2008 News

November 3, 2008

3rd Annual DREAM Conference

The 3rd Annual DREAM (Dialogue for Reverse Engineering Assessments and Methods) Conference was held at the Broad Institute in Boston from October 29th to November 2nd 2008, jointly with the 5th Annual RECOMB Satellite Conference on Regulatory Genomics and the 4th Annual RECOMB Satellite Conference on Systems Biology. The meeting was organized by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). The meeting brought together computational and experimental scientists in the area of regulatory genomics, to discuss current research directions, latest findings, and establish new collaborations towards a systems-level understanding of gene regulation. The program comprised 16 keynote presentations, 93 oral presentations selected from submitted manuscripts and 1-page abstracts, and 160 posters in four poster sessions. More than 500 participants registered attended the joint meeting, of which the vast majority attended all three meetings. Conference Chairs: Manolis Kellis (MIT), Andrea Califano Columbia University, Gustavo Stolovitzky (IBM). Organizing Commitee: Eleazar Eskin, Nir Friedman, Leroy Hood, Trey Ideker, Douglas Lauffenburger, Satoru Miyano, Eran Segal, Ron Shamir. Partner journal editors: Hillary Sussman, CSHL (Genome Research), Thomas Lemberger, EMBO (Nature MSB), Sorin Istrail, Brown University (Journal of Computational Biology).

Andrea Califano, Professor of Biomedical Informatics, co-Director of the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, and Director of the National Center for the Multiscale Analysis of Genetic and Cellular Networks has been appointed for a 5 year term to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Board of Scientific Advisors. The NCI Board of Scientific Advisors provide scientific advice on a wide variety of matters concerning scientific program policy, progress and future direction of the NCI’s extramural research programs, and concept review of extramural program initiatives.

At the 2008 Annual Meeting of the cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG™) initiative, members of the C2B2 software development team were recognized with awards for their technical achievements and contributions to the program, including their work in defining standards for the execution of bioinformatics workflows on caGrid (the grid infrastructure of caBIG) and in interfacing caGrid with TeraGrid, one of the largest national computational grid networks.

The Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (C2B2), in collaboration with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, has a received a 3-year award from the National Cancer Institute to establish and operate the Molecular Analysis Tools Knowledge Center of the cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG™) initiative. The mission of the Knowledge Center is to promote the adoption of caBIG™ technologies aiming to facilitate the discovery of the next generation of cancer diagnostics and therapeutics which will help realize the vision of molecular and personalized medicine. geWorkbench, the bioinformatics platform of the MAGNet Center, will be one of the tools supported by the Knowledge Center.

The caBIG™ initiative, overseen by the NCI Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology, was conceived to advance basic and clinical research on cancer and improve clinical outcomes for patients. Information such as patient registries, tissue management data, and study results can be uploaded to the grid-based system.

On October 15 2008, Burkhard Rost, PhD, C2B2 member and professor of biochemistry & molecular biophysics, was awarded one of the 2008 Alexander von Humboldt Professorships. The Alexander von Humboldt Professorships (financed by Germany's  Federal Ministry of Education and Research) are the most valuable international awards for research in Germany. The Professorship Award is worth up to five million EUR and is designed to allow the winners to spend five years working on ground-breaking research at German universities.