Thursday, June 7, 2012

IBS 2012

Today I was hosting the IBS 2012 meeting. Officially the "14th Israeli Bioinformatic Symposium" which is the annual meeting of the "Israeli Society for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology" of which I was the president until few hours ago.

The meeting brings together researchers in Bioinformatics, Computational Biology and Systems Biology from all the universities in Israel. Traditionally we have an invited speaker from abroad, and this year it was Manolis Kellis from MIT.

The last few weeks were hectic with setting up the website for registration and poster abstract submissions, selecting caterer, and such. Late last week we decided to order buses to transport people to/from the meeting from all the other major academic universities. This meant that we had to set up sign-up forms and make sure all the people made it to the bus. 

Yesterday, I was away, but my local help (Dikla and Cecile) made the preliminary arrangements. When I showed up at 7am, the outer area was already with poster stands. Since we had more than submitted posters, we needed quite a few stands.

Not long afterwards, the florist showed with a nice flower arrangement. I was working with the A/V people to set up the stage properly. The large Wise auditorium was ready for action.

Toward 8:30 we had our registration desk with name tags set up and waiting for people to arrive. We had large signs and posters up and ready. The first wave of attendees were on the bus from Rehovot. 

After welcome remarks by our Vice President, we had the pleasure of hearing Manolis. He did a great job of showing why the new flood of data can make a difference in personalized medicine and how this is going to come about.

Overall we had more than 350 registrations. Not everyone who registered showed up, but we also had quite a few walk-in. I think it is safe to say we had more than 300 attendees, maybe closer to 350. (We ordered food for 350 and it was all finished).

The closing ceremony involved the "Best Poster Awards" that were selected by a committee of faculty members (I was not involved). It was a nice surprise to find out that our very own Assaf was one of the poster winners.

By 5:30pm, the meeting was over. I helped wrap things up, and thenI headed to my office to find a water leak :-(

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