A Brief MAC History

At the 1980 ASCB Annual Meeting, then-ASCB President William Brinkley met with Winston Anderson to discuss how to increase the number of minority ASCB members. Starting with discretionary grants made on behalf of ASCB Presidents (Marilyn G. Farquhar (1981-82), James D. Jamieson (1982-83), and Morris Karnovsky (1983-84), the soon-to-be Minorities Affairs Committee (MAC) was launched. Encouraged by the interest and contributions of the ASCB to this effort, Anderson provided additional funds from his Howard University/Rockefeller (HUROC) grant to support minority activities at the Annual Meeting.

During the formative years of 1985-90, the group received official committee status and became known as the Minorities Affairs Committee (MAC) of the ASCB. The MAC elected George M. Langford as its first chair, who served in that capacity from 1985-90. James Wyche succeeded Langford as chair and it was during Wyche’s tenure that the E.E. Just Lecture was established in 1994 with Langford as the first Lecturer. Wyche vacated the chair in 1994 and was succeeded by J.K. Haynes and Donella Wilson in 1995, who served variously as chair and vice chair until succeeded by Lydia Villa-Komaroff in 2005. Anthony DePass became Chair in 2007 followed by Renato Aguilera in 2010, Andrew G. Campbell in 2015, and then Franklin A. Carrero-Martínez and Verónica A. Segarra. Starting in 2019, Michael Boyce and Latanya Hammonds-Odie served as co-chairs.

About the Author:

Thea Clarke is the Director of Communications and Education at the American Society for Cell Biology.