Press Archive

UCSD/SDSC Researchers Elected Officers of the International Society for Computational Biology

Published 12/05/2001

In recent member elections for officers of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB), biologists Philip E. Bourne and Michael Gribskov of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego, were elected president and vice president, respectively. Their one-year terms begin January 21, 2002.

"ISCB is a young society in a fast expanding field," Bourne said. "I believe our election recognizes UCSD's and SDSC's leadership role in computational biology. We have defined a platform that will take the society to a new level of professionalism and hence impact our science in new ways. That platform includes establishing a permanent office of the society, establishing regional affiliates and a more active educational program."

Among many activities, Bourne and Gribskov co-chaired the society's Intelligent Systems in Molecular Biology (ISMB) conference in 2000. At the time, ISMB 2000 was the most successful conference ever held in computational biology, with more than 1,200 attendees.

Bourne, who joined SDSC in 1995, is program director for Integrative Biosciences at SDSC, a professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego, and an adjunct professor at the Burnham Institute. His professional interests focus on bioinformatics and structural bioinformatics in particular, including algorithms, metalanguages, biological databases, biological query languages, and visualization. These interests have led to community resources like the Protein Kinase Resource and the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics, which maintains and enhances the Protein Data Bank (PDB;

Gribskov joined SDSC in 1992 and is a principal scientist at SDSC and for the National Biomedical Computation Resource and an adjunct assistant professor of biology at UCSD. His research interests lie in the identification of patterns in macromolecular sequences and particularly in the relationships between protein sequence, structure, and evolution. These approaches are useful for the assignment of function to novel genes, for the development of candidate gene probes, and for understanding how and why proteins work the way they do.

Also elected to ISCB offices were Anna Tramontano (co-Vice President along with Gribskov) of the University of Rome, Barbara Bryant (Secretary) of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and David Rocke (Treasurer) of UC Davis.

The International Society for Computational Biology ( is dedicated to advancing the scientific understanding of living systems through computation. The society emphasizes the role of computing and informatics in advancing molecular biology.

The Society serves its membership by facilitating scientific communication through meetings, tutorials, publications, and electronic media; by collecting and distributing information about training, education, and employment in the field; and by increasing the understanding of the significance of our endeavor in the larger scientific community and in the public at large.

About SDSC

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) is an organized research unit of UCSD and the leading-edge site of the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI). SDSC's mission is to develop and use technology to advance science, and SDSC provides leadership both nationally and internationally in computing, data management, biosciences, and other areas. As a national laboratory for computational science and engineering, SDSC is funded by the National Science Foundation through NPACI and other federal agencies, the State and University of California, and private organizations. For more information, see or contact David L. Hart, SDSC Communications, 858-534-8314,

Media Contact: David Hart, SDSC, 858-534-8314,