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 Introduction to AYRCOB (As of Feb 2011)


The Asian Young Researchers Conference on Computational and Omics Biology (AYRCOB) is a conference series for young researchers and students conducting research in computational, omics, and systems biology in Asia.

The chief objectives of AYRCOB are to promote international exchanges among young researchers in Asia and to deliver lectures given by leading researchers.
At AYRCOB, young researchers get opportunities to present their research to their peers and invited professors from neighboring countries, as oral and poster presentations.
Reflecting the fact that the conference is growing rapidly, selections for the oral presentations have become very competitive, where the acceptance rate is about 20% at the latest conference.
Moreover, about ten distinguished professors are invited to each AYRCOB conference.
They not only give lectures on the most recent and exciting research in these areas, but also supply ideal role models for becoming leading researchers.
Last but not least, both formal and casual exchanges among young participants offer invaluable networking opportunities within Asian nations.
From these perspectives, AYRCOB is a unique and outstanding conference for motivated young researchers and students in Asia.

Among many sponsors that have supported AYRCOB, the 21st COE Program Elucidation of Language Structure and Semantics behind Genome and Life System (in the 1st and 2nd conferences) and its succeeding program, the Global COE Program Deciphering Biosphere from Genome Big Bang (after the 3rd conference), both of which are programs aiming to create a world-standard research and education base at the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, the University of Tokyo, Japan, have been the principal sponsors for AYRCOB.
Notably, thanks to the sponsors, each AYRCOB conference offers about 20 full travel fellowships to selected participants who submitted outstanding manuscripts, as one of its greatest attractions.
Although, because the GCOE program is a limited-time program and it is not clear if it can continue to support AYRCOB, the AYRCOB organizers are very glad to welcome new potential sponsors that can support the conference for grooming young researchers from Asia to be leading scientists in the rapidly advancing fields of computational, omics, and systems biology.

One outstanding characteristic of AYRCOB is that it is totally organized by students and young Ph.D.s.
In fact, the conference organization itself is also in the objectives of AYRCOB; organizing an international conference with colleagues across several countries brings the most excellent experiences and enduring friendships to the organizing members.
For these outstanding international activities performed by students and young Ph.D.s, the Dean Prize of the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, the University of Tokyo has been awarded to the committees twice, in 2009 and 2011.

History

Starting from 2008, AYRCOB has held four conference events in Hsinchu, Tokyo, Tainan, and Singapore. The fifth AYRCOB is going to be held in Daejeon, Korea in August, 2011.

In 2007, the board members of the 21st COE Program decided to educate its students by a special means: holding an international conference that is organized totally by students.
Accordingly, students from Japan and Taiwan assembled and started organizing a brand-new conference.
Although it was not surprising that they sometimes got troubled because of lack of experience, they successfully organized the Japan-Taiwan Young Researchers Conference on Computational and Systems Biology (the "1st conference") at the National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan on March 9-13, 2008 with about 100 attendees from both countries.

Following the success of this conference, the 2nd Taiwan-Japan Young Researchers Conference on Computational and Systems Biology ("TJYoung2") took place on November 4-6, 2008 at the Computational Biology Research Center, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan, together with supports from additional organizing committee members.
The conference was held in collaboration with a series of academic meetings on bioinformatics named Bioinformatics Week in Odaiba 2008 (BiWO2008), with nearly 200 attendees from both countries.
This time, the organizing committee members were not only students but also young Ph.D.s from much diverse research areas, making the scope of the conference wider in terms of both research areas and types of attendees.

The 3rd conference was a big turning point of this conference series. Apparently, the biggest change was that the title got the word Asian.
The conference was extended to other Asian countries, by welcoming members from Korea and Singapore to the organizing committee.
Another change was the exchange of the words systems to omics in the title of the conference.
Although the conference envisions both systems and omics biology research throughout its history, this change explicitly declared that the foci of the conference are also on the importance of the rapidly advancing omics technologies.
The Asian Researchers Conference on Computational and Omics Biology ("AYRCOB 2010") successfully took place at the National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan on March 10-12, 2010.

The 4th Asian Researchers Conference on Computational and Omics Biology ("AYRCOB Singapore") was held at Biopolis, Singapore on December 1-3, 2010.
This was also a big turning point for AYRCOB, since it was the first time that the conference jumped out of Japan and Taiwan.
In addition, the growth of the conference inevitably brought much difficulty to the organization processes.
The committee members from the four countries cooperated to solve many problems by frequently discussing via voice chat conferences on the Internet.
Furthermore, the organizing process was made much systematized.
For example, specialized groups such as the international steering committee, local steering committee, and program committee were introduced to the organization.