International Society for Computational Biology

ISCB Student Council 2017 Executive Team

The ISCB Student Council is led by an Executive Team composed of a Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, and ISCB Board of Directors Representative. The Executive Team is elected by the Student Council membership body for two-years term. In case you haven't had an opportunity to meet our talented and dedicated student leaders, we would like to introduce them to you:

You can also read about our former executive team members. For a summary of the responsibilities of our officers, please visit ISCB Student Council Elections.

Farzana Rahman, Chair

"As the chair of the ISCB Student Council, my goal is to strengthen the impressive community of the young scientists across the globe, building upon the long-established values and ethics of the organisation."— Farzana Rahman

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Farzana Rahman is a PhD Student in Genomics and Computational Biology research group at the University of South Wales. She is currently working on developing and using bioinformatics approaches to elucidate the roles of gene families and networks relating to cell development and pathogenesis in plants and microorganisms.

Farzana became involved with ISCB-SC after attending the ISMB/ECCB 2013 in Berlin. She chaired the Student Council Symposium 2014 in Boston, USA, and co-chaired the Student Council Symposium 2015 in Dublin, Ireland and the 1st Student Symposium organised by RSG UK. She is one of the founding members of Regional Student Group in the UK. She has served as the secretary of the ISCB Student Council during 2015-2016 term. She has also served as the Vice-Chair of the Regional Student Groups of European countries during 2015-2016. Farzana is currently a core committee member of the Education and Internship committee of the ISCB Student Council and an advisor of the RSG UK.

Nazeefa Fatima, Vice Chair

"As a vice chair, I'll continue to be strongly committed to the Student Council (SC) and carry on the excellent efforts made by previous ETs and our members. My team and I aim to make positive contributions for the growth and development of the SC, and we hope our work will help build connections between researchers working in the field of bioinformatics and related areas." — Nazeefa

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Nazeefa is a graduate student in bioinformatics at the Lunds Universitet. She is an alumna of the University of Huddersfield with a degree in Medical Genetics. During her undergraduate studies, she developed interest in evolutionary genomics with an emphasis on marine microbial eukaryotes. Besides research, Nazeefa is interested in a web-development, traveling, and promoting bioinformatics as a science of the future.

Nazeefa joined the SC in 2015 as a member of the Outreach and Volunteers committee, and the web committee. She later joined the RSG-UK where she contributed her time as a web-content manager and helped organize the 2nd bioinformatics symposium. Before taking on the role of the Vice Chair, she chaired the outreach committee for the 12th Student Council Symposium and the 4th European Student Council Symposium. Besides her vice-chair duties, Nazeefa contributes her time to the RSG-UK and the SC's Outreach & Volunteers committee as an executive advisor. She has recently helped to organise the 3rd UK Bioinformatics Student Symposium and 13th Student Council Symposium.

As a vice chair, she aims to make the SC a resourceful platform, and a more welcoming and inclusive community for current and future bioinformaticians.

Aishwarya Alex Namasivayam, Treasurer

"My motivation to join the Student Council is to be part of this global and enthusiastic community of young researchers and helping every other interested person expand their network, just like I did. It is a great and very rewarding opportunity for the young community today, to attain such an exposure very early in their career." — Aishwarya Alex Namasivayam

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Aishwarya Alex is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the Bioinformatics Core group in the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine at the University of Luxembourg. She works on the integration and analysis of heterogeneous data from different providers and their analysis to contribute to the drug development therapy for neurodegenerative diseases.

Aishwarya completed her undergraduate degree in Computer Science Engineering in India and then decided to move to the Bioinofrmatics domain and completed her Masters in Life Science Informatics from the University of Bonn, Germany.

She was one of the co-founder and the President of the RSG Luxembourg in 2015. During the initial years of the RSG, the main focus was to spread the word and secure funds and sponsors for the RSG activities. During this period, she was also actively volunteering for the Finance Team the SCS 2016 at Orlando and was happy to get on board as the Finance Chair for the next term.

R. Gonzalo Parra, Secretary

"My goal at the Student Council is to help students in the beginning of their scientific path to develop themselves, in the same way, I was able to do it before thanks to this magnificent community." — R. Gonzalo Parra

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Gonzalo Parra is an EMBO postdoctoral fellow at the Quantitative and Computational Biology Group of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, in Goettingen, Germany. Argentinian and a nomad by nature, was moving around the country quite a lot before emigrating to Europe. He was born in Cordoba, finished high school in San Luis, obtained his Licenciatura (BSc/MSc) degree in Bioinformatics at the National University from Entre Rios in 2011 and moved to Buenos Aires where he got his Ph.D. in Computational Biophysics at the Protein Physiology Laboratory from Buenos Aires University, in 2016. As for locations, Gonzalo has been moving around different topics in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, including transcriptional regulation, stem cells differentiation, protein folding and single cells transcriptomics.

Gonzalo has been an active volunteer with the ISCB Student Council since 2012 when he co-founded RSG Argentina, being its first president for the 2012-2014 period. Not only he has been active in the Argentinian community but also helped to organize and integrate the Latin American student’s community by impulsing the creation of other RSGs in Brasil, Chile, Mexico and recently in Colombia as part of his activities as the ISCB Student Council Latin American Vice Chair. In 2014 he chaired the 1st ISCB Student Council Latin American Symposium (LA-SCS), in Brasil, and later in 2016, he chaired the 1st Argentine Symposium of Young Bioinformatics Researchers in Buenos Aires.

Gonzalo serves as Secretary since January 2017 where he seeks to continue to contribute with the developing of the Student Council community.

Sayane Shome, RSG committee Chair

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Sayane Shome is a Ph.D. student in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Program at Iowa State University,USA under the guidance of Dr. R.L. Jernigan. Her area of research interest includes the development of computational models for better understanding of protein structures and their functions.Previously, she has obtained Bachelors of Technology with majors in Bioinformatics from Vellore Institute of Technology, India.

Her association with ISCB-SC started in 2010 as a volunteer when she joined the core team of Regional Student Group-India. Later, she has served as a President for RSG-India for the term 2012-14 and has also been simultaneously involved in volunteering for Student Council related activities, for instance, being a part of program committee for ISMB-Student Council Symposium 2013 and 2014 respectively.

As RSG Committee Chair, she looks forward to expanding RSGs to newer regions and introduce initiatives which are beneficial for the growth of current RSGs and promote networking within and amongst the RSGs.

Dan DeBlasio, ISCB Board of Directors Representative

"My goal as the ISCB Representative is to ensure that the voice of the Student Council continues to be heard by the leaders of our field and to ensure the recognition that has been tirelessly worked for by those before me is preserved and expanded." — Dan DeBlasio

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Dan is currently a Lane Postdoctoral Fellow in the Computational Biology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA USA. He earned his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Arizona in 2016 and his BS and MS Degrees in Computer Science at the University of Central Florida. His research interest are broadly in algorithm design and analysis, but he takes inspiration from biological problems. Many times this not only leads to an interesting computer science result, but a useful biological tool. In the past he has focused mainly on multiple sequence alignment problems with his most recent work focused on improving accuracy of protein multiple sequence alignments. Dan's current work is slightly outside Bioinformatics where he has been working on automating the algorithm design process.

Dan began working with Student Council in 2012 when he joined the Web Committee after attending ISMB 2012 and SCS 2012 in Long Beach, CA. He later came to co-chair the committee until he changed to his current role as the SC Representative to the ISCB Board of Directors. While chairing the Web committee he was also involved in helping to plan the Student Council Symposia in Boston and Dublin.

As the Student Council Representative to the ISCB Board of Directors, Dan plans to continue the outstanding dialogue between the SC and ISCB. The relationship between the organizations is very strong and he will continue to work to ensure it stays that way.