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ASCB Newsletter - May 1999

ASCB 1999 Annual Meeting

39th ASCB Annual Meeting
Washington, D.C., December 11-15, 1999

The ASCB Local Arrangements Committee Proudly Announces

Rachel Ruysch
Flowers in a Vase, n.d.
Gift of Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay

The ASCB Social
Monday, December 13
7:30PM—11:00PM at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

Lavinia Fontana
Portrait of a Noblewoman, ca. 1580 Gift of Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay

1250 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.
(two blocks from the Convention Center)
Buffet Supper, Live Music

Students, purchased by October 1*: $25
Non-students, purchased by October 1: $35
All tickets purchased after October 1: $45

*limit of one per student registrant. Additional tickets may be purchased at the non-student rate.

More information about the museum is available online.

By Special Arrangement
The FBI Tour
"The toughest ticket in Washington" will be available to ASCB Annual Meeting Participants for Monday, December 13 and Tuesday, December 14 at 9:20, 10:00, 10:40, or 11:00 a.m.
Sign-up will only be on-site in the Washington Convention Center on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be no charge, but sign-up is required. More information about the FBI tour is available online.



Call For Education Initiative Proposals
Each morning of the Annual Meeting, the ASCB Education Committee presents an Education Initiative Forum during the coffee break between the scientific symposia. The Forum presents programs of interest to scientists and educators.

ASCB members with topics and/or speakers of potential interest for presentation at the Education Initiative Forum during the 39th ASCB Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. are invited to direct suggestions to ASCB Education Committee member Chris Watters at Middlebury College, Department of Biology, Middlebury VT 05753. Phone: (802) 443-5433; Fax: (802) 443-2072.

1999 Summer Research Programs in Biology for Undergraduates Nationwide
This resource list, compiled by ASCB Minorities Affairs Committee member Joseph Hall, emphasizes programs for minority students, but the list includes information for all undergraduates. Students are encouraged to consider all programs for which they are qualified. For more information, visit the ASCB website.

ASCB Placement Service
Information on potential employers and limited information on registered candidates are now available on the ASCB website.

  • Detailed candidate information is available in the 1998 Candidate Packet, which has information sheets on over 200 candidates who registered with the ASCB Placement Service before and during the 1998 Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Information provided includes name, address, type of work desired, citizenship, date of availability, academic training, professional experience, specialities, and publications. Candidate information is available upon request at no extra charge to employers who participated in the 1999 ASCB Placement Service. Non-profit employers who did not participate in the 1998 ASCB Placement Service may purchase a Candidate Packet for $75; commercial non-participating employers may purchase one for $200.
  • Advertisements for employers who registered with the Placement Service at the 1998 ASCB Annual Meeting are on the website; candidates may contact employers directly.



Postdoctoral Position:
Cell Biology of Phagosome Maturation University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The project is to study the role of membrane fusion and trafficking machinery (SNAREs, Rabs and other small GTPases and their regulators and effectors) controlling phagosome maturation. The model system is the macrophage under normal and pathological conditions. We use intracellular pathogens that interfere with organelle biogenesis, as a tool to dissect phagosome maturation pathways. We are also studying how host mechanisms which activate macrophages alter intracellular trafficking. Applicants should have a Ph.D. with background in cell biology or a related field. Mail or FAX your application to Dr. V. Deretic, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, 5641 medical Science Building II, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0620, Fax: (734) 647-6243. The University of Michigan is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.



The ASCB is grateful to those below who have recently given gifts to support Society activities:

  • Barbara Hamkalo
  • Hideyasu Hirano
  • Claude Klee
  • Michael Reedy
  • Samuel Ward


Grants & Opportunities

An NIH "Mentored Quantitative Research Career Development Award" will support the career development of investigators with quantitative scientific and engineering backgrounds outside the fields of biology and medicine who have made a commitment to focus their research endeavors on basic or clinical biomedical and behavioral research. The award is aimed at research-oriented scientists with experience at the level of junior faculty (e.g., early to mid-levels of assistant professor or research assistant professor ranks).

The NIH "SBIR/STTR Study and Control of Microbial Biofilms" invites research grant applications to conduct studies on microbial biofilms leading to improved strategies and technologies to diagnose, prevent, and treat biofilm-associated infectious diseases.


Members In The News

Former ASCB President Mina Bissell of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory was presented the G.H.A. Clowes Award by the American Association for Cancer Research, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to cancer research.

The National Science Board has named Maxine Singer, ASCB member since 1992, member of the Public Policy Committee, and President of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, to receive the 1999 Vannevar Bush Award for her many years of contributions to science, science education and advocacy.

Former ASCB President Elizabeth Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco, and ASCB Councilor Carol Greider of Johns Hopkins University will receive the Rosensteil Award for their work on the maintenance of telomeres and the special structures that form the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes.


NIH Considers Plan for Electronic Publishing

In a move designed to radically alter the scientific publishing landscape, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is proposing the establishment of an electronic publishing site (E-biomed) for the rapid dissemination of biomedical research.

Spearheaded by NIH Director Harold Varmus along with Pat Brown, a genetics researcher at Stanford University, and David Lipman, the Director of National Center for Biotechnology Information, the purpose of E-biomed is to provide users with instant, cost-free access to a very broad body of biomedical work.

The E-biomed concept was inspired in part by the proliferation of electronic information sources and the rapid increase in use of online services such as GenBank and technologies such as PubMed. The developers took their cue from the successful establishment of the physics' communities widely used electronic preprint system, constructed by Paul Ginsparg of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the early 1990's. The Los Alamos e-print archive is widely regarded by physicists and astronomers, who submit more that 2,500 articles to the server each month.

However, one crucial difference between the Los Alamos e-print archive and the proposed E-biomed site is that the Los Alamos site merely acts as an outlet for rapid initial dissemination of results, without attempting to select or peer-review the articles. Indeed, many of the articles that first appear on the e-print server go on to be published in traditional, peer-reviewed journals. The current E-biomed proposal calls for two mechanisms of submission: one which would impose a low threshold of review but still require the "validation" of two peers, and one at a higher standard which depends on review and acceptance of an existing, selected journal. A "Governing Board" would set editorial policies. While researchers who submit to E-biomed would still have the opportunity to submit these articles for publication in a traditional scholarly journal, they would have to choose from a list of editorial boards approved by the Governing Board.

Varmus circulated his preliminary proposal to the ASCB and other scientific publishers. It was met with mixed reviews by the not-for-profit publishing community, which is generally supportive of the notion of a centralized pre-print server, but concerned that its reviewed publishing aspect may potentially displace existing journals. Unlike the ASCB, many scientific societies depend on their publications for as much as 80% of their operating income.


ASCB to Host Second Biotech Symposium

Due to the popularity of the Biotechnology Symposium at the ASCB Annual Meeting last December, the Society will again host a Biotechnology Symposium at the upcoming ASCB Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Joan Brugge of Harvard Medical School will moderate the forum, which will be held on Tuesday evening, December 15.

Joan Brugge Moderator
Dept. of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School

Steve Clark
Senior Vice President, Discovery Research, Wyeth-Ayerst, the Genetics Institute

James Sabry
President & Chief Executive Officer, Cytokinetics

Robert Tepper
Chief Scientific Officer, Millenium Pharmaceuticals


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 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. Access Excellence Graphics Gallery
    Access Excellence is a previously reviewed site that is sponsored by Genentech, Inc. Its purpose is to provide teaching aids to teachers and students. The site has added a graphics gallery that provides a teaching image data base of high utility to instructors. The seven major topic subdivisions of this resource include From Gene to Function, Building Blocks, Chromosomes and Cell Division, Biological Engineering, Genetics, Viruses, and Cell Processes. The collection contains original graphics and reproductions from the Alberts et al. text, Essentials of Cell Biology. The original illustrations have extensive legends and hyperlinks to other diagrams. The Alberts et al. illustrations can be downloaded as pdf files for printing. Although each image is copyrighted, the implication is that instructors may use the illustrations as part of the classroom teaching scheme. Selected titles from over 100 illustrations include the following: Central Dogma of Molecular Biology, Control of the Human B-Globin Gene, Macromolecules in Cells, Molecules Drawn to Scale, Comparison of Meiosis and Mitosis, Polymerase Chain Reaction, X-linked Inheritance: Hemophilia, Life Cycle of a Retrovirus, Anaerobic Breakdown of Pyruvate, Carbohydrade Recognition at Infection Site, and Osmotic Swelling. The images, often in color, are of the highest quality and extremely useful for teaching various topics in cell and molecular biology. The site is well worth a visit.
  2. The FDA Consumerc
    As college instructors who may be working with non-science majors, the government publication FDA Consumer represents an excellent source of information for teaching. Each month several articles appear that can provide ideas for new teaching topics or offer a sense of relevance for older teaching material. The FDA Consumer is now on-line. By selecting "Publications" on the home page, one gains access to an alphabetical or topic listing of FDA articles, brochures, and reprints. The topic area does not have hyperlinks; however, the alphabetical listing does. Titles are wondrously varied and include the following: FDA Guide to Dietary Supplements, Color Additives, Alpha Hydroxy Acids in Cosmetics, Genetic Engineering: Fast Forwarding to Future Foods, Home-Use HIV Test Kits, Medications and Older Adults, Ovarian Cancer, Taming Tummy Turmoil, and Women and Nutrition - A Menu of Special Needs. Many of the articles have color diagrams and some have references. In addition to serving as teaching sources, many of the articles are just good public health reading. There is literally something for everyone on this site.

These sites were checked April 19, 1999. Previous ASCB columns reviewing Educational web sites with the links to the sites may be found at trinity.edu.

–Robert Blystone for the ASCB Education Committee

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