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ASCB Newsletter - April 1999


Call For Education Initiative Proposals
Each morning of the Annual Meeting, the ASCB Education Committee presents an Education Initiative Forum during the coffee break between the scientific symposia. The Forum presents programs of interest to scientists and educators.

ASCB members with topics and/or speakers of potential interest for presentation at the Education Initiative Forum during the 39th ASCB Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. are invited to direct suggestions to ASCB Education Committee member Chris Watters at Middlebury College, Department of Biology, Middlebury VT 05753. Phone: (802) 443-5433; Fax: (802) 443-2072.

1999 Summer Research Programs in Biology for Undergraduates Nationwide
This resource list, compiled by ASCB Minorities Affairs Committee member Joseph Hall, emphasizes programs for minority students, but the list includes information for all undergraduates. Students are encouraged to consider all programs for which they are qualified. For more information, visit the ASCB website.

ASCB Placement Service
Information on potential employers and limited information on registered candidates are now available on the ASCB website.

  • Detailed candidate information is available in the 1998 Candidate Packet, which has information sheets on over 200 candidates who registered with the ASCB Placement Service before and during the 1998 Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Information provided includes name, address, type of work desired, citizenship, date of availability, academic training, professional experience, specialities, and publications. Candidate information is available upon request at no extra charge to employers who participated in the 1999 ASCB Placement Service. Non-profit employers who did not participate in the 1998 ASCB Placement Service may purchase a Candidate Packet for $75; commercial non-participating employers may purchase one for $200.
  • Advertisements for employers who registered with the Placement Service at the 1998 ASCB Annual Meeting are on the website; candidates may contact employers directly.



Postdoctoral positions are available 7/1/99 for training in Environmental Mutagenesis and Carcinogenesis in a program supported by an Institutional National Research Service Award from NIEHS. There are 19 faculty members. Applicants must have M.D./Ph.D. degree, experience in genetics, cell, or molecular biology, and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. To apply, send resume, transcripts and three letters of reference to: Dr. Zena Werb, Program Director, Department of Anatomy, Box 0452, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0452. EOE/AA.

Postdoctoral or Research Associate position available in June 1999 to explore the mechanisms behind mitosis in vertebrates using GFP fusion proteins, low light level imaging, 3-D deconvolution and/or laser microsurgery. Position compensated through Health Research, Inc. (AA/EOE). Interested parties should contact Dr. Conly Rieder or snail mail (c/o Division of Molecular Medicine, Wadsworth Center, P.O. Box 509, Albany, NY 12201).

Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Assistant.
NIH-funded positions to study intracellular trafficking, molecular chaperones and vascular development. Experience in cell and molecular biology techniques essential. Start ASAP. Send CV, brief description of research experience and names of 3 references to: Elaine C. Davis, Ph.D., Dept of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Fax: (214) 648-8694. For more information.


Letters To The Editor

Freedom of Information

Dear Elizabeth,

Thanks to the Joint Steering Commit-tee for activating the Congressional Liaison Committee on the issue of the proposed Freedom of Information Act regulations. It's times like this that make me really appreciate the effort that has gone into establishing and maintaining that system – we scientists do need to be willing and able to participate in the political process on such issues.


Sarah C.R. "Sally" Elgin Washington University

Gilula Appreciated
We are all grateful to Bernie Gilula for his many years at the helm of The Journal of Cell Biology. This journal, more than any other, set the standards for publication in our field. The Journal achieved excellence not only because of the vibrancy of our discipline, but because Gilula himself insured that the Journal would be independent, would be run by practicing scientists, and would mature with the field of Cell Biology. Bernie was scrupulously fair and open-minded in his dealings with the editorial board and with authors from around the world.

Ira Mellman has accepted the position of editor-in-chief to succeed Gilula. This succession bodes well for The Journal. Ira, like Bernie, is broadly knowlegeable and widely respected by the editorial board and his peers. We wish him well because the health of The JCB is vitally important to the members of the ASCB.

Randy Schekman

President, ASCB

To the Editor:

On January 1 of this year N.B. Gilula stepped down as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Cell Biology after a highly successful, 16-year term. His role in elevating the Journal's prominence is widely recognized. As the Chair of the search committee that selected Dr. Gilula to be the Journal's first Editor-in-Chief, I wish to express to him, on behalf of us all, our profound thanks for a superb job, through which our profession has been greatly enriched.


Thoru Pederson
University of Massachusetts Medical School



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

  • Steven Castillo
  • Winifred Doane
  • Christine Field
  • Douglass Forbes
  • Norine Noonan
  • Michael Shelanski


Grants & Opportunities

AAAS/ASWISH Travel Grants To Russia for US Women Scientists
The American Association for the Advancement of Science's (AAAS) Program on Europe and Central Asia and the Association for the Support of Women in Sciences and Humanities (ASWISH) in Russia with support form the US National Science Foundation announce two, one-time travel grants to promote the participation of US women scientists in scientific meetings. U.S. participants will be reimbursed up to three thousand dollars for travel, food, and lodging expenses.

The competition is open to AAAS members and members of AAAS affiliated societies who wish to attend a meeting and give a paper at a professional conference in Russia. Applicants should be at least post-doctoral students within five years of a doctoral degree. Eligible Scientific Disciplines are Physics, Chemistry, Biology, or Environmental Sciences. The applicant must already have their paper, presentation, or poster presentation accepted at the conference.

Applications must be received by May 31, 1999, and will be announced by June 30, 1999. Contact the coordinator at Fax: (202) 289-4958.

AAAS/ASWISH Travel Grants for Russian Women Scientists
The Association for Support of Women in Sciences and Humanities (ASWISH) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science's (AAAS) Program on Europe and Central Asia, with support from the US National Science Foundation, announce two, one-time travel grants to promote the participation of Russian women scientists in US scientific meetings.

The competition is open to women scientists from Russia. Preference will be given to those applicants who wish to attend a meeting and give a paper at a professional conference in the United States. Applicants should be post-doctoral researchers within five years of a doctoral degree. Eligible scientific disciplines are Physics, Chemistry, Biology, or Environmental Sciences. The applicant must already have their paper, presentation, or poster presentation accepted at the conference.

Russian participants will be provided a ticket, hoPhone: and conference registration fees, one-time visa expenses, and an advance for food and other incidentals.

Applications must be received by May 31, 1999. The applications will be reviewed by a panel of experts and the winners will be announced by June 30, 1999. Contact the coordinator at Fax: (202) 289-4958.


Members In The News

David Brautigan of the University of Virginia, an ASCB member since 1991, was chosen to be the first FASEB Vice President for Science Policy. He will serve as Chair of the Science Policy Committee from July 1, 1999 to June 30, 2000.

Leslie Leinwand of the University of Colorado, an ASCB member since 1988, was recently appointed to the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council. Leinwand will serve a four-year term, advising the Secretary of Health & Human Services and the NIH/NIGMS on public policy matters and reviewing applications for NIGMS research and training grants.



The ASCB recently hosted a reception honoring the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). SACNAS President David Burgess is a longstanding ASCB member. Present were SACNAS Board members and representatives from several scientific societies, the NIH MARC and MBRS programs, the NSF and others.


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. Roche-HIV.com
    This site is maintained by Hoffmann-La Roche pharmaceutical company. Its primary purpose is to provide HIV information to the non-USA pharmaceutical market. The site provides superb multimedia materials about HIV that have high educational impact. To take full advantage of the site, one must have a browser with Macromedia Shockwave Flash installed, and for which directions to a free download site are given. The first page presents the viewer with seven options; a good place to start is with the HIV Lifecycle. The presentation is available in English or Spanish. The stated purpose of this section is "to illustrate the processes that take place after cellular infection resulting in viral replication" and "to illustrate the specific stages in the lifecycle that are effectively targeted by specialized drug therapies." Excellent graphics and animations are used that clearly demonstrate salient features of the HIV life cycle, which include viral binding and entry, reverse transcription, DNA integration, viral replication, viral budding, and viral maturation. The sound effects enhance the visual element. The home page also gives a choice depicting viral load, and includes an eleven step PCR animated tutorial. Other components of the site are more directed to commercial pharmaceutical elements. The site would easily support college level classes dealing with viral replication or HIV. Thanks to ASCB member Malcolm Campbell for directions to this excellent URL.
  2. DNA from the Beginning Tutorial
    The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory with funding from the Macy Foundation has developed a site that is advertised as the "World's First Online Animated Genetics Primer." The CSHL homepage further states that the primer is "targeted at the level of a bright teenager and geared towards people without a scientific background." To these ends this new in 1999 site is very successful. The primer has five choices for the viewer: Classical Genetics, Molecules, Gene Regulation, Genetic Manipulation, and Genomic Biology. Only the first choice, Classical Genetics, is currently operable with the other choices to come online later in the year. To begin, one must establish an account and password, which is quick and easy to do. Once in the Classical Genetics learning module, 14 topic choices are given including Children Resemble their Parents, Genes Come in Pairs, and Genes Don't Blend. It takes a brief moment to understand the navigation tools, but then things get interesting. An animated DNA character named "Gene" takes you through the lessons and can present questions and problems. Animations and interviews are a part of the multimedia materials. There is a good deal of factual material about Gregor Mendel, the person. The unit will score your responses in the tutorial and can suspend where you are and when you return to the site can start you back where you left off; a very nice feature. Although aimed at a "bright teenager", this author truly enjoyed the time spent with the tutorial. The future releases associated with this site are eagerly anticipated.
  3. Center for Image Processing in Education
    In a previous column, the public domain software NIH-Image was reviewed. The NSF-funded Center for Image Processing in Education (CIPE) at the University of Arizona has been developing image processing-based educational materials for ten years using NIH-Image software. This site offers several resources which can support student and instructor interest in image processing and analysis. Sample lessons include ACL Knee Replacement and a unit on Ultrasound Examinations. Image files are available for head MRI's, karyotypes, onion root tip, and metaphase. CIPE has an astronomy origin; however, its resources cover all areas of science. If you have an interest in image processing and want to know where to begin, this is a good place to start.

These sites were checked March 15, 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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