Call for Papers and Posters

Computational Approaches to Drug Repurposing and Pharmacology

Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing
January 3-7, 2014
Fairmont Orchid Resort
The Big Island of Hawaii, USA


Increasing investments in pharmaceutical R&D have not yielded increases in new drug approvals. Drug discovery continues to be a lengthy and resource-consuming process in spite of all the advances in genomics, life sciences, and technology. Indeed, it is estimated that about 90% of the drugs fail during development in phase 1 clinical trials and that it takes billions of investment dollars and up to 15 years to bring a new drug to the market.

Meanwhile, there is an ever-growing effort to apply computational power to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of drug discovery. Traditional computational methods in drug discovery were focused on understanding which proteins could make good drug targets, the modeling drugs binding to proteins, and the analysis of basic biological data. With the emergence of systems biology and translational research in recent years, a new set of computational methods are being developed which examine drug-target associations and drug off-target effects through system and network approaches. These new approaches take advantage of the unprecedented large-scale high-throughput measurements, such as drug chemical structures, transcriptional responses after drug treatment, knowledge from the literature, and public repositories for these data and knowledge. As a result, computational scientists can now gain evidence for reusing an existing drug for a different use or generate testable hypotheses for further screening.

Despite the progress, there is clearly room for technical improvement with regard to repurposing approaches. As stated in a recent journal, the editors "expect methods to continue evolve rapidly with possibly only a limited number of approaches becoming mainstream." Furthermore, to materialize the true potential and impact of these methods, much work is needed to show that they can be successfully adopted into practical applications. Our objective in this session is to bring together computational biologists, drug-discovery scientists, and translational investigators, from industry, academia, and government, to showcase the latest methodologies and findings in computational drug repositioning.

Session Topics

We invite contributions to all aspects of research in computational approaches to pharmacology and drug repositioning. We are interested in including the description of novel informatics methods as well as the new application of existing methods. Methods can draw from a variety of resources and tools, including network analysis or text/data mining, but consideration of submissions will be restricted to those that demonstrate a clear application to patient pharmacology or drug repurposing. For example, submitted papers could include: Note that all submitted papers should make clear their relevance for the study of computational pharmacology or drug repositioning. If unsure whether your paper fits the session theme, please contact one of the co-Chairs.

Session Co-Chairs

Zhiyong Lu
  Pankaj Agarwal
GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals
  Atul Butte
Stanford University School of Medicine
S. Joshua Swamidass
Washington University School of Medicine

Submission Information

Please note that the submitted papers are reviewed and accepted on a competitive basis. At least three reviewers will be assigned to each submitted manuscript.

Important Dates

All deadlines are at midnight Pacific Standard Time.

Paper Format

Please see the PSB paper format template and instructions at

The file formats we accept are: postscript (*.ps) and Adobe Acrobat (*.pdf)). Attached files should be named with the last name of the first author (e.g. or altman.pdf). Hardcopy submissions or unprocessed TeX or LaTeX files will be rejected without review.

Each paper must be accompanied by a cover letter. The cover letter must state the following:

Submitted papers are limited to twelve (12) pages in our publication format. Please format your paper according to instructions found at If figures cannot be easily resized and placed precisely in the text, then it should be clear that with appropriate modifications, the total manuscript length would be within the page limit.

Contact PSB for additional information about paper submission requirements.