Nature Protocols at the 23rd MASAMB annual workshop

With the advent of technologies that have made large-scale genome sequencing projects possible and since a stream of high-throughput biological assays have been developed to collect, for instance, data on proteomics, metabolomics and gene expression, the need for ever more advanced, powerful and sophisticated bioinformatics tools has become an increasingly stringent fixture of today’s molecular biology research.

The Mathematical and Statistical Aspects in Molecular Biology (MASAMB) meeting has brought together every year since 1989 a relatively small number of researchers (usually around 100) from the fields of mathematics, statistics, computer science, bioinformatics, and biology to discuss and exchange ideas on methodological and applied research in an “intimate” workshop setting. This year’s MASAMB will take place on April 11th and 12th at Imperial College London, with the main topics of discussion being statistical bioinformatics, computational cell biology, next-generation sequencing, systems biology, and evolution.

Since their birth in 2006, both Nature Protocols and the Protocol Exchange (which was originally called the Protocols Network) have published a steady flow of protocols that can be categorized under the general term “computational biology”. Unsurprisingly, some of these protocols have proven very popular with our readership, with a number of these articles ranking among the journals’ most cited papers.

As we anticipate the number of published protocols in this field to increase further — as well as the interest in them from our readers — for the first time this year, we have decided to attend as a journal MASAMB, sending along one of our associate editors, well, sending along myself, Baldo Lucchese. I will be covering the workshop for Nature Protocols attending as many talks as possible and speaking to as many researchers and, hopefully, readers as humanly feasible. The objective will of course be to gain the wherewithal to make Nature Protocols a more helpful source for researchers in bioinformatics and statistical genetics and for readers with an interest in these fields. It will also be an excellent opportunity for me to meet in person a few of our authors. I certainly look forward to that too.

If you too are going to be at the conference, please do come by to say hi.

Stay tuned for the next blog post on this issue after I come back from MASAMB XXIII.