Date: Wednesday 20 January 2021
Time: 9am-10:30am EDT, 2-3:30pm GMT
Place: Virtual (Zoom)

Attendees (30):

Andrew Eckford (AE), TC Chair, York University
Lin Lin (LL), TC Vice-Chair, Tongji University, Shanghai
Adam Noel (AN), TC Secretary, University of Warwick
Chan-Byoung Chae (CBC), EiC of T-MBMC, Yonsei University
Yansha Deng (YD), SAC-MBMC Chair for ICC 2020, King’s College London
Nan Yang (NY), SAC-MBMC Chair for GC 2020, Australian National University
Massimiliano Pierobon (MP), SAC-MBMC Chair for ICC 2022, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Josep Jornet (JJ), Northeastern University, USA
Vincent Chan (VC), ComSoc President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Weisi Guo (WG), Cranfield University
Fardad Vakilipoor, Politecnico di Milano
Maurizio Magarini, Politecnico di Milano
Sudip Misra, IIT Kharagpur
Pietro Savazzi, University of Pavia, Italy
Mahtab Mirmohseni, Sharif University of Technology
Malcolm Egan, Inria
Prabhat Kumar Sharma (PS), VNIT Nagpur
Yuting Fang, University of Melbourne
Ji-Woong Choi, DGIST, Korea
Maximilian Schäfer, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg
Xinyu Huang, Australian National University
Prof. Neeraj Kumar, Thapar University Patiala India
Sebastian Lotter, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
Tatsuya Suda (TS), University Netgroup Inc
Masoumeh Nasiri, Sharif University of Technology
Riccardo Bassoli, TU Dresden
Thomas D. Schneider (TS2), NIH
Yesenia Cevallos, IEEE MBS
Kun Yang (KY), University of Essex
Sumei Sun, Institute for Infocomm Research


Call to order: 9:05am EDT

AE opening virtual meeting.
– meeting held after GLOBECOM at the request of COMSOC

1. Welcome and Approval of Agenda

– agenda approved without objection or comment

2. Approval of Minutes of the June 24, 2020 meeting (AN)

– link:
– approved without objection. Motion by AE, seconded by MP
– KY noted he is missing from list of attendees. AN will add

3. Chair’s Report (AE)

– AE attended CTTC meeting to introduce the TC and he went over the main points from his presentation
– AE noted that the TC provides a forum technical discussion and interaction
– AE discussed that the TC currently offers tracks at COMSOC flagship conferences; supports T-MBMC journal (though TC is NOT responsible for it nor administers it); sponsors other high-quality workshops and conferences (there have been 2 requests recently approved – one at COMSOC level and the other a direct TC endorsement); nominates distinguished lecturers and supports IEEE Fellow nominations (though this has not been done yet); also wants to start offering research awards, hopefully starting this year
– AE described how the mailing list was switched to a fully moderated one since the previous meeting. He outlined acceptable vs unacceptable mailing list activities. Generally, acceptable use includes promotion of IEEE events and publications within scope of MBMC, including closely-related events such as ACM Nanocom which has applied for ComSoc technical co-sponsorship
– AE offered congratulations to CBC for being elected to IEEE Fellow

4. IEEE T-MBMC report (CBC)

– CBC announced that the Dec 2020 issue was published in Dec 2020, thereby ending what had been years of publication delays
– The first 2 volumes of 2021 to be published in Feb. in Apr.
– the journal will be reviewed by JCR to have an impact factor (maybe next year); more citations are needed to maintain the standing of the journal
– A recent publication list will be shared with TC members
– CBC discussed 3 special issues, including 1 current call on artificial intelligence for epidemic modeling
– CBC presented list of special invited papers from pioneers in field (1 published, 3 in pipeline, 1 to be submitted)
– AE credited CBC with cutting down publication delay
– CBC noted submissions are still a bit low due to absence of impact factor (particularly prevents submissions from China). Acceptance rate about 45% which is relatively high for ComSoc
– NanoComNets (Elsevier) EiCs MP and JJ spoke on the submission levels to their journal, which receives a lot of out-scope-submissions. MP commented on not wanting to dilute the community and indicated interest in merging with IEEE
– VC commented on incompatibility between Elsevier and ComSoc editorial structures, since Elsevier is a for-profit company, which would make it difficult to have a joint journal
– AE commented on logic of merging from a technical perspective and how it would be good for the research community
– TS raised issue that he doesn’t see it being possible to have a joint IEEE/Elsevier journal, with value of IEEE brand. He would also like to see more public promotion of outputs from the journal
– AE proposed a working group to look at options for the future of the journals
– MP noted that Elseiver as a brand name has a higher value in the biology/chemistry fields
– KY commented on history of Elsevier and legacy of the NanoComNets journal as a pioneering publication venue dedicated to this field
– WG raised concern with the number of special issues that are promoted in journals outside of T-MBMC
– AE reiterated need for informal working group and suggested to establisj one with members from TC, T-MBMC, and NanoCommNets leadership

5. Conference reports

– NY noted deadlines significantly postponed due to COVID
– 19 valid submissions (lower than usual; likely due to COVID and reflected across most conference tracks)
– 38 TPC members, 6 who provided 4+ reviews
– 8 accepted papers (42.1%) presented in 2 virtual sessions
– best paper awarded to Nakano et al’s “Growing bio-nanomachine networks: Application to malignant tumor evolution and progression”

b. IEEE ICC 2021 (AE)
– will be entirely online instead of Montreal; dates June 14-24 2021
– AE thanked TPC members for their work in reviewing
– there were only 9 submissions (4 accepted for 1 session), which is a serious concern. Most symposia had reduced submissions but MBMC was down by a lot. Hopefully numbers will be back up for future conferences
– TS asked about impact in other tracks. AE noted that MBMC is a small track and so can have a relatively larger variance in submissions

c. IEEE Globecom 2021 (AE for W. Haselmayr)
– submission deadline 15 April 15
– VC noted we could have an invited speaker and this could be supported by ComSoc
– VC raised interesting topic of protein messengers. AE agreed we could have more submissions from biophysics
– TS2 briefly introduced some of his research which looks at information theory in biology

d. IEEE ICC 2022 (MP)
– introduced the CFP
– MP also supportive of VC’s suggestion to have an invited talk

e. Future conferences
– AE highlighted future ICC and GLOBECOM conferences and the need for individuals to chair these tracks

6. New business

– PS introduced the First International Symposium on Molecular and Biological Communications, which is being endorsed by the TC and has free registration. He went over the list of speakers, including several people on the call

7. Adjournment

– AE adjourned