Jan-Feb 2014 ASCB Newsletter - page 2-3

The American Society
for Cell Biology
8120 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 750
Bethesda, MD 20814-2762, USA
Tel: 301-347-9300
Fax: 301-347-9310
Stefano Bertuzzi
Executive Director
Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz
Shirley Tilghman
Don W. Cleveland
Past President
Thoru Pederson
Kathleen J. Green
Sue Biggins
A. Malcolm Campbell
Martin Chalfie
Benjamin S. Glick
Daniel Kiehart
Ruth Lehmann
Ian Macara
Laura M. Machesky
Tom Misteli
Jodi Nunnari
Mark Peifer
Claire Walczak
ASCB Newsletter
is published 11 times per year
by The American Society
for Cell Biology.
W. Mark Leader
Johnny Chang
Production Manager
Kevin Wilson
Public Policy Director
John Fleischman
Senior Science Writer
Christina Szalinski
Science Writer
Thea Clarke
Director, Communications
and Education
The deadline for advertising is the
first day of the month preceding the
cover date. For information contact
Advertising Manager Ed Newman,
ASCB Newsletter
ISSN 1060-8982
Volume 37, Number 1
January/February 2014
© 2014 The American Society for Cell
Biology. Copyright to the articles is held
by the author or, for staff-written articles,
by the ASCB. The content of the
is available to the public under
an Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike
Unported Creative Commons License
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ASCB Newsletter
The American Society for Cell Biology
8120 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 750
Bethesda, MD 20814-2762, USA
ASCB and Its New Faces
I am very excited and honored to serve as
President of the ASCB for 2014, its 54th year. I
joined ASCB as a graduate student in 1985 and
have been to most of its Annual Meetings since
then. What I experienced
at those meetings has had a
huge impact on my scientific
development because of
the unique opportunity it
afforded me to hear from
colleagues throughout the
field of cell biology. Along the
way I also came to appreciate
how much ASCB contributes
to the development of our
scientific discipline, to the
professional training of
scientists, and to the education of the general
public throughout the year. Now we face the
challenge—and the opportunity—of welcoming
scientists from other disciplines into the fold as
the physical and computational sciences become
more and more important to cell biology.
ASCB Does Not Just Happen
The realization of how far-reaching and
important ASCB’s activities are did not come
all at once to me. My first few ASCB meetings
as a graduate student were spent presenting
posters of my fledgling research, roaming
the Exhibit Hall, and viewing many of the
thousands of posters. While at these posters, I
realized cell biologists were eager to answer my
simple, sometimes whacky, questions about
their research and to speculate broadly about
other, bigger questions. What can I say?—It
was a blast! Combined with the plenary and
Minisymposia, I was learning more than I
could ever have imagined, not only about my
own topics of focus, but about other issues
throughout the field of cell biology. I soon
appreciated how important such interactions are
to my own research and to understanding where
that research fits into the larger quest to describe
and understand the functions and mechanisms
of the cell. The conversations I had each
year at the Annual Meeting influenced what
questions I was addressing, the experimental
approaches I took to study them, and how I
interpreted and communicated results. Going
to the ASCB Annual Meeting soon became an
annual pilgrimage for me, where I could
become immersed in the zietgeist of cell
Over time, I came to appreciate
that the Annual Meeting and all of
ASCB’s other, year-round programs did
not just happen, but were developed
and sustained by a group of dedicated
scientists who selflessly gave their
time to make the Society work. These
people decided what topics should be
covered at each meeting, how posters
and talks should be organized, and
what outreach efforts to the public and other
scientists by the Society were required. It was
only through their efforts that ASCB could
operate as the epicenter of cell biology, defining
its foundational principles and providing
professional and educational opportunities
to scientists and nonscientists alike. I became
interested in participating in the process and
soon was volunteering to help sort abstracts for
meetings and helping to make local meeting
arrangements. Later I became program chair,
and then served on Council. Now I have the
privilege to serve as the Society’s President.
In this role, I chair the Council, help set the
Council’s agenda focusing on strategic decisions
to promote ASCB’s growth and programmatic
and financial vitality. The President and Council
set the agenda but do not develop or implement
the plan. That is the job of our dedicated
Executive Director, Stefano Bertuzzi, aided by
the professional staff members on his team. 
Expanding Our Field
Perhaps more than any other time in its
history, ASCB is seeing new faces joining us,
from outside the traditional ranks of biology.
These include physicists, bioinformaticists, and
engineers seeking to apply their new tools to
cell biology questions and to learn the language
and biology of cells. In the rest of my inaugural
Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz
ASCB and NIGMS have partnered to curate a cell image exhibit at
Washington’s Dulles International Airport June-November, 2014. Called
Life: Magnified, it will feature stunning images of cells and tissues,
microorganisms, and molecular landscapes.
Submit and get more info at
by Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz
Want your
images to be
admired by
Submit by March 10
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