- Lisa Green
Rumors have been flying about who President Obama will appoint to head the National Institute of Health (NIH). Since the beginning of the Obama administration, Francis Collins has been considered one of the frontrunners for the post, but in the last two weeks the rumor mill seems to think that Collins is as good as appointed.
On Saturday, the LA Times reported that “a source familiar with the selection process” said that Collins was in the final stages of screening. The general consensus of the scientific community is that Collins will pass the screening with flying colors.
- Lisa Green
Monday was a great day at RECOMB. The first keynote talk started at 8:45am and at 8:00pm, when the poster ended, people were still energetic and active. At the end of the day, I was tired but not near as I had expected to be. The mental stimulation of all the interesting ideas and conversations was highly effective in counteracting physical fatigue.
It was such a full day that it is hard to pull out just a few highlights, but there were a few presentations that seemed to generate the most interest. Even though it was the first talk of the day and was followed by many excellent talks, people were buzzing about Mark Gerstein’s presentation Large Scale Analysis of Protein Interaction Networks all day long. The Slonim lab’s Evaluating Between-Pathway Models with Expression Data also generated a significant amount of discussion. The Beerenwinkel lab presented a very well-received talk Deep Sequencing of a Genetically Heterogeneous Sample: Local Haplotype Reconstruction and Read Error Correction.
Yesterday was the first day of RECOMB 2009. The conference started off with a great opening reception. There was a palpable buzz in the room as everyone was excited to be here and very enthusiastic about the upcoming talks and posters.
There are about 300 people at RECOMB 2009 and I think that is an excellent size for a conference. At this size, the conference is small enough that you get a chance to talk with most people and large enough that you are continually finding someone new to talk with. Before the conference started I was hoping to meet and talk with Professors Donna Slonim and Ron Pinter. During last night’s reception, it was easy to find both Professor Slonim and Professor Pinter. It took a little patience to find a time to introduce myself because they were both frequently engaged in lively discussions with a group of people, but I got to meet them both. I also met several other people whose work I found very interesting.
Today is the first full day of the conference and the morning started off with a session on protein interactions chaired by Ron Pinter. No time to blog about it now, I have to get back for the next session – Martin Vingron is the chair and there are three talks on gene expression which I suspect will all be quite interesting.
I will give some details on today’s talk in tomorrow’s blog post. You can find the complete schedule of talks and lists of posters topics on the RECOMB 2009 website.
- Lisa Green
This weekend I am heading off to Tucson Arizona to attend RECOMB 2009. The name RECOMB comes from Research in Computational Biology, and the annual conferences attract many outstanding scientists whose research is at the intersection of computational, mathematical and biological science.
I am really looking forward to this conference! While going over the program I saw some presenters I wasn’t familiar with. I looked into their research to learn more and now I am quite excited about hearing some of these researchers present their work. Two of these are:
- Lisa Green
The first NextBio Travel Grant was such a smashing success that we have decided to continue the program!
I am extremely happy that the NextBio Travel Grant will continue. I remember how hard it was to live on a grad student stipend and what a relief it was when I received $500 from my department to offset the costs of attending a conference. But much more clearly than I remember the financial strain of attending conferences as a student, I remember the excitement of attending those conferences. So many ideas, so many high-bandwidth conversations, so many people passionate about their work – all gathered together in a wonderfully enriched and rarified environment.
Have you seen our new look? As of this week, the NextBio website has a great new design!
The foundation of the new design is more intuitive user interface. Take the new site for a test drive and see what you think – I know you’ll like it. Do a query for a disease, gene, compound or tissue and you’ll see the new way we are presenting search results. A search for “breast cancer” will take you to the Breast Cancer page which is easy to navigate and packed with information.
Personally, I really like the new vertical tabs for navigation on the left hand side. But the updated NextBio website is not just about aesthetics and ease of navigation – we’ve improved features and added new capabilities. My colleague Ilya Kupershmidt, one of the NextBio cofounders, likes to draw attention to the new “recommendation engine”. This exciting new feature makes use of NextBio’s unique ontologies to recommend studies, literature, clinical trials, and news items to users based on their interests. To see what NextBio suggests for you, sign in to your account and go to MyNextBio.
I am very excited about the new website! We’ve been working on it for a few months now and it great to finally see it come to life. Now that it is launched, I can’t wait to hear what other people think of the new NextBio. Please let me know what you think in the comment section.