Science Support Manager.
|ASCB Committee Reports|
ASCB Committee Reports
International Affairs Committee
The following points were noted regarding the Developing Countries Travel Awardees:
ASCB Minorities Poster Session
Three posters were chosen for awards based on scientific merit and visual clarity of presentation, appropriateness of methodology logic, and verbal presentation. MAC members D. Chavez, D. Friend, T. Gurney, S. Murray, A. Toliver, and G. Vigil served on the Selection Committee. The Awardees are:
Ahna Skop, University of Wisconsin, Madison (Doctoral Graduate Student Category) received Honorable Mention.
The winners will each receive a check for $163 on behalf of Pfizer.
Public Policy Committee
Kyros and Cummins encouraged the Committee and the Society to contact all new members of the House and the Senate to educate them about issues of concern to the Society and encourage them to join the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus. The Committee also determined to develop tools such as a video or slide presentation for scientists to use to teach other scientists how to advocate for federal funding for basic biomedical research.
The Committee is developing a short list of Society members who may be called upon on short notice to go to Capitol Hill to meet with Members of Congress. Members of the Committee will develop a panel discussion for next year's annual meeting to discuss effective means of advocacy for scientist on the federal level. The group determined to endorse the NIGMS policy to create an interim funding pool at the NIH in order to protect a small number of research projects which could slip below the pay line.
A Committee was appointed by Berg to develop ASCB misconduct guidelines. The Committee will also write to NIH Director Harold Varmus regarding proposed changes to the NIH peer review system.
The Committee discussed the FASEB Consensus Conference. Some were concerned that there was no consensus reached on the NASA recommendation and asked that a letter be written to FASEB to clarify the appropriate action when there is disagreement on a recommendation.
Education Committee Summary
Solomon and Dick McIntosh reported on the progress of the Education Committee Subcommittee on Graduate Education. The Subcommittee was created to consider career opportunities in biology, and how they affect graduate and undergraduate training. The issue was addressed as a response to the perception among cell biologists, junior and senior, that the opportunities for employment in the field are changing, quantitatively and qualitatively. The Subcommittee agreed that their first task is to realistically analyze the biomedical research job market, and how it may affect the ASCB membership, and by extension the biomedical re-search community at-large. The Sub-committee agreed that although some questions may duplicate those found on other surveys, the ASCB has an obligation to serve the needs of cell biologists and Society members. A formal proposal was made to the ASCB Council to fund an appropriate survey and approval was received to fund a survey of 3,000 ASCB members.
Points introduced by the Committee include:
In conjunction with this discussion, Ted Gurney pointed out that training grants and MARC grants are dependent on baseline data about the racial composition of the Society, which is not currently available. The Education Committee strongly supported the MAC in its need for this information and urged that this question be included on the membership renewal and membership application forms.
Questions developed for the survey will be sent to the full Committee and others for review at each step of development.
Sam Silverstein introduced his recommendations for continuing Committee involvement in pre-college science education. He proposed that a case statement be prepared on the Committee's position and that specific recommendations with cost and value to the Society be developed. The Committee agreed unanimously that the ASCB remain committed and involved in pre-college science education. Specific programs discussed include:
Committee members noted that two meetings a year were not enough time to discuss and act on the precollege science education concerns of the Committee. A subcommittee addressing pre-college science education issues was formed with the charge of developing a written document with specific proposals to the full Committee.
Roger Sloboda reported on the What to Do with Your Graduate Degree Lunch cosponsored at the Congress & Meeting by the Education and WICB Committees. The Education Committee will continue its involvement and recommends that the lunch focus remains on careers, since the interest is so high and presumably many members from the East Coast will attend the Annual Meeting in Washington who were unable to attend the meeting in San Francisco.
The Committee agreed to continue its participation in the National Association of Biology Teachers meeting in 1997. Connie Oliver reported that speakers from the general geographic area at which the annual NABT meeting is held are asked to update teachers on current trends in cell biology and to relate the topic to the "real world". Comments from teachers include thank you's for providing scientific information and updates and comments that "these PhDs are fun to listen to". Traffic at the ASCB booth was very heavy, with obvious interest from the teachers in the information on cell biology and about the ASCB.
Selection of a topic for the 1997 Education Committee Workshop at the Annual Meeting will be suggested by the Subcommittee.
Bob Blystone received warm thanks from the Committee for his faithful and popular contributions of monthly Web site columns for the ASCB Newsletter and for his Web site tutoring at the Education/Minorities Affairs Com-mittes booth.
Women in Cell Biology Committee
Kane updated the Committee on affirmative action activities in California and advised that with passage of Proposition 209 ( the California Civil Rights Initiative) political organizers plan to campaign for similar bills nationally. The Committee endorses the sponsorship of a discussion of affirmative action at the 1997 Annual Meeting and will propose inclusion of this topic under the auspices of the Program Committee rather than as a WICB activity.
Laura Williams reviewed the columns from 1996 and those proposed for 1997. It was suggested that topics and guest column authors be solicited from the ASCB membership through the ASCB Newsletter.
Kane reported that the WICB/Education Committees luncheon was again a great success, with approximately 500 people in attendance, cigarette advertising directed toward women in Working Woman magazine was condemned by the Committee. Sally Amero has drafted a letter to Nancy F. Smith, Editor-in-Chief, expressing the concerns of the WICB Committee that such advertising is contrary to the magazine's stated intent of promoting the welfare of women. The letter will be copied to the advertising cigarette companies and to other scientific publications.
WICB has identified a need for more extensive career counseling articles in the ASCB Newsletter and has proposed joint sponsorship of articles with the Minorities Affairs Committee (MAC) and Education Committee. Don Kimmel of the ASCB MAC will act as coordinator for the column.
The Committee endorsed Council's recommendation to propose to the ASCB membership that the sponsorship requirement for applicants be dropped, feeling that its function is not clear and it hinders applications from institutions where there are few ASCB members.
Since the Committee takes seriously its mission to address issues of concern to women cell biologists, it agreed that a box requesting that suggestions for additional activities be printed in the ASCB Newsletter and that it be placed permanently on the ASCB web site.
David Botstein, Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Biology of the Cell, presented his report to the Committee (for details see MBC report, p. 10). He expressed concern that the journal had seen a decrease in essays and asked the Com mittee to suggest names of potential essay editors. Bronner-Fraser explained that the role of the Committee with regard to MBC was to make recommendations to Council. Members discussed formalizing the length of terms for all editorial board members, including the Editor-in-Chief and Editor, and agreed to make their recomendations to Council. The Committee also discussed and will make recommendations to Council regarding the policy of serving on two closely related cell biology journals.
Bronner-Fraser reported that several of the Committee's publications came to fruition in time for the Annual Meeting, including How to Get a Teaching Job at a Primarily Undergraduate Institution, by Malcolm Campbell, and How to Get a Research Job in Academia and Industry, by Gary Gorbsky and Margaret Werner-Washburne. Additional projects were discussed that are currently in progress including an update of the Opportunities brochure, How to Get an Alternative Job, and How to Get Tenure. Committee members hoped to have them ready by the next Annual Meeting.
The Committee approved Fiona Watt's request that the Journal of Cell Science be included as an option on the ASCB dues notice at a reduced rate to Society members.
In addition to visiting the exhibits, attendees could choose among thirty Exhibitor Showcase presentations and 15 Exhibitor Tutorials which are industry-sponsored seminars. These seminars were held both during the day and at night and allowed the attendees to gain additional information on specific topics of research.
Society revenues from exhibiting companies are the largest single income source for the Society and help contain the cost of scientific registration at the An-nual Meeting. Exhibitors base their decisions about whether to at-tend a particular meeting on attendee intetest generated at the An-nual Meeting and subsequent sales. Members are encouraged to show their appreciation to companies that support the Society by considering these exhibiting companies in future purchasing decisions, and by letting them know that their visit to an ASCB exhibit helped influence their purchase decision.
Molecular Biology of the Cell
David Botstein chaired the meeting, which was attended by a over thirty board members.
Attendees were given copies of Joe Gall's recently published book, Views of the Cell, a compilation of MBC covers and descriptions, compliments of the Society and MBC. Botstein thanked Gall for his extraordinary contributions in producing MBC covers for five years. He explained that at a summer board meeting it was decided that Suzanne Pfeffer would serve as Cover Editor and that each Associate Editor would choose two seminal figures in their field to be reproduced on the MBC cover together with an explanation of the figure's importance and impact. All Board members will be encouraged to contribute to this effort.
Botstein reported the Council's strong endorsement of the journal (see Council summary, p. 4). He explained that the decision to make MBC a benefit of membership had increased costs and that advertising income did not offset these costs. However, Council agreed to allocate a higher portion of the membership dues to MBC, in keeping with common practice among professional societies. He was pleased with Council's renewed commitment to the journal.
Botstein reported that MBC's impact factor continues to be strong at 9.376. Members discussed the relative importance of impact factors and agreed that librarians do look to them in making purchasing decisions. They agreed that there should be a marketing effort to librarians and that it emphasize ISI figures. Circulation figures should be used when speaking to postdocs to encourage submissions. Botstein noted that total submissions for this year roughly parallel those of last year because more research papers but fewer essays were submitted. Randy Schek man pointed out that all editors worked very hard the first year to submit and solicit good papers for MBC and suggested that practice continue. All agreed that the Editorial Board has to drive this process and set an example by encouraging their postdocs to submit their best work to MBC. The Board discussed the question of essays, suggesting that they can include reviews or topics such as an evaluation of peer review, a retrospective of classic papers or classic errors, biographies, forecast of hot topics, and technology. Statistics indicate that the journal covers most fields in cell biology well except for those areas represented by other journals exceptionally well. The Board agreed that MBC cannot cover all fields, but that the Board should continue to expand so that papers in all areas of cell biology are welcome.
Members discussed the review process. All agreed that papers must meet the requirements described in the Instructions to Authors; however, the review process needs to be constructive, resulting in better science even for those authors whose work is rejected. Keith Yamamoto suggested that a journal is only as good as the quality of its editors and reviewers, making it imperative that destructive or gratuitous reviews are not to be tolerated. The Board agreed that reviewers must think of themselves as advocates for, not adversaries of, the authors.Minorities Affairs Committee
J.K. Haynes presided over the meeting of the Minorities Affairs Committee (MAC). Haynes re ported that the MAC received a four year NIH-MARC grant for $123,580/year. The MAC also re ceived a supplemental grant to fund the Special Saturday Session and office support for MAC activities. Additionally, the MAC received a $10,000 grant from the I & G Foundation to fund a mentoring and networking workshop at the Marine Biological Laboratories at Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
Three guests to the MAC meeting described their programs and the potential for interaction with the Committee:
Dan Friend reported on the MAC poster session. The Committee agreed that the session is too isolated and should be moved to the main poster area. This will highlight these posters to the general meeting attendees and make it easier for the poster reviewers to review the posters of those minority travel awardees who are presenting at the regular session. The Committee was pleased with the attendance by Society officers at the Minorities Luncheon and recognized Friend's efforts in this area.
A Committee of undergraduate and graduate students has begun planning for the next Saturday Session prior to the 1997 Annual Meeting.
The Committee nominated Franklyn G. Prendergast for the 1997 E. E. Just Lecture.
Sandra Murray announced that the I & G Mentoring Session at MBL will take place on June 20-21. Ten discussion segments have been planned. The Session will involve ten current MBL fellows, ten previous fellows, and ten mentors identified from staff currently at MBL. An additional ten mentors will be selected as Internet mentors. The additional mentors will be chosen on the basis of scientific interest rather than minority identification.ASCB/Carl Zeiss, Inc. Run Results
More than 100 hardy runners braved the early morning drizzle to participate in the Fourteenth Annual ASCB/Zeiss Run in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Mike Ignatius of the Local Arrangements Committee organized the race with the help of his lab. The winners were presented with award certificates and a winner's bag from Zeiss. Running gloves were provided to all runners and volunteers by Laboratory Skin Care.
Maria Elena Zavala announced that 15 host scientists have committed to participate in the ASCB/MAC Visiting Professorship Program. Committee members are also encouraged to identify potential hosts. Five scientists will be selected to work in these labs. Host and scientist may apply as a team or an applicant may ask for help in locating a volunteer host. Scientist application information will be published in the Februay issue of the ASCB Newsletter and there will be a concurrent mailing to MARC and MBRS investigators with an application deadline of March 1, and selection of scientists on April 1. Visiting sessions will last for ten weeks.
The Committee agreed to provide $1500 to fund the attendance of three students at a Histology Society Workshop on "Labeling Techniques for Immunocytochemistry". They will also attend a special section on problem solving in the lab.
Ted Gurney, liaison to the Education Committee, reported on the Education Committee Survey. Because the MAC is interested in investigating the success of minority Ph.D.s in the job market, the Committee agreed to ask the Education Committee to include questions on its survey of ASCB members about job prospects for minority members.
Gurney also reported that he has identified 40 programs for Undergraduate Summer Research Opportunities (see pages 43-46). Additional programs will be listed in the February newsletter.
Friend, as liaison to the Public Information Committee, reported that t-shirt sales and the Science Writer's Workshop continue successfully, and that the Committee is seeking ways to improve the effectiveness of the Press Book. Friend will participate in Press Book activities and will encourage inclusion of abstracts by minority scientists.
Don Kimmel will serve as the coordinator for the ASCB Newsletter column on careers, a cooperative project of the ASCB MAC, Education, and WICB committees.
|Council Eases Membership Requirements; Approves Record New Members|
The following report of the key deliberations and actions of ASCB Council, which met on December 6 and 7 in San Francisco, excludes issues regarding Society committees
J. Michael Bishop presided at the one-and-a-half day meeting. Present were Bishop, Past President Ursula Goodenough, President-elect Mina Bissell, Secretary George Langford, Treasurer Carl Cohen, Councilors Mary Beckerle, Marianne Bronner-Fraser, Douglass Forbes, Judith Kimble, Richard Hynes, Ira Mellman, Mary Lee Ledbetter, Suzanne Pfeffer and Tony Mahowald; elected members who had not yet assumed office present were President-elect designate Elizabeth Blackburn and Councilors-elect Pamela Silver, Kai Simons and Lydia Villa-Komaroff.
Education/Minorities Affairs Committee Information Booth
Robert Blystone, member of the ASCB Education Committee, set up terminals for browsing the science education offerings on the Internet, and a compilation of his education website columns from the ASCB Newsletter was available.
The Booth was staffed by members of the MAC and Education Committee and Minorities Affairs Travel Awardees, and was funded by the Journal of Cell Biology Rockefeller University Press.
The Education/Minorities Affairs Committees Information Booth
|Kirschner Receives Public Service Award|
Kirschner Receives Public Service Award
"Scientists are public servants. I believe this on two counts. In the first place, what we do has profound impact on the culture of our society, on human health and welfare, and on economic prosperity-it is becoming increasingly clear that scientific discovery is now the principal driver of economic growth.
In the second place, scientists derive most of their resources for research from the taxpayer. It follows that we should be accountable to our fellow citizens and their agents in government, and that we should seek every possible means to share with them our visions for the future.
Sadly, we scientists have been slow to develop a dialogue with the public, and in particular, with our legislators. Within the limits of its resources, the ASCB has been trying to rectify this deficiency. I believe that this is a vital and admirable activity. Moreover, it is not merely self-serving: it is an effort to reach out to the larger community that shares our goals and values.
In order to further validate the dialogue between scientists and the public, the ASCB created its award for public service: the ASCB Public Service Award. The recipients are chosen annually by the society's Public Policy Committee. They may be either public servants who have fostered the cause of biomedical research or scientists who have facilitated our dialogue with the public. Irrespective of their provenance, they deserve our respect and gratitude. They serve as examples for us all."
Following are excerpts from Paul Berg's introduction of Marc Kirschner:
Following is kirschner's acceptance speech in its entirety:
I accept this award not so much in recognition of my own efforts to advocate for federal funding of biomedical research but rather as acknowledgment of the contributions that so many of us have made: I accept this award for each of you who wrote a letter, responded to a CLC alert, visited your Representative or Senator, or spoke at a school, a Rotary Club, or even a cocktail party about the goals and accomplishments of science.
Over the past seven years, there has been a growth of scientific advocacy in Washing ton but what has set the biomedical re search community apart and to a great degree has made us uniquely successful is that the advocacy has been by scientists themselves. I have observed, with all due respect to my colleagues, that scientists do not tend to be great politicians. But happily, our modest advocacy has been effective because our goals serve basic American values and because the American political system is still responsive to those values. Furthermore, several thoughtful and effective Members of Congress, such as Representative Pelosi, have risen to service as champions of biomedical research.
The strategies that we pursue are not profound at all; they are obvious and simple. There may be an art to politics, but the kind we scientists practice best has essentially no art at all. Early in my efforts in Congress, I met an aide from Washington State who had a deep personal interest in Native American Affairs. He was frustrated because he had visited several poor tribes, who were spending their limited money on expensive lobbyists in Washington in the mistaken belief that only these magic stewards of power could gain them access to their own Representa-tives. In fact he knew that the tribe members themselves were their most effective spokespeople-most knowledgeable, most sincere, and ultimately most convincing. Our view was the same. Though we did engage help in tracking and interpreting events in Washington from Peter and Belle, ultimately their most effective contribution has been to help us to become our own advocates.
So we did what came naturally and extended the journal club or Grand Rounds approach to Congress and helped establish a caucus to showcase current progress on important medical and scientific problems. When we started, one crusty Congressional aide told me that such a science caucus would not last two sessions. We have now held fifty sessions, well attended by senior staff but also by members of Congress. Congress woman Pelosi recently attended a discussion of advances in HIV therapy that featured an in-depth discussion of the recent development of protease inhibitors. People care about health and they want the benefits of health research to be shared by all American citizens. The pessimistic Congressional aide had based his prediction on his experience that busy people would not continue to attend boring science talks. He was right about that, but what we knew and he didn't was the difference between a boring talk and a fascinating one. Harold Varmus organized the first caucuses; Mike Bishop has organized them for the last three years. On short notice, virtually every invited scientist came to Washington to speak. If you have the best and most persuasive organizers organizing the most lucid and knowledgeable speakers on subjects of current interest, then people will find it worth attending.
The presidential candidates were also not oblivious to the importance of health research. In what might have been the only memorable moment of two exceptionally drab political conventions, Christopher Reeve spoke movingly about the kind of nation that commits itself to health research. I hope that Congresswoman Pelosi will remind the President of the seriousness of that commitment, especially when the OMB has apparently recommended that instead of a modest inflationary increase for the NIH next year, its budget be cut below this year's level by $100 million.
Yet as limited as the NIH budget is, biologists in this country who can claim some connection to human disease have had it relatively easy even in these difficult budgetary times. The physical scientists whose work is vital to health and environmental research have not fared as well. Everyone shares enthusiasm for those obliterative breakthroughs like penicillin and the Salk vaccine that both save money and prevent human agony. Even the long term efforts on cancer, on AIDS, on heart disease, and on mental illness have been punctuated with enough encouraging developments to warrant confidence in the promise of science to cure and prevent disease. People do not expect quick fixes. They know that thousands of person-years of grim effort went into each success. Biomedical scientists, unlike most public beneficiaries, are not required to show a yearly cost-benefit analysis or to explain their failures.
So we are left to simply tell our story honestly, without exaggeration, to a naturally receptive, usually personally vested audience. This is the easiest part of our challenge. Yet, we face serious barriers. There is chronic underfunding, preventing the full application of the fruits of biological research to disease, and there is an insidious damage to the whole scientific enterprise caused by hyper competition, in large part driven by the underfunding. While I would most like to speak for the next few minutes of our wonderful accomplishments, I feel obligated to address these two ominous challenges.
I once testified on behalf of our Society in front of Nancy Pelosi's House committee on Health, Labor and Education. Preceding me were three speakers protesting proposed cutbacks in education for deaf children. As much as I believed in science, I did not want a dime of research money to come from support for deaf education. Yet by the current agreement on deficit reduction, domestic discretionary spending will decline over the next five years. Some say that the NIH can be expected to decline by as much as 30%. Although most doubt that this will happen, we are in uncharted waters. I am certainly not an expert on the budget and I do not know where the money will come from. I do know that we cannot reduce our advocacy for biomedical science; it is too important to all our citizens, rich or poor, Republican or Democrat, black or white-indeed it is important to all the world's citizens. But I also know that it is unacceptable to us as not just scientists, but as parents, as children of aging mothers and fathers, as friends and family of people who de pend on their country for special needs, that the NIH be the only survivor of an assault on domestic discretionary spending. The only alternative is to increase appropriations for the domestic discretionary part of the budget. Until we have a reasonable answer to this riddle of how to cut the budget, develop the strength of biomedical research, and maintain social programs for the poor and helpless, we will all be terribly uneasy.
Finally I want to talk about the anxiety in science indirectly caused by limited NIH money and the funding criteria we have created. While our system of peer review in the US may be the best yet devised, it sadly has built incentives for risk-aversion which forces applicants to take the short view. We have all seen grants rejected for flimsy and narrow-minded reasons and carefully written papers rejected without consideration. This can only reflect a profound anxiety in science itself. I wonder, in today's environment, would a grant be funded for Fred Sanger's ambitious but slow and uncertain effort to sequence the first protein? How many compounds could Paul Ehrlich have screened to counter syphilis before some study section would have canceled his funding? Could anyone now support Jim Watson's quixotic and meandering efforts to understand the structure of the gene, or would he suffer the fatal criticism of hubris and lack of feasibility? Would Darwin's voyage of the Beagle be construed as a fishing expedition without testable hypotheses? Or would the Study Section have approved the general idea for its novelty but canceled his foreign travel? Ironically, today most scientists make heroic attempts to cloak any semblance of originality in the guise of pedestrian and feasible science, just to make it acceptable to the NIH committees. For some naive and unfortunate souls it is not always possible to hide their youthful enthusiasm and creativity. Every young scientist I know is aware that it is suicidal to propose an experiment that might not work. Yet we all know that most of the great experiments in science are big risks. And not all of them can be done on Sunday mornings, with the leftover resources from other experiments. But the irony is that the people on the Study Sections are us, and we are submitting ourselves to a hysteria for safe science, as we vainly try to cut the salami thinner and thinner.
The lesson of the public affairs efforts by this society that is being honored tonight is that scientists must invest themselves in their own issues. This is ironic advice to people who already work unreasonable hours with no personal or professional guarantees, often at the expense of family, finances, and even of personal health. But this is a lesson that our colleagues in the physical sciences might have learned too late: if it is important, we have to do it ourselves. There is no religious order for the protection of scientists. We must engage the support of the public to invest in research. After all, it is an investment, not simply an amusement. It will pay dividends in the future as it has in the past. It is a permanent bull market, where individual shares may fall but any reasonable mutual fund is certain to pay off. How can one resist such an investment opportunity?
Though it is true that most investments will pay off, some investments pay better than others. We must insist that our scientific, academic, and funding institutions contribute to the welfare of science as a whole, that they support the freedom of investigation, fairness, and integrity. Science must maintain its diversity, not just a diversity of individuals, but much more important, a diversity of approaches. For all the allure of large industrial-scale efforts in science, not only to some scientists but significantly to journalists and politicians, we must remember that the cornerstone of progress is built primarily on the incremental efforts of individual scientists working in small groups. "Small" science provides the opportunity for creative young people to contribute significantly to an important biological idea or to a valuable medical application, and it is this chance for individual achievement that draws the best of them to arduous careers in laboratory experimentation. Peter Medawar has reminded us that scientists do not come from a standard mold. He said, "Among scientists are collectors, classifiers, and compulsive tidiers-up; many are detectives by temperament and many are explorers. Some are artists and others artisans. There are poet scientists and even a few mystics." To this I might add they all require grants. A challenge for all of us is to build on our success, convince the nation of the importance of our task, and convince ourselves in difficult times to retain our creativity and our diversity. For it is not our importance as individuals that matters; it is that the health of our nation depends on the health of our research. Thank you.
|Letters To The Editor|
I am a junior investigator at the University of California Riverside and have been funded by NIGMS for the past 4 years. It gives me great satisfaction to see that such forward looking initiative came from the Institute that supports my research endeavors. I also want to applaud NIGMS for dedicating a large amount of their funds to funding principal investigator generated research projects. I think that it is imperative that other Institutes do the same.
Of particular importance are the PIs from educational institutions. As the competition for research funds becomes stiffer and stiffer, it becomes ever more difficult for those who teach to compete with those who do not. But if we who teach lose our funding, the entire biomedical system is in jeopardy because education of the future generations will become separated from front-line research. I would like to ask Dr. Cassman and his fellow directors to consider this very serious problem and perhaps find an equally creative way to address it.
To 1996 President
Please mail abstracts and programs before the meeting.
Nonetheless, at its recent meeting, ASCB Council decided to resume the mailing of the Program and Abstracts Issue in advance of the 1997 Annual Meeting, and to continue Web posting. It furthermore resolved to monitor membership preferences and available technology so that the Society can continue to serve its members' needs while containing their costs.
|Members In The News|
|The following ASCB members were elected to the Institute of Medicine:
Gerald Fink, Director, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and American Cancer Society Professor of Genetics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Brigid L.M. Hogan, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Hortense B. Ingram Professor of Cell Biology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Merton Bernfield, Clem-ent A. Smith Professor of Pediatrics; professor of cell biology; and director of the joint program in neonatology, Harvard Medical School
Richard D. Klausner, director, National Cancer InstituteKiysohi Kurokawa, professor and chairman, department of medicine, University of Tokyo Faculty of Medicine
Bettie Sue Masters, Robert A. Welch Professor in Chemistry, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio
Michael B.A. Oldstone, professor of neuropharmacology and immunology, Scripps Research Institute; head, division of virology, University of California, San Diego
Samuel C. Silverstein, John C. Dalton Professor and chairman, department of physiology and cellular biophysics; and professor of medicine, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons
Torsten N. Wiesel, president, Rockefeller University
|ASCB Placement Service|
Information on both candidates and positions still avilable after the Placement Service at the meeting in San Fransico are now accessible quickly and conveniently on the ASCB Website
Candidate names, addresses, and telephone numbers are not available in the listings. This additional candidate information is available in the ASCB Placement Service Candidate Book. The Candidate Book has information sheets on the 325 candidates who registered with the ASCB Placement Service before and during the Congress & Meeting in San Francisco. Candidate information includes name, addresses, type of work desired, citizenship, visa type, geographic preference, date of availability, academic training, professional experience, specialties, and publications.
Candidate information is available upon request at no extra charge to employers who participated in the ASCB Placement Service in San Francisco as a benefit of their Placement Service package. Non-profit employers who did not participate in the ASCB Placement Service may purchase a Candidate Book for $75; commercial non-participating employers may purchase one for $200.
Candidate Book Order Form
Type of Payment:
Please charge my credit card:
Print name as it appears on card
Send check or credit card information with the completed order form to The American Society for Cell Biology, 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda MD 20814. Phone: (301) 530-7153; (301) 530-7139
|1996 President J. Michael Bishop|
Bissell Takes Office
It is both a privilege and an awesome responsibility to be elected the ASCB President. To begin, therefore, thank you for honoring me with your confidence and your vote. The Society has many vital agenda items articulated by our distinguished past-presidents and I am eager to continue these efforts as well as to initiate a few new ones:
The one thing that I wish to accomplish above all during my term is to have those of us who live and breathe science, help to bring the wonder, the adventure and the enthusiasm for doing biology back to those who think they have lost it amidst the concerns for funding and a lack of jobs. This is especially important because this disillusioned group includes many of our young and some of our best, the most sensitive and original, and thus the most indignant. The disillusion runs deep and wide. One of my graduate students, echoing many others, recently told me that she can barely name more than a few people whom she would consider as role models or would care to emulate: "No one cares about scholarship any more. All established scientists want is more money and power. They are all arrogant, exclusive, conservative and self-serving." The burgeoning of the biotech industry, so helpful in opening new job opportunities to biologists, nonetheless has brought uneasiness and skepticism to our midst. We must make sure that the role models of yesterday-absent-minded and self-absorbed, yet kindly and scholarly mentors-are not replaced by uncaring profiteers who have forgotten their calling as educators and seekers of truth. The fact that women and minorities are mostly excluded from the higher ranks of biotech companies and advisory committees is a reflection that we still have a long way to go in creating an outstanding scientific community of which we all can be proud.
There are many legitimate questions to be raised. Doubts about oneself and the validity of what we do with our lives are the very fiber of intellectual honesty. If we didn't question and if we didn't despair from time to time, if we don't hold up our mentors and peers to scrutiny and to the highest standards of ethics and scholarship, if we didn't poke at prejudices and question conservative and "business as usual" attitudes, we would have failed the very essence of our profession.
But hear me when I say to my student and to those of you who despair: if biomedical research is what you truly want to do, then you must be willing to pay the price. Those who bemoan the "good old days" must not remember all of them well. True, there always have been a few extraordinarily gifted and/or lucky men (and even fewer women) who did not have to struggle and who were at the right place at the right time and a few who have gotten to high places undeservedly. But many of us (especially those who push the envelope beyond the accepted norm, as well as women and men who choose to raise children and do science) know better. It has always been difficult to do science-or for that matter anything else-really well and have security and recognition from the start. Reading history helps! It takes much time, patience, stubbornness, years and years of seven-day weeks and eighteen-hour days, years of poverty level wages, predictions of doom and failure, rejections of papers and grants, depression and self-doubt (Am I any good? Do I measure up?). But one persists. One continues because this is what one must do-this is what you want to do. The excitement of discovering something new, the pulse that goes up as you develop a gel, watch a pattern emerge under a microscope, or listen to a particularly cogent lecture, as you make, break, and remake hypotheses, as you see the excitement in a pupil's eye, or see your students come of age scientifically, as you reach a new understanding-truly these are your rewards. Artists paint, writers write, and scientists continue to do experiments both in good times and in bad; we are here for the duration and it finally comes to pass. Believe me, I know. We must endure and persist and we must support one another.
We at the ASCB are already doing much to help our students and scientists who may need help. We are inclusive (we can do even better); we encourage mentorship and reward mentors; we organize workshops and lectures on grantsmanship and host round tables on alternative careers, how to find a job, how to keep a job, how to collaborate, etc. The ASCB, through its Public Policy Committee, has shown how legislators can become (or are) our friends if we care enough to talk to them and to effectively articulate our needs and the importance of biomedical science. Get involved! Of course we can do more and we will. But we need all of you as teachers and role models or as pupils and those who take advantage of what we offer. The ASCB is living proof that science-or at least cell biology in its broadest definition-is vibrant and well, despite all of the concerns. We have attracted the most absurd mix of talents, personalities, and temperaments, yet we all come together be cause we love doing biology. Lets celebrate our field!
The magnificent staff of the ASCB office, members of your Council and I welcome hearing from you. Let us know your concerns, your needs, your ideas and your solutions. Let's "connect."
To contact Mira Bissell by email regarding Society matters
|1997 Summer Research Programs in Biology for Undergraduates|
This is the first part of a two-part listing of undergraduate biology science summer programs. List includes confirmed information for the summer of 1997 as of December 1996. Programs for minority students are emphasized but the list includes information for all undergraduates. Additional listings will appear in the February ASCB Newsletter and on the ASCB Website.
American Association for the Advancement of Science, "AAAS Fellowships for Scientists and Engineers." The AAAS offers five fellowship programs in the interface area between science and public policy. Successful applicants are usually experienced career professionals but there is one program applicable to outstanding undergraduates, the Mass Media Fellows Program. The MMF program is really designed for graduate students but it has accepted occasional outstanding highly motivated undergraduates who are science majors, not journalism majors. The talents the program is looking for include a sound knowledge of basic science and the ability to communicate research results and science issues to the lay public. Fellows spend ten weeks during the summer working as reporters, researchers, or production assistants at radio or TV stations, newspapers and magazines. Fellows receive weekly stipends pro-rated by site plus travel expenses. Minorities and persons with disabilities are especially encourged.
Argonne National Laboratory, "Student Research Participation Program." The program includes life sciences as well as math, computer science and engineering. Dates: Eleven weeks, early June to mid-August. The program offers hands-on lab experience. Students must have completed the sophomore year and not more than the first year of graduate study, with GPA >= 3.0. Students currently enrolled who have been out of school for no more than six months will be considered. There is a stipend of $225 per week plus allowances for round trip travel and housing. Application deadline: February 1, 1997. Contact Lisa L. Reed, Division of Educational Programs, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S. Cass Avenue, Argonne, IL 60439-4845. Phone: (630) 252-4579. Email.
Brookhaven National Laboratory, "Summer Student Program, 1997." The program covers the wide range of disciplines at Brookhaven which include life sciences, math, applied math, physics, engineering, and scientific journalism. The program is interested in attracting students from traditionally underrepresented groups. Students should have a career interest in science and must have completed the junior or senior year with a B average or better. The program offers a wide variety of hands-on lab experience. There is a stipend of $225 per week plus room and round trip travel. Dates: June 2 to August 8. Application deadline: January 31, 1997. Contact Robert Thomas, Science Education Center, Building 438, BNL, P.O. Box 5000, Upton, Long Island, NY 11973-5000. Website.
Carnegie Mellon University, "Summer Undergraduate Research Program," sponsored by the NSF-REU. The program is designed for college students planning on graduate education for the Ph.D and research careers in the biological and biomedical sciences. The fields of interest are gene stucture, function, and regulation, protein structure/function, enzyme mechanisms, cell and developmental biology, organelle assembly, membrane structure/function, structural biology, and metabolic regulation. There will be a special seminar program for the summer students. A strong academic record is important but previous research experience is not required. Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents and have completed the sophomore or junior (preferred) year. Graduates cannot be considered. Accepted summer students will receive a stipend of $2500 plus university housing and a travel allowance. The dates of the program are June 2 through August 8, 1997. Application deadline: March 1.
Case Western Reserve University, Department of Physiology & Biophysics "The Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)." This program is designed for outstanding students with majors in biology, chemistry, physics or related disciplines. Students will carry out a research project under the close guidance of a faculty member during the summer months (8-10 weeks). Stipends are provided and on-campus housing is available. In general, we accept students who have finished their junior year. Exceptions are possible for advanced sophomores. Decisions on acceptance into the program will be made on a continuous basis. However, most decisions are made by March 1. The CWRU School of Medicine also conducts a special pre-medical education program called Health Careers Enhancement Program for Minorities (HCEM). The Department provides the program with twenty-one hours of basic and clinical science lectures. It also gives program participants access to its facilities and to related programs.
Case Western Reserve University, "Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR)," sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The program offers a ten week research experience for college students planning onresearch careers in biological and biomedical sciences. Participating departments are Anatomy, Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Environmental Health Sciences, Genetics, Molecular Biology & Microbiology, Neurosciences, Nutrition, Pathology, Pharmacology, and Physiology & Biophysics plus selected social science departments which interface with biomedical areas. The program includes a weekly seminar series, extracurricular events, and culminates with a research poster session given by participants. There is a stipend of $2500 for ten weeks. The times are flexible. Low cost dorm housing is available. Last date for mailing application materials: Feb 7. Application deadline: March 1. Contact Mary Jones, Biology Department, CWRU, Cleveland, OH.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, "1997 Cold Spring Harbor Undergraduate Research Program." Applications are invited from undergraduate students in their sophomore or junior year to take part in the research activities of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory during the summer of 1997. Last year 22 participants were selected from over 400 applicants. The undergraduate program is conducted to provide increased opportunities for the scholarly development of outstanding undergraduates. Research at Cold Spring Harbor is concentrated on the various aspects of molecular biology. Independent research projects by the undergraduates are conducted in conjunction with the permanent staff of the laboratory. In addition to research activities, a continuing series of seminars are given throughout the summer as part of posdoctoral training courses in bacterial genetics, yeast genetics, mouse embryology, molecular cloning, plant molecular biology, and neurobiology. Students are encouraged to attend the seminar.
Colorado State University, College of Agricultural Sciences. "Graduate Discovery Minority Internship Program." The program offers laboratory experience along with a series of workshops on agriculture, preparation for the GRE, communications, computers, and contacts with industry representatives. Minority students are encouraged to apply. Students should have completed the sophomore or junior year and should be planning on entering graduate (PhD) programs. The program offers hands on laboratory experience. There is a stipend of $2500 plus travel expenses, room, and board. Dates: June 1 to July 26, 1997. Application deadline, March 1. Contact Dr. Elaine Roberts, Discovery Coordinator, College of Agricultural Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. Phone: (970) 491-5842. Fax: (970) 491-3862. Email.
Colorado State University, "Undergraduate Research in Molecular Biosciences." The program features a wide variety of research projects with hands-on experience; the majority emphasize regulation of gene expression in eukaryotic systems and structure/function relationships in macromolecules. There is a seminar series on research careers in varied settings and several social events as parts of the program. The program seeks to attract but is not limited to students from traditionally underrepresented groups. There is a stipend of $2500 plus travel expenses, and full room and board. Dates: June 2 to August 8, 1997. Application deadline: February 14, 1997. Contact DeAnn Keith, Colorado State University, Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Fort Collins, CO 80523. Phone: (970) 491-5602 Fax: (970) 491-0494 Email.
Committee on Institutional Cooperation, "1997 Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP)." This is a multi-institutional program designed to introduce high-ability minority students to research and to prepare them for graduate school. Since the program was founded in 1986, two-thirds of SROP students have gone on to graduate or professional careers. The program includes twelve midwestern universities, the Universities of: Chicago, Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Pennsylvania State, Purdue, and Wisconsin at Madison. The program matches the students. interests with available positions throughout the program. Students spend 8-10 weeks on supervised research with faculty mentors. There are supplementary enrichment activities provided by weekly seminars and workshops plus an annual SROP conference every July where students present results of their research. There is a stipend of $2500 plus up to $1100 toward room.
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Student Traineeships in Biomedical Sciences and Cystic Fibrosis Research. Ten week minimum, no deadlines. For more information, contact Office of Grants Management, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation National Office, 6931 Arlington Road, Bethesda, MD 20814 or the web site.
Dartmouth College, "Howard Hughes Program for Undergraduate Research in the Sciences." The research areas include physical biochemistry, structural biology, cell and molecular biology, biotechnology, biochemical engineering and related fields. Students will work with a faculty mentor on an ongoing research project. The program is designed to help students make decisions involving graduate training in the sciences, professional training in medicine and other health-related fields. Program dates are June 17-August 22, 1997. Application deadline is February 3. An official transcript, resume and two letters of recommendation from a faculty member familiar with the students.s academic record is required. Each student selected receives a stipend of $2500 for the summer. Room and board is also provided. The contact person is: Sandy Gregg, Assistant Dean of the Faculty, Dartmouth College, 6201 Wentworth Hall-Room 307, Hanover, NH 03755. Phone: (603) 646-3756 Fax: (603) 646-3838.
Duke University, Marine Laboratory, "Nicholas School of the Environment." Subjects of study include biological oceanography, biochemistry of marine organisms, marine ecology, toxicology and pollution, estuarine ecosystems, molecular physiology and evolution, tropical marine organisms, and studies of marine fisheries policy. The Marine Laboratory has two field stations, at Beaufort, NC and at the Bermuda Biological Station. Students may split the Spring 1997 semester between the two stations. There are two 1997 sessions, Jan 16-March 7 and March 20-May 10. Contact Nicholas School Marine Lab, 135 Duke Marine Lab Road, Beaufort, NC 28516. Phone: (919) 504-7502. Email Website.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, "Summer Undergraduate Research." The program is designed for students planning careers in research in basic biological sciences. Summer students become members of research teams; there are 42 teams in cellular biology, developmental biology, oncogenes, molecular immunology, molecular biology, membrane biology, genetics, and virology. For summer students there will be an orientation session, weekly research meetings, and an end-of-summer get-together. There is a salary of $3250. Students must pay for transportation to and from Seattle plus housing. Dormitory housing plus a meal plan on the University of Washington campus costs about $150 a week. Apartments without meals cost about $350 a month. Applications from minorities and women are encouraged. Dates: 10 weeks during the summer, somewhat flexible. Application deadline: February 15,1997. Contact Lori Blake, Summer Undergraduate Research, Basic Sciences B1-030, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research.
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, "HACU National Internship Program." The program covers many disciplines. Math, Science, Engineering, and Computer Science majors are encouraged to apply. Last year 288 interns were placed and the program is expanding. Interns. assignments are made with the objective of matching the students. skills and academic interests with the staffing needs of federal agencies throughout the US. Students work in laboratories, examine patent applications, develop computer software, conduct audits, do research, write and design publications, and much more. Enrolled students from sophomore to graduate students with GPA > 3.0 are eligible. Dates: 10 weeks during the interval June 1 to August 15, 1997. There is a weekly stipend sufficient to cover needs plus roundtrip travel to the site. Application deadline: March 1, 1997; however, earlier applications have better chances of being placed.
Institute of Ecosystem Studies, "Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Ecology" are anticipated through pending funding for the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program of the NSF. Research areas include groundwater ecology, beaver activity and stream water quality, submersed aquatic vegetation in the Hudson River, competition between zebra mussels and zooplankton, microbial processes of freshwater wetlands, tree response to defoliation by the gypsy moth, the mouse connections, roles of seed eaters in forest food webs, ecology of forest edges, plant communities, and restoration ecology. The program is not targeted to minority students but is interested in attracting students from traditionally underrepresented groups. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and first semester seniors with biology backgrounds are eligible. Dates: May 27 to August 19, 1997. Each student will work with one or more scientist mentors. The program offers lab and field experience. There is a stipend of $300.
Jackson Laboratory, "Summer Student Program." This 9 to 11 week research program is intended for high school juniors and college undergraduates. Minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. The program specializes in biomedical sciences and mouse genetics. Dates: June 8 to August 11, 1997 with option for "Early Start" on May 26 (college students only). The program offers extensive lab experience. There is a stipend plus room & board for college students. Application deadline: February 14, 1997. Contact Randi Mitchell, Training & Education Office, The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME 04609-1500. Phone: (207) 288-6250.
Leadership Alliance, "Summer Research Early Identification Program." The Leadership Alliance is a consortium of 12 colleges and universities in the eastern US: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Howard, Hunter College, Johns Hopkins, NYU, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale. The program encourages motivated underrepresented students in all academic fields to consider academic careers in higher education. Students work closely with a faculty mentor during the 10 week summer program. Depending on the participating institution, the program may include seminars, field trips, and social events. Students apply to the Executive Office at Brown for all of the institutions in the Alliance. The Executive Office will match accepted applicants with openings at the several institutions; every effort will be made to ensure agreeable matches. After the matches have been made, the participant will communicate with the host campus and faculty mentor.
Los Alamos National Laboratory, "Undergraduate Student (UGS) Program." The Laboratory.s original mission, to design, develop, and test nuclear weapons, has broadened and evolved to include development of several cutting-edge scientific technologies including life sciences, biomedical sciences, plus health and environmental sciences. Of special interest to cell biologists are projects in pulmonary biology, radiation biology, flow cytometry, and the Laboratory.s leadership role in development of the Human Genome Project. Undergraduate students can participate in the excitement of developing technologies by enrolling in summer programs. Applications are accepted from August 1 through March 31 for positions available the following summer. Students must have graduated from high school and be enrolled in an undergraduate program. A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 for freshman and at least 2.5 for sophomores, juniors, and seniors is required.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "MIT Summer Research Program." The program covers a wide range of science and engineering projects at MIT. The program is targeted to African American, Mexican American, Native American, and Puerto Rican students. Dates: June through August (10 weeks). The program offers a wide variety hands-on lab experience. There is a weekly stipend plus travel and housing. Students should have finished the sophomore or junior year in college with a GPA >= 3.0. Application deadline: January 15, 1997. Contact Assistant Dean Daniel T. Langdale, MIT Summer Research Program, 3-138 MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139. Phone: (617) 253-9462. Fax: (617) 253-5620. Email.
Methodist Hospital of Indiana, "Summer Student Research Program." This program pairs undergraduate science students with biomedical researchers for a 12 week period from May through August. Students receive hands-on reseach experience in advanced medical technology. Resarch projects include enterocyclis in the diagnosis of small bowel disease, spinal nerve root monitoring during pedicle screw insertion, fine needle aspiration biopsy and lymphoma diagnosis, total shoulder arthroplasty vs hemiartroplasty, and aprotinin channels in platelet membranes. Each year offers a variety of new studies and challenges. Application deadline: Feb 21, 1997. Contact Peter Michael, Summer Student Research Program, Medical Research, Methodist Hospital of Indiana, Inc., 1701 N. Senate Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46202. Phone: (317) 929-8861. Email.
National Institutes of Health, "Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research." This program is intended to provide students with exciting research experiences in our research laboratories in Bethesda, Maryland and selected NIH off campus locations. While at the NIH, students have an opportunity to work side-by-side with some of the leading scientists and researchers in the world. In addition to the laboratory experience, students may also attend a summer seminar series where senior NIH investigators discuss the latest developments in biomedical research. Stipends for college students are based on educational level: $1200 per month for two years of college and $1300 per month for three years of college. There is no housing on campus but program officials provide information on housing in the area. Application deadline for most institutes is are February 1 although there are exceptions. Applications and catalogs can be obtained through the internet listing below.
Compiled by Ted Gurney for the ASCB Minorities Affairs Committee. See February ASCB Newsletter for the second part of this two-part listing.
|WWW.Cell Biology Education|
The ASCB Education Committee calls attention each month to several Web sites of educational interest to the cell biology community. The Committee does not endorse or 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.
Thanks to Robert L. Infantino, Director of Undergraduate Studies, University of Maryland for his suggestions. The URLs in this column were checked Dec. 17, 1996.
Robert V. Blystone for the ASCB Education Committee