This grant will provide partial travel support for US graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and keynote speakers attending the International Symposium on Bioinformatics Research and Applications to be held on May 27-29, 2011 at Central South University in Changsha, China. The symposium aims to bring together faculty, students, junior and senior researchers, including women and members of underrepresented groups, for three days of scholarly communication on latest advances in all aspects of bioinformatics and computational biology and their applications. A main objective of the 2011 symposium is to promote communication between researchers in the US and China and particularly engagement of life scientists, statisticians, and computer scientists in cross-disciplinary transnational collaborations. The Chinese participation will be supported by the National Science Foundation of China (pending approval).

In addition to contributed abstracts, the technical program will include tutorials, panel discussions, and poster sessions, and will feature invited keynote talks by distinguished researchers in the field. The program will provide ample opportunities for interaction between researchers with complementary expertise and foster joint US-China research projects and scientific collaborations after the symposium in all areas of bioinformatics research, ranging from comparative genomics and population genetics to structure prediction and protein-protein interaction networks. Participation in the symposium will be particularly beneficial to US graduate students and post-doctoral scholars, by providing them with a critical formative experience and preparing them to become future leaders in the field.

Project Report

(ISBRA 2011) was held at Central South University in Changsha, China, from May 27th to May 29th, 2011.The conference was a great success as reported by the participating researchers, developers, and practitioners working on all aspects of bioinformatics and computational biology and their applications. ISBRA 2011 drew over 90 attendees from Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong), Japan, Poland, South Korea, Switzerland, the United States, and Taiwan. The symposium featured 46 oral presentations and 26 poster presentations based on the papers selected by the program committee from 92 full paper and 36 short paper submissions. Five distinguished scientists gave plenary keynote talks. The webpage of the conference can be found at All the talks were well attended and appreciated. The posters have been displayed for two days - the best paper and best poster have been selected and awarded. Funds from NSF were used to support 2 postdocs, 10 graduate students and 5 Keynote speakers who represented 13 different universities. The intellectual merit of this project lies in its goal of bringing together scientists in various areas of bioinformatics and computational biology and fostering collaborations among them. Broader Impact: The funds from NSF were used to support the travel expenses of graduate students and keynote speakers. These students were able learn the current scientific trends from renown scientists, to present their research results and discuss them with experts. Attending the conferences motivates the students as well as their friends at the corresponding department. The conference proceedings will be of great use to students, researchers, and practitioners. Portions of the proceedings could be used in different courses as well. Also, two special journal issues are coming out of selected papers from the conference.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS)
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Sylvia J. Spengler
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Georgia State University Research Foundation, Inc.
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