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Recomb 98: Emerging Bioinformatics Research to be Presented in New York

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NEW YORK--A lecture on oligonucleotide chip technology by David Cox of Stanford University and a single-molecule visualization video presentation by David Schwartz of the New York University Medical Center will be among the attractions here next week, March 21-25, at Recomb '98. Some 250 computational biologists and others with ties to bioinformatics from around the world are expected to attend the conference at the Holiday Inn in Manhattan.

Sponsored by the US Department of Energy, the Sloan Foundation, and several industry backers, the computational molecular biology conference, only in its second year, has quickly become the premier international bioinformatics event, organizers told BioInform. "The event has become the forum for the top research in computational biology," program committee chair Sorin Istrail of Sandia National Laboratory said.

Istrail said 35 research papers were selected from 137 submissions. "We had to reject incredibly good papers. It's breathtaking what we're reading," he said. "There's a variety of breakthroughs and new things emerging," Istrail said, "from gene searching, to protein folding, to drug design, to combinatorial chemistry."

Conference chair Gary Benson of Mount Sinai School of Medicine said Recomb attendance is growing, mostly among computational biologists working on algorithms and those producing computer programs that can be used for analysis. "These people are very interested in biology problems, they see the relevance of those problems and they want to contribute," said Benson.

Research presentation topics include genome analysis using clusters of orthologous groups; enhancements in sequence analysis with DNA arrays; algorithms for finding novel gapped motifs in DNA sequences; whole-genome analysis: expression, replication, recombination, allelic variation, and drug discovery function; challenges of biomolecular structure prediction; and bridging the gap between sequence and structure.

Even as the conference evolves, certain themes will be revisited year to year: protein structure prediction, DNA sequence analysis, oligonucleotide chips, probability and statistics, and modeling of the functions of cells are problems that won't go away, Benson said.

Recomb '99 will be held in Lyon, France, and the conference moves to Japan in 2000.

For further information about Recomb '98 visit http://www.mssm.edu/biomath/recomb98.html.

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