With the burst of genome and gene function information available, scientists are entering a golden age of comparative genomic and evolutionary studies, drawing new discoveries and conclusions on questions that span how changes in DNA and proteins contribute to the evolution of life on Earth or bring about disease. SMBE is an international society that exists to provide facilities for association and communication among scientists from molecular, evolutionary and computational biology.
Sudhir Kumar, who directs the Center for Evolutionary Functional Genomics in the Biodesign Institute at ASU, will serve as chairman of the host committee along with program chairs Brian Verrelli and Jeff Touchman of ASU. George Poste, director of the Biodesign Institute and Jeff Trent, director of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), are honorary co-chairs.
"This is the largest gathering of its kind for molecular evolution and bioinformatics experts," said Kumar. "The Biodesign Institute and ASU are honored to host the GEB2006 Conference."
The conference will honor the co-founders of the SMBE with two book-end symposia. On the first day, the Walter M. Fitch Legacy symposium features long term associates of Dr. Walter Fitch, who is considered to be the father of modern molecular phylogenetics. On the last day, the meeting celebrates the Legacy of Masatoshi Nei, who is the foremost founder of the field of molecular evolution.
In between these two book-end Legacy symposia, there will be 17 other symposia with invited speakers on topics including SuperTree and timescale of Life on Earth, Evolution of virulence and pathogenesis and Bioinformatics Tools. Daily Keynote speakers include luminaries such as Sean Carroll (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Laszlo Barabasi (Harvard), and James P. Collins (National Science Foundation, Director, Biology).
"The constellation of Keynote speakers and symposia participants had led to an overwhelming response from the scientific community, which will make these meetings the largest one in the history of SMBE society," said Kumar.
The conference is divided into several concurrent symposia and contributed sessions including:
A complete program description and online registration information can be found at: http://www.smbe.org/geb/index.htm
Sponsors for the event include:
The Biodesign Institute (www.biodesign.asu.edu)
The Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution (www.smbe.org)
The Center for Evolutionary Functional Genomics (www.biodesign.asu.edu/centers/efg)
Translational Genomics Research Institute (www.tgen.org)
Blackwell Publishing (www.blackwellecology.com)
Journal of Evolutionary Biology (www.blackwellpublishing.com/jeb)
Molecular Ecology and Molecular Ecology Notes (www.blackwellpublishing.com/mec)
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