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January 1993

New Research in Computational Biology Discussed at Keck Conference

Faculty member Mike Schmid describes his new image processing software to a prospective Keck predoctoral fellow.
Former Keck Center postdoctoral fellow Kim Worley (right) poses by the poster presentation of Keck Center summer undergraduate fellow Meiying Kuo on the genomic search launcher. Worley guided Kuo's research in this area.
At last year's Keck Center annual retreat, M.D./Ph.D. candidate Ernest Hymel fielded questions from Keck Center faculty member Richard Tapia, CRPC Director of Education and Human Resources.
Richard Tapia provided a stirring presentation on educational outreach in the computational sciences during last year's Keck Center annual retreat.
At last year's Keck Center annual retreat, undergraduate fellow Deb Bhowmick (center) got advice on crystrallographic techniques from Keck predoctoral fellows Susan Cates (left) and Tod Romo (far right), as well as Rice Biochemistry postdoc Eric Brucker (right center).
Keck postdoctoral associate Jim Clarage asks a group of Keck undergraduate fellows if they can guess the power of molecular dynamics as a research tool.
1996 Keck Center summer undergraduate fellows Meiying Kuo (left), Deb Bhowmick (center), and Jennifer Look (right) assemble their poster presentations at the sixth Keck Center annual retreat.
Keck Center postdoctoral fellow Angel Paredes (right) and Z. Hong Zhou (center) study Zhou's 3D animation of virus particles, developed at Baylor College of Medicine's National Center for Macromolecular Imaging.
Taking a break from explaining her neuroscience research, Keck Center postdoctoral fellow Karen Alfrey (left) poses with Keck undergraduate applicant Darnita York of the University of Houston during this year's annual conference.
The W. M. Keck Center for Computational Biology, administratively based at Rice University, recently hosted its Annual Research Conference on Computational Biology to present and share leading-edge research and discuss future directions in biology and biomedicine. Held September 12 in Galveston, Texas, the conference was attended by more than 120 participants and featured three plenary talks, 60 posters, a best poster award, a general business meeting, and numerous software demonstrations and informal discussions.

Now in its seventh year, the W. M. Keck Center is a joint effort of Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine, and the University of Houston. The center was originally established with support from the W. M. Keck Foundation for the purpose of fostering collaboration among biologists, biomedical researchers, computer scientists, mathematicians, and others in order to develop and deploy new, more powerful tools for biological research. The center has since matured into a self-supporting operation that attracts a broad base of funding for its innovative training programs that integrate the computational aspects of simulation, imaging, and sequence analysis with a solid foundation in biophysics, biochemistry, and genetics.

Plenary talks at this year's Keck Center conference included "Ultra High Resolution Crystallography of Serratia endonuclease," by Kurt L Krause, Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston; "The Micro- and Macroscopic Aspects of Single Stranded DNA Triplet Repeats," by Xiaolian Gao, Department of Chemistry, University of Houston; and "Finding Three Needles in a Haystack and Other Adventures with the SVD (Singular Value Decomposition)," by Danny Sorensen, Computational & Applied Mathematics, Rice University.

Participants from Baylor College of Medicine, the CRPC, Rice University, the University of Houston, the University of Texas Medical Branch, and other medical and educational institutions presented posters on the latest research and techniques in computational biology. The Dunn Prize was presented to Keck Center Postdoctoral Fellow Michael Wall for his innovative application of computational techniques in the study of "Motions of Calmodulin Characterized Using Both Bragg and Diffuse X-ray Scattering." The Dunn Prize is awarded at the conference each year for the poster most representative of the theme of bringing computational methods to bear on biological or biomedical problems.

The conference was sponsored by the Dunn Foundation, the National Library of Medicine, the National Science Foundation, Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, and the University of Houston. Other local sponsors included Computer City, Kinko's, Pueblo Cantina, and Silicon Graphics Computer Systems.

For more information, visit the W. M. Keck Center for Computational Biology web page.

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