The BIO5 Institute at The University of Arizona is hosting the 13th Annual International Conference on Research in Computational Molecular Biology next week at the Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson.
The conference, known as RECOMB, began in 1997 to provide a scientific forum for theoretical advances in computational biology and their applications in molecular biology and medicine. The conference solicits research contributions from all areas of computational molecular biology, including 250 of the top computational biologists in academia and industry from 18 countries.
Thirteen faculty members, staff and students from the UA are participating, including Michael Hammer, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, who is one of seven conference keynote speakers. Hammer also is affiliated with the BIO5 Institute, Arizona Research Laboratories, the department of anthropology and the Arizona Cancer Center.
The conference, happening Monday through Thursday, covers subject matter ranging from population genetics and imaging to genomics and sequencing.
"Analyzing an individual's genome may someday help doctors identify disease susceptibility and then customize prevention strategies for their patients," said RECOMB2009 conference chair and BIO5 member John Kececioglu, an associate professor in the UA computer science department. "Although mapping the first human genome cost $3 billion, many computational biologists are working towards improved processes and technology that, within just a few years, may make this information available to consumers for less than $1,000."
Industry representatives from 23andMe, Illumina, Navigenics, NextBIO and Complete Genomics will participate in a panel discussion about the future of affordable personal genomic analysis.