Challenges in Bioinformatics: From Single Molecules to Whole Genomes

Cynthia Gibas
Virginia Tech

What is bioinformatics? The glib answer to the question is something like this: "Bioinformatics is the intersection of information technology and biology." But what does that really mean? What is it biologists do? What do they want to find out? How do they go about finding it out? What are the benefits of using computers and information technology in biological research, and why is bioinformatics such a hot area as a result? In this talk, I'll describe the role that information systems play in biological research, as well as the thought process that goes into designing new bioinformatics and computational biology tools.

Cynthia Gibas is an assistant professor in the Biology Department at Virginia Tech. She is the author of Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills (O'Reilly and Associates, 2001) and currently teaches bioinformatics methods to Biology and Biochemistry undergraduates. Cynthia got her Ph.D. in Biophysics and Computational Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and has been a computational biologist since before computational biology was cool. In past research, she's studied macromolecular surface properties and chased the Holy Grail of protein structure prediction. Her current research projects range from the large scale to the small, including pattern recognition in multiple genome data sets, and identification and modeling of genes involved in the Type II Diabetes syndrome.

Date: Thursday, April 18, 2002, 8:00 PM
Location: Auditorium, Sarnoff Corporation, 201 Washington Road (Rt 571 1/4 mile south of US 1), Princeton, NJ

Additional Information: Dennis Mancl (908) 582-7086, or David Soll (215) 854-3461
A pre-meeting dinner with the speaker is held at 6 p.m. at the Rusty Scupper on Alexander Road in Princeton. If you would like to attend, please RSVP with an e-mail to

Princeton ACM / IEEE Computer Society meeting are open to the public. Students and their parents are welcome. There is no admission charge, and refreshments are served.