Oct 2013 WEB - page 6

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ASCB
NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2013
DORA in Action
The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) promotes sound practices in the
evaluation of scientific research and researchers by funding agencies and academic institutions.
It discourages the use of journal impact factors and other irrelevant metrics in assessing scientific
output.
Sandra Schmid, past president of ASCB and former Editor-in-Chief of
Molecular Biology
of the Cell,
is putting these principles into practice. In her capacity as Chair of Cell Biology at
the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, she is recruiting new faculty members.
Advertisements for the positions state explicitly, “The ideal candidate will be evaluated only on the
significance of discoveries the candidate has made—not on the impact factors of the journals where
his or her results were published….” (See job ad on p. 40)
“Scientists need to take back responsibility for judging the value and significance of our work,”
says Schmid. “What’s needed is a cultural change, and that means that each of us who is in a position
to evaluate another person’s contribution to science must be cognizant of the need to look at the
work itself and not rely on shortcuts like impact factors.”
DORA (
was initiated by the ASCB together with a group of
editors and publishers of scholarly journals. It has been endorsed by more than 9,300 individuals and
more than 380 organizations. A panel discussion about DORA is scheduled for Sunday, December
15, 2:30 pm-3:45 pm, at the ASCB Annual Meeting in New Orleans.
n
—W. Mark Leader
San Francisco
San Francisco
Declaration on Research Assessment
��RA
The French Society for Cell Biology has chosen two young scientists
to receive travel awards to the 2013 ASCB Annual Meeting. Agathe
Chaigne and Véronique Marthiens will receive expense-paid trips
(compliments of the French Society for Cell Biology) and meeting
registration (compliments of the ASCB) to attend the Annual Meeting in
New Orleans. Each will present a poster at the meeting and report on her
meeting experiences for the
ASCB Newsletter.
Chaigne is a PhD student
at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology, College de France.
Her abstract is entitled  “A soft cortex is essential for asymmetric spindle
positioning in mouse oocytes.” Marthiens is a postdoctoral fellow at
Institut Curie. Her abstract is entitled “Investigating the mechanisms that
contribute to centrosome clustering during brain development.”
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—Alison Harris, Meeting and Abstracts Manager
Chaigne, Marthiens Honored as
Young French Cell Biologists
Agathe Chaigne
Véronique Marthiens
Sandra Schmid
Rothman’s initial breakthrough focused on
protein traffic in the Golgi, an organelle responsible
for modifications to cargo, such as adding sugars
to proteins. This led him to discover SNARE
(soluble NSF attachment protein receptor) proteins.
SNAREs are critical for vesicle docking and fusion
and play an essential role for the body to function
in processes like sending messages through nerves,
mounting immune responses to infection, or secreting
insulin. Now that Rothman has established the
mechanism of these fusion events, he is investigating
how these events are regulated. This research will
help in understanding fusion defects in diseases like
diabetes.
Building on Rothman’s and Schekman’s discoveries,
Südhof investigated how synaptic vesicle release is
regulated and identified proteins that respond to the
influx of calcium in nerves.
Schekman and Rothman were co-recipients with
Stuart Kornfeld of the 2010 E.B. Wilson Medal, the
ASCB’s highest scientific award.
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Christina Szalinski
Nobel, continued from page 1
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