Preface

This issue of Genome Informatics contains twenty-three accepted full papers presented at the Fourth International Workshop on Bioinformatics and Systems Biology held in Kyoto from May 31st to June 3rd, 2004. This unique student-focused workshop has been developed as a part of a collaborative program in bioinformatics involving three leading research institutes: Boston University in the U.S., Humboldt University Berlin in Germany and Kyoto University in Japan. This workshop started in 2001 to provide graduate students and young researchers with opportunities to present and discuss their research objectives, approaches and new results in bioinformatics. Previous meetings of this workshop had been held in either the U.S. or Germany; this being the first time that the workshop was held in Japan. A new paper selection procedure was adopted this year, consisting of paper submission, review and acceptance for publication. Considering the student-focused nature of this workshop, out of the twenty-six submissions, twenty-three have been selected for publication in this proceedings, having been reviewed by at least two program committee members. These twenty-three papers will soon be indexed in Medline, and the electronic versions of these papers are freely available from the website of the Japanese Society for Bioinformatics (http://www.jsbi.org/journal.html).

Hiroshi Mamitsuka
Temple F. Smith
Hermann-Georg Holzhütter
Program Committee Co-Chairs

Acknowledgments
First of all, we would like to thank the authors who put in much effort in preparing their manuscripts. We appreciate the program committe members for their time and effort devoted to the process of selecting papers. We further appreciate the local organizing committee members for assisting us in the arrangements for the workshop venue. Special thanks are due to the workshop editorial office members for their excellent work, especially, Mizuho Wada and Hideo Bannai.
  Finally, this event would not have been possible without the support and sponsorship of the Bioinformatics Center (Kyoto University), the Human Genome Center (University of Tokyo), the Bioinformatics Program (Boston University), the Graduate Program "Dynamics and Evolution of Cellular and Macromolecular Processes" (Germany), the Education and Research Organization for Genome Information Science (Japan), the Kyoto University 21st Century COE Program "Knowledge Information Infrastructure for Genome Science" and the Japanese Society for Bioinformatics.