|Congress Passes Budget|
Following the ten-day Memorial Day break, House and Senate budget negotiators completed the FY’98 Budget Resolution. As reported earlier, the plan would balance the budget by 2002 through reductions in programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, while simultaneously providing tax cuts. The plan serves as a blueprint for government spending for this year and beyond.
Moving quickly to enforce parts of the budget deal, the Health Subcommittee of the House Ways and Mean Committee passed, by a vote of 13-0, provisions cutting $115 billion in Medicare spending over the next five years. Much of the reduction will come in the form of lower payments to hospitals and HMOs. The Ways and Means Committee will also draft the tax-cutting legislation which will likely prove controversial.
Supplemental Appropriations Vetoed
For the past year, the Peer Review Oversight Group (PROG) has been debating merit review criteria and potential changes to the system. Varmus announced to the PROG in May that grants would be judged by five criteria: significance, approach, investigator, environment, and innovation. The change is to be effected next year.
Despite general cooperation on the FY’98 budget by both parties, there was little agreement on the emergency supplemental funding bill (HR 1469). A supplemental appropriations bill must be passed in order for money beyond that which is already appropriated to be spent in any given fiscal year. The bill, which was originally devised to fund Midwestern disaster relief and peacekeeping in Bosnia, grew into an $8.6 billion measure that would provide funds for the Women, Infants and Children program (WIC) and education grants, among other programs. Although the bill passed both Houses, the supplemental appropriation remained in conference until the Memorial Day break, forcing the House to break without an official recess and without having provided assistance to flood victims. There were many reasons the bill did not pass, including the controversial provision to create a permanent Continuing Resolution (CR), which would have allowed the government to remain open and operate at the previous year’s funding level even when the Congress is not able to pass its appropriations bills. President Clinton, Congressional Democrats, and many appropriators opposed the CR because it would weaken their leverage in negotiating appropriations legislation. Without the automatic CR provision, the government would shut down as it did two years ago if the appropriations bills are not completed or a temporary CR is not passed.
In the week following the Memorial Day break, both Houses completed the supplemental appropriations bill, barely passing it 220-201 in the House, and by a two-to-one margin in the Senate, but it was vetoed by the President due to the CR provision. The Congress then offered a stripped-down version of the bill minus the items that the Administration opposed. Both the House and Senate easily passed the revised supplemental bill, voting 348-74 in the House and 78-21 in the Senate. The President promptly signed it into law.
FY’98 Appropriations 802(b) Allocations Approved
Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus
The VA-HUD Subcommittee will receive $60.9 billion in budget authority in its 602(b) allocation. Similar to the L-HHS Subcommittee, there are multiple programs to fund within the VA-HUD Subcommittee, including expensive housing programs; this 602(b) allocation may be sufficient to include an increase for the NSF nonetheless.
Stearns Amendment to Create National Biomedical Research Fund
Elimination of Section 117(d) - Tax on Graduate Fellowships
TIAA-CREF - Tax on Faculty Retirement Funds
Reeve Endorses Specter/Harkin Legislation
National Bioethics Advisory Commission
The NBAC called upon Congress to pass legislation which would allow for limited research using cloned human embryos. The Commission recommends that researchers be allowed to clone such embryos, but be prohibited from implanting them in women. This approach imposes the same restrictions on researchers who receive private funds as those who receive public (e.g. NIH) funds. The former group was previously excluded from the government moratorium on cloning research.
Some members of the Commission were worried that such legislation could restrict useful research even beyond the point that such research might be proven safe. In response to these concerns, the Commission recommends that a sunset provision be added to the bill that will force the measure to be reviewed in three to five years.
Some critics of the Commission report feel that they should not have recommended legislation. There have been several bills introduced in Congress this year which attempt to restrict cloning, and it is unclear at this time how the NBAC recommendation will affect this proposed legislation and vice versa. Following the release of the Commission’s report, President Clinton sent proposed legislation to Congress based on the report’s recommendations.
On June 18, the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus held a briefing on Cloning by Lee Silver of the Molecular Biology Department at Princeton and Arthur Caplan of the Center of Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania.
Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus
Market Research/Life Sciences Specialist. International data base marketing company seeks an individual to assist in life science market research projects. Entry level position, training provided. Candidate should have a degree in molecular biology, biochemistry or related discipline. Reply to: IMV, LTD., 6411 Ivy Lane, Suite 714, Greenbelt, MD 20770.
Visiting postdoctoral researcher to study baculovirus rearrangement and use of actin cytoskeleton. Ph.D. and research experience in actin biochemistry, cell biology and molecular biology; virology helpful. Application deadline: August 15, 1997. Contact: Dr. Loy Volkman, 251 Koshland Hall, University of California,Berkeley, CA. 94720-3102. EOE/AA. Phone: (510) 642-4500, Fax: (510) 642-9017.
Postdoctoral positions available immediately in NIH-funded projects investigating the regulated expression of type I and III collagen genes during skeletal development. Our laboratory recently discovered unusual alternative transcripts of these genes that are expresssed predominantly in cartilage and prechondrogenic mesenchyme, and we are currently exploring both their function and the molecular mechanisms regulating their production. Candidates with a strong background in molecular biology may send curriculum vitae and names of three references to: Dr Sherrill L. Adams, Univ. Of PA, Dental Medicine, Dept. of Biochemistry, 4010 Locust Street, Phila., Pa. 19104-6002; or Fax (215) 898-3695. Univ. of PA. is an EOE/AA.
Postdoc: Mechanisms of injury in endothelial cells involving membrane ion transport sites; focus on Na/H antiport & altered gene expression of this protein in cell injury models. Experience in ion transport, fluorescent probes, basic molecular biology techniques desirable. Salary: $20-25K, depending on experience. Send resume: Dr. M. Cutaia, Res Svc, VA Med Ctr, University & Woodland Aves, Philadelphia PA 19104; (215) 823-4316. EOE/AA.
Do You Need a Postdoc, a Research Associate or Fellow?
Contact: Rick Sommer
Yale University Post Doctoral Position
The Laboratory of Joel L. Rosenbaum, Dept of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology seeks a postdoctoral fellow, to work on one of the following problems:
Reference: Johnson and Rosenbaum. Trends in Cell Biology, May, 1993: Flagellar Regeneration in Chlamydomonas: "A Model System for Studying Organelle Assembly." Cole, Diener and Rosenbaum. Abstracts of 1996 ASCB Meeting, No. 272/273: "A flagellar heterotrimeric kinesin:Putative cargo revealed by analysis of ts mutants" and "Cytoplasmic precursors of flagellar radial spokes exist as large complexes".
Applicant should have PhD in Cell/Molecular Biology. Some initial support is available, but applicant will be required to apply for post-doctoral fellowship funding. Send applications to: Joel L. Rosenbaum, Dept. MCDB, Yale University, New Haven CT 06510. EOE/AA.
|Effective Communication: The Science of Scientific Writing|
A Workshop sponsored by the ASCB Education Committee, to be held Saturday, December 13 from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM, at the Washington Convention Center
The Workshop focuses on scientists communicating with other scientists: writing grant proposals, writing articles for publication, writing research summaries, as well as preparing posters and lectures. The Workshop is appropriate to scientists of all levels. Graduate students, postdocs and junior faculty members will learn tools for addressing problems of presentation; senior scientists will find a new way of looking at their own presentations and strategies they can share with others. Scientists who speak English as a second language will have the opportunity to develop conscious awareness of structural cues that native English speakers have acquired unconsciously over many years.
Dr. Judith Swan, co-author of "The Science of Scientific Writing," earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and teaches scientific writing at Princeton University. She has presented workshops to students and scientists at various institutions, including Cornell Medical School, Bristol-Myers Squibb Corporation, and the National Institutes of Health.
Cost to participate in this Workshop is $10. Payment should be included with your advance registration; see page 27 in the Call for Abstracts.
|ASCB Placement Service|
Request for Placement Service Forms
Please Indicate __ Employer __ Candidate Number of copies desired: ___
Send this form to the
ASCB Placement Service
This computerized service permits candidates to register with the Placement Service, completing a brief Information Form and a schedule of times available for interviews. As Placement Service registrants, candidates have access to notebooks of Employer Position Forms, a poster area containing position forms from newly registered employers, and a message center that allows them to send messages to employers and receive messages and individual interview appointments from employers.
Employers complete a brief Employer Position Form for each position they seek to fill. In the Employer Reading Room they have access to copies of Candidate Information Forms in notebooks and hanging files (for their personal use) and the complete ASCB computerized scheduling program. Data Processing Assistants match each employer's available times with those of the candidates and produce an interview time card (copies for employer, candidate, and file) giving date, time of interview and table at which the interview will occur. Additionally, employers may quickly pinpoint the candidates who best meet their requirements without having to review the candidate files by requesting a computerized search using the codes entered by candidates and employers on each application form. Message files are also available so that employers may receive candidate messages.
In 1997, two issues of the Placement Service brochures containing 70-word position and candidate information for registered employers and candidates, respectively, will be produced: a Pre-meeting Brochure, containing ads for candidates and employers who preregister with the ASCB Placement Service, and an On-site Brochure, produced at the close of Placement Service registration on Monday and available Tuesday. Brochures are available at the ASCB Booth in the Exhibit Hall, ASCB information tables, and the ASCB National Office headquarters at the Convention Center during the Annual Meeting.
ASCB Placement Service Hours
|Annual Meeting Sponsors|
The ASCB is grateful to the first sponsors of the 37th ASCBAnnual Meeting:
|WWW.Cell Biology Education|
The ASCB Education Committee calls attention each month to several websites of educational interest to the cell biology community. The Committee does not endorse nor guarantee the accuracy of the information at any of the listed sites. If you wish to comment on the selections or suggest future inclusions please send a message to Robert Blystone
This and all the previous ASCB columns reviewing educational websites with links to the sites may be found online