The mission of SBGN project is to develop high quality, standard graphical languages for representing biological processes and interactions. Each SBGN language is based on the consensus of the broad international SBGN community of biologists, curators and software developers. Over the course of its development many individuals, organizations and companies made invaluable contributions to the SBGN through participating in discussions and meetings, providing feedback on the documentation and worked examples, adopting the standard and spreading the word.

Get involved

Regardless of your experience or involvement level, we value your ideas and feedback.

For reporting issues, suggesting enhancements or requesting features please use the list of SBGN-related projects and the corresponding issue trackers. For example for the Process Description Specification: github.com/sbgn/process-descriptions/issues. For the website: github.com/sbgn/sbgn/issues.

For general discussions about SBGN please join the sbgn-discuss mailing list and bring up your topic there. For specific questions about this website, workshops or other SBGN resource management topics please send a message to the sbgn-editors mailing list. SBGN meetings and workshops provide the best environment for learning about the process and for getting involved.

SBGN Editors

The SBGN editors work towards distilling discussions and requests into coherent specification documents, addressing comments and questions, correcting errata, and generally managing revisions to the SBGN specifications. The editors do not decide what to put in the specifications — they are the voice and the hand of the community. The SBGN editors are elected by the community for 3-year terms as volunteers. There is no limit on the number of terms one can serve as an editor. A serving editor, however, cannot stand for election thereby forcing a gap year between two successive terms.

Alexander Mazein Alexander Mazein, elected for 2015 - 2018, PhD in Bioinformatics, Senior Researcher at the European Institute for Systems Biology and Medicine, Lyon, France. Leader of the Disease Maps Project, a community effort for a high-quality computational description of disease mechanisms.
Ugur Dogrusoz Ugur Dogrusoz, elected for 2016 - 2019, PhD in Computer Science, Professor at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, and Head of i-Vis Research Lab. PI of the Newt Editor project, the development of an open-source online SBGN editor and visualiser.
Vasundra Touré Vasundra Touré, elected for 2018 - 2020, MSc in Bioinformatics, PhD Student at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. Lead developer of the STON tool for the conversion of the SBGN Process Description and Activity Flow to the Neo4j Graph Database environment.
Andreas Dräger Andreas Dräger, elected for 2018 - 2020, PhD in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, Junior Professor at the Tübingen Center for Bioinformatics, Tübingen, Germany. Co-developer of JSBML. Elected SBML editor for 2015 – 2017.
Adrien Rougny Adrien Rougny, elected for 2018 - 2020, PhD in Computer Science, Postdoctoral Researcher at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tokyo, Japan. Leader of the ongoing work of preparing the next version of the SBGN Process Description specification.

SBGN Acting Editors

Acting Editors are selected among active contributors and are appointed by the elected SBGN Editors. Acting Editors work on particular tasks for intensifying the development of the standard.

SBGN Delegate at COMBINE

The SBGN standard is part of the COMBINE effort. Each COMBINE standard is represented by a delegate who joins the COMBINE Coordination Board. This delegate can be an editor of the SBGN standard or someone endorsed by the editors. The process by which members of the COMBINE Coordination Board are appointed is described here. The current representative from the SBGN standard:

Falk Schreiber Falk Schreiber, PhD in Computer Science, Professor of Practical Computer Science and Computational Life Sciences in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Konstanz, Germany. PI of the SBGN-ED tool development. Elected SBGN editor for 2008 - 2010 and 2012 - 2014, member of the SBGN Scientific Committee.

Former SBGN Editors

Augustin Luna (Dec 2014 - Dec 2017), Robin Haw (Dec 2014 - Dec 2017), Tobias Czauderna (Jan 2012 - Dec 2015, Dec 2016 - Dec 2017), Huaiyu Mi (Jan 2009 - Dec 2011, Dec 2013 - Dec 2016), Alice Villéger (Jan 2011 - Dec 2013), Emek Demir (Jan 2010 - Dec 2012), Nicolas Le Novère (Sep 2008 - Dec 2012, Dec 2015 - Dec 2016), Stuart Moodie (Sep 2008 - Dec 2011, Sep 2012 - Dec 2015), Anatoly Sorokin (Sep 2008 - Dec 2009, Jan 2012 - Dec 2014), Falk Schreiber (Sep 2008 - Dec 2010, Jan 2012 - Dec 2014).

SBGN Scientific Committee

The duties of the SBGN Scientific Committee are to help securing the financial support for SBGN development, to advocate the use of the language in their community, and to check that the development of SBGN is harmonious and democratic. The scientific committee does not have any decision-making power on the content of SBGN, although its advices presumably weight much in the decisions taken by the community.

Principal investigators of grants supporting SBGN development and maintenance are entitled to become members. Other memberships are proposed by the running Scientific Committee and the Editorial Board. Invited members may be pioneers or major players in the field of graphical representation of knowledge, or leading figures in fields that may endorse SBGN. New memberships require unanimity of expressed opinions from current members. The terms of invited members are yearly, renewable without restriction. Renewal must be proposed and seconded by existing members of scientific committee. The current members of the SBGN Scientific Committee:

Kurt Kohn was an invited member between 2009 and 2010. Nicolas Le Novère was a PI and invited member between 2009 and 2015.


We are deeply indebted to the many funding agencies and organizations that have supported SBGN over the years.

The development of SBGN during 2005–2008 was mainly supported by a grant from the Japanese New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). The principal investigators were Hiroaki Kitano, Akira Funahashi, Nicolas Le Novère and Michael Hucka.

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST), the British Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) through a Japan Partnering Award, and a US Partnering Award, the European Media Laboratory (EML Research GmbH), the Beckman Institute BNMC at the California Institute of Technology, and US National Science Foundation (NSF) provided additional support for SBGN workshops.


No one — not the principal investigators, nor the SBGN Editors, nor the members of the SBGN Scientific Committee, nor the funding agencies or anyone else — owns SBGN; it is a free and open community effort that extends beyond any single group, and we view ourselves only as organizers and fellow developers.