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ASCB Newsletter - June 1997

Budget Passes House and Senate
    06/01/1997
Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus H. Res 83 Co-Sponsors

Co-sponsors of H. res. 83, international by rep. George Gekas, (R-PA) which calls for the doubling of the NIH budget in five years include:

Brian Bilbray (R-CA)
Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
Chaka Fattah (D-PA)
Bob Filner (D-CA)
Barney Frank (D-MA)
Martin Frost (D-TX)
Ben Gilman (R-NY)
Henry Gonzalez (D-TX)
Porter Goss (R-FL)
Earl Hilliard (D-AL)
Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
Jim Leach (R-IA)
Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
John Porter (R-IL)
Clay Shaw (R-FL)
Cliff Streams (R-FL)

New Caucus Members

Listed below are those Members of Congress who have recently joined the bi-partison bi-cameral, no dues Congressional Biomediacl Research Caucus. This brings total membership to 72

Bob Etheridge (D-NC)
Michael Forbes (R-NY)
Jim Greenwood (R-PA)
Scott Klug (R-WI)
Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
Jim McGovern (D-MA)
David Price (D-NC)
Lynn Rivers (D-MI)
Clay Shaw (R-FL)
Dave Weldon (R-FL)
Lynn Woosley (D-CA)

Budget Passes House and Senate
Following the announcement of a balanced budget agreement in early May, Congressional leaders and the Clinton Administration completed negotiating the details of the plan. The budget was debated in Committee and on the floors of the Senate and the House and resulted in a reduction in the "Health Function", which is the section of the budget that includes the NIH: "The budget resolution assumes $24.9 billion in budget authority for the health function in fiscal year 1998. For FY 1998, the Budget Authority is $0.1 billion below a freeze and $0.4 billion below the President’s request." This cut in the budget is significant, but it will be up to the Appropriations Committee to decide how to use the funds it is allocated and how or if it will impact funding for biomedical research. In past years the budget has not included increases for the NIH, but the appropriations committees in both Houses have been able to provide for an increase.

During the budget debate in both the House and the Senate, amendments were offered in support of greater funding for biomedical research. Representative Joseph Kennedy (D-MA) introduced an amendment calling for "funding for the National Institutes of Health at least equal to the institutes’ annual professional judgment, which is the best and most reliable estimate of the minimum level of funding needed to sustain the high standard of scientific achievement attained by the National Institutes of Health." This amendment failed by a vote of 123-306, primarily because it would have broken the budget agreement, but it put the NIH on record and challenged appropriators to raise their sights for the NIH. The budget passed the House by a vote of 333-99.

In the Senate, Senators Connie Mack (R-FL) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a Sense of the Senate Amendment calling for the doubling of the NIH in five years and $2 billion to fund the NIH in FY’98. The amendment, which passed 98-0, is not law, but helps to chart the direction for the Appropriations Committee when it makes its decisions about funding. The Joint Steering Committee for Public Policy released a Congressional Liaison Committee (CLC) Alert to 2000 scientists, encouraging them to contact their Senators to support the amendment. The floor debate regarding this Amendment invoked passionate and sometimes personal discussion about the importance of basic research and specifically the NIH. In the midst of the Senate debate, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) announced that they planned to offer an amendment to the Senate Budget Resolution that would ensure that the NIH receive a 7.5% increase, $1.1 billion above 1997 funding levels, which they declared as their goal earlier in the year. This amendment would have been paid for by decreasing allocations to other programs. The amendment failed by a vote of 63-37 because it would have altered the budget agreement negotiated by the Administration and the Congress.

The House and the Senate Appropriations Committees will now work to complete their bills which provide funding for the various agencies. This process may last through the fall and will be watched carefully for potential increases in science funding.

House Passes Science Reauthorization Bills
The new budget agreement will allow for some increase in FY’98 funding in programs such as the NSF, and with the recent action on reauthorization there is cause for hope. On April 24, the House of Representatives adopted science and technology reauthorization legislation recently passed out of the Committee on Science in a bipartisan fashion. Chairman of the Science Committee, F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI) stated, "passage of this legislation is the first step to paving the technology path to the next millennium." The Committee and full House passed the National Science Foundation Authorization Act, H.R. 1273; and the Civilian Space Authorization Act, H.R. 1275. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee has yet to set hearings on the legislation. The House reauthorization would increase NSF funding by 7.2%, slightly above the level most advocacy groups have been calling for. H.R. 1273 provides funding to over 19,000 research and education projects in science and engineering. The NSF accounts for about 25% of Federal support to academic institutions for basic research. The bill authorizes $2.563 billion, or a 5.4% increase over FY’97, for NSF Research & Related Activities and provides for full authorization of the Antarctic facility rehabilitation program. This bill also includes the President’s request of $625.5 million for the Education and Human Resources Directorate, a 1.1% increase over FY’98, and provides for growth in this program to over $644 million in FY’99.

NIH Reauthorization
The NIH is also slated for reauthorization this year; a preliminary hearing was held on May 1. Senator Bill Frist (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Public Health and Safety, chaired a hearing called "Biomedical Research Priorities: Who Should Decide?" which focused on how the NIH allocates funding for its 24 institutes and centers which in turn corresponds to funding for research on various diseases. While Congress appropriates the funding for each institute or center, such allocations are based on recommendations by NIH Director Harold Varmus. Saying that he "believe[s] that one of the federal government’s primary duties is to ensure a healthy national enterprise by promoting progress and innovation in science and technology," Senator Frist explained that he held the hearing because "we must ensure accountability to the public and maintain the public’s trust that the decision-making process at the National Institutes of Health addresses the health needs of the nation."

At the hearing, Varmus described the process by which the NIH makes its budget decisions each year. He made ten observations about the process:

  • Resource allocation is not a single issue; many decisions must be made during the complex process of deciding how the NIH will spend its money;
  • The entire budget cannot be subject to unfettered realignment each year;
  • There are legitimate limits to our ability to plan science;
  • Many criteria guide the development and expenditure of the NIH budget;
  • To evaluate these many criteria for making decisions, the NIH requires and seeks advice from many sources;
  • Assessing or designing a research portfolio from Members [of Congress] alone is a hazardous enterprise;
  • Scientific work is not a commodity that can be purchased; hence the effective shifting of priorities requires more than budgetary realignments;
  • A decision to increase support of one area of medical science now usually constrains the support of something else;
  • Existing methods for resource allocation at the NIH are preferable to Congressional directives; and
  • Many novel and powerful means are available, and should be used, to heighten the interest of scientists in the public benefit of their research.

The National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) met on May 2 to discuss its progress in developing recommendations to the President on the issue of cloning. Harold Shapiro, President of Princeton University, is the Chairman of the NBAC; ASCB member Carol Greider is a member of the commission and Chair of the Ad-hoc Committee of the NBAC which is specifically considering cloning. The commission is on schedule to develop a recommendation within the 90-day deadline that the President imposed.

The Commission solicited the recommendations of 60 scientific organizations and interest groups including the ASCB; of these, they received 31 responses and have considered 19 closely. Most agreed that there should be a moratorium on human cloning, but no one called for legislation in this regard. Most also suggested that there not be restrictions on current research activities, including animal cloning. Many letters called on the Commission to define cloning carefully. Recommendation "(1)" above in Paul Berg’s response to Greider refers to specific practices involving nuclear transfer clonning.

 


Classifieds
    06/01/1997

ASCB/MBL Minority Fellows Announced
The Minorities Affairs Committee announces the funding of five graduate students for summer course studies at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole MA. The Fellows will receive tuition support from the ASCB MAC through an NIH MARC grant:

  • Raymond Chitwood, The University of Texas San Antonio, Neural Systems & Behavior
  • Anthony DePass, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Physiology
  • Spontaneous McKnight, University of Arizona, Physiology
  • Eric Norman, University of Pittsburgh, Neurobiology
  • Eric Reese, University of California, Riverside, Physiology
Classifieds

Senior Scientist to Support NASA. Information Dynamics, Inc. (IDI), a rapidly growing high-technology NASA contractor, is seeking a Senior Scientist in Washington, DC, to provide scientific support for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) Peer Review Process Support Contract.

Responsibilities include recruiting panelists for independent peer review of research proposals submitted to the NSBRI, reviewing and synopsizing these research proposals, conducting peer review panels and site visits for the NSBRI, and developing and reviewing critiques of research proposals in addition to there responsibilities.

Requires PhD in a biomedical or related field along with five years demonstrated experience working with the biomedical scientific community and an in-depth knowledge of the Life Sciences. Experience with scientific peer review, understanding of NASA Space Life Sciences and human physiology is highly desired. Must have good working knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet software.

IDI offers an excellent salary and benefits package including a 401(k) plan. Please forward resumes to: IDI, 400 Virginia Ave, SW,Suite 110, Washington DC 20024. Fax: (202) 863-5210. Email For more information on IDI visit us online. IDI is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Postdoctoral position to study nucleolar function and RNA transport in yeast and animal cells. Molecular cloning experience and US permanent resident status needed. See EMBO J. 15, 6750; MCB, 16, 5139; JCB, 126, 649. Mail CV and 3 references with phone numbers to A. Tartakoff EOE/AA.

Research Assistant perform assigned research project(s) in field of Molecular Neurobiology in the Anatomy Department. Salary $22,700 pa. MS in biology required. Apply in person or by resume to: Georgia Department of Labor, Job Order #GA 6088248,2636-14 M. L. King, Jr. Drive, Atlanta GA 30311-1605 or the nearest Dept of Labor Field Service Office. EOE/AA.

Postdoc/Research Assistant to assess whether dietary soy components can attenuate Alzheimer’s-like memory deficits in animal models. Will involve memory testing and immunochemical and molecular biological analysis of protein risk factors for AD. Contact Dr. H. Kim, Dept. of Pharmacology & Toxicology, U. of Alabama at Birmingham, 1670 University Blvd., Birmingham AL 35294-0019. (205) 934-3880; Fax (205) 934-8240; EOE/AA.

Postdoctoral Position available immediately for PhD with experience in cell and molecular biology or cellular neurobiology. Study the role of a mammalian myosin V in nerve cell function using dilute-lethal (myosin V null) mice in conjunction with video microscopy, motility assays, cell culture, biochemistry and immuno-electron microscopy. Please send or email CV and names of references to: Dr. Paul Bridgman, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 S Euclid Ave., Box 8108, St. Louis, MO 63110. Fax: (314) 747-1150, EOE/AA.

Postdoctoral fellow Annual salary $35,000 (approximate, depends on background). Term: 2 years (1997-1999). Field: Tissue specific transcription factor/developmental biology in osteoblasts, chondrocytes, osteoclasts. Prof. Masaki Noda, Tokyo Medical and Dental University. Phone/Fax: 011-81-3-5280-8066. Email EOE/AA.

Postdoc PhD. Assembly and regulation of intercellular adhesive junctions. Mol. and cell biol. of cadherins and associated proteins in develop. and differentiation. Exper. w/ protein chem., mol. biol., cell culture, EM and LM immunocytochem. desirable. Avail. immed. Start date negot. Send CV, ref. letters, re. interests to: Dr. Kathleen Green Northwestern U. Med. Sch., Dept. Pathology, 303 E. Chicago Ave. Chicago, IL 60611. EOE/AA.

Do You Need a Postdoc, a Research Associate or Fellow? Look to the ASCB first to fill a vacancy by placing your recruitment advertisement in the monthly ASCB Newsletter.

  • Low Rates: $7.50/line, 10-line minimum
  • High Readership: 10,000 research scientists
  • Precise Target: Experienced and qualified membership
  • Convenient Deadline: First of month preceding month of issue

 


Dudley Wright 1999 Conference Proposals Sought
    06/01/1997

The 1997 ASCB/EMBO/H. Dudley Wright conference is almost upon us, and it is time to solicit proposals for the 1999 meeting, which will take place at a to-be-determined site in Europe. Proposals must be submitted by August 1, 1997.

ASCB members who wish to propose a conference topic should contact me using a written communication medium of your choice (please do not call with proposals, as I frequently lose notes taken on phone conversations). Electronic mail, Fax (603) 646-1347, and the US mail (Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755) all seem to work well. A phone call (603-646-2377) is appropriate if members just wish to chat informally about possibilities or procedures, etc. Staff support is provided in the ASCB National Office.

The conference receives financial support from the ASCB, EMBO, and the H. Dudley Wright Foundation. Dudley Wright was a farsighted Swiss industrialist who initially supported these meetings with personal funds. On his death, the H. Dudley Wright Foundation generously agreed to continue his personal commitment through the 1990s.

The ASCB/EMBO/H. Dudley Wright conferences are held biennially to foster international collaboration and exchange of ideas on important and timely topics in cell biology. In choosing a topic, the respective committees of the ASCB and EMBO give strong preference to interdisciplinary topics of mutual interest to the membership of the two organizations. It is hoped that such an international focus will mean there is high probability of the conference exerting a significant impact on research in the topic area.

Please note that the Education Committee of the ASCB advises organizers to pay particular attention to the following points governing meetings: every effort possible should be made to maintain a balance between European and North American representation in the choice of speakers, session chairs, and meeting attendees. It is also expected that every effort will be made to maintain a balance between breadth of speaker and participant representation with respect to (i) laboratories and countries, (ii) established and young investigators, and (iii) postdocs and graduate students. Finally, meeting organizers are encouraged to try to ensure appropriate representation by women and minority group members.

If anyone wishes to make general comments concerning the ASCB/EMBO/H. Dudley Wright summer conferences, please contact the Education Committee of the ASCB (9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda MD 20814-3992) or the Course Committee of EMBO (Postfach 10022.40, Meyerhoffstrasse 1, 6900 Heidelberg 1, Germany). Formal proposals for conference topics should include, but not be limited to, the following: the subject, with some statement as to the interdisciplinary nature and its importance to the international cell biology community, the name of a potential European co-organizer (or a North American co-organizer if the proposer is from Europe), a brief outline of session topics, and a brief list of potential speakers (commitment from whom is not required at the time the topic is proposed). Finally, individuals proposing conference topics must comment as to their willingness to participate in fund raising.

-Roger D. Sloboda, Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755; Fax: (603) 646-1347, for the ASCB Education Committee.

Centrosomes and Spindle Pole Bodies
June 30 is the deadline for submission of abstracts and registration for the Centrosomes and Spindle Pole Bodies Conference sponsored by the ASCB/EMBO/H. Dudley Wright Foundation. The meeting will take place August 23-27, 1997 in Santa Cruz, CA.

 


Education Committee Launches Survey, Regroups Pre-College Activities
    06/01/1997

Call For Educational Initiatives Forum Speakers
For the past five years, the ASCB Education Committee has hosted Educational Initiatives Forums (sometimes called "Coffee Break Forums") during the breaks separating morning symposia at the ASCB Annual Meeting. Typically, the speaker or panelists for each session present 15-20 minutes of remarks on a subject related to Educational Initiatives in Cell Biology, and the remainder of the session is devoted to discussion.The Forum encourages presentations of innovative solutions to educational and related professional problems and discussion of problems and solutions. It is an ideal venue for networking with other individuals with similar interests.The 1996 Forum, in San Francisco included presentations by William Heidcamp on "Teaching Materials Available via the Internet," Celia Jamur on "Teaching Cell Biology with Limited Resources," Malcolm Campbell on "Innovative Teaching Methods," Lawrence Jensen on "Computer-generated Models as Teaching Aids," and Nancy Lane on "Methods to Interest Students Belonging to Underrepresented Groups."Any ASCB member wishing to make a presentation at one of the Educational Initiatives Forums should contact the ASCB Office or the Forum’s convener, Education Committee member Chris Watters, at (802) 443-5433.

Education Committee Launches Survey, Regroups Pre-College Activities
Frank Solomon chaired the Education Committee (EdComm) that met in Bethesda on April 12. The full Committee meeting was preceded by the meeting of the Precollege Science Education Subcommittee, held on April 11 and also chaired by Solomon.

The Precollege Science Education Subcommittee met to explore continued involvement by the Committee and by the ASCB in precollege science education, and more generally, how a national organization can most effectively be involved in local activity. The Subcommittee recognized that education and research are interdependent and that the Society should therefore continue to play an active role in precollege science education. The Subcommittee plans to develop a position paper to be presented to Council.

A number of suggestions for future Committee projects and activities were made by Committee members Bob Blystone and Malcolm Campbell. Among those that will be pursued are:

Focused display and presentation of commercial classroom education materials. The EdComm will encourage publishers who exhibit at the Annual Meeting to display educational materials directed to all levels of students.

Publication of a Booklet about Shared Positions. This was the topic of an Educational Initiatives Forum and a Careers Lunch table during the 1996 Congress & Meeting and has generated continued interest.
The Committee will propose to Council that it develop this publication, as it did How to Get a Teaching Job at a Primarily Undergraduate Institution.

Expansion of the EdComm Web Site.
Suggestions for enhancing the current column by Bob Blystone include providing a resource list of rated Web sites, encouraging contributions from ASCB members to discussions of teaching various topics in cell biology, reviewing specific lab exercises, and providing a collection of movies and images appropriate to the teaching of cell biology. Some of these activities would occur at the ASCB EdComm site and some at a link to the sites of other ASCB members.

In conjunction with this discussion, Elizabeth Marincola reported that the ASCB is renovating its Web Site and hopes to have a new home page and an expanded site in place shortly.

Production of a Web resource site led to a discussion of criteria for inclusion of materials and ultimately peer review of science education materials and exercises. The Committee agreed that critical, descriptive, and selective reviews would require the selection of a panel of reviewers to include persons with science expertise and persons with field experience. Committee members Sally Elgin, Mary Lee Ledbetter, Ted Gurney, and Chris Watters will develop suggested criteria for assessment.

The Committee reviewed planned activities for the 1997 Annual Meeting:


The EdComm/MAC Information Booth. The Committee’s thanks were expressed to Bob Blystone for his tutorials on use of the Internet for educational activities at the EdComm/MAC Booth in 1995 and 1996. Watters and Gurney will explore the possibility of linking Education Initiatives presentations with scheduled follow-up discussions at the booth.

The 1997 Education Workshop will be on written communication by scientists writing to other scientists: grant proposals, articles for publication, research summaries, and posters. The organizer will be Judith Swan, a science writing teacher at Princeton and co-author of The Science of Scientific Writing.

Educational Initiatives Forum. A wide variety of topics for forum sessions for the 1997 Annual Meeting was suggested by Committee members.

Career Options and Issues Facing Biologists Lunch. Roger Sloboda is working with Sue Wick of the Women in Cell Biology Committee to identify table leaders. The Graduate Student Program has been moved to a later time so that interested graduate students can attend the lunch.

Cell Biology Educational Grant Panels. The panels would present information at the ASCB Annual Meeting about education grants available to scientists; they might be presented during an Educational Initiatives Forum or as part of an EdComm Workshop.

Bob Bloodgood, Malcolm Campbell and Mary Lee Ledbetter will participate in the Coalition for Education in the Life Sciences (CELS) Project Kaleidoscope workshop on Revitalizing Undergraduate Biology in late October. Bloodgood and Elgin serve on the CELS planning committee, which will meet in June.

The Committee reviewed the list of requests made to the ASCB by members of the National Association for Biology Teachers and discussed how to address them.

The Committee thanked Blystone for his Web Site reviews and recognized that they provided a regular educational presence in the ASCB Newsletter. Connie Oliver will explore the possibility of sharing these Web Site reviews with publications of the National Association for Biology Teachers and National Science Teachers Association.

Solomon reported that the Graduate Education Survey has been finalized and will be mailed shortly to a random sample of ASCB members.

The Committee has tentatively agreed to participate in a career survey sponsored by the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology (CPST) and funded by the NSF. The survey targets first-year graduates of PhD programs.

 


New Programs for Research in Pediatric AIDS
    06/01/1997

The Pediatric AIDS Foundation, in its commitment to fund basic medical research in pediatric HIV/AIDS, announces the availability of funding for One-year Pediatric Research Grants, Two-year Pediatric Research Grants, Two-year Pediatric Scholar Awards, and Pediatric Short-term Scientific Awards.

The Pediatric AIDS Foundation is especially interested in funding creative and innovative research ideas not yet suitable for funding by other agencies (e.g., NIH). All proposals must have direct relevance to pediatric HIV/AIDS and its related issues. The Pediatric AIDS Foundation will accept applications from investigators who are previous Foundation awardees. Established investigators and international applicants at not-for-profit institutions are encouraged to apply. Further, we will consider applications from researchers interested in collaborating with investigators from developing countries. To date, the Pediatric AIDS Foundation has funded all applications that scored in the fundable range during peer review and met the Foundation's scientific criteria for funding, and we will make every effort to continue this commitment. For more information:

Pediatric Aids Foundation
1311 Colorado Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404
ATTN: Trish Devine, Program Manager
Phone: (310) 395-9051 FAX: (310) 395-5149
Email
Website

NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program
Each year, NSF selects nominees for Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from the most meritorious new awardees supported by the CAREER program. PECASE awards recognize outstanding scientists and engineers who, early in their careers, show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of knowledge. This Presidential Award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. (A brochure giving a government-wide description of PECASE is available on the NSF Web Site at www.nsf.gov. Select "Crosscutting Programs," then "PECASE.") Consistent with its mission to support research in academic environments, NSF will select its nominees from among new faculty who have received CAREER awards based on their potential for integrated contributions to education and research.

For information:
National Science Foundation PPU
Announcement No. NSF 97-87,
Career Program
4201 Wilson Blvd, Room P60
Arlington, VA 22230
Website

NCI Scholars Program
NCI Scholars Program is to provide outstanding new research investigators who are ready to initiate their first independent program in cancer research with an opportunity to develop their program in the supportive and uniquely interactive intramural environment of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The overall goal is to facilitate their successful transition to an extramural environment as independent researchers. This program is also intended to continually enhance and invigorate the NCI intramural community by providing a cadre of new, creative scientists who will interact with and expand the collaborative research opportunities of NCI intramural scientists. This program will uniquely address the need of the NCI intramural laboratories to attract outstanding scientists, and of the extramural cancer research community to identify for staff appointments new investigators capable of sustaining a successful research program.

For information:
Dr. Vincent J. Cairoli
Cancer Training Branch
Division of Cancer Treatment,
Diagnosis, and Centers National Cancer Institute
Executive Plaza North
Room 520
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Phone: (301) 496-8580 Fax: (301) 402-4472

Professional Opportunities for Women in Research and Education (POWRE)
The National Science Foundation's mandate is to ensure the vitality of the nation's scientific and engineering enterprise requires a focus on the quality, distribution, and effectiveness of the human resource base in science and engineering, including full utilization of all potentially interested and qualified citizens. Because women are underrepresented in the science and engineering workforce, the Foundation supports efforts aimed at increasing the number of women as full participants in the science and engineering mainstream of the nation's workplace. Of special interest in this announcement is their representation in education and research leadership.

For information:
National Science Foundation PPU Announcement No: NSF 97-91, POWRE Program 4201 Wilson Blvd., Room P60
Arlington, VA 22230
Website

 


MAC Announces Visiting Professorships
    06/01/1997

The ASCB Minorities Affairs Committee announces awardees for the Visiting Professorship Program for the summer of 1997. This new program seeks to acquaint professors of science with modern research tools and techniques, help them build a network with community scientists and institutions, and bring the excitement of research science into the classroom. The program is supported by a Minorities Access to Careers Research (MARC) grant from the NIGMS, NIH. The fellowships have been award to:

Pearl R. Fernandes of Morris College, with host scientists Kim E. Creek and Lucia Pirisi of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, working on the Role of the EGF receptor in human papilomavirus type 16-mediated human cell carcinogenesis in vitro.

Debra Bolen Morrissette of Kennedy-King College, with host scientist Maija I. Mednieks of the University of Illinois at Chicago, working on cAMP-receptor activity in human saliva.

Robert O. Scott of Norfolk State University, with host scientist Miriam D. Rosenthal of Eastern Virginia Medical School, working on Cellular localization of type II secretory phospholipase A2 in human and baboon placenta.

Youvraj R. Sohni of Alabama A&M University, with host scientist Elizabeth J. Kovacs of Loyola University, working on Molecular mediators of lung pathology following burn/infection.

John P.E. Tokeson of Virginia State University, with host scientist T. S. Benedict Yen of the San Francisco Veterans Administration, working on Cloning of a transcription factor involved in ER stress signaling.

To be eligible for the ASCB MAC Visiting Professorship Program, professor and ASCB member scientist were required to plan and submit a research proposal together and submit it with a follow-up plan for the academic year. According to ASCB MAC member and program coordinator Maria Elena Zavala, applications were scored on a variety of variables: the subject of the proposed research and the quality of planned interactions for the professor, plans for ongoing interaction between professor and sponsoring lab after the conclusion of the fellowship, benefit to teaching, the qualifications of researcher and professor, and the potential impact on minorities and schools with high minority enrollment.

 


Minorities Affairs Committee Sets Goals
    06/01/1997

Minorities Affairs Committee Sets Goals
J.K. Haynes chaired the Minorities Affairs Committee (MAC) which met in Bethesda on May 24. Other members present were Daniel Chavez, Daniel Friend, Donald Kimmel, Sandra Murray, Curtis Parker, and Donella Wilson. Resigning member Dan Friend was specially recognized for his long service and many contributions to the MAC.

Haynes reviewed the grants which support the MAC’s programs for this year. $123,580 from the NIH-MARC, $10,000 from the I&G Foundation, and $31,330 from a supplemental NIH-MARC grant. Haynes challenged the Committee to establish goals for the coming year.

The Committee recognized the need to increase the pool of applicants to MAC programs and to promote minority scientists as role models to the non-scientific community. More publicity of MAC programs within the ASCB membership as well as to the general public were suggested. Committee members committed themselves to increasing their own time devoted to Committee activities. The success of evaluation tools developed for current programs was also reviewed.

On behalf of Maria Elena Zavala, Haynes reported on the Visiting Professorship Program. Five visiting professors will begin their work in the laboratories of ASCB (see page 10) members during the month of June. Of the five awardees, two selected their host scientists from the pool of ASCB members who volunteered to act as hosts; the others identified hosts on their own or were recruited by ASCB members. Haynes noted that although large minority populations reside in the South and Southwest, most of the volunteer hosts are in the Northeast and Midwest. Don Kimmel suggested that visiting professors be asked to explicitly consider how they plan to overcome the problems of time, money, and facilities in the home institution. Curtis Parker noted that instructors at minority institutions frequently were not tenured and received little recognition for participation in programs such as the visiting professorship; the 1998 application will request a letter of support from the visiting professor’s dean and a request that these issues be addressed.

The pool of minority applicants for fellowships at the Marine Biological Laboratory Summer Courses has remained constant since 1993; however, enrollment at the MBL of these candidates declined by almost 50% this year. The Committee will target course directors and key contact persons in universities as sources for applicants in 1998. The Committee strongly supports this program. Haynes also committed to seeking support for a similar program at the University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories, with cost sharing from Friday Harbor. A tracking tool for participants in summer course programs is being developed.

Sandra Murray has identified ASCB members and former MBL MAC fellows who will participate in the I&G Mentoring Workshop at the MBL on July 12-13. Topics of discussion will include written communication and publishing ("Write It!"), oral presentations ("Say It!"), lifestyles ("Live It!"), and funding ("Fund It!"). George Langford will give the keynote address. Dan Chavez will assist with development of a report or proceedings to be used during the Workshop and to be available after the Workshop. An Internet-based mentoring network is being developed in conjunction with the Workshop.

Dan Friend presented applicants for funding to attend courses at Microscopy & Microanalysis ‘97, the 1997 Histochemical Society meeting, and the Committee agreed to provide support of $500 to each of eight candidates. The Committee acknowledged that there are many outstanding technical workshops available annually and that therefore it was not a good use of time and resources for the MAC to develop an additional workshop.

Donella Wilson reported that the next meeting of the Minorities Action Committee, an organization of representatives of minority committees from multiple scientific societies, will take place in Bethesda during late June or July. The meeting will address three areas of concern identified at the 1996 meeting: the minority data base, public policy, and the impact of market forces on the hiring of minority PhDs.

The MAC has developed information to be presented on a MAC home page which will link to the ASCB home page. Although the Committee strongly supports the presentation of an electronic minority scientist database, concerns about universal accessability to names and addresses and lack of anonymity were expressed. These issues will be explored in depth at the Minorities Action Committee meeting.

Publicity for MAC activities at the Annual Meeting was discussed and articles for the ASCB Newsletter were assigned. 1997 Annual Meeting activities include: the E. E. Just Lecture, the MAC Poster Session and Awards Luncheon, Special Saturday Session for Young Minority Scientists, and the EdComm-MAC Booth. The MAC will encourage participation at the Annual Meeting High School Program by minority students from Washington, D.C. public schools.

 


Grants & Opportunities
    06/01/1997

New ASCB Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators
The following ASCB members are newly-appointed Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators: Joanne Chory, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies; Joachim Frank, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health;David M. Kingsley,Stanford University School of Medicine; Ruth Lehmann,New York University School of Medicine;Barbara J. Meyer,University of California, Berkeley;Peter Walter,University of California, San Francisco; Xiaodong Wang, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas;Eileen White,Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey;Eric F. Wieschaus,Princeton University;Jerry L. Workman,Pennsylvania State University.

Grants & Opportunities
New Programs for Research in Pediatric AIDS

The Pediatric AIDS Foundation, in its commitment to fund basic medical research in pediatric HIV/AIDS, announces the availability of funding for One-year Pediatric Research Grants, Two-year Pediatric Research Grants, Two-year Pediatric Scholar Awards, and Pediatric Short-term Scientific Awards.

The Pediatric AIDS Foundation is especially interested in funding creative and innovative research ideas not yet suitable for funding by other agencies (e.g., NIH). All proposals must have direct relevance to pediatric HIV/AIDS and its related issues. The Pediatric AIDS Foundation will accept applications from investigators who are previous Foundation awardees. Established investigators and international applicants at not-for-profit institutions are encouraged to apply. Further, we will consider applications from researchers interested in collaborating with investigators from developing countries. To date, the Pediatric AIDS Foundation has funded all applications that scored in the fundable range during peer review and met the Foundation's scientific criteria for funding, and we will make every effort to continue this commitment. For more information:

Pediatric Aids Foundation
1311 Colorado Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Attn: Trish Devine, Program Manager
Phone: (310) 395-9051 Fax: (310) 395-5149
Email
Website

NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program
Each year, NSF selects nominees for Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from the most meritorious new awardees supported by the CAREER program. PECASE awards recognize outstanding scientists and engineers who, early in their careers, show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of knowledge. This Presidential Award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. (A brochure giving a government-wide description of PECASE is available on the NSF Web Site at www.nsf.gov. Select "Crosscutting Programs," then "PECASE.") Consistent with its mission to support research in academic environments, NSF will select its nominees from among new faculty who have received CAREER awards based on their potential for integrated contributions to education and research.

For information:
National Science Foundation PPU
Announcement No. NSF 97-87,
Career Program
4201 Wilson Blvd. Room P60
Arlington, VA 22230
Website

NCI Scholars Program
NCI Scholars Program is to provide outstanding new research investigators who are ready to initiate their first independent program in cancer research with an opportunity to develop their program in the supportive and uniquely interactive intramural environment of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The overall goal is to facilitate their successful transition to an extramural environment as independent researchers. This program is also intended to continually enhance and invigorate the NCI intramural community by providing a cadre of new, creative scientists who will interact with and expand the collaborative research opportunities of NCI intramural scientists. This program will uniquely address the need of the NCI intramural laboratories to attract outstanding scientists, and of the extramural cancer research community to identify for staff appointments new investigators capable of sustaining a successful research program.

For information:
Dr. Vincent J. Cairoli
Cancer Training Branch

Division of Cancer Treatment,
Diagnosis, and Centers National Cancer Institute
Executive Plaza North
Room 520
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Phone: (301) 496-8580 Fax: (301) 402-4472
Email

Professional Opportunities for Women in Research and Education (POWRE)
The National Science Foundation's mandate is to ensure the vitality of the nation's scientific and engineering enterprise requires a focus on the quality, distribution, and effectiveness of the human resource base in science and engineering, including full utilization of all potentially interested and qualified citizens. Because women are underrepresented in the science and engineering workforce, the Foundation supports efforts aimed at increasing the number of women as full participants in the science and engineering mainstream of the nation's workplace. Of special interest in this announcement is their representation in education and research leadership.

For information:
National Science Foundation PPU Announcement No: NSF 97-91, POWRE Program 4201 Wilson Blvd., Room P60
Arlington, VA 22230
Website

Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Cell Biology
Position is available in the Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, for a recent PhD (or MD/PhD) to study "Lipid Traffic in Animal Cells". Research topics include (i) the use of molecular techniques to study proteins involved in sphingolipid synthesis or transport, and (ii) the use of fluorescent lipid analogs to study intracellular transport of lipids, with particular emphasis on eht endocytic pathway and lysosomal storage diseases Applicants should have experience with cell biological and molecular techniques, or image analysis and quantitative fluorescence microscopy. Send resume to Dr. Richard E. Pagano, 621 Guggenheim Bldg., Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street, S. W., Rochester, MN 55905. Mayo Foundation is an affirmative action and equal opportunity educator and employer.

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