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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2003 / 06 

VBI Hosts First SBML "Hackathon"

June 27, 2003

Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech will hold the first Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML) "Hackathon" on July 29 and 30. Organized by VBI's Biochemical Networks Modeling Group and sponsored by Sun Microsystems, the event will provide a forum for software developers to exchange SBML ideas and codes.

SBML, an XML format standard, allows life scientists to exchange developed research models, as well as applications useful for studying the models. The Hackathon will assist in rapid resolution of SBML - related coding problems. The resulting higher-quality SBML-enabled software will allow life scientists to create sophisticated research models.

The Biochemical Networks Modeling Group at VBI researches how cells work at the biochemical level using computer programs that simulate the dynamics of biochemical systems. Through programs such as the Hackathon, this group is working to integrate knowledge obtained at different levels and produce predictive life sciences models.

VBI was deemed a "Sun Center of Excellence" (COE) by Sun Microsystems in March 2001. This award resulted from VBI's cutting-edge research programs and vision for the future. During the three-year partnership, VBI will receive over $1 million in computational resources and support for post-doctoral research. In addition, the institute will continue using these resources to further the development of computer-aided research tools.

Hackathon registration information is available at:

For more information, please visit the VBI website at or contact senior research associate Stefan Hoops, (540)231-1799,, research assistant professor Pedro Mendes, (540)231-7411, or head of public relations Neysa Call, (540)231-1259,