Travelers through Terminal C at Washington's Dulles International Airport have another month to catch their planes and "Life: Magnified," the joint imaging exhibit organized by ASCB and the NIH National Institute for General Medical Sciences, and funded by Zeiss Corp. The public response to the show, which features 44 massive color transparencies mounted on lightboxes was so positive, the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority asked to extend the show's run through the end of the year.
A separate Undead Video category has been added to the bill at the Zombie CellSlam, a juried, stand-up science slam set for Monday evening, December 8, at the 2014 ASCB/IFCB meeting. The Undead Video entries will compete for a single $200 prize. “The undead have a zero cost of living,” explained Simon Atkinson, Chair of ASCB’s Public Information Committee (PIC), which is bringing CellSlam back from the dead by popular demand. “We thought $200 would more than cover it.”
The biomedical research ecosystem is changing. The resources are scarcer, yet more trainees are competing for coveted tenure-track positions than ever before. The competition is made tougher by the impact factor of journals being used as a measure of research success. Fewer than 10% of PhDs go on to become tenure-tracked professors, yet this is the default career for which graduate students and postdocs are trained. Harvard postdocs Jessica Polka and Kristen Krukenberg believe that it’s time for researchers at all levels to face the new realities and, to that end, they initiated a dialogue about the “Future of Research,” pulling in leaders in the biomedical research enterprise to a special interest subgroup session at the ASCB/IFCB Meeting in Philadelphia on December 6, 2014 at 1:00 pm.
For biologists, we are surprisingly shy about the facts of life. After all, where do cell biologists come from? Storks or DNA are not adequate answers. So who are our scientific ancestors and who are our human ones? Who were the influencers, the supporters, and the guides? And from where inside came the endless questions and the itch to see how a thing works? What were the outside events that turned so many into explorers, plodders, geeks, glass washers, and the occasional genius?
A cellular eye-opener is awaiting ASCB/IFCB meeting attendees arriving at the Philadelphia International Airport next month for the December 6-10 meeting. Twenty-three ASCB members from the greater Philadelphia area have mounted Larger Than Life, a stunning exhibition of microscopy imagery blown up into massive prints. Larger Than Life comes on the heels of the joint ASCB National Institute of General Medical Sciences photo exhibition, Life: Magnified, at Dulles International Airport outside Washington DC, which closes at the end of November. Both cell image exhibitions have drawn raves on social media from biologists and the general public. The Philadelphia show is between Terminals E and F.
His parents were both physicians, and Jiaxi Wu says that, while they inspired him to learn more about disease, in the end, he decided to pursue a career not in clinical medicine but in biomedical research. So far, Wu is off to a flying start. He graduated first in his class in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in biology from the China Agricultural University in Beijing. A year later, he joined a PhD program in molecular biology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the lab of Zhijian Chen. There, over three years, Wu discovered two novel innate immunity molecules, which led to his winning ASCB’s $1,000 Kaluza Prize supported by Beckman Coulter.
Cell biology is expanding, fusing with physics, coalescing with computational modeling, and bonding with bioinformatics. Yesterday Molecular Biology of the Cell (MBoC) rolled out a special quantitative biology issue, its first-ever “extra” edition, to encompass the broad new horizons of cell biology. The new issue features so many big names from cell biology and biophysics that, if “Quantitative Biology” were a Hollywood blockbuster, the science paparazzi would be stalking MBoC editor David Drubin.
Two long years in the South Korean military gave Eunyong Park time to change his mind and his career direction toward biology, a change that led to his winning this year’s $3,000 Kaluza prize for excellence in graduate research. Park won the ASCB Kaluza Prize, which is supported by Beckman Coulter, for his remarkable work at Harvard University deciphering the mechanisms of protein translocation in living cells. When cells make new proteins that are destined to reside in the membrane or enter the secretory pathway, they are threaded through channels in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER).
Two longtime ASCB members and longtime advocates for bringing underrepresented minorities into bioscience have been named as PIs in grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under its wide-ranging "Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce" program.
Winners of a Nobel Prize typically get a private call from a member of the selection committee shortly before the news breaks to the public. But this year the Nobel committee couldn't reach W.E. Moerner, a professor of chemistry at Stanford University and an ASCB member. Moerner was in Recife, Brazil, on the morning of October 8, attending the Third International Workshop on Fundamentals of Light-Matter Interactions. Moerner had his cell phone turned off to save international roaming charges. So when it was announced that he was one of the three winners of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry it fell to the Associated Press to reach his wife, Sharon, at home with the news. She turned to WhatsApp to send him the message to turn on his phone. Moerner was thrilled to share his excitement with family, friends, and colleagues. His first call was to his son, Daniel, who is working toward a PhD in philosophy at Yale University.