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ASCB Newsletter - December 1997

ASCB Continues Imact at NABT Meeting

ASCB members Stanley L. Erlandsen and Mary Porter of the University of Minnesota Medical School addressed an overflow audience at the National Association of Biology Teachers annual meeting in Minneapolis on Current Trends in Cell Biology.

For the seventh consecutive year, ASCB Education Committee member Connie Oliver of the Office of Naval Research organized a program of special interest to secondary and college teachers. The popular program is known to meeting attendees for offering teachers valuable information about selected topics in cell biology.

Taking to heart Oliver's urging to 'keep it simple,' Erlandsen and Porter, both of the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroanatomy, each decided to focus on one aspect of cell function. Using diagrams, slides, and video footage, Erlandsen held over 100 teachers spell-bound as he made the complex topic "The Glue of Life: A Role for Cell Adhesion Molecules" easy to understand and relevant to human health. Porter discussed "Molecular Motors," again effectively reinforcing her message with diagrams, prepared tissue slides, and video footage. By the time teachers saw the video footage, they knew what they were looking at.

The ASCB booth at the meeting offered teachers ways to make their jobs easier and more fun: Bob Blystone's Web site reviews to speed electronic search for information, cell biology crossword puzzles ("perfect for a substitute!" remarked one teacher gratefully), and ASCB Press Books with new information presented in language accessible to teachers and advanced students. A flyer about the ASCB Website made it easier for surfers to locate ASCB information useful to teachers.

Over 300 teachers applied to win the ASCB CELLebration video and many others visited the booth to preview it. Joy Palmer of Independence High School in San Jose, California was the lucky winner. Palmer has been teaching for 12 years and is Department Chair and a district mentor for new teachers.

Barbara Schulz, 1992 ASCB Teacher Fellow, 1994 NABT President, and a teacher at the Lakeside School in Seattle, reported on her NSF-funded Antarctica experience in "Teachers Experiencing Antarctica" and used 1996 ASCB Teacher Fellow Skip Layshock of Newton Falls High School in Newton Falls, Ohio, as the model for her Antarctic summer wardrobe. During the two-month expedition, Schulz stayed in constant communication with her students via the Internet. Reports of her Antarctic experience are online. 1995 ASCB Teacher Fellow Marilyn Havlik of the Kenwood Academy in Chicago was also a meeting presenter.


Newsletter News

Because of the ASCB Annual Meeting in mid-December, the ASCB will publish a combined January/February 1998 issue to be delivered with the February issue of Molecular Biology of the Cell. This will allow for inclusion of reports from Annual eeting-associated events without delaying distribution of the January issue of MBC.


Newsletter News

Because of the ASCB Annual Meeting in mid-December, the ASCB will publish a combined January/February 1998 issue to be delivered with the February issue of Molecular Biology of the Cell. This will allow for inclusion of reports from Annual eeting-associated events without delaying distribution of the January issue of MBC.



Do You Need a Postdoc, a Research Associate or Senior Colleague?

Look to the ASCB first to fill a vacancy by placing your recruitment advertisement in the monthly ASCB Newsletter.

  • Low Rates: $7.50/line, 10-line minimum
  • High Readership: 10,000 research scientists
  • Precise Target: Experienced and qualified membership
  • Convenient Deadline: First of month preceding month of issue

Contact: Rick Sommer
Phone (301) 530-7153
Fax: (301) 530-7139

Assistant Professor
Department of Physiology
James H. Quliien College Of Medicine East Tennessee State University

Tenure-track position at the Assistant Professor level to begin July 1, 1998, contingent upon state funds, with joint appointments in the Department of Internal Medicine and cardiovascular Research Institute. A doctoral degree with extensive training in physiology, and two or more years of postdoctoral experience required. Potential to develop and sustain a fundable, independent research program will be an important selection criterion. Area of expertise will be in cell and molecular biology of the cardiovascular system, in particular, vascular biology. Collaboration opportunities throughout the Department, College, and Cardiovascular Research Institute, with groups interested in cell biology of te vascular wall, cardiovascular control, membrane transport, electrophysiology, and cell molecular biology. We provide a growing research community, ample start-up funds, medical and graduate teaching, and a beautiful physical location. Candidates should submit a letter, curriculum vitae, an names of 3 references, to: Dr. William L. Joyner, Professor 7 Chair, Dept. of Physiology, ETSU, Box 70576, Johnson City, TN 37614. East Tennessee State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer.

Postdoctoral position in nucleocytoplasmic transport is available immediately in the Center for Cell Signaling at the University of Virginia. Biochemical, genetic, and cell biological approaches are being used to determine how the cytosolic transport factors Ran/TC4 and its binding partner NTF2 mediate protein translocation across the nuclear pore complex. Experience in yeast genetics, advanced microscopy, or protein biochemistry is highly desirable. Please send CV, reprints, and the names and Email addresses of three references to: Dr. Bryce M. Paschal, Center for Cell Signaling, Box 577 HSC, University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA 22908. EOE/AA.

Scientists who can conceive and execute textbook-style artwork are needed to help illustrate books and other media published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, NY. A thorough knowledge of cell or molecular biology is desirable, and expertise in graphics packages such as Adobe llustrator, CorelDraw, Canvas, PhotoShop, etc. is required. The work would be part-time and freelance and communications with CSH could be largely electronic. Applicants should mail or email CV and art samples to Dr. John Inglis, Director, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 1 Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor NY 11724; Email; or visit our booth (#1150) at the ASCB Annual Meeting.

Electronic Publishing: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press seeks an individual to coordinate and develop the potential of online research journals, books, and multimedia products. Web authoring skills are essential, programming/database experience helpful. Research experience in cell or molecular biology required. Position is open immediately. Please send letter of application and resume to Dr. John Inglis, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 1 Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor NY 11724, by Fax (516) 367-6857, or via Email; or visit our booth (#1150) at the ASCB Meeting. EOE/AA.

The Department of Biology of Wake Forest University seeks a Microscopy/Image Analysis Specialist to operate and maintain a light and electron microscopy facility. Responsibilities include the training and assistance of faculty and students in specimen preparation, microscopy, and image analysis, and instrument maintenance and improvement. Experience in microscopy and image analysis is essential and advanced degrees in biology or related fields will be considered assets. Applicants should submit a resume with 2 letters of reference to William E. Conner, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 7325, Winston-Salem NC 27109; (910) 759-5323; Email. Review of applications will begin December 1. EOE/AA.

A postdoctoral position is available immediately to study the effects of chromatin structure on gene expression. Applicants must have a PhD in molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry or a closely related field and must have specific knowledge related to molecular biology. Desirable qualifications include experience working with Drosophila, examining protein-DNA interactions, performing PCR, sequencing, and vector construction. Send CV, reprints, and names of three references to: Dr. Lori Wallrath, Department of Biochemistry, University of Iowa, 4-772 Bowen Science Building, Iowa City IA 52242. Fax: (319) 335-9570. Email EOE/AA. Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Postdoctoral/Research Associates to join group studying RNA-protein interactions that control translation and mRNA localization, gene targeting of isozymes, knockout models for infertility and structure-based drug design for contraception. Send resume and names and addresses of three references to: Norman B. Hecht, PhD, Center for Research on Reproduction and Women's Health, University of Pennsylvania, 752 b Clinical Research Building/6142, 415 Curie Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104. EOE/AA.


Congress 101: How and Why To Talk Science With Your Representative

Tuesday, December, 16, 9:30 AM, Room 10

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)
Marc Kirschner

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), longtime Congressman and supporter of biomedical research, and Marc Kirschner, former Chair of the ASCB Public Policy Committee and a constituent of Congressman Frank, will lead a discussion with attendees about the nexus between Congress and science at the ASCB Annual Meeting. Issues to be addressed include:

  • What do Members of Congress understand about science? li>What should Members of Congress understand about science?
  • How do I approach my Representative?
  • What should I expect my Representative to do for me?
  • What can I do to support my Representative?
  • How can I most effectively influence Congressional support for biomedical research?
  • How can Ihelp my Representative become an advocate for biomedical research?

Most of the time will be designated for audience discussion; all meeting attendees are encouraged to come, whether or not they have experience with their Member of Congress. Refreshments will be served.

Peer Review Changes at the NIH
Tuesday, December 16, 12:00 noon, Room 20

Ellie Ehrenfeld
Keith Yamamoto

Ellie Ehrenfeld, Director of the NIH Center for Scientific Review (formally known as the Division of Research Grants), and Keith Yamamoto of the University of California, San Francisco, will lead a discussion on Peer Review Changes at the NIH. The peer review system at the NIH is in the midst of implementing changes that will transform the way study sections review and score grant applications; many of the changes are at the recommendation of the NIH Peer Review Oversight Group (PROG), which was chaired by Yamamoto. Immediately following this presentation will be a Demonstration Study Section, to be moderated by Gerald Greenhouse.


ASCB Education Committee Team Participates in Project Kaleidoscope Workshop

Undergraduate science education is undergoing radical changes with the advent of both new technologies and new ideas about how best to instruct students with differing styles of learning. Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) has been a major contributor to reform of undergraduate science education since 1989. PKAL is run by the Independent Colleges Office in Washington, D.C., under the leadership of Jeanne Narum. At colleges and universities nationwide, PKAL organizes 3-day workshops gathering 3-member teams of faculty and administrators from various educational settings to share strategies that work by building communities among natural science educators and their students. Workshops vary from discussion of curriculum development to the involvement of students in research-like activities (to improve their motivation in the study of science), to considerations of the physical space for teaching.

PKAL works with professional scientific societies, such as the ASCB, that contribute expertise and support of undergraduate teaching by both their own members and others.

At a workshop held at the University of Wisconsin, Madison from October 31 to November 2, two teams representing professional societies, the ASCB and the Ecological Society of America (ESA), were among the 30 teams of colleges and universities. The ASCB and ESA teams were coordinated and co-sponsored by the Coalition for Education in the Life Sciences (CELS), an organization of representatives of professional societies including the ASCB. The workshop was entitled "Enhancing Learning-Centered Environments: The Biology of the Future."

Each team brought to the meeting a critical set of questions to be considered; their goal was to develop an action plan for the questions. ASCB's representatives were Robert Bloodgood of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Malcolm Campbell of Davidson College, and Mary Lee Ledbetter, of the College of the Holy Cross, all members of the ASCB Education Committee (Bloodgood formally served as Chair).

The ASCB's question was, "how can professional scientific societies play a leadership role in both defining -- intellectually and pragmatically -- and in achieving excellence in education efforts in the discipline." The exercise concluded with the following recommendation from the ASCB and ESA:

  • Validate: offer awards for worthy educational activities; provide prime time at annual meetings for discussions of educational interest; provide opportunities for publication on educational topics in the society's journals, and legitimize choices of careers other than those primarily involving university research.
  • Communicate: facilitate mechanisms for networking and exchange of ideas formally and informally, such as laboratory manuals, newsletters, web sites and listserves; provide special sessions at annual meetings, and both hard-copy and electronic publication opportunities.
  • Cultivate: foster the development of educational talents within the membership of the society through mechanisms such as workshops and role models for faculty enhancement, support post-doctoral opportunities for teacher-scholars in training, promote faculty diversity, and assist members in career transitions at all stages.
  • Advocate: play a leadership role in lobbying for funds to support science education, define appropriate standards for the curriculum, and serve as a standard bearer for education, particularly in influencing the reward systems of members' institutions.

    Ideas for further action to be proposed by the ASCB's representatives to the workshop to the ASCB Education Committee include:

  • to advocate the dissemination of worthy peer-reviewed education-oriented articles through the journals published by scientific societies, both in paper and electronic format;
  • to continue to build a role for CELS as a clearinghouse for education-related ideas and the education activities of scientific societies and their constituent members;
  • to promote communication among societies to maximize the collective impact of scientific societies on science education, and
  • to address the culture of education in a research context.

The ASCB Education Committee team seeks comments and recommendations about ASCB involvement in undergraduate science education (contact the article authors).

  • Robert Bloodgood
  • A. Malcolm Campbell
  • Mary Lee Ledbetter

For more information about CELS
For more information about PKAL

National Academy of Sciences Provides Science Education Resource

Are you a scientist, engineer, or health care professional who is interested in the quality of science education for K-12 students and who wants to make a positive contribution to your community? A Website providing "Resources for Involving Scientists in Education" -- created by the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering and the Institute of Medicine can help you do just that.

For more information about the site, contact Jan Tuomi at (202) 334-2110.


Grants & Opportunities

The American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR) announces special targeted research grant support for a maximum award of $150,000, including not more than 20% for indirect costs, for projects in HIV Vaccine Development. These are a one-year award, with the possibility of renewal for a second year. Submit a pre-application Letter of Intent for appropriate projects. A limited number of full applications will be solicited from submitted Letters of Intent. Letter of Intent application forms can be downloaded from AmFAR’s web site. For more information contact: American Foundation for AIDS Research, Grants Department, 733 Third Avenue, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10017 Phone: (212) 682-7440; Fax (212) 682-9812; Email.

Bone Health & Military Medical Readiness (Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases). The U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command is soliciting research proposals for studies of bone physiology in populations of military age. Research insights into fundamental mechanisms of bone biology and pathogenesis of bone diseases (such as osteoporosis, Paget’s disease of bone, and osteogenesis imperfecta) contribute to the goals of this research. Projects are typically 2-4 years in duration and must be completed by 30 September 2003. Approximately $9.5M is available for the lifespan of these projects. Letters of Intent containing a proposed title, brief description of project scope (< 150 words), and investigator and institution identification are due by 3 September 1997. For further information contact: USAMRMC (MCMR-PLC), Army Operational Medicine Research Program, Fort Detrick, MD 21702-5012; Fax (301) 619-2416; Website


Letters To The Editor


I just read Sue Wick's terrific article on the "Impostor Phenomenon" in the ASCB Newsletter [October 1997]. I want to congratulate her for addressing one of the "human" facets of being a scientist that receive too little attention. Lord knows scientists are subject to so much uncertainty in their careers, let's not add to that the fear that "I am the only one who feels this way (inadequate, uncertain, etc.)." I agree that strong mentoring is an important element in helping young scientists come to grips with these feelings. It's really amazing to see the look of relief on a young person's face when one of "us" admits "I'm not sure," "I'm terrified this grant won't get funded.." or " I really don't know what to suggest at this point.. let's work it out together."

Keep up the good work!

Carl M. Cohen
Creative Biomolecules


Society Launches MBC Online

"it wasn't a question of 'if'; it was a question of 'when' and 'how'."

"a terrific benefit to the ASCB membership, to MBC's authors, and to the scientific community."

Current contents awareness, which allows users to register to receive advance notification of many HighWire-accessible journal articles of pre-specified interest to each user;

  • Future MBC Tables of Contents;
  • Past abstracts and Tables of Contents back to Volume 1, Issue 1;
  • Inline advertising in Materials & Methods, allowing readers to directly access suppliers' home pages from references in Materials & Methods;
  • Inter-Article Linking, allowing articles in one issue of MBC to hyperlink to related content in the same or other issues.

In determining to provide MBC Online, the ASCB Council recognized the growing popularity of Molecular Biology of the Cell, as well as the increased use of the Web to access scientific articles. Remarked MBC's Editor-in-Chief David Botstein of the Council's decision to launch MBC Online, "it wasn't a question of 'if'; it was a question of 'when' and 'how'." ASCB President-elect Elizabeth Blackburn, in supporting the decision, observed, "this is clearly the way to go; it's how young scientists are reading the scientific literature today."

ASCB Councilor Richard Hynes chaired an ad hoc committee to recommend electronic publishing parameters to the ASCB Executive Committee. The Hynes Committee's recommendation to publish MBC Online in cooperation with HighWire was made in part because of HighWire's existing portfolio of titles. Other journals whose electronic publication is facilitated by HighWire include Science, Cell, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and many other journals of interest to MBC's readership. MBC Online will be linked electronically to those journals within HighWire's library.

At its December 1997 meeting, ASCB Council will discuss how best to continue to provide MBC Online after 1998, balancing member needs and interests with various mechanisms to recover some of the costs for the Society. One proposal that the Council will consider is to offer ASCB members a choice between continuing their paper subscription to MBC as a benefit of membership, or to enjoy personal access to MBC Online as a benefit of membership, with the option to receive both at a small fee.

ASCB President Mina Bissell called the introduction of MBC Online, "a terrific benefit to the ASCB membership, to MBC's authors, and to the scientific community."


WWW.Cell Biology Education

The ASCB Education Committee calls attention each month to several websites of educational interest to the cell biology community. The Committee does not endorse nor guarantee the accuracy of the information at any of the listed sites. If you wish to comment on the selections or suggest future inclusions please send a message to Robert Blystone.

A venerable subject in cell biology is Glycolysis and the Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle. This month the column will explore some teaching sites dealing with this subject material.

  1. Molecular Models for Biochemistry
    This site originates at Carnegie Mellon and the first screen opens with reference to a number of biochemistry models. Several courses at Carnegie Mellon are serviced by this page. Scroll down to metabolic pathways and one will find glycolysis and TCA. If you wish to go directly to each area, the URLs are listed below.
    1. URL 1
    2. URL 2
    Created by Dr. William McClure, the Glycolysis page opens with a four-segment screen. In one segment are the chemical reactions associated with glycolysis and in another section is a selectable pathway which will allow the user to bring into view three dimensional models of the molecules found in the respective part of the pathway. To view the molecules, MDL Chime must be installed as a plug-in and also indicated in the Preferences file in Netscape. As of this writing Chime and Netscape 4.0 have some compatibility problems.

    The TCA screen is likewise a four-windowed affair with two places for molecules to rotate. By clicking on various parts of the cycle, different molecules are brought into view from a JavaScript and Chime. These moving models would complement a textbook description about Glycolysis and the Tricarboxylic acid cycle.

    Other areas indicated on the initial homepage offer interesting browsing including a nice revolving dimensional model of Protein G.

  2. DIY Glycolysis Home Page
    The University of Leeds provides another interpretation for teaching purposes of the Glycolytic Pathway. Jon Maber of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology department designed a two-part program titled: Introduction to Glycolysis and Step by Step Glycolysis. The material is organized at three levels: word descriptions of reactions, formula descriptions, and molecular animations. The animations are designed for Windows machines. At several points the illustrations have been keyed to Stryer's Biochemistry text.

This Leeds site is part of a larger BioNet web site. A variety of teaching aids developed, in part, at Aberdeen and Leeds, are listed here. Some, however, are accessible only with passwords.

The above URLs were checked October 30, 1997.

This and all the previous ASCB columns reviewing educational websites with links to the sites may be found through the ASCB web site.


Why Is My Directory So Late?

ASCB members should have received a copy of the Directory of 1997 ASCB Members this fall. The Directory is a record of members who had paid their dues by June, 1997 and were therefore active members for the calendar year 1997 at the time of publication. The Directory is printed in the fall, when all members have had an opportunity to pay dues for the current year. The Directory of 1997 Members (and each year's directory), is available only to ASCB members.



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

Daphne Blumberg
Robert V. Blystone
Andrew G. Campbell
Stanley A. Cohn
Hugh C. Crenshaw
Anne Moon Crompton
Caroline H. Damsky
W. C. Dewey
Ellen R. Dirksen
Martin E. Hemler
Kuei-Hsuan Kevin Hsiao
Ulrike Lichti
Sally A. Moody
Thomas D. Pollard
Donna Beer Stolz
Zena Werb

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