Carnegie Mellon
Computational Molecular Biology Symposium
Wednesday, March 13th, 2002
1pm – 5:30pm
Singleton Room, Roberts Hall

The Carnegie Mellon Computational Molecular Biology Symposium highlights new research in computational molecular biology and genomics. The 2001 Computational Molecular Biology Symposium presented a show case of current research in computational functional genomics at Carnegie Mellon.

The theme of this year's symposium is RNA, the universe's first biological macromolecule. RNA, a single-stranded nucleic acid, can act as a catalyst and as an information storage molecule. It is widely believed that early life forms had RNA-based genomes. In modern organisms, RNA plays a crucial role in many aspects of regulation, the process that determines when genes are translated into proteins. Without regulation, we would all be undifferentiated blobs. Biotechnologists have exploited RNA's structural properties to construct high-throughput gene expression assays, which are revolutionizing our understanding of cellular function and cancer.

Invited speakers discussed the application of computational methods from algorithm and complexity theory, sequence comparison, statistics, linguistics and statistical physics to problems of RNA structure, mRNA expression analysis, gene regulation and alternate splicing. Digitized videos of these lectures can now be viewed in QuickTime streaming video format. You will need to have within your browser the QuickTime plug-in, and select it as the player for all media files, to be able to view them movie. You can download the QuickTime Movie player for a PC or Mac free of charge at:

1:00 - 1:15: Introduction
Dannie Durand, Biological Sciences and Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
1:15 - 2:15: Computing Synonymous RNA Spaces: The Cheshire catalyst's grin
Barry Cohen, Computer Science Department, New Jersey Institute of Technology
2:15 - 2:45: Break
2:45 - 3:45: How does a biological cell turn its genes on and off?
Harmen Bussemaker, Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University
3:45 - 4:45: What, how and how many: Genome-wide analysis of RNA splicing
Javier Lopez, Department of Biological Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University
4:45 - 5:45: Reception

For additional information, please contact Jennifer Sciullo (

Organizer: Dannie Durand (, Biological Sciences. Supported by the Department of Biological Sciences through a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The second and fourth images in the header are courtesy the BIODIDAC website.