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ASCB Newsletter - June 2003

Stahl Named Senior WICB Awardee

Philip Stahl of Washington University will receive the 2003 ASCB Women in Cell Biology Senior Award. Stahl is being recognized for active recruitment and promotion of the careers of women in the department that he chairs, and for developing innovative programs and services to support junior faculty.

Claire Walczak of Indiana University is named the 2003 Women in Cell Biology Junior Award winner. Walczak is being recognized for her groundbreaking research with KinI kinesines and her outstanding teaching and mentoring.

The WICB Awards will be presented at the ASCB Annual Meeting WICB Evening Program on December 15.


Tsien to Give Porter Lecture

Roger Tsien of the University of California, San Diego, has been named by ASCB President Suzanne Pfeffer and the Keith R. Porter Endowment to give the 22nd Annual Keith R. Porter Lecture at the 43rd ASCB Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Tsien’s lab has focused on genetically encoded reporters of signal transduction pathways and protein interactions.

The Porter Lecture, “Breeding Molecules to Spy on Cells” will be held on Tuesday evening, December 16 at the Moscone Convention Center.


Berg to Receive Public Service Award

Paul Berg, who completes nine years as Chair of the Society’s Public Policy Committee, will receive the 10th annual ASCB Public Service Award.

Berg is being honored for thirty years of advocacy for biomedical research in Congress, with the public and with the media. He has been an outspoken national proponent of stem cell and nuclear transplantation research during his tenure as the Society’s Public Policy Chair. Berg won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1980.

The Award will be presented on Sunday, December 14, at the ASCB Annual Meeting in San Francisco.


Your Chance to Influence Cell Biology Study Section Reorganization

As part of the reorganization of the NIH Center for Scientific Review, a proposed reorganization of cell biology grant review has been recommended.

The CSR has posted the recommended changes and invites cell biologists to comment on them by July 31, 2003.

For the proposed new guidelines and to submit comments.


Council Considers Longterm Vision for ASCB

ASCB President Suzanne Pfeffer of Stanford University presided at the semi-annual meeting of the Society’s governing Council last month. Other Councilors in attendance were Helen Blau, Anthony Bretscher, Kevin Campbell, Pietro DeCamilli, Secretary Lawrence S.B. Goldstein, Alan Rick Horwitz, Kathryn Howell, President-Elect Harvey Lodish, Sandra Schmid, Jean Schwarzbauer, W. Sue Shafer, Janet Shaw, Julie Theriot, Peter Walter and Treasurer Gary Ward.

The meeting featured a lively debate about a long-term vision for the Society. The discussion focused on the optimal size of the membership and the Annual Meeting, and how to increase individual and scientific inclusiveness. The importance of graduate students and postdoctoral fellow members was stressed by all present, and Council agreed to meet with a group of graduate student members in December to learn more about their perspectives first hand.

Council also discussed possible long-term strategies for making Society publications universally and immediately accessible.

There was a progress report on selection of Annual Meeting sites over the 2010s. Staff reported on visits to and negotiations with Boston, Denver, New Orleans, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.

A revised process for selecting and recognizing the Society’s newest awards, the ASCBBernfield Award and the ASCB-Gilula Award, was adopted. Effective 2004, candidates will be required to submit an Annual Meeting abstract for consideration along with letters of support. The awardees will be invited to give a minisymposium talk at the Annual Meeting.

The day following their meeting, members of Council joined members of the Public Policy Committee on Capitol Hill where they met with 29 Congressional offices, and encouraged continued Congressional support for biomedical research.


WICB Names Annika Sorenstam of Cell Biology

Women in Cell Biology Committee members Caroline Kane, Elizabeth Marincola, Manuela Martins-Green, Sandra Masur, Jean Schwarzbauer, Sue Shafer, Vivian Siegel, Pam Silver, Marcia Steinberg, Mary Ann Stepp, Julie Theriot, Sue Wick and Chair Zena Werb gathered in Bethesda for the Spring meeting of the Committee last month.

The Committee made history by naming the first man to receive the Women in Cell Biology Senior Award. The honor goes to Philip Stahl of Washington University.

Claire Walczak was named the 2003 Women in Cell Biology Junior Award winner. Both winners will receive awards at the ASCB Annual Meeting in San Francisco this December.

Plans for a WICB-sponsored lab management workshop were approved. The workshop is being organized by WICB members Manuela Martins-Green and Sue Wick and will be presented by former Society officer Carl Cohen. Management workshops by Cohen at the ASCB Annual Meeting several years ago received an unusually enthusiastic response. Attendance at the interactive session will be limited and there is a nominal registration fee.

The Committee refined ongoing programs including the Annual Meeting Career Lunch and the Speakers’ Bureau. It also discussed potential authors and topics for the ASCB Newsletter WICB column for 2004.


Call for Volunteer Editor of ASCB Newsletter WICB Column

The Women in Cell Biology Committee welcomes expressions of interest in the position of WICB Column Editor for the ASCB Newsletter. Responsibilities include, in coordination with newsletter editorial staff, conceptualizing topics, recruiting authors, ensuring timely submission of monthly articles, and editing submissions.

Send statement of interest to: The American Society for Cell Biology This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Advocate for Basic Research

Join bench scientists on June 25 for Western States Hill Day
Advocate for good science policy on Capitol Hill by attending a Capitol Hill Day sponsored by the Congressional Liaison Committee of the Joint Steering Committee for Public Policy. Members of Congress welcome meeting constituents, particularly when they have expertise in science.

Science has reached a critical crossroad in Federal investment. The good news is that the NIH budget nearly doubled over the past five years. The bad news is that the future budgets proposed for the NIH will not sustain the current momentum. Furthermore, both Congress and the Administration are considering regulations that may curb biomedical research. Continued advocacy for the NIH, the NSF and other funding agencies is essential.

In addition to Congressional meetings, participants will attend a briefing of the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus on Smell and Sex: The Science of the Senses, by Catherine Dulac of Harvard University.

For more information, contact Joint Steering Committee for Public Policy.



The ASCB is grateful to the following members who have recently given gifts to support Society activities:

Clemencia Colmenares
Onodera Mitsue
Mark Pittenger


Members In The News

Sally Amero, NIH Scientific Review Administrator for the Genome Study Section and an ASCB member since 1984, was named Chief of the new Bioengineering Sciences and Technologies IRG.

Elizabeth Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco, an ASCB member since 1978 and 1998 Society President, will receive the 26th Bristol-Myers Squibb Cancer Research Award.

Helen Blau of Stanford University, an ASCB member since 1978, received an honorary doctorate from the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands last month. Blau was also named the 2003 Rolf-SammetStiftungsprofessur at the University of Frankfurt, Germany.

Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, ASCB members since 1980, will receive the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research.

Patrick Brown, an ASCB member since 1998, and Stanley Falkow, an ASCB member since 1997, both of Stanford University, and Noel Rose of Johns Hopkins University, an ASCB member since 1961, were honored by the American Society for Microbiology at its Annual Meeting in May. Brown received the Promega Biotechnology Research Award; Falkow was awarded the Abbott/ASM Lifetime Achievement Award, and Rose received the ABMM-ABMLI Professional Recognition Award.

Daniel Klionsky of the University of Michigan, an ASCB member since 1993, and Mary Lee Ledbetter of the College of the Holy Cross, an ASCB member since 1976, have received the National Science Foundation Director’s Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars.

J. Richard McIntosh of the University of Colorado, an ASCB member since 1970 and 1994 President, Chris Watters of Middlebury College, an ASCB member since 1966, and Robert Wondergem of East Tennessee State University, an ASCB member since 1979, have been awarded 2003 Fulbright Scholarships. McIntosh continues his work in Uganda; Watters will go to Addis Ababa University, and Wondergem is taking sabbatical in Belgium.


Schekman Named Nominating Committee Chair

ASCB President-Elect Harvey Lodish has announced the appointment of Randy Schekman of the University of California, Berkeley, to serve as Chair of the 2004 ASCB Nominating Committee.

Schekman was Society President in 1999 and is currently an Editor for Molecular Biology of the Cell.

Schekman will lead the committee charged with selecting nominees for 2005 President-Elect and the four Council seats that will become vacant at the end of next year. He will begin his one-year term in January.


Bernfield, Gilula Awards Announced

The ASCB has named post-doctoral fellow Erik Dent of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to receive the ASCB-Merton Bernfield Memorial Award. The Award honors a postdoctoral fellow or graduate student who has excelled in research.

Graduate student Yulia Ovechkina of the University of Washington will receive the third annual ASCB-Norton B. Gilula Memorial Award. The Award recognizes an outstanding graduate or undergraduate student who has excelled in research.

Dent and Ovechkina will receive honoraria and travel to attend this year’s ASCB Annual Meeting in San Francisco.


ASCB Members: Enjoy Benefits All Year

Publications Free subscription to: l Molecular Biology of the Cell (monthly, online)

  • Cell Biology Education (quarterly, online)
  • The ASCB Newsletter
  • Listing in and paper copy of the ASCB Directory of Members l The Scientist

Reduced Rates for:

  • MBC on paper
  • Other scientific publications
  • Page charges for publishing in Molecular Biology of the Cell

Scientific Meetings

  • Registration discount for the ASCB Annual Meeting
  • Registration discount for the ASCB Summer Meetings
  • Sponsorship privileges for abstracts (students may sponsor their own—postdoc and regular members, their own or another’s)

Career Services

  • Free CV posting on the ASCB Job Board
  • Free copy of Life Science Research and Teaching: Strategies for a Successful Job Hunt* and Career Advice for Life Sciences*

Awards Participation

  • Up-to-date information about awards and grants available
  • Nomination privileges for ASCB awards

Group Rates

  • Avis, Hertz and Alamo rental cars
  • ASCB Platinum Plus and Preferred MasterCard credit cards
  • GEICO Direct auto insurance
  • Life, disability income, dental, and other insurance, through Seabury & Smith
  • Discounts on ASCB books and merchandise

For more information, see your membership card or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
*nominal mailing fee applied for hard copy


ASCB Members Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

The following Society members were among the 187 new fellows and 29 foreign honorary members that were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003

  • Peter Agre Johns Hopkins University
  • Dennis Ausiello Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard University
  • Martin Chalfie Columbia University
  • Stephen Elledge Baylor College
  • Carol Greider Johns Hopkins University
  • Laura Kiessling University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Thomas Kornberg University of California, San Francisco
  • Dan Littman New York University
  • Janet Rossant University of Toronto (Foreign Honorary Member
  • Samuel Silverstein Columbia University
  • Arthur Weiss University of California, San Francisco
  • Zena Werb University of California, San Francisco
  • William Wickner Dartmouth College


ASCB Job Service Free to Members

The American Society for Cell Biology Job Board invites ASCB members to post their CV free of charge. Individuals who post their CV may control access to identifying information. CVs are accessible and searchable without charge. Employers pay a nominal fee to list positions. Employers and job seekers contact each other directly; interviews may be scheduled by mutual convenience at any time throughout the year or at the ASCB Annual Meeting Career Center.



The title of the article that appeared in the April 2003 ASCB Newsletter’s ‘Postdoc Matters’ column [Vol 26, No. 4, pp. 8-10] was not published as intended. The correct title of the article is: “Reflections of the National Postdoctoral Association’s Inaugural Meeting.” The publisher apologizes for this mistake.


Grants & Opportunities

NIGMS Grants. The NIGMS requests applications for the Centers of Excellence in Complex Biomedical Systems Research in cell biology and biophysics, genetics and developmental biology, human physiology in trauma, burn, inflammation, and multiorgan failure, and pharmacology and anesthesiology. Letter of intent deadline: September 3. Application deadline: October 14.

NAS Call for Nominations. The National Academy of Sciences is accepting nominations for the Alexander Hollaender Award, the Jessie Stevenson Kovalenko Medal, the NAS Award in Molecular Biology, the NAS Award in Neurosciences, and the Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal. Deadline: September 12.

Stem Cell Research. NICHD announces administrative supplements for human embryonic stem cell research. Deadlines are July 1, 2003 and July 1, 2004.

MARC Grants. The NIGMS Minority Access to Research Careers is accepting applications for predoctoral fellowships. Application deadline: April 5 and December 5.


Classified Advertising

Faculty Position—Cellular Neurobiology. The Department of Biological Sciences and the John F. Kennedy Center For Research On Human Development at Vanderbilt University seek candidates to fill a rank-open, tenure-track or tenured faculty position in cellular neurobiology, with interests in areas such as the cytoskeleton, cell motility, membrane/protein trafficking, or cell adhesion. The central criteria for this position are excellence in research and the ability to teach undergraduate and graduate students with a high level of effectiveness. For information about the Biological Science faculty and the Department, visit our website. The successful candidate will be an active participant in the Kennedy Center. Applicants should send a letter of application together with curriculum vitae, a statement of current and future research interests, and selected reprints to: Cellular Neurobiology Search Committee, Department of Biological Sciences, Vanderbilt University, VU Station B 351634, Nashville, TN 37235-1634 U.S.A. Junior faculty applicants should also arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent to the same address. Senior faculty applicants should provide a list of at least six references that would be willing to provide letters on request. Review of applicants will begin September 1 and will continue until the position has been filled. Vanderbilt University is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minority candidates are encouraged to apply.

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