home page

ASCB Newsletter - July 2000

Borisy Elected ASCB President

Campbell, Schmid, Shafer, Theriot Take Council Seats
Gary Borisy of Northwestern University was named President-elect of the Society, to take office on January 1, 2001. He will serve as President for the year 2002. Kevin Campbell, Sandra Schmid, W. Sue Shafer and Julie Theriot were elected to serve on the ASCB Council.

2,138 people, 30% of qualified members, voted. The Society is grateful to ASCB member Dan Sackett, who observed and validated the ballot count.


Shepherd To Receive Third Annual Alberts Award

Virginia Shepherd of Vanderbilt University will receive the third annual Bruce Alberts Award for Outstanding Contrubutions to Science Education at the 40th Annual Meeting of the ASCB this December.

Shepherd, a member of the ASCB since 1983, directs Science Education Outreach for Vanderbilt as well as maintaining an active research lab at the Medical Center there. Among the programs she has spearheaded are a “Girls and Science” summer camp, the design and implementation of a new research based molecular biolgoy course at Nashville's Martin Luther King Science Magnet School, and the development of instructional CDs.

ASCB Education Chair Frank Solomon headed the Award Selection Committee. Alberts will present the Award to Shepherd on Sunday, December 10.


Villa-Komaroff Named To Just Lectureship

Lydia Villa-Komaroff, Vice President for Research at Northwestern University, will give the 7th Annual E.E. Just Lecture at the 40th ASCB Annual Meeting in December.

Villa-Komaroff, a neurobiologist, recently completed a term on the ASCB Council. Her scientific contributions include early work on the proinsulin gene and its processing, “now considered classic” according to National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke Director Gerald Fischbach.

The Lecture, sponsored by the ASCB Minorities Affairs Committee, is named in memory of E.E. Just, an early 20th century zoologist.


Call for Nominations WICB Career Recognition Awards

WICB Career Recognition Awards
The WICB Committee recognizes outstanding achievements in cell biology by presenting two Career Recognition Awards at the ASCB Annual Meeting. The Junior Award is given to a woman in an early stage of her career (assistant professor or equivalent) who has made exceptional scientific contributions to cell biology and exhibits the potential for continuing a high level of scientific endeavor while fostering the career development of young scientists. The Senior Award is given to a woman or man in a later career stage (full professor or equivalent) whose outstanding scientific achievements are coupled with a long-standing record of support for women in science and by mentorship of both men and women in scientific careers.

To submit a nomination for a 2000 Career Recognition Award, please provide: for the Senior Award, a letter of nomination, curriculum vitae of the candidate and a maximum of 5 letters of support; for the Junior Award, a letter of nomination, curriculum vitae of the candidate, and a maximum of 3 letters of support. A complete packet of materials should be sent to Trina Armstrong at the ASCB National Office: 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814; E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Nominations must be received by August 1.


WWW.Cell Biology Education

The ASCB Education Committee calls attention each month to 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

This month the column focuses on evolution teaching resources on the Web. URLs for both sides of the evolution teaching issue are presented. The next column will focus on statistics on the Web.

  1. BBC Education: Evolution homepage
    This site was designed to support a two-show telecast entitled “Evolution Weekend.” The banner on the site proclaims: “34,000 million years crammed into one website.” The material focuses on Charles Darwin. Available at the site is the complete text of The Origin of Species. One can open the text on-line, chapter by chapter, or download the desired text. The second area on the site deals with “The man and his legacy.” Presented here are essays on Charles Darwin, including one by Richard Dawkins. Associated with this section are audio clips from George Dyson and Randall Keynes (a descendent of Darwin). Another site section has video clips of Jane Goodall, David Attenborough and other well-known people talking about natural selection on 90-second Real Player video clips. Also included is a debate among four individuals versed in the pros and cons of evolution. Solid questions are asked and the debate transcripts could spark a classroom discussion on the subject. A bibliography section provides a wonderful collection of material on Darwin’s life and work as well as a “Darwin for younger readers” subsection. An annotated list of Darwin’s publications is provided. Again the bibliography provided would support a serious class exercise on Evolution. Included as a resource are the transcripts of David Attenborough’s “Life on Earth” series. The site even includes an evolution game titled “Biotopia.” For browsers with Java version 1.1 or higher, the evolution simulation can be explored. This is an excellent resource which can enrich any presentation about evolution or the discussion of Charles Darwin. The site is highly recommended.
  2. National Center for Science Education
    The NCSE represents a “clearinghouse for information and advice to keep evolution in the science classroom and ‘scientific creationism’ out.” The Center was established in 1981. The Executive Director, Eugenie Scott, was the recipient of the 1999 ASCB Bruce Alberts Award for distinguished science education. This Web site has a very efficient design and begins with a Headlines section, which includes the most recent court and legislative actions involving evolution teaching in the classroom. One can quickly discover where the “hot spots” are in the evolution political debate by checking the headlines. A recent addition to the site is ASCB member Ken Miller’s dissection of the Oklahoma textbook disclaimer concerning the teaching of evolution, in which the Oklahoma disclaimer is thoroughly reviewed and rebutted. A bibliography and a links section rounds out this very useful site. The links include pointers to eight creationist URLs. The site represents a very reasoned and clear presentation of the evolutionist/creationist debate. No matter your position on the issue, this is a good site to visit.
  3. The World of Richard Dawkins
    Also a parallel site: Both sites have been developed by John Catalano. The first list URL is a reorganization of the second URL. The World-of Dawkins begins with a headlines section that contains the audio version of Prince Charles’ Reith lecture and Dawkins’ response. The site provides an extensive review of the work of Dawkins, and an interesting view of religion and evolutionary science. However, the Features area reviews a wide range of books and currently deals with Michael Behe’s interesting, intelligently designed book entitled “Darwin’s Black Box.” There is a section that follows by Stephen Gould. The site provides a wide variety of links and resources. It follows in much greater detail the political moves involving the teaching of evolution than the NCSE site listed above. If you desire to update yourself where the evolution/creationist issue is today, this is a good place to begin.
  4. Discovery Institute
    The Discovery Institute states that it is a “non-profit, non-partisan, public policy think tank headquartered in Seattle dealing with national and international affairs. The Institute is dedicated to exploring and promoting public policies that advance representative democracy, free enterprise and individual liberty." An examination of its Web site reveals that a major thrust of its purpose is to explore the "Intelligent Design" approach to creationism. The Discovery Institute is listed here to provide an "alternative view" to the evolution sites above. The site is very current and maintains a listing of major conferences dealing with intelligent design and creationism. It is curious to see articles about Richard Dawkins and national defense side-by-side. The Institute is a political action group and provides a window into anti-evolution views. Their activities bear careful scrutiny. The Discovery Institute had in May a House Judiciary Committee briefing on Capitol Hill which was titled "Scientific evidence of intelligent design and implications for public policy and education."

These sites were checked June 15, 2000. Previous ASCB columns reviewing Educational web sites with the links to the sites may be found online.

—Robert Blystone for the ASCB Education Committee


Minorities Affairs Committee Gets Politically Active, Discusses Database and Summer Programs

J.K. Haynes and Donella Wilson chaired the recent semi-annual meeting of the ASCB Minorities Affairs Committee in Bethesda. The meeting was attended by Committee members Virginetta Cannon, Dan Chavez, William Eckberg, Joseph Hall, Vincent Hollis, Donald Kimmel, Sandra Murray and Maria Elena Zavala, ad hoc members Conrad Messam and Eva McGhee, guests Robert Dottin and Mekbib Gemeda, and ASCB staff member Dottie Doyle.

Haynes and Wilson reported on meetings with the Georgia Congressional delegation the day prior to the MAC meeting. They reported on the Health Care Fairness Act, intended to increase the federal commitment to biomedical research on minority health, improve data collection on minorities, and implement demonstration projects that address bias in the health care system. The bill would elevate the NIH Office of Research on Minority Health to a Center for Research on Minority Health, increasing its influence. Haynes and Wilson reported that several former MARC/ MBRS students are serving as Congressional staff. They successfully recruited two members of Congress, Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) to membership in the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus.

The Committee received a comprehensive demonstration of the Just Garcia Hill Minorities Database, www.justgarciahill.org, from Dottin and Gemeda. The ASCB/MAC has advocated for such a database of minority scientists and students to facilitate networking and mentoring, and was instrumental in developing the NIH grant application, in cooperation with Sigma Xi, to support further development and expansion of the website.

Murray reported that the organizers of the NSF-supported Workshop on “Access by Minority Investigators to NSF Extramural Support” continue to discuss methods to increase the success of minority applicants for NSF funds. Committee members urged Murray to encourage organizers to stress inclusion of all underrepresented minority groups in this renewal effort.

Committee members continue to express the need for development of new criteria for admission to graduate schools and identification of effective approaches to gaining current data on the status of minorities in the science workforce. Hall and Kimmel are exploring these issues.

Zavala was recognized as Presidentelect of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos & Native Americans in Science, succeeding fellow ASCB member David Burgess. The MAC will again participate in the annual SACNAS meeting through sponsorship of a cell biology symposium and student travel awards, as well as distribution of ASCB materials at an exhibit booth.

ASCB/MAC-funded Marine Biological Laboratory course participants and ASCB/MAC Visiting Professors began their summer activities in May and June. Ten students will be supported by MAC at the MBL this summer, representing an increase compared to recent years.

ASCB/MAC Linkage Fellows from seven participating minority-serving institutions will meet at the MBL in July for an orientation to MAC programs, to enhance communication between Fellows and MAC members, and to develop an action plan for institutions.

Hall plans to expand the Minority Summer Research Program list to include more industry programs.

The MAC discussed the following 2000 Annual Meeting activities:

  • The Saturday Survival Skills Mentoring Symposium;
  • The EdComm/MAC Information Booth;
  • The MAC Poster Session;
  • Expansion of promotion of the Travel Award Program to more minority serving institutions, and
  • The E. E. Just Lecture


Members In The News

Birgit Satir of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, an ASCB member since 1968, received the 2000 Rescue Award from the Samuel Friedman Foundation. The Award was established in gratitude of the role played by the Danish people in defense of Jews during the Holocaust. Satir, the first woman to win the award since its inception in 1984, is being honored for her contribution to cell biology.


AXXS 2000

ASCB, NIH Host June Follow-up to Successful Workshop on the Role of Scientific Societies in the Advancement of Women’s Careers


Call for Calendar Images

The ASCB seeks beautiful cellular images to feature in a 2001 Cell Biology Calendar, to be introduced at the 40th Annual Meeting in San Francisco this December.

ASCB members are encouraged to submit high-resolution digital images, slides or prints to:
Paul Hunter
The American Society for Cell Biology
9650 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20814-3992



Research associate/Postdoctoral fellow position available to study cellular and molecular basis of smooth muscle and enteric neural dysfunction in gut inflammation. Experience in signal transduction, molecular genetics, cell culture, molecular biology, immunohistochemistry and biochemical measurements is desirable. Send curriculum vitae and names of two references to: Sushil K. Sarna, Ph.D., Department of Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, 9200 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226. Fax: (414) 454-0152.

Postdoctoral Position immediately available in the Dept of Medicine/ GI Division at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center to study the role of cytoskeletal linking proteins in epithelial function and disease. To investigate these questions, we use epithelial cell lines and employ molecular, cellular, microscopy and physiologic techniques. Current interests are focused on PDZ proteins in epithelial signaling and transport. Send (or FAX) curriculum vitae, 2 letters of reference, and a statement of interest to: Dr. Brian Doctor, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 4200 E. 9th Ave. Box B-158, Denver, CO 80262. Phone: (303) 315-3535; Fax (303) 315-3507; The University of Colorado is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Position available to study inherited chromosome instability syndromes, DNA repair, and cancer susceptibility genes. For references, see Nature Genetics 17:487-490, 1997; MCB 19:48664873, 1999; PNAS 95:13085-13090, 1998. Experience in molecular and cell biology is required. Send curriculum vitae, a brief description of research experience, and names of three references to: Dr. Alan D’Andrea, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115.

Postdoctoral Position at UMN Applied Vascular Biology. An NHLBI grant to develop a bioartificial artery includes postdoc funding to focus on cell/molecular biology aspects of EC-SMCECM reciprocity, with a new opportunity involving novel stem cells. The position is available now. This person will interact with graduate students involved in fabrication and functional testing and be co-supervised by Dr. Ted Oegema. For more information. Candidates with relevant training should E-mail a CV including at least three references to Prof. Bob Tranquillo. University of Minnesota is an Equal Opportunity Educator and Employer.

Research Assistant Professor University of Washington
The Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Washington is seeking candidates for the non-tenure track position of Research Assistant Professor. The candidate should have a Ph.D. with a background in developmental neurobiology. He/she should have at least 7 years postdoctoral experience in the study of sensory system development, with complementary skills in embryonic dissection and manipulation, gene manipulation in avian embryos, surgical manipulation in mammalian brains, cell culture, confocal microscopy, and anatomy. The successful candidate will study mechanisms of development in the auditory brainstem nuclei.

Please submit your C.V. to: Edwin Rubel, Ph.D., Professor Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery University of Washington Box 357923 Seattle, WA 98195-7923 The University of Washington is building a culturally diverse faculty and strongly encourages applications from female and minority candidates. The University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

Faculty Position in Plant Cell Biology Department of Botany and Plant Sciences
University of California Riverside, California 92521-0124 Fax (909) 787-4437 Voice (909) 787-4401

The Department of Botany and Plant Sciences invites applications for an open-level position (Assistant, Associate or Full professor) in plant cell biology. The candidate will join an active and collegial department with broad interests in plant biology. Individuals should work at the forefront of contemporary plant cell biology in an area such as, but not limited to, cell cycle regulation, cell wall or cytoskeleton dynamics and function, programmed cell death, protein targeting, or signal transduction. The successful candidate would be expected to establish and maintain a vigorous, innovative research program, have a strong commitment to excellence in teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and participate in interdepartmental graduate programs. The position includes an appointment in the Agricultural Experiment Station and will be available July 1, 2001. Applicants must hold a Ph.D., and postdoctoral experience is essential for candidates at the assistant level.

Evaluation of applications will begin August 15, 2000 and continue until the position is filled. Interested individuals should: (1) submit a curriculum vitae, (2) provide a statement of research interests, and (3) have letters from three references sent (assistant level) or provide names and addresses of three references (associate and full level) to: Dr. Elizabeth M. Lord, Chair Department of Botany and Plant Sciences University of California Riverside, CA 92521-0124. For additional information on the Department and campus. The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Developmental/Stem Cell Biologist
An Assistant Scientist position is open in the Division of Reproductive Sciences at the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center/Oregon Health Sciences University (ORPRC/OHSU) for a developmental/stem cell biologist. The position includes a joint appointment in the appropriate academic department at OHSU. Excellent start-up support and laboratory space is available at ORPRC. We seek individuals who are using molecular, genetic and/or cell biological approaches to explore developmental processes in mammals through use of stem cell technology, gene targeting, conditional gene expression or other modern approaches. Please send your CV, the names of three references, and a statement of research goals, including the potential use of primates in your research program to: Robert M. Brenner, Chair, Search Committee, Oregon Regional Primate Research Center, 505 NW 185th Ave, Beaverton, OR 97006. The search will remain open until the position is filled. ORPRC/OHSU is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

The Alliance For Cellular Signaling a Multidisciplinary, Multi-Instiutional Collaboration To Understanding Fully How Cells Interpret Signals In A Context Dependent Manner
The Alliance for Cellular Signaling will be launched in September 2000. The organization of this Alliance has been catalyzed by an announcement by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH, of plans to fund large-scale collaborative projects to “enable the solution of major problems in biomedical research and to facilitate the next evolutionary stage of integrative biomedical science.” The Alliance will identify proteins that comprise various signaling systems, quantify information flow through these systems in vivo, and reduce detailed data into a set of interacting theoretical models that describe cellular signaling.

Alfred G. Gilman will chair the Steering Committee that will oversee the Alliance. Experimental efforts will be focused on two mouse cells, the B lymphocyte and the cardiac myocyte, whose differentiated phenotypes are closely regulated by extracellular signals. Cell System Committees will direct the research of dedicated Alliance Laboratories.

Seven Alliance Laboratories will be located at UT Southwestern (Dallas), UC San Francisco, UC San Diego, Caltech (Pasadena), and Stanford (Palo Alto). The 50 Participating Alliance Investigators are located at 20 Universities and Research Institutes in the US, UK, and Canada.

The Alliance seeks members to act as scientific collaborators. Collaborators will act as consultants and create molecule pages. These pages, which will be published with attribution via the Internet, will summarize published data on individual signaling proteins; they will also form the core elements of a signaling database that will be disseminated via the Internet and linked to evolving maps of cellular signaling modules. The Alliance also seeks Research Assistants and Ph.D. Research Scientists as employees in its laboratories.

For information about Alliance plans and goals, membership, and employment.

facebook twitter1 youtube linkedin