Call for Session Proposals

This is an invitation to submit proposals for sessions in the 23rd Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing (PSB), to be held January 3-7, 2018 on the Kohala Coast, the Big Island of Hawaii. PSB will bring together top researchers from the US, the Asian Pacific nations and around the world to exchange research for the presentation of work in databases, algorithms, interfaces, natural language processing, modeling and other computational methods, as applied to biological problems, with emphasis on applications in data-rich areas of molecular biology.

PSB has been designed to be responsive to the need for critical mass in sub-disciplines within biocomputing. For that reason, it is the only meeting whose sessions are defined dynamically each year in response to specific proposals. PSB sessions are organized by leaders in the emerging areas, and targeted to provide a forum for publication and discussion of research in biocomputing's "hot topics." In this way, PSB provides an early forum for serious examination of emerging methods and approaches in this rapidly changing field.

Proposals for such sessions are hereby solicited. A proposal should identify a coherent topic that can be addressed by 3 to 12 papers. For example, a session might bring together papers on alternative approaches to a particular biological question or it might examine the applications of a particular technology in a variety of biological areas. A sample of more than 20 different decisions at previous PSB meetings have included:

  • Discovery of Molecularly Targeted Therapies
  • Innovative Approaches to Combining Genotype, Phenotype, Epigenetic, and Exposure Data for Precision Diagnostics
  • Methods to Enhance the Reproducibility of Precision Medicine
  • Precision Medicine: Data and Discovery for Improved Health and Therapy
  • Regulatory RNA
  • Social Media Mining for Public Health Monitoring and Surveillance

A major goal of PSB is to create productive interaction among the rather different research cultures of computer science and biology. Recognizing that many in the computational community believe the value of a meeting depends on the quality of its review process, every full manuscript submitted to PSB is reviewed by at least two anonymous reviewers, as well as the session organizers and meeting chairs. Accepted papers are distributed in a proceedings volume at the meeting, and are indexed in Medline and other bibliographic databases. However, we also recognize that many potential participants, particularly from the biological community, do not choose to submit full papers to conferences, even with assurance of availability and broad indexing. Therefore, PSB also includes a separate open submission abstract book and open poster presentations in which any registrant can present research.

Responsibilities of a session chair:

As a proposer of an accepted session, you will become the session chair. The chair's primary responsibility is to solicit high quality papers for the session, oversee the review, and write a tutorial introduction to your session. You are to solicit manuscripts, have them refereed, collaborate with the conference chairs in determining which manuscripts are to be accepted and structure presentation time in your session. Please contact us at the address below if you have any questions about the obligations entailed in becoming a session organizer.

Procedure for submitting proposals:

Session proposals can be as short as a single page and should in no case be more than 6 pages. The proposal should:

  • Define a specific technical area to be covered.
  • Justify why the proposed area is appropriate for PSB. Discuss why the topic is timely and important, and how the topic has been addressed in other conferences or recent publications.
  • Argue that there is likely to be sufficient high quality, unpublished material to fill the session, e.g., a list of researchers you intend to solicit for papers. If there are unlikely to be adequate paper submissions, consider applying for a PSB workshop instead.
  • Provide a short autobiographical sketch and an explicit statement that your organization endorses your involvement.

Proposals must be submitted online at

Important Dates

February 10, 2017
Proposals Due
March 10, 2017
Notification Regarding the Proposals

Each proposal will be evaluated by the organizing committee. We look forward to your submissions.

Questions? Please send email to

Lawrence Hunter, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Computational Pharmacology & Computational Bioscience Program
Professor of Pharmacology (Denver) & Computer Science (Boulder)