home page

ASCB Newsletter - April 2001

Goldstein, Pfeffer Face Off for 2003 Presidency, Ward Up for Treasurer

Suzanne Pfeffer of Stanford University and Lawrence S.B. Goldstein of the University of California, San Diego, will run for ASCB President-elect this Spring. The winner will serve on the Society’s five-member Executive Committee as President-elect in 2002 and as ASCB President in 2003. Gary Ward of the University of Vermont is running unopposed for Treasurer of the Society. He will serve a three-year term to commence January 1, 2002.

Eight candidates selected by the Nominating Committee will compete for four positions on the Society’s governing Council. Each elected officer will serve a three-year term beginning January, 2002.

The Society is introducing electronic voting this year. An email with a link to the Society’s electronic ballot will be sent to regular and post-doctoral members this month, permitting eligible members the opportunity to vote online. Printed biographies and ballots are available to members who do not have access to the Internet. Members who do not receive a printed ballot but want one should contact the ASCB at (301) 347-9300.

Ballots will be counted on July 1 and results will be announced in the July issue of the ASCB Newsletter.

Ursula W. Goodenough of Washington University served as Nominating Committee Chair; also serving on the Committee were J. Michael Bishop, Mina Bissell, Donald D. Brown, Marilyn G. Farquhar, Richard O. Hynes, Enrique J. Rodriguez-Boulan, Randy W. Schekman and James A. Spudich.


Call for Nominations WICB Career Recognition Awards

The WICB Committee recognizes outstanding achievements in cell biology by presenting two Career Recognition Awards at the ASCB Annual Meeting. The Junior Award is given to a woman in an early stage of her career (assistant professor or equivalent) who has made exceptional 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 Senior Award is given to a woman or man in a later career stage (full professor or equivalent) whose outstanding scientific achievements are coupled with a longstanding record of support for women in science and by mentorship of both men and women in scientific careers.

To submit a nomination for a 2001 Career Recognition Award, please provide: for the Senior Award, a letter of nomination, curriculum vitae of the candidate and a maximum of 5 letters of support; for the Junior Award, a letter of nomination, curriculum vitae of the candidate, and a maxiumum of 3 letters of support. A complete packet of materials should be sent to Trina Armstrong at the ASCB National Office: 8120 Woodmont Ave., Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814. Nominations must be received by August 1.


The ASCB Minorities Affairs Committee Solicits Nominations For The E. E. Just Award

The Award acknowledges an outstanding minority life scientist. This Award is made to provide challenging role models to aspiring young scientists and to make the general ASCB membership more aware of the meritorious contributions of minority scientists.

Nomination letters should include a description of the nominee’s significant contributions to research.

Send letter of nomination, letters of support and CV to: The ASCB Minorities Affairs Committee 8120 Woodmont Ave., Suite 750 Bethesda, MD 20814-2755.

Nominations must be received by June 1.


Call for Proposals New Summer Meeting Series

All ASCB members, individually or in teams, are invited to submit proposals to organize the first in a series of summer meetings, to be held in 2002. The threeday meeting will host about 200 participants.

Topics should be novel (e.g., combining fields that don’t traditionally meet together, or focusing on an emerging area) and include:

  • a one-page summary of the scientific substance of the meeting;
  • names of 3-10 potential speakers (confirmation need not be obtained in advance);
  • CVs of proposed lead organizers.

Submit proposals to the American Society for Cell Biology, 8120 Woodmont Ave., Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814.

Application deadline is July 1. Some participation in fundraising may be required of organizers. Meeting dates and site to be determined by the Society in consultation with the organizer(s).


The ASCB Education Committee solicits nominations for The Bruce Alberts Award for Distinguished Contributions to Science Education

Nomination letters should include a description of the nominee’s innovative and sustained activities with particular emphasis on the local, regional and/or national impact of the nominee’s activities.

Send letter of nomination, letters of support and CV to: The American Society for Cell Biology 8120 Woodmont Ave., Suite 750 Bethesda, MD 20814. Nominations must be received by April 30.


Call For Education Initiative Proposals

Each morning of the ASCB Annual Meeting, the ASCB Education Committee presents an Education Initiative Forum during the coffee break between 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 41st ASCB Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, are invited to direct suggestions to the ASCB, 8120 Woodmont Ave., Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814. Phone: (301) 347-9300; Fax: (301) 347-9310.


First Annual Norton B. Gilula Award For Undergraduate and Graduate Students

The ASCB invites nominations for the Norton B. Gilula Award for 2001. The Award was established in memory of longtime Society member and Journal of Cell Biology Editor-in-Chief Norton B. “Bernie” Gilula. The winner will be selected on merit and will receive travel and per diem expenses for the 41st ASCB Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The Award is funded by an annual grant from the Rockefeller University Press.

The student or advisor should submit a one-page research statement, a list of publications if any, and the advisor’s letter of recommendation.

Application deadline is August 1, 2001. Submit applications to the ASCB Gilula Award Selection Committee, 8120 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814.

Duplicate applications from graduate students may be submitted for the Gilula and Member Memorial Awards.


WWW.Cell Biology Education

The ASCB Education Committee calls attention each month to 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. Nature genome gateway—human genome
    Both Nature and Science issued Genome Special Editions on Feb. 15 and 16, 2001, respectively. These issues were in commemoration of the completion of the first major step in the human genome project. The electronic version of both issues is available on line. Accompanying the chromosome maps are features about the history of the genome project, future directions, and interpretations of the significance of the findings. The teaching importance of these issues is undeniable. Of particular utility are the various supporting figures in digital form, and accessibility to electronic lecture presentations. It will take some time to sort out all the information associated with these historic multi-authored papers.
  2. The Institute for Genomic Research—TIGR
    The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) is a non-profit research organization founded in 1992 in Rockville, MD. They maintain a wide range of genome databases including 14 bacteria, arabidopsis, rice, fungus, and five protozoan parasites. They operate several educational programs for students and high school teachers. Of particular interest are a variety of free-toeducational-institutions software packages. Included in the TIGR collection of software for genomic analysis are the following: GeneSplicer, Glimmer, TIGR Spotfinder, TIGR ArrayViewer, TIGR Assembler, TransTerm, and others. Specifics for two of the packages follows: 1) TransTerm is a program that finds rho-independent transcription terminators in bacterial genomes and each terminator found by the program is assigned a confidence value that provides an estimate of its probability of being a true terminator and 2) The TIGR Assembler is for assembling repeat rich genomes, assembling chromosomes from BAC sequences, and performing (although still somewhat limited) statistical coverage, repeat, and assembly failure analyses on genomes and sequence data. The software is quite varied and operates on several different platforms, although UNIX is favored. Several packages have training features built into the software. In order to obtain the free software, a license agreement is sent to TIGR and the software location is identified for downloading. The homepage provides nine different paths including an excellent “other links” section, which identifies several nice educational sites. There is great educational potential at this URL.
  3. Algorithm Primer
    Many who teach cell biology have followed the rapidly emerging field of genomic data analysis from afar. A new vocabulary as well as new very fast computers has arrived on the scene. The URL listed above is for a gene analysis product offered by a subsidiary of Celera. Of possible interest is some background information about gene analysis; this column is not endorsing a commercial endeavor. By selecting the URL below one can obtain a primer on the algorithms used to perform genomic data analysis.

    This FAQ section lists three categories of similarity searching algorithms: position independent, position specific, and heuristic. Brief backgrounds on 14 algorithms are provided with references. If genomic analysis is new to you, this would be a place to begin developing the vocabulary of analysis.

  4. MathXpert
    Many of us in the cell biology academy are some years away from our last formal course in mathematics. Often we discover how rusty our math skills have become when our children or even grandchildren bring us problems for which they seek help. Here is a URL for you. To quote from the home page: “Whether you’re a student learning math concepts for the first time, a teacher integrating technology into your math classroom, or a professional who just wants to brush up on mathematics problem solving skills, the MathXpert series of programs is here to help you.” This commercial company has placed a shortened, interactive on-line version of their products on the web. The homepage gives a choice to use the on-line service. A brief registration screen follows. Completion of the registration allows one to load an applet needed to access the math problems; note that with a T-1 connection it took about one minute to load the applet: be patient. A textbook metaphor appears and allows one to choose among algebra, precalculus, and calculus. The review was enjoyable and instructive. One can spend a wonderful time reviewing mathematics concepts that, in some cases, have collected quite a bit of dust.
These sites were checked March 13, 2001. Previous ASCB columns reviewing Educational Websites with the links to the sites may be found online.


Members In The News

Marc Kirschner of Harvard Medical School, an ASCB member since 1975, received the American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology’s William C. Rose Award this month for outstanding contributions to biochemical and molecular biology research and a demonstrated commitment to the training of younger scientists.



Associate Specialist. A full time position as Associate Specialist is available beginning June 1, 2001 in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley. Minimum salary is $44,820; salary commensurate with experience and education. Duties include genetic and cytological research on meiotic mutants of maize, field genetics, cytogenetic map construction, molecular biology, supervision of technical staff, training of graduate students and postdocs, and grant writing. Qualifications: M.A. or equivalent degree in maize genetics. Specific experience required in maize field genetics with emphasis on meiotic mutants, confocal and deconvolution microscopy, Unix computer skills and molecular biology. Candidate should demonstrate a record of publications in maize genetics, successful grant applications, and abilities to successfully coordinate scientists with field workers. Deadline date of application: May 25. Send C.V., research qualifications and the names, addresses and phone numbers of 3 references to: Professor W. Zacheus Cande, 345 Life Science Addition, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3200. UC is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

facebook twitter1 youtube linkedin