Genome Informatics Vol. 20 contains a selection of peer-reviewed papers presented at the Eighth Annual International Workshop on Bioinformatics and Systems Biology on 9-11 June of 2008. This time the workshop was held in the Teikyo Hotel at the Zeuthen Lake near Berlin, jointly organized by the German members of the International Research Training Group (IRGT) 'Genomics and System Biology of Molecular Networks' and supported by the German Science Foundation (DFG). These workshops were created to give doctoral students and young researchers the opportunity to present and discuss their research work in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology in the frame of an international scientific meeting. The first workshop was held 2001 in Berlin. It was organized by Prof. Dr. Reinhart Heinrich, a co-founder of this series of workshops. Since 2001, the workshop has been held in Boston (2002), Berlin (2003), Kyoto (2004), Berlin (2005), Boston (2006) and Tokyo (2007). The present workshop was held in Zeuthen near Berlin as a part of a collaborative educational program involving the leading institutions committing the following programs and partner institutions of the US, Japan and Germany:

• Boston - Graduate Program in Bioinformatics, Boston University
• Berlin - The International Research Training Group (IRTG) “Genomics and Systems Biology of Molecular Networks”
• Kyoto/Tokyo - Joint Bioinformatics Education Program of Kyoto University and University of Tokyo

Partner Institutions
• Boston University
• Charité Berlin
• Free University Berlin
• Humboldt University Berlin
• Kyoto University, Bioinformatics Center, Institute for Chemical Research
• Kyoto University, Department of Bioinformatics and Chemical Genomics, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences
• Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine, Berlin
• Max Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam
• Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Genetics, Berlin
• Human Genome Center, Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo

This time we decided to first perform the workshop and to collect and review the manuscripts three weeks later, such that the discussions and criticisms at the workshop could be considered appropriately by the authors. However, there was also a pre-selection of the oral and poster contributions to be accepted at the workshop. The contributors were then allowed to submit manuscripts for the Genome Informatics volume. These contributions were reviewed by the members of the workshop event. We have selected 25 papers after revision. These papers
will be indexed in Medline, and their electronic versions are freely available from the website of Japanese Society for Bioinformatics as Genome Informatics Online ( Former publications are also electronically available as Genome Informatics Vol. 15, No. 1 (2004), Vol. 16, No. 1 (2005), Vol. 17, No. 1 (2006), and Vol. 18 (2007). We wish to thank all of those who submitted papers and helped with the reviewing process. We also wish to thank all those who helped in organizing this workshop for their efforts in local arrangement, especially the Local Committe Members: Martin Falcke, Alexander Skupin, Bianca Sprincenatu, Oliver Ebenhöh, Moritz Schütte, and Johannes Bausch.

Program Committee Chair:
Ersnt-Walter Knapp
Gary Benson
Hermann-Georg Holzhütter
Minoru Kanehisa
Satoru Miyano