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ASCB Newsletter - May 2000

Council Endorses New Education Journal, Membership Plan, GMO Stand

At the semi-annual meeting of the ASCB Council in Cambridge, Massachusetts this month, the Society's governing body endorsed a proposal for a new electronic publication proposed by the Education Committee and a public position in support of Genetically Modified Organisms proposed by the Public Policy Committee.

The Education Committee unveiled plans for a new journal, to be published exclusively in electronic format, Cell Biology Education. The audience for the peer-reviewed journal is predominantly those who teach undergraduate cell biology; the journal will provide peerreviewed laboratory exercises and other tools, such as videos, to be used in the classroom.

The Council unanimously endorsed the proposal, authorizing staff and volunteer leadership to develop and seek funding for the plan. Society leadership also endorsed a position recommended by the ASCB Public Policy Committee defending the use of genetically modified organisms, an activity which, due to public activism, has threatened to devastate plant biology research in Europe.

The Council reiterated its support for the leadership role the Society is taking on stem cell research.

Society Secretary Larry Goldstein and Director of Membership Michael Murphy presented plans to grow Society membership to, by the end of, and to, by the Society's 40th anniversary in. Contributing to those goals, the Council voted to admit over new members (see page ) and also acknowledged the reactiviation of the membership of over others, who had re-joined the Society in an Amnesty Program for former members during the month of April.


ASCB Moves to New Bethesda Home

The National Office of the American Society for Cell Biology will move to downtown Bethesda on September.

The move is a result of the ASCB’s decision not to renew its membership in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), which owns the campus on which the ASCB currently rents office space.

The new location, Woodmont Avenue, is where the NIH campus and the urban center of Bethesda meet, even closer to the NIH than the current ASCB offices. It overlooks the National Library of Medicine.

The Society is working with architects to build the new offices to its specifications. The suite features, square feet of space, proximity to downtown hotels, and a state-of-the-art conference room for Council and Society committee meetings.


Neupert, Schatz to Share E.B. Wilson Award

Walter Neupert and Gottfried Schatz will jointly receive the E.B. Wilson Medal at the 40th Annual Meeting of the ASCB this December. The Medal conveys the Society’s highest recognition for science.

Neupert, from the University of Münich, and Schatz, from the University of Basel, are being recognized for their pioneering work on the organization and assembly of the mitochondrion. Using biochemical and genetic approaches, the two labs discovered the proteins and genes involved in the translocation of mitochondrial precursor polypeptides. The Selection Committee, chaired by Past-President Randy Schekman, also cited both Neupert’s and Schatz’s exploration of the pathways of localization within one of the four mitochondrial subcompartments. Each of their labs has developed a reconstitution approach to recapitulate individual assembly events with pure proteins in synthetic lipid vesicles.

The pair will each receive a Medal and give the Award Lecture on Sunday, December 10 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.



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

Galina F. Reshetnikova
Hitoshi Sakakibara
Maria E. Silva-Fernandez
Marianne Wessling-Resmi
Barbara M. Verte



A Postdoctoral Position is available to investigate mechanisms of membrane fusion and virus assembly, using primarily the enveloped alphavirus, Semliki Forest virus, a highly developed system to study these processes at the molecular level. We are characterizing the structure and function of the viral spike protein during fusion, spike interactions with cholesterol and raft domains, and the viral and cellular factors required for virus budding. For more information see: www.ca.aecom.yu.edu/sggd/ pages/faculty/kielian.htm. Candidates should have experience in cell biology, biochemistry, or molecular biology. Please send (preferably email or fax) a CV, brief description of research experience, & names of three references to: Dr. Margaret Kielian, Dept. Cell Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Jack & Pearl Resnick Campus, 1300 Morris Park Ave., Bronx, NY 10461. Fax (718) 430-8574. EOE.

A Postdoctoral Position is available to continue studies of herpesvirus cell-to-cell spread. We previously identified herpes simplex virus glycoproteins, gE and gI that mediate movement of virus particles from the TGN to cell junctions and across the junctions to infect neighbouring uninfected cells. gE/gI accumulate specifically at epithelial cell junctions (Dingwell et al. 1998, J.Virol. 72:8933; Wisner et al. J. Virol. Feb. 2000). We are presently attempting to characterize sorting of these glycoproteins, how they mediate movement of virus particles specifically to basolateral surfaces and to identify cellular ligands for gE/gI. This work is also being extended to the related herpesvirus, human cytomegalovirus. Please send resume and names of three references to: David C. Johnson, Dept. of Microbiology & Immunology, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR 97201.

Postdoctoral position. An NIH-funded position is available to study the organization of calcium stores in Tetrahymena. These cells possess a vesicular calcium storage compartment specialized for cortical signaling, including regulated exocytosis. The project is aimed at functional analysis of this compartment, using this as a model for understanding how membrane subcompartments are created and maintained. These cells are well-suited for biochemistry, genetics (including gene knockout and replacement), and imaging. Experience in biochemistry/cell fractionation helpful. Send CV and names of 3 refs to: Dr. Aaron Turkewitz, Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, The University of Chicago, 60637.

Short course in Biological



The Workshop entitled: “The Biophysics and Biochemistry of Motor Proteins” will take place in Banff, in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, between August 27 and September 1, 2000. All the necessary information regarding the Workshop, including a link to the Banff Centre where the participants will be accomodated, can be found at our website. You can contact the Organizers by calling the conference secretary: Lee Grimard at (780) 492 8486. The registration fee is $250 (Canadian) and only $50 (Canadian) for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows


Grants & Opportunities

The Amersham Pharmacia Biotech & Science Prize for Young Scientists, for scientists who completed their Ph.D. in 1999 in molecular biology. The 2000 grand prize winner will receive a prize of U.S. $25,000; runners-up will receive prize of U.S. $5,000 each.

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