Author: Laura Taylor

The Changing Face of Education at PLOS Computational Biology

In January 2006, Fran Lewitter, PLOS Computational Biology Founding Education Editor, announced the launch of a new Education column in the journal. This new column recognised the need for bioinformatics and computational biology training and education specifically targeted to biologists. Since then, the Education section has proven to be an extremely valuable resource for the community, with over 50 articles published within the Education collection itself and a further two collections launched under its banner, Bioinformatics: Starting Early and Translational Bioinformatics.

After eight years as Education Editor, we’re sad to announce that Fran Lewitter is now stepping down from this position. She will, however, be remaining with the journal as an Editorial Advisory Board member. To mark the end of her time in the role of Education Editor, she reflects on the journey she has taken and offers some words of wisdom on the power of networking in her new Editorial, Moving Education Forward, Again! None of the achievements mentioned above would have been possible without Fran’s hard work and dedication, and we are extremely grateful for all her support. Phil Bourne, Founding Editor-in-Chief of PLOS Computational Biology comments on Fran’s accomplishments:

Image Credit: PLOS


“Fran has been a wonderful asset to the journal and is largely responsible for making the Education Section of PLOS Computational Biology such a success over the years. I enjoyed working with her immensely. Our community should recognise her dedication and commitment to teaching.”



This is, however, not the end of the ever-popular PLOS Computational Biology Education section! We are delighted to announce that Francis Ouellette and Joanne Fox will be joining the PLOS Computational Biology Editorial Board as our new Education Editors.  Francis and Joanne have both been involved in a variety of education initiatives, both within their institutions (Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and the University of British Columbia) and in their community outreach efforts, and we look forward to the insights they can bring to the Education section. To find out more about the new Editors and their plans for the section, take a look at their first Editorial, “Education in Computational Biology Today and Tomorrow”.

We can’t wait to see what the next eight years will bring!

You can visit the Education collection at:

Category: Announcement, Community, Computational biology, Education, News, Outreach, PLOS Computational Biology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Translational Bioinformatics: Call for papers

Following the successful launch of the PLOS Computational Biology collection ‘Translational Bioinformatics’, we are delighted to announce the continued development of this collection with a call for new articles.

Image Credit: PLOS

Image Credit: PLOS

The collection, which initially launched in December 2012, reads as book and is intended for use as a reference or tutorial for a graduate level introductory course on the science of translational bioinformatics.  As a field, translational bioinformatics is rapidly evolving and our plan is to develop the content of the collection as the field develops.  The collection editors Maricel Kann, Associate Editor, and Fran Lewitter, Education Editor, comment:

“We have been very pleased with the reception of the PLOS CB “Translational Bioinformatics” collection. It is being used as a text book in university courses and we have had requests to translate the collection into other languages to make it accessible to a wider audience. We are looking forward to adding chapters to the collection in other areas of translational bioinformatics and welcome your suggestions.”

At present, the collection is made up of an introduction by Russ Altman and then 17 chapters, each crafted by leading experts in the field.  Each of these 17 chapters focuses on a key topic, ranging from genome-wide association studies to text-mining, and provides a solid introduction for those new to the subject, complete with exercises and answers. Together these form an online reference tool, which, in an exciting new step for the journal, has been made available as an eBook in PDF, EPUB and MOBI formats.

We plan to publish new chapters twice-yearly, with the next round of new chapters aimed for February 2014. Articles will stand the best chance of inclusion in this release if they are submitted by 15 September 2013. Articles submitted after this date will be considered for the July 2014 release.

To submit an article: go to note that prior to full submission, authors should submit a presubmission inquiry for consideration by the collection editors. We encourage authors to refer to the Author Guidelines, available here.

Please contact us at with any questions or visit us at ISMB/ECCB at Booth 13 in Berlin, Germany, July 21-23.

You can visit the collection at:

Category: Announcement, Bioinformatics, Biology, Blog, Computational biology, Education, Open access, PLOS Computational Biology, Publishing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Visit PLOS at ISMB/ECCB 2013, Berlin, Germany, July 21-23

PLOS is pleased to be attending the ISMB/ECCB 2013 International Society for Computational Biology meeting held this year in Berlin, Germany, July 21-23.

Image credit: PLOS

Image credit: PLOS

Be sure to visit us at Booth 13 to meet PLOS Computational Biology staff Clare Weaver and Laura Taylor, as well as Christna Chap, Associate Editor on PLOS ONE.  We will also be hosting informal “Meet the PLOS Computational Biology Editors” sessions daily at 10.10am, 1.00pm and 1.45pm, so get your questions and suggestions ready and come by to ask us about our exciting new projects! Theo Bloom, Chief Editor of PLOS Biology and Editorial Director for Biology Publishing at PLOS, will be available daily at 10.10am at the booth too.

As in previous years, the winning design from our PLOS Computational Biology t-shirt competition will debut at the meeting. The 2013 t-shirt was designed by Chris Lauber and Katrin Sameith – numbers are limited so be sure to get yours while stocks last. We will also have other PLOS goodies available, such as buttons, pens and magnets.

You can still register to attend ISMB/ECCB 2013 online at the ISCB website. We hope to see you in Berlin!


Category: Bioinformatics, Blog, Computational biology, Conference, PLOS Biology, PLOS Computational Biology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment