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ASCB Newsletter - June 1999

39th Annual Meeting Information

39th ASCB Annual Meeting
Washington, D.C., December 11-15, 1999

Society Offers Online
Abstract Submission, Registration

This year, abstracts for the ASCB Annual Meeting must be submitted electronically. Online forms for abstract submission and meeting registration are available on the ASCB website.

Instructions for Abstract Submission
Graduate Students May Exchange Annual Meeting Help for Registration, Social Ticket

First-Time, Partial-Year Membership. Among the advantages of ASCB membership are significantly reduced registration rates, a subscription to Molecular Biology of the Cell, and the privilege to sponsor your own or another abstract for the Annual Meeting.

For those who have never been an ASCB member, the Society offers First-Time, Partial-Year Membership, which allows first-time member applicants to preregister for the Annual Meeting at the member rate, and to sponsor an abstract. To submit an abstract, applications must be received by August 2; otherwise, applications will be accepted until October 1. See www.ascb.org/ascb for more information and application forms, or contact the ASCB at (301) 530-7153.

New Abstract Category
Abstracts are solicited in a new category, Bioinformatics.

High School Program
Sunday, December 12, 12:30PM–3:00PM
Room 20, Washington Convention Center

Francis Collins
Director, National Human Genome Research Institute
The National Institutes of Health

"What Will We Do With Our Own Blueprint?

The Human Genome Project"

"Genomics: How Do We Teach in the Middle of a Revolution?"

Education Committee Workshop to Hold Novel Workshop

The Education Committee has developed a new format for assisting its members to break ground in the classroom.

In the recent career survey of ASCB members, half of respondents indicated receiving substantial job satisfaction from teaching. The ASCB Education Committee is soliciting ASCB members to share creative approaches for teaching college biology in a new workshop planned for the 1999 meeting. "We want to establish an additional platform to showcase outstanding contributions to biology education, while creating a forum for discussion among our members who have a major interest in teaching in areas that are rapidly changing within biology," explained Committee member Sarah Elgin.

Within the general theme of "New Paradigms in Teaching Introductory Cell Biology," the topic selected for this year is "Genomics: How Do We Teach in the Middle of a Revolution?" The workshop will be held on Saturday afternoon, December 11, in the time slot devoted to special interest sub-group meetings. A keynote talk by Michael Gottesman of the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health will be followed by six platform presentations. The platform speakers will act as discussion leaders for small, self-selected breakout groups to develop additional approaches and teaching ideas. The results of these breakout groups will be reported by the presenters at the end of the session. The goal is to provide a forum to discuss teaching innovations, to broaden the benefit from sharing ideas in this rapidly changing field. Additionally, the organizers hope teaching collaborations might be fostered through contacts established in the workshop.

David Micklos of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory will speak on "Using Human DNA Sequencing Polymorphisms in the College Laboratory," and Rick Hershberger of Carlow College will present "Using Darwin 2000, an Interactive Web Site for Student Research into the Evolution of Genes and Proteins." The other four platform speakers will be selected from the abstracts submitted for the poster sessions on education.

Members may sponsor two abstracts for the ASCB meeting if one is for the education session. "We are hoping that this format will allow for in-depth discussion of new approaches and new materials, and that a minisymposium of this type will become an annual feature of the meeting," commented co-chair Malcolm Campbell.

Attendance will be limited to 120 people to facilitate small-group discussion; a $10 registration fee will include materials. Registration for the workshop is through the ASCB Annual Meeting Registration form. Future directions will depend on the response from ASCB members.

Graduate Students May Exchange Annual Meeting Help for Registration, Social Ticket

Students who are interested in volunteering time (up to six hours) in exchange for free registration to the 39th ASCB Annual Meeting ($35 value for members; $65 value for nonmembers) and a free Social ticket ($35 value in advance; $45 value if purchased after October 2), may complete this form and return it to the ASCB. Priority is given to students who are ASCB members or member applicants. Interested ASCB postdoc members may be selected after student members are placed.

Street Address

ASCB Student Member or Application Pending? ____ yes____ no
(priority given to ASCB members or member applicants)

ASCB Postdoc Member or Application Pending? ____ yes____ no
(postdocs who are not ASCB members and are not member applicants do not qualify for selection)

Return form or direct inquiries to:
The American Society for Cell Biology
9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3992
Phone: (301) 530-7153; Fax: (301) 530-7139

Instructions for Abstract Submission
Deadline: August 2

Overview: The electronic abstract submission process requires that you prepare your abstract prior to accessing the submission site. You will upload the file containing your abstract during the submission process. The abstract will be converted to a Portable Document Format (PDF) file designed to allow online reading/proofing on all platforms. Please read all instructions below prior to accessing the submission site.

Note: Abstracts must be submitted electronically. Bolded items are required.

  1. Electronic submission requires the use of a version 4.0 web browser or higher. If you do not have such a browser, you can download the latest version of: Microsoft Internet Explorer. or Netscape Navigator.
  2. To proofread your submission, you will need to have a copy of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  3. Abstract formatting:
    • Your abstract must be written in Microsoft Word (preferred), WordPerfect, Rich Text Format (.rtf) or Plain Text (.txt).
    • The preferred font is Times New Roman, size 10.
    • The abstract title should be bolded. Include special characters such as Greek letters, superscript, and subscript as needed using your word processor.
    • The abstract title and abstract body combined should not exceed 225 words. Most word processing programs have built-in word count utilities.
    • The file you upload should include only the abstract title and the abstract body (no author information or affiliations). At the end of the abstract title press the "enter" key once (single carriage return). All author information and affiliations will be entered separately online.
    Example of a correctly formatted abstract:
    Isolation of New PLC-g Mutations in Drosophila.Phospholipase C-g (PLC-g) is activated upon growth factor stimulation by interaction with receptor or non-receptor tyrosine kinases. PLC-g catalyzes the hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol (4,5) biophosphate into two second messenger molecules: diacylglycerol (DAG) and inositol triphosphate (IP3); IP3 stimulates the release of calcium from internal stores, whereas DAG is an activator of...
  4. To access the abstract submission site, point your web browser to http://www.ascb.org
  5. The submission process will take about 15 minutes depending on the speed of your Internet connection.
  6. To submit a new abstract click on the "Submit a New Abstract" button. Provide the requested corresponding author information, including e-mail address. Also enter co-author names, affiliations, and e-mail addresses.
  7. You will be provided instructions on how to send (upload) your abstract.
  8. You will select your abstract placement preferences (minisymposium, poster, category, topic, etc.) and provide payment information. Payment must be made by credit card and transmitted with the abstract over our secure web server. The abstract submission fee is $45.
  9. You will have the opportunity to proofread your abstract using Adobe Acrobat Reader and correct any mistakes before final submission.
  10. Once you approve your abstract, an abstract control number will be provided to you on a confirmation screen. Please print/save the confirmation screen. The corresponding author's last name and abstract control number will be required for revisions.
  11. Do not submit the same abstract more than once. The abstract submission site allows for revisions. On the login page under the "Revise Abstract" heading, enter the corresponding author’s last name and the abstract control number provided with your original submission to start the revision process.
All abstracts must be submitted electronically.

Revisions must be received by August 4.
Requests for abstract withdrawal must be received in writing by the ASCB by August 25.
Abstracts may not be withdrawn over the Web.

NOTE: Abstract submission does not constitute meeting registration See page 17 for meeting registration materials.



Call For Notecard Images
The Society solicits a series of images to print as the next series of ASCB notecards.

The inaugural "Mitosis Series" was introduced at the 1998 ASCB Annual Meeting and proved immediately successful. The Society hopes to introduce the second series at the 1999 ASCB Annual Meeting.

Requirements are that the images are of cells or components of cells, and that they are aesthetically beautiful.

The Mitosis Series features six progressive images.

Please send color prints or slides no later than August 16 to Elizabeth Marincola at the ASCB, 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814

The ASCB Education Committee solicits nominations for The Bruce M. Alberts Award for Distinguished Contributions to Science Education

The nomination letter should include a description of the nominee's innovative and sustained activities with particular emphasis on the local, regional and/or national impact of the nominee's activities.

Send letter of nomination, letters of support and CV if possible to:

The American Society for Cell Biology
9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814

Nominations must be received by August 2, 1999.



A position with long term support is available immediately for a cell biologist in the laboratory of Lung Biology, Georgetown University. The position involves work to understand cellular and molecular aspects of lung formation (Nature Medicine 3:675,1997). The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Experience in tissue culture required, experience with in situ hybridization and electron microscopic immunolocalization is highly desirable. Please send curriculum vitae, bibliography, and three letters of references to Dr. Donald Massaro via fax (202) 687-8538.

A postdoctoral position is available immediately for NSF-funded project on regulation of ion channel expression and function by receptor tyrosine kinase signaling networks (J Neurosci 18:590, 1998; JBC 271:8008, 1996. Requirements are PhD, experience in cell and/or molecular biology techniques, and a strong interest in learning whole cell and single channel patch clamp electrophysiology. Send CV, a statement of research interests, and names and contact information of 3 references to Dr. Stan Rane, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907. Affirmative Action /Equal Opportunity Employer.

Postdoctoral position available immediately to participate in structure-function and cellular studies on a novel family of protein kinases which we have identified as participating in myosin control in Dictyostelium. Studies will involve a combination of site-directed mutagenesis, bacterial protein expression, and analysis of enzyme activity. Studies may also involve analysis of effects of engineered mutations on kinase function when re-introduced into Dictyostelium cells. Individuals with experience in protein biochemistry and/or experience in DNA cloning methodologies are particularly encouraged to apply. Interested individuals should send CV listing publications and names of 3 references to: Tom Egelhoff, Dept. of Physiology & Biophysics, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH 44106-4970, Fax: (216) 368-1693, Email.

An immediate vacancy has arisen for a post-doctoral researcher to work on microtubule-based transport and ciliary assembly in the C.elegans nervous system. The project involves the use of mutants combined with the direct visualization of motor and cargo molecules to dissect the microtubule-motor-dependent pathway of sensory ciliary assembly, continiuing the work described by Orozco et al, 1999 Nature, 398; 674. Contact: Professor Jonathan M. Scholey, Section of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of California at Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, Ca, 95616. Phone: (530) 752-2271; Fax: (530) 752-7522; Email.



The ASCB is grateful to those below who have recently given gifts to support Society activities:

Robert L. Bacallao
Paul Berg
David John Evans
Yuko Kiyosue
Francesco Marincola
Timothy J. Mitchison
Terry Newcomb
Maria Silva-Fernandes
Richard J. Stenger
Thea Tlsty
Zena Werb


Grants & Opportunities

NIGMS has issued a Request for Applications on "Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates." The RFA seeks to encourage cross-training of undergraduate students by providing opportunities for those in the quantitative and physical sciences to take part in mentored biomedical research experiences with NIH-supported investigators. The receipt date for letters of intent is November 15, 1999. The application receipt date is February 17, 2000. Full text of the RFA is on the Web

NIH has reannounced three supplement programs:


Histochemical Society Workshop

MAC Awardees Participate in Histochemical Society Workshop
For the fourth year, minority students and young investigators funded by the ASCB Minorities Affairs Committee participated in the Histochemical Society of America Workshop, Microscopy of Living Cells, presented at the HCS meeting held April 16-17 in Bethesda, Maryland, and in meeting symposia and activities.

Through a NIGMS/ NIH MARC grant, the MAC seeks to provide an opportunity for young minority scientists to be versed in the theoretical and practical aspects of key areas of research as well as providing an opportunity for the awardees to interact informally with experts in key areas of cell biology.

At the meeting, former ASCB President Marilyn Farquhar was presented with the Gomori Award.

The 1999 awardees were:

  • Wayne Clemmons of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine;
  • Anthony DePass of Long Island University;
  • Iris McDuffie of Norfolk State University;
  • Sonya Summerour of the University of California, San Diego;
  • Tracey Williams Thomas of Howard University;
  • Winston Thompson of Morehouse School of Medicine;
  • Chris Tubbs of Norfolk State University; and
  • Joseph Whittaker of Morehouse School of Medicine.


MBC Online Manuscript Tracking

MBC Offers Online Manuscript Tracking
Authors who submit papers for publication in Molecular Biology of the Cell are invited to check the status of their paper at any time, via the Web, from submission through the final editorial disposition.

To protect confidentiality, information is listed by manuscript number; no author names are listed on the site. Manuscript numbers are included in the acknowledgement letter that is sent to authors when manuscripts are received. A guide to deciphering the status tags is located on the site.

Information on the MBC Status Website is updated by 3:30 pm EST daily. For further information or help in using the site, contact the MBC editorial office.


Members In The News

Former ASCB President and charter ASCB member Marilyn Farquhar was presented with the Gomori Award of the Histochemical Society at its recent meeting. The Award is the highest award offered by the Society, recognizing outstanding contributions to the fields of histochemistry and cytochemistry.

Marc Kirschner of Harvard Medical School, an ASCB member since 1975 and also a past President of the Society, was recently named a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London.

Hynda Kleinman of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the NIH, an ASCB member since 1979, recently received the Association for Women in Science's 1999 Mentoring Award.

Mark Rasenick of the University of Illinois, Chicago, an ASCB member since 1998, was named a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow for 1999-2000 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences.


North Carolina Day on the Hill

Members of the North Carolina Congressional Liaison Committee spent a day on Capitol Hill visiting with both Senators and 11 of their States's 12 Representatives.

Representative Bob Etheridge (D-NC) (nearest flag) discusses the importance of funding for biomedical research with North Carolina biomedical scientists.

Senator John Edwards (D-NC) (right) greets NC-CLC member Jennifer Trauth of Duke University. Edwards expressed his commitment to “champion” biomedical research.

North Carolina Congressional Liaison Committee members meet with Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), (center, in front of mirror) in the stately Senate Foreign Relations Room.

NC-CLC members Paul Fletcher of East Carolina University (left) and Ken Bost of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte meet with North Carolina Representative Sue Myrick (R-NC).

Congressman David Price (D-NC) (left), a Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus member, poses with Duke University NC-CLC leader Dan Kiehart.


Science Writer

ASCB Hires Science Writer

The ASCB recently hired its first staff writer.

Stephen Hart will work primarily on enhancing press attention to ASCB members' work though press books, an Annual Meeting press room and through other mechanisms. Hart can be reached online.


Council Endorses Career Study, Discusses E-Biomed, Admits Over 300 New Members

The ASCB Council held its semi-annual meeting in San Francisco last month and discussed programs and finances of the Society as well as issues of importance to the biomedical research community.

Society President Randy Schekman presided at the meeting. In addition to Councilors and staff, the Chairs of the Education, Minorities Affairs, Public Policy and Women in Cell Biology Committees, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Biology of the Cell, reported on the activities and interests of their committees.

Education Committee Chair Frank Solomon received unanimous endorsement of a proposal to be submitted to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation of New York, which seeks support for an economic analysis of the creation of more permanent, stable, well-paid senior scientist positions in academic and non-profit laboratories. The Society was approached by economists at Harvard who are examining the labor economics of the highly-trained workforce. The Sloan proposal represents a collaboration with these faculty.

Molecular Biology of the Cell Editor-in-Chief David Botstein led an animated discussion of the NIH "E-biomed" proposal for centralized publication of biomedical research. The Council asked Botstein to represent the Society's support of an electronic publishing initiative which provides improved access to scientific research while accounting for the effects to non-profit scientific publishers.

J.K. Haynes, Minorities Affairs Committee Chair, made several recommendations to better engage other key Society committees in issues of importance to the MAC. Haynes also gave a progress report on MAC projects, highlighting a new grant application submitted to the NIH/NIGMS-MARC to support MAC activities for the next four years. An important new component of the proposed program is a linkage agreement between the MAC and seven minority-serving institutions.

Public Policy Committee Chair Paul Berg reported on the current status of several critical public policy issues, reported regularly in the pages of the ASCB Newsletter, including on NIH appropriations and stem cell research.

Women in Cell Biology Committee Chair Zena Werb reviewed the many events - the career lunch, the affirmative action panel, the WICB awards - that were held at the 1998 Annual Meeting and are planned for 1999. Werb also reported on the positive reception to the WICB Speakers' Bureau as well as the acclaimed success of the WICB column in the ASCB Newsletter.

Larry Goldstein, ASCB representative to the FASEB Board of Directors, reported on activities of the Federation, notably the appointment of a new Executive Director, Sidney Golub, formerly Executive Vice Chancellor at the University of California, Irvine. Council discussed the costs and benefits of the ASCB’s continued membership in FASEB. Society President Randy Schekman is appointing a committee to evaluate the ASCB’s membership in the Federation. The committee will make its recommendation to the ASCB Council in December.

The request of Blackwell Science to include a new journal, Evolution & Development, on the ASCB member dues notice, was approved.

It was noted that after a period of significant growth in the ASCB membership, the number of ASCB members appears to be leveling off. Council approved a management recommendation to commission a study of the member and non-member cell biology community to determine if growth in the ASCB membership is desirable, and, if so, how it can best be achieved.

The Council admitted 74 new student, 84 new postdoctoral, and 165 new regular candidates to membership. Thirteen existing members were approved for Emeritus status.


Taylor to Receive E.B. Wilson Medal

Edwin W. Taylor of the University of Chicago has been named the E.B. Wilson Medalist for 1999. The award is the Society's highest honor for science, given in recognition of lifetime contributions to cell biology. Taylor established the paradigm for how enzymes use ATP hydrolysis to generate movements in biology, using kinetic analysis to characterize the chemical mechanisms of the motor proteins myosin and kinesin. In addition, Taylor and his students pioneered the isolation of the protein subunits of cytoplasmic microtubules and cytoplasmic contractile proteins. The E.B. Wilson Medal and address will be presented at the 1999 ASCB Annual Meeting on Sunday, December 12, at 6:00 pm.


Blackburn To Present 1999 Porter Lecture

Former ASCB President Elizabeth Black-burn or the University of California, San Francisco has been named the Keith R. Porter Lecturer for 1999.

Blackburn is renowned for her work on telomere structure and telomere synthesizing enzymes, as well as for her contributions to the understanding of chromosome structure and function.

Blackburn will present the Lecture, New Ways of Thinking about Telomeres and Telomerase, at the 1999 ASCB Annual Meeting on Tuesday, December 14, at 7:00 pm.


Visiting Professorships

MAC Announces Visiting Professorships
The ASCB Minorities Affairs Committee announces selection of the 1999 ASCB MAC Visiting Professors. The Visiting Professorship Program seeks to introduce science faculty with modern research tools and techniques, facilitate a network with community scientists and institutions, and bring the excitement of research science into the classroom. The Program is supported by a Minorities Access to Research Careers (MARC) grant from the NIGMS of the NIH. Visiting Professors will spend ten weeks this summer in the laboratory of ASCB member hosts.

Anthony DePass of Long Island University, Brooklyn will work with host scientist Barbara Ehrlich of Yale University School of Medicine at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole on the Role of Accessory Proteins in Cyclic-ADP-Ribose Activation of the Ryanodine Receptor.

Edward Garrison of Diné College will work with host scientist Wilfred Denetclaw of the University of California, San Francisco on the Growth of Somite and Myotome Formation in the Chicken Embryo.

Iris McDuffie of Norfolk State University will work with host scientist Sandra Murray of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine to Demonstrate the Effect of Increased Gap Junction Expression on Adrenal Cell Function.

Belinda Pastrana-Rios of the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez campus, will work with host scientist Jeffrey L. Salisbury of the Mayo Clinic on Identification of Proteins that Interact with Centrin. Pastrana-Rios will also bring two undergraduate students.

Andrew Martinez of the University of Texas at San Antonio will continue ongoing work with host scientist Gwendolyn Adrian of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio on Iron Regulation of Human Transferrin Synthesis.


WWW.Cell Biology Education

The ASCB Education Committee calls attention each month to several Web sites 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. NHGRI Glossary of Genetic Terms
    This site is a real gold mine; it is superbly implemented and maintained by the National Human Genome Research Institute. It is as it says it is: a glossary of about 150 genetic terms including allele, candidate gene, genetic marker, knockout, microarray technology, polymorphism, sequence-tagged site, and yeast artificial chromosome. The glossary comes with illustrations of high quality and audio tracks where various scientists at NIH describe the sense of the term. One needs the free Web audio utility called RealPlayer in order to hear the quick loading audio tracks. The scientist who gives an audio interpretation has a link to a descriptive page about that scientist. It is an excellent opportunity to see that person's work, which in turn relates back to a simple definition of a genetic term. When a term is selected, a page opens with the following information: definition, audio explanation, illustration, and related terms. The site is designed to receive more words and one may suggest additions to the glossary. The glossary of genetic terms would have very high utility in a cell molecular course, genetics, and introductory biology. Have a look; you will be impressed. You might also want to back out a level and visit the NHGRI main homepage; it has other interesting information of both teaching and research interest.
  2. A Science Odyssey: You Try It: DNA workshop
    This site was developed by WGBH, the Public Broadcasting System affiliate in Boston. The DNA workshop activity requires the public domain Macromedia software called Shockwave. There is a link to Macromedia for a free download. The heart of this brief educational site is the DNA workshop. The user can begin by selecting DNA synthesis. A diagram of an 11 nucleotide DNA molecule appears on the screen. The user then unzips the DNA and builds two new molecules by adding the appropriate bases. With transcription completed, the user moves to translation. The visual metaphor shifts to the cytoplasm and the user builds a messenger RNA and takes it to the ribosome. The user selects appropriate amino acids and builds a protein molecule and watches the ribosome move as peptide bonds are formed. In addition to the interactive workshop activity, the site offers background information including biographies of Frances Crick and Rosalind Franklin. There is a short description about drug discoveries for leukemia and a brief history of the Urey/Miller amino acid experiments. There are short interest articles such as how protein synthesis can lead to hair. This is an especially good site for the novice who wishes to know more about the protein DNA relationship.
  3. Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL)
    Project Kaleidoscope represents a national ten-year effort to bring about reform in undergraduate Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology Education (SME&T). It focuses on what works and sponsors workshops in support of science education reform. Recently it has focused on curriculum development in the following areas: biology, biochemistry, neuroscience, the research-rich environment, and women in science, to name a few. It has a variety of listserves to promote discussion in these areas. It also has a list of highly useful links to various curriculum resources. If you are interested in undergraduate science education curriculum reform, this site is a good initial place to gather information about initiatives underway.

These sites were checked May 12, 1999. Previous ASCB columns reviewing Educational web sites with the links to the sites may be found at trinity.edu.

–Robert Blystone for the ASCB Education Committee

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