Sixth International Conference on Systems Biology (ICSB 2005)

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This grant supported the Sixth International Conference on Systems Biology (ICSB 2005), held in Boston, Massachusetts from October 19th to 22nd, 2005. The ICSB is the only major, annual, international conference focused exclusively on the important emerging field of systems biology. It draws together scientists with expertise in theoretical, computational and experimental approaches to understanding biological systems at many levels. Previous ICSB meetings have been held in Tokyo (2000), at Caltech (2001), at the Karolinska Institute (2002), at Washington University in St. Louis (2003), and in Heidelberg (2004). These conferences have been increasingly successful at bringing together the growing community ... continued below

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Murray, Professor Andrew October 22, 2005.

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This grant supported the Sixth International Conference on Systems Biology (ICSB 2005), held in Boston, Massachusetts from October 19th to 22nd, 2005. The ICSB is the only major, annual, international conference focused exclusively on the important emerging field of systems biology. It draws together scientists with expertise in theoretical, computational and experimental approaches to understanding biological systems at many levels. Previous ICSB meetings have been held in Tokyo (2000), at Caltech (2001), at the Karolinska Institute (2002), at Washington University in St. Louis (2003), and in Heidelberg (2004). These conferences have been increasingly successful at bringing together the growing community of established and junior researchers with interests in this area. Boston is home to several groups that have shown leadership in the field and was therefore an ideal place to hold this conference . The executive committee for the conference comprised Jim Collins (Biomedical Engineering, Boston University), Marc Kirschner (chair of the new Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School), Eric Lander (director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard), Andrew Murray (director of Harvard’s Bauer Center for Genomics Research) and Peter Sorger (director of MIT’s Computational and Systems Biology Initiative). There are almost as many definitions of systems biology as there are systems biologists. We take a broad view of the field, and we succeeded in one of our major aims in organizing a conference that bridges two types of divide. The first is that between traditional academic disciplines: each of our sessions includes speakers from biology and from one or more physical or quantitative sciences. The second type includes those that separate experimental biologists from their colleagues who work on theory or computation. Here again, each session included representatives from at least two of these three categories; indeed, many of the speakers combined at least two of the categories in their own research activities. We define systems biology as a widening of focus in biology from individual genes or proteins to the complex networks of these molecules that allow cells and organisms to function. In the same way that conscious thought cannot be said to reside in any single neuron in the brain, simpler biological functions such as cell division arise from the interactions among many components in a network or ‘functional module’. For us, systems biology is characterized by the recognition that a higher-order description of biological function, accompanied by quantitative methods of analysis — often borrowed from disciplines such as physics, engineering, computer science or mathematics — can lead to the identification of general principles that underlie the structure, behavior, and evolution of cells and organisms. The heart of the conference were sessions on six topics: intracellular dynamics (featuring measurements on single cells, and their interpretation); biology by design (synthetic biology); intracellular networks (signal transduction and transcriptional regulation); multicellular networks (development and pattern formation); mechanics and scale in cellular behavior (featuring work on cytoskeletal mechanics, and on scaling relationships in biology); and evolution in action (including experimental evolution, of both real and artificial life-forms). Each session had four invited speakers; 23 of the 24 invited speakers attended (see below). We have selected these speakers not only for the interest of their research, but for their skills as communicators, thereby giving us the best chance of bridging the divides mentioned above. We also made a point of including women, younger investigators and people from outside the United States among the speakers. In addition to the invited speakers, we allotted time in the program for at least five contributed talks, which were selected from the poster submissions. Our aim in selecting these contributors showcased work that is “hot off the bench” (or computer) at the time of the conference, and also created additional opportunities for younger investigators to present their work. The main conference was preceded by a day of tutorials, and followed by two days of workshops, on a range of topics in quantitative, computational and systems biology.

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  • Report No.: DOE/ER/64099-1
  • Grant Number: FG02-05ER64099
  • DOI: 10.2172/909148 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 909148
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc886167

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  • October 22, 2005

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 4, 2016, 5:46 p.m.

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Murray, Professor Andrew. Sixth International Conference on Systems Biology (ICSB 2005), report, October 22, 2005; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc886167/: accessed August 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.