"Deciding to 'leave the bench' and basic research after committing many, many years to graduate school is not an easy thing to do," Katrina Yu begins her essay in the special November 1 issue of Molecular Biology of the Cell (MBoC). "There is real pressure from peers, principal investigators (PIs), even parents, to stick it out and follow a more established career path, either to academia or the biotech industry."
Two pioneering online biology video sites, iBioSeminars and iBioMagazine, have undergone another step in their evolution and been merged to create a new website, iBiology.org. Following the model of its predecessors, iBiology.org will continue to offer videos by world-class biologists for free.
The ASCB Kaluza Prize supported by Beckman Coulter is named for the German mathematician Theodor Kaluza (1885-1954), who is the namesake of Beckman Coulter's flow cytometry software system. The posthumous reputation of Kaluza, who was not a biologist but a German mathematician, has been on the rise in recent years, and the eponymous honor of a $5,000 cash prize for scientific achievement for an ASCB graduate student is only the latest feather.
In the grand march of human history, first there was the cave wall and charcoal. Then came the inked poster. Now comes the ePoster, the dynamic multimedia form of the venerable 3'8" (1.1m) X 6' (1.828 m) paper poster. For the first time, the 2013 ASCB Annual Meeting will feature this new presentation format (see Jessica Polka's example below).
1. What is your current position?
Scientist (group leader) at Genentech
2. How far in advance of your planned starting date did you begin looking for jobs?
3. How did you learn about your current position?
Former colleague already employed at Genentech
Behind the acronyms ASCB + GSA = LSE stands a new editorial partnership between the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) and the Genetics Society of America (GSA) to support the online journal, CBE—Life Sciences Education (LSE). The journal, which was started by ASCB in 2002 as Cell Biology Education but changed to CBE—Life Sciences Education in 2006 to reflect the breadth of its educational coverage across all life sciences, will have a joint editorial board drawn from scientists in both societies. GSA will become a full editorial partner, promoting the journal, soliciting manuscripts, and contributing to its costs of operation while ASCB will remain the actual publisher. Erin Dolan will continue as LSE Editor-In-Chief.
A matched-peer controlled study of science faculty at minority-serving institutions (MSIs) shows that an outside mentoring support program increased the number of peer-reviewed research publications, the number of federal grants, and the variety of professional and curricular activities of those who participated versus academic peers who did not.
A new $5,000 prize funded by a leading biomedical technology company to honor research by a graduate student member of the ASCB will be the first competition judged in keeping with guidelines from the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which ASCB endorsed in June. Candidates for the ASCB Kaluza Prize supported by Beckman Coulter, Inc., an international biomedical systems manufacturer, will be evaluated on the discoveries they have made, not on the impact factors of the journals where the results have been published, according to ASCB President Don Cleveland.
Ali Khademhosseini is a scientist in a hurry. Khademhosseini, now an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, earned his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in just three years and eight months. He published 12 first-author papers during his graduate studies, working on engineering cellular microenvironments in Robert Langer's lab. Khademohesseini recommends making a plan of action before starting experiments. He told me, "I often wrote an outline of my project including the innovation and expected analysis methods to have a plan of what the paper would look like at the end. I then went about testing various hypotheses. It is important to design experiments in which even a failure results in new knowledge."
How big is an antibody? An illustration in a biology textbook might depict an antibody that's a third of the size of a cell, 150 times larger than an antibody actually is in relation to a cell. Of course, it would be impossible to draw an antibody to scale in a textbook. Even if the illustration of the cell took up an entire sheet of 8 ½ x 11 inch paper, the antibody would only be about 0.02 inches, a speck too small to see. So how can one get a sense for the size of proteins on the surface of cells in the body? Michael Reth, professor at the Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg and the Max Planck Institute, gives readers a mental image in a commentary in Nature Immunology.