contact Person: Charlotte Lillard (clillard@phrmafoundation.org)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Submission deadline for PSB 2017, August 1.

Very exciting sessions at PSB 2017 in Hawaii.  Submit your papers to any of the following topics:

(1) Computational approaches to understanding the evolution of molecular function

(2) Imaging genomics

(3) Methods to ensure the reproducibility of biomedical research

(4) Patterns in biomedical data - How do we find them?

(5) Precision medicine: from genotypes and molecular phenotypes towards improved health and therapies

(6) Single-cell analysis and modelling of cell population heterogeneity

URL: http://psb.stanford.edu/

Submissions close August 1, 2016

Contact Person: Predrag Radivojac (predrag@indiana.edu)

Thursday, June 30, 2016

ECCB 2016: Detailed programme schedule online

The detailed programme schedule for the ECCB 2016 main conference is now available online! Speakers who have been selected for a talk can find their allotted time slot.

Don't miss this opportunity to join over a thousand scientists, policy makers, and other stakeholders in a variety of disciplines, including bioinformatics, computational biology, biology, medicine, and systems biology at the fifteenth European Conference on Computational Biology!

Call for posters
22 July 2016 Extended submission deadline for posters

Call for travel fellowships
7 July 2016 Travel fellowship application closed
18 July 2016 Travel fellowship application notification
29 July 2016 Deadline early bird registration

Registration deadlines
29 July 2016 Early bird registration deadline
19 August 2016 Deadline online registration
URL: http://www.eccb2016.org

Contact Person: ECCB 2016 (eccb@congressbydesign.com)

Bright Minds Battling Dark Diseases

San Diego is home to world-class biomedical scientists focused on cutting-edge projects touted by president

URL: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/jun/25/bright-minds-cancer-microbiome-brain-mesa-torrey/

Contact Person: Nadine Costello (ncostello@iscb.org)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Elaborate Email and Phone Scam Using ISCB Members

Dear Members and Community,

ISCB recently learned of an elaborate email and phone scam. It appears that someone has created a fake email address in ISCB President Alfonso Valencia's name, which looks very close to Alfonso's real address, and has been sending emails to ISCB members. Within the email, they reference other ISCB members to make it appear real. In addition to the emails, they are also calling members posing as the member in need stated in the email.

Know this email is not real and is a very sophisticated scam. We have removed all emails which appeared online in our committee, advisory council, and past board of directors pages. Members will still be able to connect with other members using the ISCB Member Directory, which is a password protected directory for ISCB Members only. Please note that the directory may not contain all members as members have to opt-in to being part of the platform.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

For your reference, the email may look like the following -

Hello Dr.William.How are you?Our friend Dr.Jhong Bhak and ISCB
member from South Korea are on the way now to Seattle to attend her sister
funeral.As far as I know,they are on the way to United States and they
have some problem in the Philippine airport.Kindly call them at
011639064176763 or +639064176763 and please help them in any possible
way and I will call you as soon as possible.At this time,its midnight here
in Australia and I have a flight to catch later this morning back to
Spain... I will call you as soon I will arrive in my office.Thank
you very much in advance and God Bless.

In Prayers,
Dr. Alfonso Valencia
ISCB President
International Society for Computational Biology
Structural and Computational Biology Programme
Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO)
Madrid, Spain
URL: http://

Contact Person: Diane Kovats (dkovats@iscb.org)

BD Biosciences Grant for Infectious Diseases Research on Trialect

We have a posting on Trialect (https://app.trialect.com/) soliciting applications for BD Biosciences Grant for Infectious Diseases Research. Through the grant program, BD Biosciences works to support innovation in research and development, helping to define the next generation of scientific breakthroughs. Annually, 14 scientists are awarded. The application process is simple. The program is currently open to scientists and research labs in the US, in the Member States of the European Union and in Andorra, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and Vatican City State. We are reaching out to see if your fellows or junior investigators are interested. The details can be perused at: BD Bio Infectious Diseases Grant (https://app.trialect.com/4085/display)
URL: https://app.trialect.com/4085/display

Contact Person: Support (Support@trialect.com)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

TransMed 2016: Translational Medicine Informatics & Applications Meeting

ISMB 2016, (Orlando, USA), on July 8, 2016.

Knowledge-based translational medicine is a rapidly growing discipline in biomedical research and aims to expedite the discovery of new diagnostic tools and treatments by using a multi-disciplinary, highly collaborative, "bench-to-bedside" approach. Large amounts of multi-omics, imaging (medical and molecular) and clinical data can now be captured for given patient populations. In addition to the challenges of data curation and harmonisation, new computational methods are required to identify molecular signatures that suggest disease subtype. These signatures may be predictive of outcome or progression, and impact on disease management by suggesting personalised therapeutic strategies for patients. Such approaches will further the development of a new taxonomy of disease.

In the TransMed SIG meeting, we will explore the current status of computational biology approaches within the field of translational medicine.

Keynote Speakers Confirmed:

Prof. Russ Altman, Professor of Bioengineering, Genetics, Medicine and Computer Science; Director, Biomedical Informatics Training Program, School of Medicine, Stanford University

Prof. Sean Mooney, Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education, University of Washington; Chief Research Information Officer (CRIO) of UW Medicine

Prof. John Overington, Director of Bioinformatics at Stratified Medical, Visiting Professor at the Institute of Cardiovascular Science, University College London and the Farr Institute

Key dates:

Abstract submissions deadline: May 15, 2016

Poster and Presentation acceptance notifications: May 22, 2016

Final program available: May 31, 2016

TransMed 2016 SIG: July 8, 2016

URL: http://transmedit.org/Main_Page

Contact Person: TransMed (transmed-coord@googlegroups.com)

Announcing the May launch of the Respiratory Viral DREAM Challenge

Announcing the May launch of the Respiratory Viral DREAM Challenge

The First of the DREAM11 Challenges

Dear DREAM Community,

Mark your calendars! We are pleased to announce that the first Challenge of the DREAM11 season will be launching soon on May 15th.

The Respiratory Viral DREAM Challenge: Discovering dynamic molecular signatures in response to viral exposure will launch on May 15 and run through September 2016. To register go to http://www.http.com/www.synapse.org/ViralChallenge.

This Challenge will assess current capabilities to predict rate and severity of infection following exposure to respiratory viruses. Analysis will focus on gene expression array data collected by our partners at Duke University in a longitudinal manner from healthy volunteers exposed to respiratory viruses.

This is an exciting opportunity for DREAMers to develop methodologies for dynamic modeling based on time series data. Participants will be invited to discuss the results of this Challenge with clinical experts in a one-day workshop at the completion of the Challenge. Winners will also be invited to join in the development of a journal article describing these results and to present at the annual DREAM Conference taking place this November.

For more information and to register for this Challenge, please visit the challenge website at: http/www.synapse.org/ViralChallenge

URL: http/www.synapse.org/ViralChallenge

Contact Person: Gustavo Stolovitzky (gustavo@us.ibm.com)

Friday, May 6, 2016

Senate Appropriations Hearing

Dr. Collins and Institute Directors Drs. Christopher Austin, NCATS; Richard Hodes, NIA; Walter Koroshetz, NINDS; Douglas Lowy, NCI; and Nora Volkow, NIDA testified earlier this month before the Senate L-HHS subcommittee on NIH's FY17 budget request. Dr. Collins and members of the Subcommittee noted with emotion that this may be Dr. Collins' last appropriations hearing (see 2:11:20). For those who missed the live event, you can still view the webcast (http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/hearings/hearing-on-fy2017-national-institutes-of-health-budget-request) and read Dr. Collins' written testimony (https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/who-we-are/nih-director/testimony-fiscal-year-2017-budget-request-before-senate-committee)
URL: https://www.nih.gov/

Contact Person: NIH (NIHOutreachOffice@od.nih.gov)

April Visitors to NIH

April has seen several Congressional members visit NIH. Most recently, Representative Robert Dold and four colleagues, Representatives Susan Brooks, Katherine Clark, Joseph Kennedy, and David Valadao, met with NIH leadership and toured three labs, hearing updates about immunotherapy approaches in cancer treatments, therapies for diabetes and metabolic disorders, and surgical interventions for epilepsy patients. Earlier in the month, Representative Pete Sessions came out to attend a scientific meeting hosted by the National Eye Institute, Representative Barbara Comstock toured two labs, and Senator Barbara Mikulski met with NIH leadership and spoke at a town hall with NIH staff.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan visited last week. He met with Dr. Louis Staudt of NCI, toured the Children's Inn, and spoke with several patients. Mr. Hogan, a cancer survivor himself, shared how his experiences have given him a new appreciation for medical research and offered his support for NIH's work.
URL: https://www.nih.gov/

Contact Person: NIH (NIHOutreachOffice@od.nih.gov)

Share Your Ideas for the Cancer Moonshot

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has launched the Cancer Research Ideas (https://cancerresearchideas.cancer.gov/) online platform to collect community input to inform the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative. We hope to hear from a broad cross-section of the community, including researchers, advocates, philanthropists, data scientists, and members of the public, about their ideas for speeding up scientific advances in cancer research and spurring progress in prevention, treatment, and care. Visit the website by July 1 to submit your ideas or comment on the submissions we've already received. And please help us spread the word to your colleagues and communities and encourage them to share their ideas as well.

Plans are underway for a Cancer Moonshot Summit later this year. The summit will be a forum for updates on the Initiative and dialogue.
URL: https://cancerresearchideas.cancer.gov/

Contact Person: NIH (NIHOutreachOffice@od.nih.gov)

Dr. Collins Appoints PMI, ECHO Directors

Earlier this month, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins announced the appointment of Eric Dishman as Director of the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Cohort Program. Mr. Dishman, who will be stepping down from his role as Vice President and Fellow at Intel's Health & Life Sciences Group to move to NIH in June, will lead NIH's effort to build the PMI landmark longitudinal research study of one million or more U.S. volunteers. He brings not just a wealth of knowledge as a social scientist, researcher, and business leader, but also personal experience as a patient and patient advocate. For more details, you can read Dr. Collins' statement about the appointment and Mr. Dishman's interview with ScienceInsider where he discusses his motivation, vision, and the challenges he foresees. https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/who-we-are/nih-director/statements/selection-eric-dishman-director-precision-medicine-initiative-cohort-program

Dr. Collins this month also appointed Matthew Gillman, M.D., as Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program Director. ECHO is a seven-year NIH initiative to use large, existing study cohorts to conduct research on high-impact pediatric health outcomes. Please see Dr. Collins' statement for more information. https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/who-we-are/nih-director/statements/selection-dr-matthew-gillman-echo-program-director
URL: https://www.nih.gov/

Contact Person: NIH (NIHOutreachOffice@od.nih.gov)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

NIBLSE Undergraduate Bioinformatics Survey

Want to Improve Undergraduate Bioinformatics Education?

The Network for Integrating Bioinformatics into Life Sciences Education (NIBLSE) is an NSF Research Coordination Network for Undergraduate Biology Education (RCN-UBE) devoted to establishing bioinformatics as essential to the undergraduate life sciences curriculum. Please take (and share!) this brief survey we have developed (https://goo.gl/H2XkrU) about how bioinformatics should be included in the life sciences curriculum.

We invite you to read more about our activities and other ways to contribute and provide feedback at our project website (https://qubeshub.org/groups/niblse) or by contacting the PI at the address above.
URL: https://goo.gl/H2XkrU

Contact Person: Mark Pauley (mpauley@unomaha.edu)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Call for Submissions to Workshop on Computational Biology at ICML 2016

We invite submissions to the Workshop on Computational Biology to be held in conjunction with ICML 2016 conference in New York City, NY.

*Important Dates
Deadline for submissions : May 1, 2016
Notification of acceptance : May 10, 2016
Workshop date : June 24th 2016

All novel Computational Biology approaches are of interest to the workshop. We welcome original extended abstracts that present recently published work as well as preliminary ideas. Extended abstracts should not exceed 4 pages in length (plus 1 optional page for references) and should be in pdf format (one column, font size 12). The submission need not be anonymized. If the abstract concerns previously published work, please cite the original paper in the workshop submission.

All accepted contributions shall be presented at the poster session. Awards for Best Poster Presentations will be sponsored by Google.
In addition, a set of best submissions will also have the opportunity to present their work as Contributed Talks, and will receive Travel Awards sponsored by IBM Research.

Accepted abstracts will have the option of being published on the workshop website. For authors who do not wish their abstracts to be posted online or become citable, please mention this in the workshop submission.
Submissions should be made through the EasyChair system.

*Invited Speakers
Barbara Engelhardt, Princeton University
Jennifer Listgarten, Microsoft Research
Christina Leslie, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

All participants must register for Workshops at the ICML 2016 website .

For workshop-related queries please contact:

We are looking forward to your submissions!

Organizing Committee:
Dana Pe'er
Elham Azizi
Sandhya Prabhakaran
Olga Troyanskaya
Edoardo Airoldi
Volker Roth
URL: https://sites.google.com/site/compbioworkshopicml2016

Contact Person: Elham Azizi (icml2016compbio@gmail.com)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

2016 Postdoctoral Preparation Institute: Career Transitions Advancing Biomedical Research Workforce Diversity

2016 Postdoctoral Preparation Institute: Career Transitions Advancing Biomedical

Research Workforce Diversity June 2-3, 2016 Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, Bethesda, MD

Who Should Attend: The program is primarily intended for postdoctoral fellows who are near completion of their postdoctoral training appointments. Advanced graduate students may also apply to attend!

Hotel Reservation Deadline Date: May 11, 2016

Travel Awards are Available: The FASEB Office of Sponsored Programs, Diversity and Grants Administration is currently accepting travel award applications to help support participation in this two-day career development program. Applications are approved on a rolling basis.

2016 PPI Registration/Travel Award Application Deadline: Registration/Travel Award Application receipt deadline: Friday, May 6, 2016, at 5PM EDT

Travel awards will be provided for all eligible applicants (those not already receiving federally-funded travel support and who also meet other criteria e.g., citizenship/residency status) who are approved and selected to participate in the Institute. The maximum amount for the travel award is $1,500. (US Citizens/Legal Permanent Resident Aliens trainees on R01, T32 grants are eligible to apply and receive travel award support for the 2016 PPI.)

NOTE: We are not allowed to provide travel awards for selected participants who reside within a 50-mile radius of the meeting venue in Bethesda, MD.

The 2016 Postdoctoral Preparation Institute is funded by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (T36-GM008637-20); therefore, travel awards are restricted to USA citizens or legal permanent residents of the USA, who also reside within the USA or USA territories.

For more information and registration/travel award application forms: twdprograms.org. Questions? Email PostdocWorkshop@faseb.org for answers!

Download mobile app/guide at https://guidebook.com/g/2016PPI.

Featured Presentations:
SciPhD "Preparing for Professional Careers"
Being competitive and successful as a professional scientist, regardless of whether in an industry or academic setting requires mastery of scientific, business and social skills. Running an effective laboratory operation is like running a small business, and can benefit from applying best practices that have been developed by industry. In "Preparing for Professional Careers" we will look at how your scientific/technical skills combined with your business skills and social skills together make up the three identities that define your brand. The same competencies that industry requires in order to be successful are equally important in developing and co- existing in a high-performing team in academic settings.

In the first 1.5-hour session we will look at the 24 competencies that industry has identified as critical in being competitive and successful, and how they relate to scientists own past experiences during their graduate and post-graduate education. We will also look at different kinds of jobs that are available both in academia and industry.

In the second 2-hour session we will discuss how to identify business and social competencies in job ads, and how to use that information to develop targeted resumes that emphasize all three identities (scientific, business, social) in the context of what the hiring institution is seeking. We will also discuss how to build an effective network, and how to leverage that network to identify and research jobs, and get your resume on the hiring manager's desk. Finally we will discuss how to prepare for interviews and effectively apply the business and social skills discussed in the first session to demonstrate why you are a good fit for the position.
Dr. Randall Ribaudo; CEO Human Workflows, LLC, Co-founder SciPhD.com

SciPhD "Essential Communications for Scientists – Tools for Building and Leveraging Your Network"
Establishing and maintaining professional relationships is essential in developing a successful career whether in Academia or Industry. Scientists are perceived as "experts" in both their professional and social settings in almost everything they do. Developing the ability to shift from that "expert" mode to a "learner" mode is a very powerful technique in establishing and strengthening relationships. The ability to adapt your communications mode allows you to stand out and be valued with anyone you meet; whether they are peer scientists, senior executives, the lay public, investors, human resources professionals or any others. Learn to communicate in a way that adds value and is relevant to their organizational role. In this workshop we will explore three communications techniques that specifically focus on adjusting the technical level of your communications, the perceived social context with which you communicate and how to do so in a way that makes you a value d and trusted contact.
Dr. Randall Ribaudo; CEO Human Workflows, LLC, Co-founder SciPhD.com
Mr. Larry Petcovic, MS; Co-founder SciPhD.com, Vice President for Communications

Career Preparation and Skills Development
• Translating Your Credentials on Paper (CV=> Résumé) and in Person
• Nailing the Job Talk and Interview Prep
• Negotiating the Job Offer
• Leveraging PPI: How to Follow Up on an Interesting PPI Presentation and Initiate Informational Interviews
Dr. Andrew Green; Associate Director, Career Center, University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Monte Willis; Associate Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory
Medicine University of North at Carolina Chapel Hill

Preparing for Careers in Academia
• Applying for Positions in the Civil Service and in Academia: Academic Research/Higher Education Positions
• Who will do Tomorrow's Research?
• Reality Ph.D.: It's Not Just Academia*
Dr. Jabbar Bennett; Associate Provost for Diversity & Inclusion, Northwestern University
Dr. Hannah Valantine; Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity, NIH

*Variety of Panelists representing recent PhD Postdocs employed in various sectors of the biomedical research workforce

Preparing for Careers in the Federal Government
• Applying for Positions in the Civil Service and in Academia: Civil Service (Federal Government) Positions
• "Uncle Sam" Wants You! What You Can Be With a Biomedical Ph.D. as a Civil Servant for the US Government

Mr. Brian Rabin; Chief, Corporate Recruitment and Internal Operations Unit at NIH
Dr. Alison Gammie; Director, Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity, NIGMS/NIH
Dr. Linda Hyman; Division Director, Molecular and Cellular Bioscience, National Science Foundation

Reality Ph.D.: It's Not Just Academia: The series of panel discussions will highlight the diverse careers of postdoc peers/PhD scientists who have successfully transitioned out of their postdoctoral training appointments into independent careers in diverse areas of the biomedical research workforce.
*Science Policy/Science Writing/Communications * Industry *Nonprofit Organizations * Consulting and Entrepreneurship * Science Education/Teaching * Government Research * Government Administration * Academic Science/Research Track * Technology Transfer and Patent
URL: https://guidebook.com/g/2016PPI

Contact Person: info@faseb.org (info@faseb.org)

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Lectureship available : Genome Medicine / Clinical Translation Bioinformatics Push in Sheffield

The UK 100 000 Genomes project is actually really making a difference to treatment and approaches to healthcare in UK. Genome Medicine is rapidly being recognised as a mainstream form of healthcare - but the NHS has a lot of catching up to do. Yorkshire is not what comes to mind when one thinks of cutting edge Genome Medicine and eHealth, but in fact, the UK Government has recently invested £20M into eHEalth in the region, and confirmed another £250M for genome medicine over the next 5 years.

The University of Sheffield Medical School is moving rapidly to embrace Genome Medicine. One of several posts it has created, is a lectureship in teaching and research into genome Medicine / Clinical Bioinformatics. Several posts are being developed and the University is actively looking for the next generation of leaders in this area that would like to become part of the transition to genome health care in UK.

Lectureship in Genome Medicine/Translational Bioinformatics

The UK is home to rapid development of the science of Genome Medicine, an emerging medical discipline that uses genomic information about an individual as part of clinical care, health outcomes and policy implications. The Genome England project is driving the sequencing of 100 000 samples, providing deep new insight into the genomes associated with disease.

The Genomic Medicine group within the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, invites applications for a position as a Lecturer in Bioinformatics/Genomic medicine.

The post builds on our rapidly growing strengths in biomedical genomic research. We work closely with Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Trust and The Sheffield Children's Hospital NHS Trust. The University plays a key academic partner role in the Yorkshire and Humber Genome Medicine Centre that is recruiting NHS patients to the Genomics England initiative. We are preferred providers of the NHS England MSc in Genomic Medicine.

We seek a highly motivated lecturer who has the ability to perform research led teaching of Bioinformatics and Genomics relevant to Genome Medicine. The applicant will have broad experience in genetics and clinical bioinformatics and next generation sequencing analysis and will be familiar with the application of these technologies to selection and interpretation of clinically relevant variants. The lecturer will be Co-Director of our flagship MSc in Genome Medicine , and will benefit from a supportive community within the University and across the NHS Genome Medicine Centre for Yorkshire and the Humber. In addition there will be opportunities to develop and deliver curriculum in bioinformatics and genomics across the University, and together with the National Genome Medicine MSc programme   sponsored by HEE, NHS and Genome England, to develop online coursework with international visibility in Genome Medicine and Clinical Bioinformatics.
We are one of nine national centres providing co-ordinated training in Genome Medicine. The Master's in Genomic Medicine has been developed to provide a multi-disciplinary and multi-professional course in genomics that can be applied to clinical practice and medical research. Development of independently funded research is encouraged and there are also funded opportunities to oversee MSc students in association with the GeCIP s that drive post-sequencing analyses of the subjects in the UK 100 000 Genomes Project.

For informal enquiries regarding this job please contact Professor  Winston Hide (winhide @ sheffield.ac.uk  or Dr Janine Kirby at j.kirby @ sheffield.ac.uk

URL: http://bit.ly/1QxRzpE

Contact Person: Winston Hide (winhide@sheffield.ac.uk)

Friday, February 19, 2016

BioArt Winners on Display at NIH

The winning images of the 2015 BioArt contest are now on display at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Visitor's Center in the Hall of Nobel Laureates. The BioArt competition—sponsored by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)—features visually compelling research images and videos produced by members of FASEB constituent societies and other federally funded researchers. Through this annual contest, FASEB seeks to share the beauty and excitement of biological research with the public. The images highlight the diversity of bioscience research and demonstrate the importance of federal support.

This is the fourth year FASEB BioArt winning images have been displayed at NIH. More information about the NIH Visitor Center, including directions and hours of operation, can be found online.
URL: http://www.faseb.org/

Contact Person: Bethany Drehman (bdrehman@faseb.org)

House Passes Controversial NSF Grant Certification Bill

On February 10, the House of Representatives passed Scientific Research in the National Interest Act (H.R. 3293) by margin of 236-178 along a nearly party-line vote. The bill would place new, stricter requirements on the grant-making processes at the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Specifically, the legislation mandates that the Foundation certify each grant to be "worthy of Federal funding" and fulfill other specific criteria in order to be awarded. The House passed legislation with similar requirements for NSF in May in the American COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806)

In response to the bill's passage, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy indicating the President's intention to veto the bill should it be presented to him. John Holdren, PhD, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, also issued a comment strongly criticizing the legislation for the potential harm it could inflict on the nation's scientific enterprise. Holdren offered an eloquent defense of NSF's existing merit review processes and the fundamental importance of basic research funded by NSF.

The Senate has yet to take up a version of the COMPETES bill or any similar legislation.
URL: http://www.faseb.org/

Contact Person: Benjamin Krinsky (bkrinsky@faseb.org)

BioPolicy Summit Explores Solutions to Reproducibility Concerns

On February 9, the Global Biological Standards Institute (GBSI) hosted its second BioPolicy Summit, Research Reproducibility: Innovative Solutions to Drive Quality. The summit convened experts in the scientific community to explore ways to resolve ongoing concerns about the reproducibility of basic biomedical research.

Keynote speaker Judith Kimble, PhD, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, began the event by describing recent reports that raised concerns about the reproducibility and translatability of research. Noting that the inability to reproduce a research finding could result from several factors, including poor experimental design, mislabeled reagents, or insufficient reporting of methods, Dr. Kimble stated that problems with reproducibility bear hidden costs in terms of delayed or lost scientific opportunities and declining public confidence in the research enterprise. Therefore, Dr. Kimble noted it is critical that all stakeholders in the biomedical research enterprise work together to implement solutions to improve the reproducibility, transparency, and translatability of basic biological discoveries.

The keynote presentation was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Richard Harris, science correspondent for NPR news. Panelists included Arturo Casadevall, MD, PhD (Johns Hopkins University), Amy Herr, PhD (University of California-Berkeley), Josh LaBaer, MD, PhD (Arizona State University), Brian Nosek, PhD (University of Virginia), and Timothy Simcoe, PhD (Boston University and National Bureau of Economic Research). Much of the discussion focused on ways to alleviate the negative effects of the current hyper-competitive research environment, in which the pressures to procure federal funding and publish research findings in "high impact" journals may result in the premature sharing of research results. Panelists agreed that many of the common issues identified as reducing the reproducibility of research can easily be addressed through more stringent training of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in experimental design, analytical methods, and critical revi ew. Similarly, they said the research community needs to place value on efforts intended to enhance reproducibility and transparency.

To encourage this latter point, GBSI introduced Reproducibility2020, an action plan intended to improve awareness of reagent authentication, enhance protocol and data sharing, and enrich the training of scientists.
URL: http://www.faseb.org/

Contact Person: Yvette Seger (yseger@faseb.org)

ASBMR Capitol Hill Day Assisted by FASEB Office of Public Affairs

Not even "Snowzilla" could stop leaders from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) from advocating on Capitol Hill for sustained and predictable increases to NIH funding on Wednesday, January 27. ASBMR President Douglas P. Kiel, MD, MPH lauded the Hill Day experience, saying, "Today was further evidence that a personal commitment to advocacy is crucial to attach a face to the important, life-saving research we do, so that our policy makers and the general public remember the significance of supporting scientists."

The success of this Hill Day was made possible by a collaborative effort between ASBMR and the FASEB Public Affairs Department to plan the event. Jennifer Zeitzer, Director of Legislative Relations at FASEB, worked with ASBMR staff to identify and schedule meetings with key members of Congress and to develop messages and materials. On the morning of the event, Yvette Seger, PhD, Science Policy Director at FASEB, provided training for the ASBMR leaders.

ASBMR leaders held a total of 25 meetings with elected officials representing nine states and eight congressional districts. They communicated the need to solve the health problems facing the American public through research and for access to testing that will save the lives of people with osteoporosis, thanks to the training provided by Seger and a motivational presentation by Research!America President and CEO, Mary Woolley.

Their message was clear: Sustainable and predictable increases to NIH funding for FY2017 and beyond are needed to ensure its authority as the world's preeminent medical research institution, and for NIH to remain our best hope for finding cures, improving treatments, and gaining a better understanding of the complex causes of diseases that affect millions of Americans.

During the Hill Day wrap-up, ASBMR leaders expressed their enthusiasm about the opportunity to advocate for biomedical research on Capitol Hill and their dedication to maintain communication with their representatives to follow up with additional information on current bone, mineral and musculoskeletal research. ASBMR's Executive Director, Ann L. Elderkin, PA, noted that "FASEB's assistance was invaluable to ASBMR to be able to carry a consistent message to Capitol Hill that FASEB and its member societies are also carrying, making the sum of these efforts to be far greater than what ASBMR could do on its own."

Lynn Mirigian, PhD, is the Clinical Practice and Science Policy Manager at ASBMR.

The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) is the leading professional, scientific and medical society established to bring together clinical and experimental scientists involved in the study of bone and mineral metabolism. ASBMR encourages and promotes the study of this expanding field through annual scientific meetings, an official journal (Journal of Bone and Mineral Research®), the Primer on Metabolic Bone Diseases and Disorders of Mineral
URL: http://www.faseb.org/

Contact Person: Lynn Mirigian (asbmr@asbmr.org)

Senate Committee Approves Bill to Expand Opportunities for Young Researchers

Legislation to improve career opportunities for young researchers moved forward last week as the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee unanimously approved the Next Generation Researchers Act (S 2014) co-authored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Susan Collins (R-ME).

The bill instructs the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish a "Next Generation Research Initiative" to coordinate NIH policies and programs aimed at promoting and providing opportunities for new researchers. Under the Initiative, all existing efforts within NIH to help early-stage investigators secure grant funding—including the Pathway to Independence Awards and the NIH Director's New Innovator Awards—would continue, and new policies to improve mentorship and workforce data collection would be implemented.

In addition, NIH must consider recommendations from a forthcoming National Academy of Sciences report evaluating factors affecting early-stage/new investigators' ability to enter the biomedical research workforce. A provision to expand NIH's loan repayment programs was added to the bill as recommended by the Physician-Scientist Working Group and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) in its "Sustaining Discovery in Biological and Medical Sciences" report. FASEB endorsed the Next Generation Researchers Act and was mentioned by Senator Collins during the committee's consideration of the legislation and in a press release issued by Baldwin and Collins.

Senator Baldwin introduced the bill in 2013 after touring the NIH campus, meeting with NIH Director Francis Collins, and speaking with faculty and students at the Medical College of Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research. "This bipartisan legislation demonstrates a commitment to our future scientists by improving their opportunities at NIH and builds off Wisconsin's proud tradition of being a leader in this field," she said following the HELP Committee's action.

The introduction of the Next Generation Research Act continues Senator Baldwin's long-standing efforts to strengthen the federal commitment to NIH. She also has a personal connection to research—her grandfather previously ran a lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her aunt is a researcher.
URL: http://www.faseb.org/

Contact Person: Jennifer Zeitzer (jzeitzer@faseb.org)

AmazonSmile Foundation supports ISCB

The International Society For Computational Biology recently received a small donation from the AmazonSmile Foundation as a result of AmazonSmile program activity during the last quarter of 2015.

Through AmazonSmile you can increase ISCB\\\'s donation potential by spreading the word about AmazonSmile. Did you know that your AmazonSmile shopping can support ISCB?

Check out http://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-2093854 and bookmark this link and share with your friends, family, and co-workers so all your eligible shopping will benefit ISCB.

Thank you for your participation in the AmazonSmile program!
URL: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-2093854

Contact Person: Suzi Smith (admin@iscb.org)

Friday, February 5, 2016

NSF report shows growth in global R&D spending

On February 1, the National Science Board (NSB) announced the release of the 2016 Science and Engineering Indicators (SEI) report at a briefing on Capitol Hill. The report, which is updated every two years, details the state of the nation's scientific enterprise, including research and development (R&D) spending; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education; the scientific workforce; and public perceptions of science.

The data show R&D spending accelerated worldwide, particularly in Asia. Countries in South, Southeast, and East Asia accounted for approximately $680 billion or 40 percent of global R&D activity in 2013. The United States led global R&D investment in 2013. Private and public R&D spending in the United States totaled $456 billion dollars in 2013, accounting for 27 percent of global R&D expenditures.

Despite its lead role in the global market, the report also noted that the federal commitment to R&D has wavered in the United States over the last few years. Although federal R&D spending increased through the first decade of the 21st century, SEI data indicated that there was an 11 percent current-dollar decline from fiscal years 2010 to 2014.

This has particular relevance to academic researchers because the federal government is the largest supporter (encompassing 47 percent) of all US basic research. The causes of this recent funding decline are manifold and include the end of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , the implementation of the Budget Control Act , and other pressures on the federal discretionary budget.
URL: http://washingtonupdate.faseb.org/nsf-report-shows-growth-in-global-rd-spending/

Contact Person: Benjamin Krinsky (opa@faseb.org)

Updates on MIRA and reproducibility at NIGMS advisory council

During the public session of its January 29 meeting, the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council heard updates on several National Institutes of Health (NIH)-wide and National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)-specific initiatives. They also discussed the findings of several program assessments.

NIGMS Director, Jon Lorsch, PhD, began the meeting with an update on the first round of applications for the Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA), a pilot funding mechanism introduced last year that provides support for an investigator's overall research program rather than a specific project. For this pilot, applications were limited to established investigators with two or more R01 (or equivalent) grants from NIGMS and support due to expire in Fiscal Years 2016 or 2017. Institute leaders were pleased with the response to this funding opportunity, with 25 percent of the 710 eligible investigators submitting applications. Applications were reviewed by four review panels based on broad scientific area. Reviewers received extensive training on the purpose and goals of the MIRA program as well as implicit bias prior to reviewing proposals. A second MIRA pilot that focuses on early career investigators received 326 applications. NIGMS is working with the NIH Center for Scientific Review to conduct the review of those applications in March. Dr. Lorsch noted that NIGMS plans to reissue the funding opportunity this year and hopefully expand eligibility soon.

Council member Jean Schwarzbauer, PhD, provided a brief overview of the September 2015 Workshop on Reproducibility in Cell Culture Studies. The workshop focused on three key themes—reproducibility, replicability, and transparency—in research using cell cultures. Panelists identified five key areas to address: cell lines, cell culturing methods, materials and reagents, research records, and experimental design. Workshop and subsequent discussions are being used to develop a comprehensive report and recommendations that will review best practices for cell line authentication, training and education needs, and reporting expectations for publications and grant applications.

The meeting concluded with presentations of several program assessments for the Council's consideration. The first was an analysis of the National Centers for Systems Biology (NCSB) program, which was established in 2004 and funded through the P50 grant mechanism. Another presentation compared the outcomes of Program Project grants (P01s) to those of single-investigator and multi-investigator R01 grants using bibliometric and other measures. An additional analysis used Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) terms to examine the research outputs of investigators funded by the MERIT (R37) program. Dr. Lorsch stated that the findings from these evaluations would be used by NIGMS leadership to inform future planning of NIGMS's research portfolio.

The webcast of the public session can be viewed online.
URL: http://washingtonupdate.faseb.org/updates-on-mira-and-reproducibility-at-nigms-advisory-council/

Contact Person: Yvette Seger (opa@faseb.org)

Inside the Beltway Scoop

Members of Congress will turn their attention to fiscal year (FY) 2017 when President Barack Obama sends his proposed budget to Capitol Hill on February 9. The administration's request is expected to include more details about initiatives for federal agencies next year, including an effort to rapidly accelerate cancer research.

Following the submission of the Obama budget, lawmakers will begin working on their respective budget resolutions, which will outline overall spending priorities for FY 2017. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) confirmed the House will consider a budget resolution in early March that adheres to the $30 billion increase in discretionary spending Congress approved last October. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) announced that his panel will also produce a budget blueprint after previously saying he was not sure whether they would be able to do so.

Appropriators are also moving forward with plans to start consideration of the 12 individual spending bills in late March. Last week, the House Appropriations Committee announced the following deadlines for members of Congress to submit funding requests for specific agencies and programs:
Agency Deadline
National Institutes of Health

funded by Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill
March 24
National Science Foundation

funded by Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill
March 23
Department of Energy Office of Science

funded by Energy & Water Appropriations bill
March 15
Veterans Administration Medical Research Program

funded by Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill
March 1
Agriculture & Food Research Initiative and Agricultural Research Service

funded by Agriculture Appropriations bill
March 15

In other news, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) announced that rather than passing a single piece of legislation similar to the 21st Century Cures Act adopted by the House in 2015, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will consider several smaller health-related bills over the next few months. In February, the committee will vote on measures concerning electronic medical records, rare diseases, medical devices, neurological research, and a proposal from Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to improve career prospects for young researchers. On March 9, the panel is expected to debate a bill to "ensure that the NIH (National Institutes of Health) has the tools it needs to research treatments that are individualized for patients." This legislation has not been introduced yet. It is not clear what issues the HELP Committee will tackle at a meeting scheduled for April 6.
URL: http://washingtonupdate.faseb.org/inside-the-beltway-scoop-48/

Contact Person: Jennifer Zeitzer (opa@faseb.org)

FASEB raises concerns about purchase threshold

In a letter to White House Office Management and Budget (OMB) (http://washingtonupdate.faseb.org/faseb-raises-concerns-about-purchase-threshold/) Controller David Mader, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) expressed concerns regarding new purchase limitations.

The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR part 200) introduced a threshold of $3,000 for "micro-purchases," goods and services that can be purchased with minimal administrative burden. Purchases above this dollar value would require additional documentation of comparative rates from other vendors.

FASEB's letter builds upon concerns raised in a January 20, 2016 letter from the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) and other signatories suggesting the $3,000 threshold is too stringent. Many institutions and states already set micro-purchases at $5,000 or $10,000. Reducing the micro-purchase threshold will delay the acquisition of research materials and slow the progress of research while adding administrative burden and processing costs.

In addition to the core concerns regarding additional costs and pace of research, FASEB refers to analysis by the Federal Demonstration Project that indicates that the new threshold will not result in large savings. In a sample of 55 institutions, micro-purchase transactions accounted for only 26 percent of total procurements funds. The majority of these transactions were less than $10,000. Therefore, FASEB strongly recommended that OMB use existing institutional data to determine micro-purchase thresholds that would ensure appropriate oversight of federal funds while keeping administrative burdens to a minimum.
URL: http://washingtonupdate.faseb.org/faseb-raises-concerns-about-purchase-threshold/

Contact Person: Yvette Seger (opa@faseb.org)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

ISCB Responds to New England Journal of Medicine Article

The recent editorial by Drs. Longo and Drazen in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) [1] has stirred up quite a bit of controversy. As Executive Officers of the International Society of Computational Biology, Inc. (ISCB), we express our deep concern about the restrictive and potentially damaging opinions voiced in this editorial. While some of the concerns voiced by the authors of the editorial are worth considering, large parts of the statement purport an obsolete view of hegemony over data that is neither in line with today's spirit of open access nor furthering an atmosphere where the potential of data can be fully realized.

We acknowledge that the additional comment on the editorial [2] eases some of the polemics, unfortunately without addressing some of the core issues. We still feel, however, that we need to contrast the opinion voiced in the editorial with what we consider the axioms of our scientific society, statements that lead into a fruitful future of data-driven science:

• Data produced with public money should be public in benefit of the science and society
• Restrictions to the use of public data hamper science and slow progress
• Open data is the best way to combat fraud and misinterpretations

Current large data collections proceed from many sources are continually accumulated and require a variety of analytical approaches. Data generation and data analysis overlap in time and are continually updated with new data sets produced by new techniques and new analysis methodologies. Furthermore, in many cases current science functions in consortia in which scientists collaborate toward common goals while preserving their own scientific objectives. Dividing scientists into data providers and data analysts is simplistic and gives a misleading impression of the actual state of biological and biomedical science.

We very much support collaboration between disciplines, including experimental and clinical as well as bioinformatics, as the best way forward to address complex biological problems. But this collaboration cannot be based on imposed restrictions to data access and cannot be contained in professional silos. (The use of expressions such as "research parasites" clearly does not help.)

Many bio-communities have made significant progress by endorsing open data policies and, gratefully, public funding agencies have connected to the spirit that they are distributing taxpayers' money to science and that, therefore, the data that are generated in the course belong to the public. It is, perhaps, natural that some areas of biomedical research are slow in adopting these policies. History and the confidential nature of the relevant data are surely one of the reasons. However, in our opinion data hegemony is another, a reason that has to be overcome. The sooner these barriers to progress are removed the sooner the patients will benefit from the current flourishing of biomedical research.

1. Longo, D.L. and J.M. Drazen, Data Sharing. N Engl J Med, 2016. 374(3): p. 276-7.
2. Drazen, J.M., Data Sharing and the Journal. New Engl J Med.

Respectfully submitted by the International Society for Computational Biology's Executive Committee,

Alfonso Valencia, President
Bonnie Berger, Vice President
Terry Gaasterland, Vice President
Thomas Lengauer, Vice President
Christine Orengo, Vice President
Bruno Gaeta, Treasurer
Scott Markel, Secretary

Contact Person: Executive Office (executive.office@iscb.org)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Bonnie Berger to be Inducted into Medical and Biological Engineering Elite

The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the pending induction of Bonnie Berger, Ph.D., Professor of Applied Math and Computer Science at MIT, and head of the Computation and Biology group,, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to its College of Fellows. Dr. Berger was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows for outstanding research contributions to computational biology and mentoring of future bioinformatics leaders.

The College of Fellows is comprised of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers in the country. The most accomplished and distinguished engineering and medical school chairs, research directors, professors, innovators, and successful entrepreneurs, comprise the College of Fellows.

AIMBE Fellows are regularly recognized for their contributions in teaching, research, and innovation. AIMBE Fellows have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Science and the Presidential Medal of Technology and Innovation and many also are members of the National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences.

A formal induction ceremony will be held during AIMBE's 25th Annual Meeting at the National Academy of Sciences Great Hall in Washington, DC on April 4, 2016. Dr. Berger will be inducted along with 160 colleagues who make up the AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2016. For more information about the AIMBE Annual Meet, please visit www.aimbe.org.

AIMBE's mission is to recognize excellence in, and advocate for, the fields of medical and biological engineering in order to advance society. Since 1991, AIMBE's College of Fellows has lead the way for technological growth and advancement in the fields of medical and biological engineering. Fellows have helped revolutionize medicine and related fields in order to enhance and extend the lives of people all over the world. They have also successfully advocated for public policies that have enabled researchers and business-makers to further the interests of engineers, teachers, scientists, clinical practitioners, and ultimately, patients.

For questions regarding the College of Fellows and AIMBE, please contact Jason R. Hibner, AIMBE Director of Member Services and Operations at jhibner@aimbe.org, or call the AIMBE office at 202-496-9660.

American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering: www.aimbe.org
Providing Leadership & Advocacy for Medical and Biological Engineering for the Benefit of Society


Jason Hibner
Director of Member Services & Operations

25th Annual Event | April 3-4, 2016 | Washington, DC
Come to Look Back on our History and Look Forward Towards Innovation

American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)
1701 K Street NW, Suite 510
Washington, DC 20006

(202) 496-9660 | Fax (202) 466-8489

Providing Leadership & Advocacy for Medical and Biological Engineering for the Benefit of Society
URL: http://www.aimbe.org

Contact Person: Jason Hibner (jhibner@aimbe.org)

Registry of Standards - share your feedback, help us to help you

We would like to ask you 10 questions to assess your needs for a registry of standards in the life, environmental, and biomedical sciences.

If widely used, community-driven standards can help scientists to broadly represent, annotate and share digital information in ways that enable their re-use, reproducibility and further exploration. Did you know there are >600 standards in the life, environmental and biomedical sciences? We know that many researchers, developers, curators, funders, journal editors, and librarians lack the support and guidance on how to best select standards and understand their maturity, or to find tools and databases that implement them.

BioSharing is a curated, web-based, searchable portal of standards. Since 2011, Biosharing has ensured standards are registered and discoverable, and has monitored their maturity and evolution, and in doing so has helped provide enough information for our growing user base to make informed decisions. This is your time to drive enhancements to BioSharing, under several research and infrastructure programmes. Your feedback will:
Provide a review of BioSharing content and functionality as the ELIXIR Standards Registry, under the EuropeanELIXIR EXCELERATE project
Define BioSharing activities under the US NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K ) initiative, specifically to:
Work with the NIH Associate Director for Data Science (ADDS ) office to ensure BioSharing is formally embedded in the complementary activities of the BD2K Standards Coordinating Centre
Inform the contribution to the selection and usage of standards in the BD2K Data Discovery Index (bioCADDIE ) project, and the Centre for Expanded Data Annotation and Retrieval (CEDAR )
Contribute to the BioSharing Working Group, operating jointly under the Force 11/Research Data Alliance (RDA)working groups .

The survey closes on 31 Jan, 2016.

Thank-you for participating - your feedback is really important to us.
URL: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BioSharingStandardsRegistry

Contact Person: Peter McQuilton (BD2KUPDATES@LIST.NIH.GOV)

Seeking nominations for annual review of translational bioinformatics 2016

Once again, I am preparing an annual review of progress in translational bioinformatics, and am seeking nominations for exciting papers published between January 2015 and the present. The talk will be on March 21 in San Francisco as part of https://www.amia.org/jointsummits2016

This talk is now in its 9th year and I hope is a useful way to highlight great work in our field.

To remind you, I am looking for papers that relate clinical entities (patients, diseases, drugs, symptoms, signs, populations) to molecular entities (genes, molecules, RNA, proteins) using informatics technologies. Self-nominations are welcome, and nominations of the papers of others are even better.

You can send me the paper, the citation, PMID, or whatever. If you want to tell me why you nominate a paper, great, but you don\\\'t have to--I will read the papers and try to form an opinion. The previous talks are available at: https://rbaltman.wordpress.com

Thanks so much for your help. I try to acknowledge all contributors in the the talk (let me know if you prefer to be anonymous). Please forward this message to colleagues who may have thoughts.

Nominate great papers by junior scientists who may not get the recognition they deserve!
URL: https://www.amia.org/jointsummits2016

Contact Person: Russ B Altman (rbaltman@stanford.edu)