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ASCB Newsletter - August 1998

Traffic Meeting Slated for Italy

Mario Negri del Sud will host the 1999 ASCB-EMBO meeting on Membrane Trafficking and the Cytoskeleton from June 25-29.

The private, non-profit research institute is located on the Adriatic Coast of Italy, near the town of Pescara, and about two hours from Rome.

Approximately 175 scientists will attend this U.S.-European meeting. More information and application materials will be available on the ASCB website in September.


Postdoctoral positionavailable to study galectin and integrin function in smooth muscle cells (SMC). Members of the galectin multigene family are galactoside-binding lectins, each expressed at specific stages of differentiation in specific cell types. While primarily implicated in regulating cell adhesion, migration, and proliferation, cellular functions of galectins have not yet been clearly established. Especially confusing is their apparent secretion without signal sequences. Galectin-1 inhibits SMC migration, but not adhesion, apparently by binding integrins. Techniques to be used include receptor purification, immunohistochemistry, gene fusion and expression, and assays of signaling, proliferation, differentiation and migration. Send CV and 3 reference letters to Douglas N.W. Cooper, PhD, U. California, San Francisco, LPPI Box F, 401 Parnassus Ave., San Francisco CA 94143-0984. EOE/AA.

A postdoctoral position is available to study the molecular and cellular basis for the angiogenic phenotype in thrombospondin 2 (TSP2) knockout mice. TSP2 knockout mice show a marked increase in small blood vessels in many tissues. In addition, the phenotype is characterized by a defect in collagen fibrillogenesis, abnormal cell-matrix interactions, and a bleeding tendency. The position is supported by a Program Project grant from NHLBI. Salary will be commensurate with experience. Applicants with experience in molecular biology and/or cell biology and an interest in the mechanisms of angiogenesis and anti-angiogenesis should send a resume and the names of three references to:

Paul Bornstein, M. D.,
Department of Biochemistry, Box 357350,
University of Washington,
Seattle WA 98195.
Phone: (206) 543-1789, Fax: (206) 685-4426.

A Postdoctoral Fellowship in cell biology is available for a recent PhD or PhD/MD to study lipid traffic in animal cells. Research topics include the use of molecular techniques to study proteins involved in sphingolipid synthesis or transport and the use of fluorescent lipid analogs to study intracellular transport of lipids, with emphasis on the endocytic pathway and lysosomal storage diseases. Experience required with either cell biological and molecular techniques or with image analysis and quantitative fluorescence microscopy. Send CV and 3 letters of recommendation to

Dr. R. E. Pagano,
Mayo Clinic and Foundation,
621-C Guggenheim Building, 200 First St., SW,
Rochester MN 55905.
Fax: (507) 266-4413.

The Johns Hopkins University Program on Protein and Lipid Traffic and Dynamics in Epithelial Cells: Postdoctoral fellowships are available in four laboratories that collaborate in the study of molecular traffic in polarized epithelial cells. Members of the program and their areas of interest are: MICHAEL EDIDIN, Department of Biology - Distribution, traffic and mobility of lipid-anchored membrane proteins, glycolipids and cholesterol studied using biochemistry, biophysics and advanced imaging techniques. ANN HUBBARD, Department of Cell Biology - Basolateral-to-apical transcytosis; the nuclear-Golgi-apical plasma membrane axis in polarized epithelial cells, studied using biochemical and morphological and imaging assays. CAROLYN MACHAMER, Department of Cell Biology - Sphingolipid trafficking; lipids of the Golgi complex of polarized epithelial cells. Previous experience with lipid biochemistry is preferred. TRINA SCHROER, Department of Biology - Microtubule nucleation and organization in polarized epithelial cells; cytoskeletal basis of sorting between endocytic and transcytotic pathways, studied using live cell imaging, cell microinjection and organelle isolation. For more information or to contact us send e-mail to:

Michael Edidin,
Department of Biology,
The Johns Hopkins University,
3400 N. Charles Street,
Baltimore MD 21218.
The Johns Hopkins University is an equal opportunity employer.

Postdoctoral Position in ocular neurovirology: NIH supported postdoctoral fellowship available to study the cellular basis of recurrent herpetic ocular keratitis. The focus of this ongoing funded project is the interaction of host cell and virus in replication, maturation and axonal transport of Herpes simplex virus Type I by trigeminal neurons to corneal epithelium. Applicants should have an MD or PhD in neurobiology, cell biology or microbiology and must be a US citizen or permanent resident. Interested applicants should contact:

Dr. J.H. LaVail,
Department of Anatomy,
University of California San Francisco,
San Francisco CA 94117-0452;

Cell Biology Positions
The Department of Cell Biology has tenure-track faculty positions available at all levels for appointment in the fall of 1998. Applicants should hold a PhD, MD, or equivalent degree. Candidates for senior positions should have funded and established independent research programs. Applicants using molecular, genetic, or biochemical approaches to investigate fundamental problems in cellular and developmental aspects of neurobiology are especially encouraged to apply. Opportunity exists for interactions with investigators at the Oklahoma Center for Neuroscience, Dean A. McGee Eye Institute, and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Department responsibilities include teaching cell biology, pharmacology and anatomy to professional and graduate students. Applicants should submit their CV, a summary of past and proposed research, and names of three references to:

Robert E. Anderson, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair,
Department of Cell Biology,
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, PO Box 26901,
Oklahoma City OK 73190.
Phone: (405) 271-2377; Fax: (405) 271-3548;


Grants & Opportunities
The NSF is accepting nominations for the 1999 Alan T. Waterman Award, given to an individual who demonstrates exceptional individual achievement in scientific or engineering research. The Awardee will receive a $500,000 nonrestrictive grant over a 3-year period.

Contact Mrs. Susan E. Fannoney, Executive Secretary,
Alan T. Waterman Award Committee,
National Science Foundation,
4201 Wilson Blvd, Rm 1220, Arlington, VA 22230;
Phone: (703) 306-1096; Fax: (703) 306-0181;
The deadline for submissions is October 31, 1998.

The Life Sciences Research Foundation (LSRF) awards three-year postdoctoral fellowships in all areas of the life sciences. Deadline for applications is October 1, 1998 for awards beginning as early as June 1, 1999. Information can be obtained from the scientific office at the Lewis Thomas Labs., Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544.


1998 ASCB Sponsors & Corporate Members

The ASCB gratefully acknowledges:
Affymax Research Inst.
Chroma Technology Corp.
Corning, Inc. Science Products
Jeol USA, Inc.
Johnson & Johnson
Leica, Inc.
The Mark-Rambar Family
Merck Research
NaviCyte, Inc.
New England Biolabs, Inc.
Nikon, Inc.
Novartis Pharma AG
Olympus America, Inc.
Pfizer Inc.
The Rockefeller University Press
Research Institute
SmithKline Beecham
The Agency
Toronto Hospital
Worthington Biochemical
Carl Zeiss


Rodriquez Named 1998 E.E. Just Lecturer

Eloy Rodriguez, James A. Perkins Professor of Environmental Studies in the Division of Bio-logical Sciences at Cornell, has been named the fifth annual E.E. Just Lecturer by the ASCB Minorities Affairs Committee. Rodriguez will give the E.E. Just Lecture at the ASCB Annual Meeting in San Francisco on Sunday, December 13 at 2:00 p.m.

Rodriguez, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Austin, is currently exploring biodiverse organisms of the Amazonas and Bwinidi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda) for novel medicines. Rodriguez has also developed numerous science programs for K-16 students, with a focus on minority students.

The E.E. Just Lecture recognizes a distinguished minority scientist. It is named in memory of early twentieth-century zoologist Ernest Everest Just. Previous awardees are Franklyn Prendergast, Baldomero Olivera, James Gavin III, and George Langford.


WWW.Cell Biology Education

The ASCB Education Committee calls attention each month to several Websites of educational interest to the cell biology community. The Committee does not endorse nor guarantee the accuracy of the information at any of the listed sites. If you wish to comment on the selections or suggest future inclusions, please send a message to Robert Blystone.

  1. Image Analysis
    The above is the URL for NIH-Image downloads. Many tools which increase the functionality of NIH-Image may be found at the above listed site.

    NIH-Image began as a Mac-only project. There is now a version called ImageJ that will run on Mac, PC, and UNIX platforms. It is written in JAVA. For those with Macs, System 8 and a JAVA compliant Web browser are necessary.

    PC users can now use a public domain port of NIH-Image which is available in Beta3 form from Scion Corporation. Scion sells a popular frame grabber board which is supported by NIH-Image. This link will get to you the PC version of NIH-Image (both Windows95 and NT versions).

  2. Welcome - Online Microscope
    The Moody Medical Library of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has an online exhibit of historical microscopes. There are photos of more than 40 microscopes that date back to the 1760's. Manufacturers from six different countries are represented. Toy microscopes from the 19th century and replica microscopes from the 18th century are included in the photo gallery. There is a listing of collections of historical microscopes from around the world. A diagram is included that describes the anatomy of these older microscopes. A nice bibliography rounds out this intriguing site. If you appreciate old microscopes, this is a good place to visit.
  3. Carrefour BIODIDAC Home Page
    This site represents "a bank of digital resources for teaching biology" from the University of Ottawa and authored by Antoine Morin and Jon Houseman. One can obtain more than 3,000 images which have teaching value. The listing of taxa is awkward because it is alphabetical; a listing by phylogenetic organization might be faster to use. There is an image search engine which helps. The images come in six file types: black and white line drawings, color diagrams, photos, annotated CorelDraw images, annotated PowerPoint images, and modules. The line drawings are generally very good and one can obtain permission to use the diagrams for non-commercial applications. These diagrams could be used in self-produced lab manuals. The image database is divided into three broad regions: zoology, botany, and histology. For accounting purposes the list will ask the user to register. Sometimes files are slow in loading, even with a T-1 connection. This is a very good source of photos and line drawings of biological utility. For those who wish to use biological French, the site text is also available in French.

These sites were checked July 12, 1998. Previous ASCB columns reviewing Educational Web sites with links to the sites may be found on the ASCB website or at trinity.edu

--Robert Blystone for the ASCB Education Committee


1998 Late Abstract Submissions

The 1998 ASCB Annual Meeting in San Francisco will include a Special Poster Session on Wednesday, December 16, designed for presentation of posters demonstrating exciting results that were not available for the regular abstract deadline in August. Abstracts for the Special Poster Session must be received by the ASCB office on or before October 2. A subgroup of the Program Committee will select abstracts, and authors will be notified by November 16 of the Committee's decision. Printing deadlines prevent these abstracts from appearing in the Molecular Biology of the Cell Abstracts Issue. They will, however, be listed in the Program Addendum, which is distributed at the Annual Meeting.

Submission of Abstracts for the Special Poster Session
(October 2 deadline)
One abstract-equivalent per member is permitted. A member may sponsor an abstract submitted by another member or by a nonmember, but the sponsoring member may not then submit another paper of his/her own. (An exception to this is made for abstracts submitted for the science education abstract codes. Submitters and sponsors of science education abstracts may also submit or sponsor a scientific abstract.) If two members are co-authors, their paper is an abstract-equivalent for one of them and the other may submit another paper if desired. A student member may sponsor his/her abstract only. Students may not sponsor another person's abstract. Sponsors of submitted abstracts must be sure that all authors listed on the abstract have had a significant role in the research being reported. Members of FASEB societies other than the ASCB may sponsor one abstract, providing that the sponsoring FASEB society member is one of the authors.

Each abstract should contain a sentence stating the study's objective (unless given in the title); a brief statement of methods, if pertinent; a summary of the results obtained; and a statement of the conclusions. It is not satisfactory to say, "the results will be discussed." Use a short, specific title. Capitalize initial letters of trade names. Use standard abbreviations for units of measure. Other abbreviations should be spelled out in full at first mention, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Exceptions: DNA, RNA, etc.

Electronic Submission via E-mail
Submitters who are remitting the Special Poster Session Abstract Submission fee with a credit card may submit their abstract via email. Along with your abstract, provide all information requested on the form on the next page. Electronic abstracts may be up to 2,025 keystrokes (including spaces). Please list separately where boldface, italicized, superscript, subscript, or Greek letters are required.


Minorities Affairs Committee: Where Are We Going?

The ASCB Minorities Affairs Committee (MAC) was established as an ASCB standing committee in 1989 for the purpose of enhancing the participation of under-represented minority scientists in the activities of the ASCB. A champion behind its establishment was ASCB member Winston Anderson of Howard University. Many of the MAC's activities are supported by a grant from the MARC Program of the NIGMS at the NIH.

MAC provides travel awards for minority scientists to attend the ASCB Annual Meeting, where it sponsors forums on minority issues and, in conjunction with the Education Committee, a booth that serves as a focal point for ASCB members interested in issues pertaining to minorities in science and science education. Other MAC-sponsored activities at the Annual Meeting include the E. E. Just Lectureship, which recognizes the achievements of outstanding minority biomedical scientists, and a minorities poster session that provides opportunities for young minority scientists to network with others and to be mentored by more established members of the ASCB. The MAC has enjoyed a long relationship with the MBL community at Woods Hole, and during the last twelve years has contributed to the support of 88 minority students who have participated in courses at the Laboratory.

Today, the Committee has thirteen members and has considerably expanded on the longstanding programs described above. It sponsors several new initiatives in addition to the above activities:

  1. a satellite meeting held in conjunction with the ASCB Annual Meeting, which addresses the concerns of young minority scientists;
  2. a mentoring workshop at the MBL for minority course participants and former course participants, which links them together along with more established members of the ASCB in an interactive network;
  3. sponsorship of minority course participants at the Friday Harbor Laboratories in Washington state; and
  4. the Visiting Professorship Program, which permits faculty members from minority-serving institutions to spend up to ten weeks during the summer doing research in the laboratory of ASCB members. The Committee is pleased that almost twenty ASCB members agreed to serve as host scientists for the five fellowships offered, but hopes that an even greater number of members will volunteer in the future to ensure a more even distribution of host sites across the country.

Perhaps the most ambitious effort of the ASCB MAC to-date is the formation of the Minorities Action Committee, a coalition of leaders of the minorities affairs committees of many biomedical societies as well as several other individuals who are concerned about increasing the engagement of underrepresented minorities in science. Over the last two years, this group has held two very productive meetings in Bethesda to develop a strategic plan for addressing problems of mutual concern.

Like all scientists, Action Committee members are concerned about government funding policies, constricting job markets and the training of young scientists. The group seeks to ensure that all prospective scientists have equal opportunities to become successful and are particularly concerned about the effect on the minority scientist pipeline of an academic job market that appears to be diminishing. The Minorities Action Committee is currently developing an interactive database network which will link minority scientists and students and provide information about funding opportunities and jobs; provide a mechanism for developing collaborative research efforts and scientist-student mentoring relationships; serve as a resource for persons looking for speakers and proposal and manuscript reviewers; and provide a mechanism for discussing issues of mutual concern through chat room sessions. Ultimately, the members of the "Super MAC" and their colleagues seek much greater communication among all who are concerned about issues pertaining to minorities in science.

What are the ASCB MAC's long range goals? Nothing short of proportional representation of minority scientists in all areas of biology, so the scientific community better reflects the entire talent pool in the nation. Towards achieving this end, the MAC will work harder to build the applicant pools for the various MAC-sponsored programs, and at the same time seek to determine means of addressing "pipeline barriers" for minority students, including admissions requirements for graduate school. ASCB member David Burgess impressed the MAC with his argument that there is now a substantial pool of underrepresented minority students receiving B.S. degrees in science and engineering (45,000 in 1993)1 and that, while we do not know how many of these young people are interested in pursuing research careers, this is a large group of students who at the very least have completed the requisite courses for graduate school.

The MAC feels strongly that efforts to increase the representation of minorities in science should be a priority to the nation and of concern to all members of the ASCB. While members of the MAC are honored to serve as catalysts for the Society, they feel that these issues require involvement by other ASCB committees and by individual ASCB members as well. In order to move the Society forward, the MAC would like to see the ASCB commit to achieving diversity among the membership of all its standing committees, as well as the membership at large.

-J.K. Haynes, Chair, ASCB Minorities Affairs Committee


MBC Videos Online

The July issue of Molecular Biology of the Cell (MBC) Online featured the introduction of videos. A series of "Video Essays" authored by Kerry Bloom, Gary Borisy, Shinya Inoue, Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, and Mark Terasaki use QuickTime movies to illustrate scientific articles.

The issue can be viewed online. Authors are encouraged to submit video material for publication in future issues of MBC Online. For details on preparing and submitting video files, see the Instructions to Authors.

The images on this page are selected from the video essays published.

Membership Survey
The extensive ASCB Member Career Survey sponsored by the ASCB Education Committee is available online. It was the subject of a July 31 editorial in Science by ASCB Executive Director Elizabeth Marincola and ASCB Education Chair Frank Solomon.


ASCB Honors MBL Students

The ASCB honored five 1998 ASCB/MBL minority funding recipients at a luncheon at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, on July 24. The annual event was held this year in conjunction with "A Half Century of Advances in Microscopy," a symposium honoring ASCB co-founder and microscopy pioneer Keith R. Porter.

The students honored were:

  • Tonya Anderson of the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Andrea Foster of Stanford University
  • Antoinette Freeman of Boston University School of Medicine
  • Cruz Hinojos of the University of Texas, Houston
  • Tsahai Tafari of the University of California, San Diego

Sixty-five people attended the event, which was hosted by Minorities Affairs Committee Chair J.K. Haynes and Executive Director Elizabeth Marincola. Also present representing the Society were ASCB Secretary George Langford, former Society presidents Bill Brinkley, Elizabeth Hay, J. Richard McIntosh and George Pappas, former Councilors Marianne Bronner-Fraser, Birgit Satir and Peter Satir, Councilor-elect Mark Mooseker, Education Committee member Roger Sloboda, Finance Committee Member Thoru Pederson and Public Policy Committee member Robert Palazzo.

1998 marks the thirteenth year that the ASCB and the NIH-MARC Program have supported fellowships at the MBL.


MBC Online Extends Reach to Africa

Molecular Biology of the Cell Online will soon be available to students and researchers continent-wide in Africa through the African Virtual University (AVU), a project sponsored by the World Bank.

The core of the AVU project is an interactive instructional network, established to serve the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. The objective of the AVU is to build world-class degree programs that support economic development through education and training. The project aims to provide a digital library environment for scholars to access quality research results from around the world, and also to develop an environment conducive to encouraging the growth of publishing research results by African scholars. Additionally, the AVU hopes to establish a long-term digital archive to preserve scholarly material of African origins.

The World Bank is providing computer hardware, software and satellite-based data transmission to university libraries throughout Africa, with the goal of 28 universities online by the year's end.

In addition to its own participation, the ASCB brokered the inclusion of many other publishers whose journals are provided electronically through HighWire Press. For more on the AVU.


Members In The News

Jeffrey I. Gordon of Washington University, ASCB member since 1988, was elected to serve on the Council of the American Society of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.

Lawrence Kerr of Vanderbilt Univer-sity, ASCB member since 1988, was one of seven named Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellows for 1998-1999 by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lee E. Limbird of Vanderbilt University, ASCB member since 1980, was appointed Secretary-Treasurer-elect of the American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics.

Dorothea C. Wilson, ASCB member since 1991 and Executive Officer from 1985-1991, was recently appointed Vice Presi-dent for Research at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Texas.

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