Symposium brings experts in bioinformatics research to University of Georgia

Symposium brings experts in bioinformatics research to University of Georgia

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia will host a symposium on bioinformatics and systems biology, an emerging field that is revolutionizing biomedical research, on Friday, March 21. The third annual Computational and Systems Biology Symposium presents cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research that integrates laboratory sciences, math, statistics, physics and computational science to model biological systems. The event will be held in Masters Hall at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel.

“Advances in diverse fields, including cancer therapy, treatment of genetic diseases and biofuels research, all stem from data mining and analysis provided by bioinformatics,” says William York, associate professor of biochemistry, molecular biology and computer science, and co-chair of the event. “Without bioinformatics, modern biology would not exist. This symposium will provide insight into ground-breaking, integrated approaches using bioinformatics and systems biology that can radically advance biological and biomedical research.”

Featured speakers are Philip Bourne, professor of pharmacology, University of California — LaJolla; Charles (Chip) Lawrence, professor of applied mathematics, Brown University; Michael Levine, professor of genetics and development, University of California — Berkeley; Dmitri Petrov, associate professor of biological sciences, Stanford University; Heinz-Bernd Schuttler, professor of physics, University of Georgia; Jeffrey Skolnick, professor and director of the Center for the Study of Systems Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology; William B. Whitman, professor and head, microbiology, University of Georgia; and Michael Zhang, professor and director, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Opening remarks will be made by Ying Xu, director of UGA’s Institute of Bioinformatics, and David C. Lee, UGA vice president for research. The event is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and the Institute of Bioinformatics.

“The topics cover a very wide spectrum, from drug design to developmental biology,” says Xu, who is co-chairing the symposium. “Philip Bourne oversees a protein database that is used worldwide to study macromolecules in all kinds of contexts. Jeff Skolnick is one of the best protein structure modelers in the world. Chip Lawrence is a pioneer in developing statistical approaches to DNA sequence analysis. Mike Zhang is renowned for identifying promoter sequences – DNA sequences that control the expression of genes. All our speakers are at the top of their fields and the breadth of subjects shows how far-reaching this multidisciplinary field is. I hope this will get more people excited about this emerging area of research.”

For registration and other information on the symposium, see http://www.bioinformatics.uga.edu/Sym2008.php.