home page

ASCB Newsletter - May 1998


WICB Committee Adds New Members

Maureen Brandon
The ASCB Women in Cell Biology Committee met on April 13. Chair Zena Werb welcomed seven new members, including new ASCB Newsletter WICB Column Editor, Maureen Brandon.

New WICB members are:

  • Helen Blau - Stanford University
  • Maureen Brandon - Wayne State University
  • Carolyn Damsky - University of California, San Francisco
  • Elaine Fuchs - University of Chicago
  • Joseph Gall - Carnegie Institution of Washington
  • Julie Theriot - Stanford University Medical Center
  • Thea Tlsty - University of California, San Francisco

Postdoctoral Associate: Cell Signaling and Polarity position available to study: 1) RGS regulation of G protein signaling in transgenic mice; or 2) actin polarization by PAK kinases. Requires first author publications and experience in molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics or cell biology. Send CV including names of 3 references to: Kendall J. Blumer, Dept. Cell Biology & Physiology, Washington U. School of Med., 660 S. Euclid Ave., St. Louis MO 63110. EOE/AA.

Postdoctoral positions are available 7/1/98 for training in Environmental Mutagenesis and Carcinogenesis in a program supported by an Institutional National Research Service Award from NIEHS. There are 12 faculty members. Applicants must have MD/PhD experience in genetics, cell, or molecular biology, and be US citizens or permanent residents. Send CV, transcripts and three letters of reference to: Dr. Zena Werb, Program Director, Department of Anatomy, Box 0750, University of California, San Francisco CA 94143-0750. EOE/AA.

Research Instructor to join group working on origins and formation of renal microvasculature and assembly of the glomerular basement membrane in developing mouse kidney. Applicants must have strong background in molecular biology, biochemistry, immunohistochemistry and microsurgery. Prefer DVM/PhD. Send CV and names, addresses, and phone numbers of three referees to: Dr. Dale R. Abrahamson, Professor of Cell Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, UAB Station, Birmingham AL 35294-0019. EOE/AA.


Women In Cell Biology- Social Activism by Scientists

WICB Career Recognition Awards
REMINDER: August 1 is the deadline for submission of WICB Career Recognition Awards

The Junior Award will be given to a woman who has made significant scientific contributions to cell biology and exhibits the potential for continuing a high level of scientific endeavor while fostering the career development of young scientists. The Junior Award is reserved for a woman in an early state of her independent career (i.e., assistant professor or equivalent).

The Senior Award will be given to a woman or man whose outstanding scientific achievements are coupled with a long-standing record of supporting women in science and mentoring both men and women in scientific careers. The Senior Award is reserved for an established scientist (i.e., full professor or equivalent).

Nominations should include the curriculum vitae of the nominee, a minimum of one letter of recommendation, and relevant information about the nominee’s contributions to the scientific community through mentorship or other activities. Please send nominations to Dorothy Doyle at the ASCB National Office, 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814; Fax: (301) 530-7139.

Elected leaders of various scientific organizations and other high-profile scientists are often called upon to testify before congress, serve on national policy panels, and contribute their ideas on an elevated plane. However, many more scientists are contributing to our society on a grass-roots level. This crossover from scientist to citizen is rarely in the spotlight.

A small number of ASCB members responded to a recent questionnaire on social activism [ASCBNewsletter, April, 1997, WICBSection]. Their motivation for putting time and effort into social activism is to utilize their understanding of science to contribute to society. They accomplish this by, for example, educating the public about the environment, encouraging disease prevention, protecting women's rights, and improving our future as scientists.

Each saw their public actions as being related to science. The most direct connection to science is in activities promoting funding for research and science education. Scientists find many ways to contribute to science education: judging science fairs, taking high school students into the lab to do projects, training high school teachers in current methods. The next most cited activities were involvement in outreach programs, lobbying, and public education. Several members have taken leadership positions in citizenship organizations like the League of Women Voters or organizations devoted to funding for elementary and secondary education. A commonly cited subject of concern was civil rights, especially affirmative action and women's rights (including abortion rights), perhaps because the questionnaire was under the WICB auspices.

The respondents all felt that there was an impact of their scientific training on these activities especially in their analytical examination of arguments. The ivory tower is seen as an isolated environment in a rarefied atmosphere. But that same ivory tower has provided the analytical training and the vantage point that many scientists apply to the world outside their academic pursuits.

My own social activism was most intense when my children were young, and I was working part-time as a scientist. In my free time, I worked to better the community in which we lived–a racially and economically integrated community which was in constant danger of being ghettoized. I spoke to the local Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs about maintaining integration. I believe I was effective because of my ability to put together a cogent short talk in which I presented a hypothesis about ways to maintain integration, how we had tested it, and suggestions for further work. I used the same approach to argue that public support of research on toad urinary bladders through the NIH might in the long run help Aunt Molly to survive dialysis for diabetic nephropathy. This is not intuitively obvious, even to a scientist. From that time it has been clear to me that the same energy and clear thinking that we use as scientists may be used to address societal concerns. I hope this article may inspire some of my colleagues to think about what they might do outside their work. Or maybe those trained minds could be applied to important societal issues when they are ready to retire from full-time jobs.

- Sandra Masur, Depts. of Ophthalmology & Cell Biology/Anatomy, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

- WICB Section Editor: Laura Williams, Ph.D.


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. All the Virology on the WWW
    This is a remarkable site that literally tries to live up to its name: all the virology on the Web. David Sander of the Robert Garry lab at Tulane University School of Medicine is responsible for this very ambitious Web site. A major feature of the site is "The Big Picture Book of Viruses." Images of viruses are listed by family, genome type, and even by host. Tutorials on viral architecture and viral taxonomy are included. A book review section is available that includes reviews of such titles as The Hot Zone, Viral Pathogenesis, and Microbe Hunters - Then and Now. The section is linked to Amazon.com should you want to purchase a title. In conjunction with Alan Cann of the University of Leicester, a video library for microbiology is available. There are QuickTime video clips including these sample topics: cytoplasmic streaming, icosahedral symmetry, phagocytosis, and how to use a phase contrast microscope. Some of the videos (with audio track) are 4 Megabytes in size, so this is not a modem-based site. The various title pages are graphics intense and they can require up to a minute to load at T-1 speed. However, topics such as "On being a scientist", plant viruses, vaccine development, and biological warfare make this a very useful teaching site. Be prepared to spend some time when you visit this thorough information source.
  2. Innovation
    During December of 1997, PBS aired a series of three programs dealing with biomedical technology. The series was titled "Innovation". The Genetic Code, Man-Made Man, and Living Longer were the three topics. This Web site serves to support the television programs. It includes five Shockwave Animations titled Cytoplasmic Egg Donation, Gene Therapy Primer, The Man-Made Man, How Does the LVAD Work? (note: LVAD = Left Ventricle Assist Device, an artificial heart pump), and the Deep Brain Stimulator. To view these animations, one must load free Shockwave software into the Web browser. Additional information is given in terms of stories and "sidebars." The Web site extends considerably the impact of the television productions by allowing the viewer to go back and rethink the information in the program and develop a context for the programs. The site provides an excellent model in how to extend, for example, a complicated lecture, a seminar, or media. One might want to review the Innovation Web site with the idea of developing more effective ways to expand learning experiences for students.
  3. Grantsnet
    This site is intended to help young scientists find funding. To quote the first screen of the homepage: "Scientists in training -- grad students, postdocs, and junior faculty members -- are especially vulnerable in this era of competitive funding. To help, AAAS and HHMI have teamed up to create a new searchable database of biomedical funding options, launched on March 2. We urge you to use this database, which will have over 350 programs by year-end." The user fills out some information and is given an account number. With the free account number, the user enters information about the type of funding and subject area. The program then searches funding sources and provides links to specific information about those programs. It is a nifty site that even established investigators may wish to look at.

These sites were checked April 21, 1998. Previous ASCB columns reviewing Educational Web sites with the links to the sites may be found on the ASCB website.

-Robert Blystone for the ASCB Education Committee

Experts Wanted

A Global Forum
The Science Advisory Board is a worldwide panel of life scientists that convenes on the World Wide Web to voice their opinions on new products, emerging technologies, and vendor performance.

Your Opinion Matters
Through online surveys and focus groups, The Science Advisory Board comments on product performance and emerging technologies. Vendors rely on our members for expert advice on how their products and services can be improved to better meet the needs of life scientists.

Your Opinion Has Value
Members of The Science Advisory Board are compensated each and every time they participate in an online study, and complete confidentiality is assured.

Make a Difference
Join thousands of your colleagues from around the world and help shape the future of life science technology. To register for membershiphttp.


Grants & Opportunities

American Cancer Society Research and Clinical Professorships: Intended to provide flexible research support for outstanding, mid-career clinical investigators and scientists who are making watershed contributions in cancer research and are considered exceptional leaders in their areas of research.

Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents with at least ten years of experience beyond receipt of the doctoral degree. At the time of application, candidates should have attained the rank of associate professor, full professor, or equivalent, but may not have held the rank of full professor for more than 15 years. Awardees may not be department heads nor have administrative duties comparable to those of a department head. Individuals employed by for-profit organizations, federal agencies, or agencies supported entirely by the federal government are not eligible.

The Professorships provide an annual award of up to $60,000 that can be apportioned to salary and/or research project support at the discretion of the awardee. Professorships will be awarded for a period of five years and may be renewed once, contingent upon continued outstanding research productivity and leadership. Deadline for receipt of applications is October 1, 1998 for the Clinical Research Professorship and March 1, 1998 for the Research Professorship. Applications are furnished by the American Cancer Society after consultation with a Scientific Program Director. Contact Phone: (404) 329-7558; Fax: (404) 321-4669 or Email.

American Cancer Society Targeted Research Project Grants for Novel Ideas in Prostate Cancer Cell Biology.
$750,000 has been designated per grant cycle. Each grant can be for three years, up to $65,000 per year, including 25% indirect costs, and will not be renewable. Approximately four grants will be awarded each grant cycle.

Application is open to independent investigators at any stage of their careers. Application deadlines are October 15, 1998, April 1, 1999, and October 15, 1999. Contact the grants administration or development office at your institution for a special application form, or download it.

Questions can be directed to Peter Ove, PhD (404) 329-7552.

NIH Career Development Awards For Clinical Research:
The NIH is offering three new career development awards through which it hopes to increase the participation of clinical researchers in medical research as well as the number of people trained to do clinical research.

Two of the new awards support career development in patient-oriented research (POR): the Mentored POR Career Development Award (K23), for investigators following completion of their specialty training, and the Mid-Career Investigator in POR Award (K24), developed for mid-career clinical scientists. The third new offering, the Institutional Curriculum Award (K30), will be granted to institutions with a substantial clinical research portfolio and a critical mass of individuals in clinical research training and career development.

For more information about the awards. Details will also be available in the April 6, 1998, NIH Guide Notice.

Alan T. Waterman Award Nominations: The deadline for nominations for the 24th Alan T. Waterman Award is October 31, 1998. This award, presented annually to an outstanding young researcher in any field of science or engineering, will be announced and presented in May 1999. For further informa-tion and/or a copy of the guidelines for submission, contact Mrs. Susan Fannoney in the National Science Board Office at (703) 306-1096.

Enhancement to MBC Online
Brings the Journal to Your E-Mailbox: Contents Awareness, a new feature of MBC Online, makes it possible for Molecular Biology of the Cell readers to be automatically notified via e-mail whenever new content is added to the journal. Users can choose to receive any or all of the following options:

  • Notification that the latest issue of Molecular Biology of the Cell is now available online
  • Complete Table of Contents (eTOCs) of latest issue
  • Special Announcements from the ASCB concerning new content (videos, data sets) as they are added to MBC Online

The Tables of Contents contain hypertext links directly to the MBC articles listed, which allows users to jump directly from the e-mail message into the full text of the journal online. Activating this feature is quick and easy. Details.

facebook twitter1 youtube linkedin