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ASCB Newsletter - March 1998

President's Budget Request

The President s Budget Request proposes a substantial increase of $13 million for the Shared Instrumentation Grant Program (SIG) of the National Center for Research Resources. The budget for the SIG Program has increased over the past several years to its current level in FY 1998 of $22 million. The new Program Announcement (PAR-98-018) for FY 1999 was recently published in the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts (December 19, 1997, Volume 26, No. 40, also available on the NIH web site. The receipt deadline is March 20, 1998. These applications will be funded with the FY 1999 appropriation.

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) announces a new, ongoing program to support quantitative approaches to the study of complex biological processes by encouraging non-traditional collaborations across disciplinary lines. The collaborations will be funded through supplements to existing NIGMS grants to support the salary and expenses of investigators who have expertise in physics, engineering, mathematics, and other fields involving quantitative skills relevant to the analysis of complex systems. It is expected that the collaborations will result in new directions for the existing projects or in new research projects that will compete for independent funding.

Examples of research that could be supported by this program include modeling and simulation approaches for the analysis of genetic regulatory circuitry, the development of techniques to obtain complex kinetic data from living cells, methods to study the dynamics of cellular substructure assembly, and approaches to analyzing complex physiological interactions of clinical significance.

Application receipt dates are March 1, July 1, and November 1.

For more information



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Letter to the President of the United States

To the President of the United States and Members of the United States Congress:

There is a broad consensus supporting the President's National Bioethics Advisory Commission's proposal to ban the creation of a human being by somatic nuclear transplants. The Commission urged that such a ban should not deliberately or inadvertently interfere with biomedical research that is critical to the understanding and eventual prevention of human disease. To that end, we the undersigned endorse the statement on cloning from the American Society for Cell Biology. If legislation is deemed to be necessary, we respectfully urge you to ensure that it be limited to the cloning of human beings, and does not include language that impedes critical ongoing and potential new research.


Sidney Altman
Yale University
Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1989
Walter Gilbert
Harvard University
Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1980
Edward B. Lewis
Thomas Hunt Morgan Professor of Biology, Emeritus
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1995
Kenneth J. Arrow
Stanford University
Nobel Prize in Economics, 1972
Alfred G. Gilman
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1994
Daniel Nathans
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1978
David Baltimore
California Institute of Technology
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1975
Donald A. Glaser
University of California at Berkeley
Nobel Prize in Physics, 1960
Marshall Nirenberg
The National Institutes of Health
National Heart Lung & Blood Institute
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1968
Paul Berg
Stanford University School of Medicine
Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1980
Joseph L. Goldstein
University of Texas
Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1985
Douglas D. Osheroff
Stanford University
Nobel Prize in Physics, 1996
J. Michael Bishop
The G.W. Hooper Research Foundation
University of California, San Francisco
School of Medicine
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1989
Roger Guillemin
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1977
Phillip A. Sharp
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1993
Stanley Cohen
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1986
Dudley Herschbach
Harvard University
Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1986
Phillip A. Sharp
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1993
E. J. Corey
Harvard University
Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1990
Edwin G. Krebs
University of Washington
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1992
James D. Watson
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1962
Peter Doherty
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1996
Joshua Lederberg
The Rockefeller University
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1958
Eric F. Wieschaus
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1995
Gertrude B. Elion
Research Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1988
Leon M. Lederman
Illinois Institute of Technology
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Nobel Prize in Physics, 1988
Torsten Wiesel
The Rockefeller University
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1981
The American Society for Cell Biology

Statement on Cloning

January, 1998
At the request of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, the American Society for Cell Biology in the Spring of 1997 recommended a voluntary international moratorium on human nuclear transfer for the purpose of creating a new human being. This would allow scientists and the public the opportunity to determine the safety and appropriateness of such experimentation.

The ASCB continues to support such a moratorium as a constructive interim response to the concerns raised by the cloning of an adult sheep. However, recent events in the U.S. have escalated and infused new urgency into this debate, resulting in increased demands for regulatory legislation.

The ASCB urges that if legislation is needed, it should specifically be concerned with the reproduction of a human being by nuclear transfer. At the same time, any legislation should not impede or interfere with existing and potential critical research fundamental to the prevention or cure of human disease. This research often includes the cloning of human and animal cell lines and DNA, but not whole human beings.

The National Bioethics Advisory Commission did recommend a three to five year moratorium on human nuclear transfer for the purpose of creating a new human being in order to allow time to evaluate the safety of and public views about such procedures. The ASCB urges that the Commission s recommendation be the basis for any federal legislation.


1998 ASCB Member Directory Update

The 1998 ASCB Directory of Members will be printed this spring. If you have moved since the printing of the 1997 Directory or note a mistake or omission in your Directory listing and have not already notified the ASCB, please fill out and submit the form below, or send an e-mail note with the requested information. A separate reminder will not be mailed. This will ensure that the correct information is listed in the 1997 ASCB Directory and the 1998–1999 FASEB Directory.

Last Name:
First Name:
Middle Name or Initial
Country (if not U.S.):

Send your changes or corrections to: the ASCB national Office, 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3992:Phone: (301) 530-7153, Fax: (301) 530-7139; Email

Updates must be received by the ASCB National Office by April 24 to appear in the 1998 ASB Directory


Society Welcomes New Staff

The ASCB National Office has welcomed four new staffers since January:

Heather Dalterio Joseph, ASCB Director of Publications and Managing Editor of Molecular Biology of the Cell, joins the ASCB from the Society for Neuroscience where she served as Managing Editor of the Journal of Neuroscience. Joseph succeeds Ro Kampman, who left the ASCB to become Executive Director of the Biophysical Society (see ASCB Newsletter, Jan/Feb 1998).

Katherine Hempel succeeds Georgia Monitor as Membership Coordinator (see below). Hempel has extensive association, membership and meeting registration experience through her work at American Association of Family and Consumer Services in Alexandria, Virginia.

Trina Armstrong comes to the ASCB from Montgomery College, succeeding Carol Papalazarus as Executive Assistant. The nerve center of the Society, Trina s is the voice which members are most likely to hear when they call; she will also work closely with the Women in Cell Biology, International Affairs, and Local Arrangements committees.

Melissa Green Gilliam succeeds Jan Packard as Membership and Accounting Assistant. She comes to the Society from the Law Offices of Peter T. Straub, having moved to the Washington area last year from her native Savannah, Georgia.

Monitor leaves the ASCB
Georgia Monitor, Membership Coordinator for the ASCB for 16 years, left the Society to accept a position at the American Physiological Society.

Georgia was the face and the soul of the ASCB to many of our members, remarked Executive Director Elizabeth Marincola at a farewell dinner honoring Monitor, who had worked under every full-time Society executive, starting with Emma Shelton, and including Robert Young and Dorothea Wilson before Marincola.


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

  1. The Virtual Embryo
    ASCB member Leon Browder is well recognized for three editions of his textbook Developmental Biology. He established a goal of creating a Web site that does his textbooks one better at being a contemporary source of Developmental Biology teaching information. This ambitious site, The Virtual Embryo, goes a long way toward satisfying his goal. The homepage opens with several selection possibilities including The Developmental Biology Journal Club, Research Resources, and a link to the WWW Virtual Library - Developmental Biology, a resource site of the Society for Developmental Biology. In another section of the opening screen, students can choose topics such as gametogenesis, genetic regulation of development, and organizing the multicellular embryo. These topics have links to other Web sites associated with other textbook writers in Developmental Biology such as Scott Gilbert. Browder has also developed a tutorial which he uses for his course at the University of Calgary. Instructors of Developmental Biology will find this a very useful source of supplemental information for their course.
  2. How to Make a Great Poster
    The American Society of Plant Physiologists have posted on their organizational homepage a paper about preparing research posters by Dina F. Mandoli of the University of Washington. Mandoli offers seven steps for preparing a paper for a poster session. Undergraduates would find the tips very valuable as they assemble their first poster. ASCB members might also be interested in the education initiatives that the ASPP is pursuing by backing out of the poster URL to the ASPP home page. They have lab exercises for students to perform posted on their education site.
  3. Statistical Calculators
    Have you ever wanted your students to do some statistics on special lab projects? The Statistics Department at UCLA has put up a Web resource of interactive statistics calculators. Some of the calculators included are Regression, Two Sample, Correlation, and Stat Tables & Plots. They even have a Spin Plotter. It take a few minutes to figure out how each "calculator" works; however, you can perform data entry and run the stats right over the Web.
  4. The Biology Project
    The University of Arizona has developed a teaching and learning resource called "The Biology Project." A seven- person team including teaching specialists have put this interactive site together. On the main page one can select from the following learning resources: Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Human Biology, Mendelian Genetics, Immunology, and Molecular Biology. An interactive dihybrid cross problem set currently greets the Web user when she opens this page. There are teaching animations demonstrating lab techniques such as ELISA and problem sets based on Western Blot data. To best utilize the site one needs a Javascript-based browser. The site is done very well and has many uses for a variety of courses. You will enjoy exploring the site.

These sites were checked February 11, 1998. Previous ASCB columns reviewing Educational Web sites with links to the sites may be found online

Robert Blystone for the ASCB Education Committee

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