With the development of advanced imaging techniques, the number of biological images (e.g. cellular and molecular images, as well as medical images) acquired in digital forms is growing rapidly. Large-scale bioimage databases are becoming available. Analyzing these images has been proven critical for biologists to seek answers to many biological problems. Novel techniques that enable millimeter-, micrometer- and nanometer-scale observations of the same specimen are also emerging. The potential of mining the information in bioimages, especially at different scales of resolution and complexity, is enormous for a deeper understanding of physiology and pathogenesis, for basic sciences as well as for applied sciences and bioengineering. We organized the 2006 International Workshop on Multiscale Biological Imaging, Data Mining and Informatics (BII06) at Santa Barbara, CA, USA, on Sept 7–8, 2006 . It was a follow-up event of the 2005 International Workshop on Bioimage Informatics held at Stanford University .
BII06 succeeded in bringing together interdisciplinary researchers to identify problems at each level of imaging and particularly across different imaging modalities/scales, and present their answers using cutting edge image data analysis, computer vision, data mining, machine learning, visualization, and informatics methods. Over 90 people, including 30 faculty members, more than 30 postdoctoral scholars and graduate students, and other scientists from various research institutes, attended the workshop. There were 13 invited talks, 16 peer-reviewed talks, and 14 peer-reviewed posters. The program concluded with a panel discussion that allowed interdisciplinary experts to brainstorm the challenges for effective mining of the increasingly complex bioimage data. All sessions were very interactive. There were a number of questions from the audience and the discussions spilled over into coffee and meal breaks. Short abstracts for the invited talks and two-page papers for all peer-reviewed talks and posters were published in a printed proceedings, which is freely available on the workshop website. Besides the research talks, posters, and the panel, four vendors had product exhibitions at the workshop. Three of them delivered short oral presentations during the lunch hour.