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ASCB Newsletter - March 1997


Postdoc: PhD with experience in molecular biology, biochemistry, or cell biology. Study kinesin like proteins in eukaryotic cilia and flagella using molecular biology, genetics, motility assays, and immuno-electron microscopy. Available immediately. Salary $23,000-$28,000. Contact: Dr. Mitchell Bernstein, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461. EOE/AA. Email.

Postdoctoral Position. Gene Targeting To Disrupt Astrocytic Properties. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We are seeking a postdoctoral fellow or research associate to participate in studies designed to elucidate the role of astrocytes in brain. Knock-down constructs (e.g. dominantnegatives) and inducible knock-out strategies will be employed to disrupt specific astrocytic properties in vivo. Applicants should have extensive experience in the theoretical and practical aspects of molecular biology. The selected candidate will work closely with members of our multi disciplinary neuroscience laboratory. Send CV and names of three references to: Ken D. McCarthy, Department of Pharmacology, CB# 7365 - FLOB, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7365. EOE/AA. Fax: (919) 966-5640.

Postdoc Res Associate, PhD, to study nuclear architectural remodeling, spindle assembly in Drosophila; optimization of nuclear matrix preparations for localization studies; confocal microscopic analysis of double- and triple-labeled preps. Highly motivated, independent individual with EM and immunocytochemical experience; Avail ASAP Contact: Kristen Johansen, 3154 MBB, Iowa State Univ, Ames IA 50011. EOE/AA.

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cell Biology: A position is available immediately in the Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN., for a qualified individual to study the role of dynamin and dynamin-like proteins in vesicle trafficking and cell motility in mammalian cells. Applicant should have an MD and/or PhD degree, experience in cell biological or molecular techniques, and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Send resume to Dr. Mark McNiven, 1721 Guggenheim Bldg. Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN 55905. Mayo Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.

Postdoc position available June 1997 to study the disease association, function, and regulation of intermediate filament proteins in glandular-type epithelia. Experience in cell/molecular biology required. If interested, please send CV to: Bishr Omary, Stanford University School of Medicine, Gastro, Lab Surge Building, Room P304, Stanford, CA 94305-5487. Stanford University is an EOE/AA employer.

Postdoctoral position will be available September 1, 1997. The task is to determine the primary structure of the receptor for the protein hormone relaxin. Qualifications are a PhD in a related field and experience applicable to the task. To apply send a CV to Dr. O. D. Sherwood, Department of Molecular & Internal Physiology, U. Illinois, Rm 524 Burrill Hall, 407 South Goodwin, Urbana IL 61801, Fax: (217) 333-1133. EOE/AA.

Postdoctoral Position. A postdoctoral position is available to study a molecular chaperone that functions in protein folding and trafficking. Experience in molecular and/or cellular biology is desirable. Please send or Email CV and names of references to: Dr. Guojun Bu, Washington University School of Medicine, Box 8116, St. Louis, MO 63110. EOE/AA. Email.

Postdoc and/or research associates to study degradation of mutant secretory proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum, particularly a mutant protein which causes liver disease in children. Requires experience in basic cell biology and molecular biology. Contact: Dr. David Perlmutter, Pediatrics & Cell Biology, Washington Univ. School of Medicine, One Children.s Hospital, St. Louis MO 63110. (314) 454-6033. EOE/AA.

Postdoctoral Fellowship: Fertilization and Early Development Training Grant, Univ. of California, Davis. Start date: Before July, 1997. Must be US Citizen or Perm. Resident. Faculty: G. Anderson, T. Berger, J. Hedrick, D. Myles, S. Meizel, R. Nuccitelli, J. Overstreet, P. Primakoff, L. Wiley. Contact - Dr. S. Meizel, Dept. Cell Biol. & Human Anat. Univ. of California, Davis CA 95616; EOE/AA.

Postdoctoral associate for cell biological and molecular studies of the role of a mammalian sperm glycine receptor/Cl channel in the acrosome reaction, a sperm exocytotic event essential to fertilization. Start date anytime between July and Sept. 1997. Dr. Stanley Meizel, Dept. of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, University of California, Davis CA 95616; EOE/AA.

Postdoc NRSA training program in molecular regulation of reproduction: androgen receptor control of gene transcription, integrin control of uterine receptivity/implantation, somatic cell factors regulating gene expression and germ cell specific genes controlling spermatogenesis, sperm maturation/fertilization. Contact Frank French, MD, Labs for Reproductive Biology, CB# 7500, UNC at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7500. EOE/AA.

Postdoctoral position is available for gene therapy utilizing the RNA-DNA hybrid oligonucleotide and adenovirus for skin diseases. Candidates must have a strong background and competency in all aspects of molecular biology. Reference: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 93, 2071 (1996); Science 272, 1386 (1996). Contact Dr. Yoon, Department of Dermatology, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA 19107. EOE/AA.

Postdoctoral position available to study the functional organization of RNA processing components in mammalian cells (e.g. PNAS 92: 5915-19; JCB 129: 1181-93). Applicants should have a strong background in molecular and cellular biology. Send CV with three references to: Dr. Greg Matera, Dept. of Genetics, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Ave, Cleveland OH 44106-4955. EOE/AA.

Postdoctoral position available immediately at the Indiana U. Med. Ctr. for a candidate with outstanding potential to undertake challenging electrophysiological research into mechanisms involved in the physiological regulation of gap junctional intercellular communication. Experience in cell voltage clamp is strongly desired. Send CV and three references to: Dr. A. P. Moreno EOE/AA.

Postdoctoral position in cellular and molecular neurobiology: Studies include: analysis of factors controlling transcription of adhesion molecule genes in vivo and in vitro, identification of signal pathways and the gene programs activated by adhesion molecule binding. Contact: Gerald M. Edelman Department of Neurobiology, Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Rd., SBR14, La Jolla, CA 92037. EOE/AA.

Postdoc Fellow/Research Sci position with NIH-funded team focused on characterization of apically trafficked vesicles in parietal and other epithelial cells, with a particular emphasis on small GTP-binding proteins. Techniques: vesicle immunoisolation, immunofluorescence and 2-hybrid screening. James R. Goldenring, MD, PhD, Inst. of Molecular Medicine, Medical Coll. of Georgia, Augusta GA 30912. EOE/AA.

Postdoc (NSF-funded) avail. immed. to study phagocytosis in Dictyostelium using biochemical and molecular genetic methods (Exptl Cell Res 227:182-189). Familiarity with (membrane) protein analytical techniques and handling of antibodies (for immuno-blotting, -precipitation, -microscopy) preferable but not required. Contact: C. Chia, Sch. Biol. Sciences, Univ. Nebraska, Lincoln NE 68588-0118. (402) 472-2713. EOE/AA.

Postdoc position available September, 1997 for recent PhD to study pathogenesis of choroideremia, a retinal degeneration. Project involves generating animal models using transgenic and KO technology. Molecular biology experience required. Send CV and names of 3 references to: Dr. M. C.Seabra, Dept. Biochem. & Mol. Genetics, Imperial College School of Medicine, London W2 1PG, UK. Fax: 44-171-7063272. EOE/AA.

Faculty Positions: Assistant or Associate Professor. Teaching participation required in team-taught courses. Active and vigorous research program in Cell Biology required. Expected to start July, 1997. Send letter of interest, CV, and names of referees to: Dr. David McCandless, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Finch University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School, 3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago IL 60064. EOE/AA.

Postdoctoral position, developmental/molecuar biology: Research involves the role of Src-family protein tyrosine kinases in fertilization and early embryonic development. $25,000/yr. Experience in molecular biology and record of productive research required. Avail. 06/01/97 Contact Dr. W. H. Kinsey, Dept. of Anat. & Cell Biol. Univ. of Kansas Med. Ctr. 3901 Rainbow Blvd. Kansas City KS 66160. EOE/AA.

Postdocatoral Fellow/Research Associate, PhD/MD, to study cell-cell adhesion and communication in bone and osteoblast regulation by gap junctions and CAMs. Design and application of dominant-negative and anti-sense strategies to connexins and cadherins. Micro injections and video imaging. Fully funded project in major bone biology laboratory. Contact: Dr. Roberto Civitelli, Division of Bone Mineral Diseases, Washington University 216 South Kingshighway, St. Louis MO 63110. EOE/AA.

University of South Florida College of Medicine and H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
Program in Ovarian Epithelial Cancer Pathobiology

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of South Florida College of Medicine seeks a well-qualified PHD applicant at the Assistant/Associate/Full Professor level, with research interests in the area of ovarian epithelial cancer pathobiology. This position may be tenure-earning.

As part of expansion of basic research, the Department is recruiting a third outstanding candidate who will be able to develop independent research in the area of genetic and molecular alterations in cancer pathobiology. Experience with mammalian cell transfection, transgenic/knockout targeting, and general methods of molecular genetics and cell biology is desired.

The chosen candidate is expected to participate in the graduate and postdoctoral teaching activities of the Department. Research space and a support package for a period of up to three years are available for the recruited candidate. Applicants should send their curriculum vitae, a statement of their research interest, and the names of three references to: Santo V. Nicosia, MD, Professor and Chairman, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of South Florida College of Medicine, 12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa FL 33612. Application deadline is May 1, 1997.

The University of South Florida is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access/Affirmative Action Employer. For disability accommodations please contact Joyce Campbell at (813) 974-2745, a minimum of five working days in advance. TDD (813) 974-2218.


Grants, Opportunities and Courses

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy (Office of Health and Environmental Research) announce the second round of a jointly-sponsored postdoctoral research awards program for scientists interested in computational molecular biology. For more information contact: Dr. Michael S. Teitelbaum, Sloan/ DOE Joint Postdoctoral Fellowships in Computational Molecular Biology, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation 630 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2250 New York, NY 10111-0242.

MAC Winner
In addition to the previously announced winners of ASCB Minorities Affairs Committee poster awards, sponsored by the Leadership Alliance and Pfizer, the Com mittee wishes to congratulate doctoral graduate student Nedra Wilson of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas for her award-winning poster.

Pediatric AIDS Foundation has funds available for the seventh year of the Student Intern Award program. The primary purpose of the program is to provide an opportunity for high-school seniors, college, graduate and medical school students to engage in clinical and research programs related to the pediatric HIV/AIDS, providing motivation for them to consider future careers in pediatric HIV/AIDS. The intern.s work must consist of active participation — not merely attending clinical rounds and patient discussion, etc. For more information contact: Pediatric AIDS Foundation, 1311 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404 Attn: Medical Programs Dept. Phone: (310) 395-905; Fax: (310) 395-5149.

Several ASCB Minorities Affairs Committee travel awards are available for minority graduate students, fellows, or junior faculty to attend Workshops, as well as Symposia and Posters, at the Microscopy and Microanalysis .97 Meeting at the Cleveland Convention Center, Cleveland, Ohio, August 10-14, 1997. Topics of one day workshops/short-courses include recent advances in labeling techniques for immunocytochemistry, tyramide signal amplification, practical confocal microscopy, digital imaging, and tools of stereology. FAX: (617) 432-2799 or write: D.S. Friend, Harvard Medical school, 250 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, for a one-page application form. Awardees will be notified in May.

The Marine Biology Laboratory (MBL), in cooperation with the Minorities Affairs Committee (MAC) of the American Society for Cell Biology, offers substantial financial support to minority students admitted to summer courses at the MBL. In recent years, these awards have equaled the full amount of assistance required to cover course tuition, room & board, travel and limited personal expenses. Recipients must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. For information contact: Carol Hamel, Admissions Coordinator, Marine Biological Laboratory, 7 MBL Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543-1015 Phone: (508) 289-7401; Fax (508) 457-1924; Email; Website


National Science and Technology Week Hotline to Scientists

Ask NSTW the NSF will offer its annual toll-free hotline (800) 862-2716 on Wednesday, April 23 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., EST. Children and families, educators and administrators anyone with a question, whether simple or complex can call and talk with scientists and engineers for answers or advice on how to find answers to science- or engineering-related questions. For people who are looking for more in-depth response to their question(s), the NSF will offer a week-long hotwire email.

Coffee Break Forums
Each morning of the Annual Meeting the Education Committee presents a Coffee Break Forum. The Forums present programs of interest to scientists and educators. ASCB members with Coffee Break topics and/or speakers of potential interest for presentation at the 37th ASCB Annual Meeting in Washington are invited to direct suggestions to ASCB Education Committee member Chris Watters at Middlebury College, Department of Biology, Middlebury VT 05753 Phone: (802) 443-5433; Fax: (802) 443-2072; Email.

Letters To The Editor
Dear Ms. Marincola,

Congratulations on a smooth-running ASCB meeting last month in San Francisco! My only complaint is the meeting conflicted with the Jewish holiday of Chanukah and it was a difficult decision for me to be away from my young children at this time. Because the Jewish calendar does not exactly coincide with the secular calendar, Chanukah "jumps around" (transposes?) in December and I see that the conflict will occur again in 1998. I would like you to be aware of this problem when setting up dates for the meetings in the years to come. While in a religious sense the holiday is somewhat of a minor one, it becomes important for children because of the proximity to Christmas, and therefore it is important for families (dads, too, not just moms).

Rhea-Beth Markowitz, Ph.D.
Medical College of Georgia

Dear Dr. Markowitz:

Thank you for your gentle reminder of the overlap between Hanukkah and many of the Society.s annual meetings. I am keenly aware of this conflict and also miss spending the holiday with my own young children. The contracts for our current meetings through 2001 were set a decade ago so there is nothing to do about changing the dates through that time. (As you point out, there is a reprieve in 1997 because Hanukkah is very late this year, but we return to an overlap in 1998.)

However, as you may have read in the January issue of the ASCB Newsletter, a Subcommittee of Council was appointed to work with me to negotiate meeting dates and locations after 2001. I have obtained the dates for Hanukkah through 2050 and we will do everything reasonable to avoid scheduling our meetings in conflict with them.

The Council has discussed in depth the general timeframe for the meeting and is committed to sticking with the current early-December period. We recognize that, in addition to the Hannukah conflict which you point out, other objections to this time are:

1) the proximity to Christmas, a. because of the general intrusion on the Christmas season and b. because of the small window of productive laboratory time between the meeting and the Christmas holiday; 2) the conflict with some teaching and exam schedules, and 3) the proximity between our meeting and the Neuroscience meeting. However, the benefits of our existing timeframe are:

1) significant savings in negotiated rates, which limits expenses for participants directly — through attractive negotiated hotel room rates — and indirectly, though Society savings on costs such as convention center rates, thus enabling registration fees to be correspondingly contained, and 2) our established "claim" to a consistent time period that means we stand the best chance to minimize conflicts with other meetings. Our meeting is large and successful enough that other biomedical research organizations tend to avoid scheduling in conflict with our meeting; if we change, we will face a new set of objections and conflicts, some of which we undoubtedly cannot anticipate in advance.



I just got my copy of the Molecular Biology of the Cell Abstracts book. It was a great meeting, but the book weighs over a pound. Many trees were killed just to print MY copy. And I may never open it. This is absurd. Please!! Put MBotC on line on the web. Give all members a FREE electronic subscription. Only send the printed stuff to libraries.

Save a tree, the environment, and MY subscription dollar....

Ross Smith
New York University School of Medicine

Dear Dr. Smith:

Thank you for your note and your suggestion to save money and conserve trees. If your request represented the consensus of the ASCB membership, the Society could probably save both money and trouble. However, judging from the intense interest in receiving a hard copy of the Molecular Biology of the Cell Abstracts Issue, it is my strong sense that you are in the minority in preferring that we cease paper publication of MBC.

We are evaluating our electronic enhancement options for MBC publication, though no change in current practice is imminent.

We can redirect your subscription of Molecular Biology of the Cell (including the Abstracts Issue) and the ASCB Newsletter upon request to a library in an underdeveloped country. Society leadership set aside a modest fund to pay for overseas postage in these cases. This is an option almost exclusively requested by members who reside in households with other members.



This letter is to express how grateful we are for being given the opportunity to attend the ASCB Annual Meeting in San Francisco through FASEB.s MARC Travel Award Program.

The meeting was truly a learning experience and also very enjoyable. As a student, I acquired new scientific knowledge that may be applied in the research we are currently conducting in our laboratory and was able to dialogue with expert scientists preeminent in their fields. I was very impressed with the tutorial component of the conference. It was encouraging to listen to my peers present their work in detail and describe how they achieved their success.

We also visited countless numbers of display booths from which we received brochures that will be beneficial to us when designing protocols for our research projects. We attended the minority forum and were able to interact with scientists in similar areas of study. Furthermore, we were able to participate in the 5K run, which was certainly enjoyable.

The opportunity to attend the ASCB meeting is an opportunity that I will never forget and am most grateful for being rendered the opportunity to attend. I am now able to share the knowledge and insight that I have gained with other students here at UAPB.

Thank you very much for awarding our laboratory a MARC Scholarship for attendance at the ASCB Annual Meeting.

Christy Washington
University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff


Letter By Harold Varmus

The letter below by New York Times writer Natalie Angier responds to a letter from ASCB Public Policy Chair Paul Berg questioning the omission of attribution by the Times of funding institutions. It is followed by a response from NIH Director Harold Varmus.

17 April 1996
Dear Dr. Berg:
I am, of course, very grateful that you liked my article on BRCA1 in March. In answer to your query, "is there some reason that mention of the funding is omitted? Is it the writer’s, editor’s or paper’s policy?" I can say it is an informal tradition at the newspaper, not an engraved one, but it is one that I, as a writer and a reader, tend to agree with. If we start inserting grant agencies, we will quickly clutter up a story with an unwieldy and off-putting amount of inert data, not to mention spark disgruntlement among those agencies that are left out. If we say the work was supported by NIH, what about other grants the researchers may have received, from the American Cancer Society, Howard Hughes, etc? Scientists have confessed to me that sometimes even they have trouble deciding where to draw the line in listing financial supporters at the ends of their papers, so how can reporters be expected to make similar judgment calls?

The potential complications do not stop there. The NIAID has said it wants to be described by name if it supported a researcher, because its budget is independent of NIH as a whole. Yet if you only mention NIAID without indicating that it is a part of NIH, then Harold Varmus gets annoyed. But if you have to write," the work was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, a division of the federal National Institutes of Health," well, right there you’ve used up two or three lines of type that might otherwise have been spent going into a little more detail about the work proper, which is really far more interesting to a general readership. We always mention where a report appeared, and for readers who want more information—like who supported the work—they can check the original paper. In fact, all the housekeeping material that we give in the story, including the names of the primary researchers and their institutions, is provided to help the reader seek additional information if they choose, for example, by writing or calling the scientists directly. Listing the financing agency would not serve a similar "reader service card" purpose.

We do run stories about NIH on a regular basis, in which the centrality of the agency in supporting fundamental biomedical research is invariably discussed; such stories seem to me the appropriate venue for describing taxpayer financing of basic research (see, for example, my stories that ran when Varmus assumed the directorship). By the same token, when dance critics write about a dance performance, they don’t say the dance company is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. But the Times regularly writes about the NEA.

I argue that the best way to maintain public interest in basic science is to write about it in as accurate and exciting a manner as possible. What better way to assure support for research than to make people care enough that they’d really miss it if it were gone?

Natalie Angier

Comment by NIH Director and ASCB member Varmus: I would like to believe that I have convinced the institutes that it is better to reference the NIH alone than nothing at all. For this reason, the news releases from all Institutes now go out under a uniform letterhead that features NIH and subheads the specific unit. My own attitude is that mention of federal funding is especially important when the reader wants to know about the role a vested interest may have in the outcome (e.g. a clinical trial). But I do like to see acknowledgement of Federal and (yes) voluntary dollars as often as possible to deflect the notion that the home institution is self-sufficient.

Harold Varmus



Six students and three faculty members have received awards to attend the 37th ASCB Annual Meeting from the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) program of the NIGMS/NIH. The awards are made through a grant to the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB.)

Individuals to receive the scholarships are Otis Reginald Edins and Sheena Hall of Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas; Shiela Bilbao and Glen Bantug of California State University, Los Angeles; and Wanda Pagan-Medina and Ana Lugo of University of Puerto Rico, Rio Padras.


1997 ASCB Member Directory Update

The 1997 ASCB Directory of Members will be printed this spring. If you have moved since the printing of the 1996 Directory or note a mistake or omission in your Directory listing and have not already notified the ASCB, please fill out and submit the form below, or send an e-mail note with the requested information. A separate reminder will not be mailed. This will ensure that the correct information is listed in the 1997 ASCB Directory and the 1997–1998 FASEB Directory.

Last Name:
First Name:
Middle Name or Initial:
Country (if not U.S.):

Please include a street address and your 9-digit zip code.

Send your changes or corrections to: the ASCB National Office, 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3992; Phone: (301) 530-7153, Fax: (301) 530-7139.

Updates must be received by the ASCB National Office by APRIL 25 to appear in the 1997 ASCB Directory.


Centrosomes and Spindle Pole Bodies

Fifth Joint American Society for Cell Biology / European Molecular Biology Organization / H. Dudley Wright Conference

Centrosomes and Spindle Pole Bodies
University of California, Santa Cruz
August 23-27, 1997

Organizers: John Kilmartin, Medical Research Council, Cambridge, England
Robert Palazzo, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

Christopher Akey
Boston University
School of Medicine
Boston, MA

Bruce Alberts
National Academy of Sciences
Washington, DC

Gary Borisy
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI

Michel Bornens
Institute Marie Curie
Paris, France

Esther Bullitt
Boston University
School of Medicine
Boston, MA

Trisha Davis
University of Washington
Seattle, WA

Stephen Doxsey
University of Massachusetts
Medical School
Worcester, MA

Susan K. Dutcher
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO

David M. Glover
University of Dundee
Dundee, Scotland

Keith Gull
University of Manchester
Manchester, England

Iain Hagan
University of Manchester
Manchester, England

Ryoko Kuriyama
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN

Laura G. Marschall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA

J. Richard McIntosh
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO

Michelle Moritz
University of California
San Francisco, CA

Erich Nigg
University of Geneva
Geneva, Switzerland

Jordan Raff
Wellcome CRC Institute
Cambridge, England

Mark Rose
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ

Jeffrey L. Salisbury
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN

Gerald P. Schatten
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI

Elmar Schiebel
Max-Plank Institut
Martinsried, Germany

Greenfield Sluder
Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research
Shrewsbury, MA

Michael Snyder
Yale University
New Haven, CT

Tim Stearns
Stanford University
Stanford, CA

Mark Winey
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO

Yixian Zheng
Carnegie Institution Washington
Baltimore, MD

A registration form is available on the ASCB Web Site or by contacting the ASCB National Office Phone (301) 530-7153; Fax: (301) 530-7139

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