The Last Word
Welcome to the first issue of Biomedical Computation Review. With this quarterly publication, we hope to inspire and bring together scientists from the many fields that touch on biomedical computation—from image analysis and physics-based simulation, to bioinformatics, data mining, systems biology, genomics and proteomics, and beyond. The goal: to identify shared ground and help build on it.
This is not a peer-reviewed journal. Scores of specialty publications already cover the various sub-areas of biomedical computation. Rather, this is a magazine that seeks to create a sense of kinship among members of the biomedical computation community. How? By taking concepts and ideas from the full range of disciplines that fall under the field’s umbrella and making them accessible to scientists with diverse backgrounds and lexicons.
We also hope this magazine will ease the field’s transition toward “big science.” Biomedical computation is a relatively new field that is receiving substantial funding as a result of the NIH Roadmap Initiative. Four new National Centers for Biomedical Computing were funded in September 2004 (See feature story inside: “On Your Mark, Get Set, Build Infrastructure”) and several more will be announced by the fall. Grants are also being made available to people who engage in collaborative research with the new Centers. Having a shared understanding of our common interests—with help from this magazine—may ease the field’s growing pains.
To make sure the magazine is really serving the needs of researchers in the field, we need your assistance. This publication, though funded as part of an NIH grant to create Simbios, a National Center for Biomedical Computing, belongs to the broader community of researchers interested in using computation to solve biomedical problems. So tell us what works and doesn’t work. Send us your news, your feature story ideas, and your opinions. Submit your cool graphics as well—we’ll pick one to feature in every issue. And please share the magazine with others who might be interested.
We hope you enjoy the stories in this issue and look forward to the next issue in the fall. Despite our diversity and our differences, we all have a lot to gain from the coalescence of this nascent community.