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ASCB Newsletter - June 2000

Massague Named Porter Lecturer

Joan Massague of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has been named to give the 19th Annual Keith R. Porter Lecture at the ASCB 40th Annual Meeting.

Massague has been the leader in establishing the TGF-b signalling pathway. He was the first to identify and characterize the three separate surface receptors and among the groups which cloned them. He then went on to dissect the inter-receptor events that generate the signal in some very elegant experiments. Most recently, he has been in the thick of the rapid elucidation of the Smad signal transducers downstream of the receptors. “His work represents a sustained attack on a central problem in cell biology, prosecuted with elegance and using whatever techniques were required for each step,” notes ASCB President Richard Hynes.

The Lecture will be Tuesday evening, December 12 in San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center.


Goeddel, Serafini, Williams Slated for Third Biotech Symposium

Joan Brugge of Harvard Medical School will moderate the third Annual Biotechnology Symposium on Tuesday, December 12 at 8:15 pm at the ASCB Annual Meeting in San Francisco.


Call for Nominations 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. 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.

  1. Biology Study Area
    This site is maintained by the University of Washington and funded by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. To quote the first page: “The Biology Study Area (BSA) is a room where students in the biological sciences may study individually or in groups, work on computer-based assignments, and get assistance for either computer or biology problems. The BSA is staffed by a biologist during working hours and by a computer technician during evening hours.” The end result is a multifaceted resource. By choosing the path called “Data, protocols, problems, links,” one finds a treasure trove of information. Numerous links are found to almost everything biological. Examples include: the Virtual Biosciences Library, a Directory for Botany, NBII Metadata Clearinghouse Gateway, BioChemNet, and Microbiology on the Net. One path takes the user to a whole set of DNA Sequence Analysis tools maintained at Baylor College of Medicine. A whole range of Genome databases are “sequenced” for the user. A list of ecological tools are also provided. There a host of links to a whole realm of biological images ranging from 3D reconstructions of human anatomy to a whole brain atlas. If you are an instructor looking for teaching resources, this is a good place to begin. Please note that some of the numerous links are no longer functional
  2. Karyotyping
    One of the choices at the BSA URL listed above represents a simple, elegant answer to having students working with human chromosome karyotyping. The Karyotyping site allows a person to examine a field of human chromosomes and on-line align the chromosomes, then arrange the chromosomes by size, and then group the chromosomes. The “student” gets the feel of what it would be like trying to determine a karyotype. There are three sets of chromosome fields. The plug-in Shockwave is needed for your Web browser but it is free and a path to its location is easy to locate. It is tough work to pull the 23 pairs of chromosomes together and an exercise built around the experience would enrich lecture material on the topic. Dave Hurley at the University of Washington is responsible for this wonderful education tool. As much as I like this site, the first image tended to lock my browser from time to time.
  3. Dennis Kunkel’s Microscopy
    This URL is maintained at the Pacific Biomedical Research Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Dennis Kunkel has assembled a collection of micrographs based on SEM, TEM, and LM. The high quality images are categorized into twelve groups including: algae, arachnids, medical, protozoans and viruses. A unique feature of the images is that they are pseudocolored. The microscopy purist might not care for the coloring; however, it does help the first-time viewer understand the image more readily. Of the more than 300 indexed images, some of the topics include blood on a bandaid, cotton swab, cat hair, alveolar macrophage, cell membrane, and CNS synapse. The images are graphic and would easily spark interest by first time students. Each image is watermarked to preserve its origin. If an instructor is looking for interesting photos to liven a PowerPoint presentation, this might be a place to visit. It is suggested that one consider copyright if you do so. The images are perfect for “a museum tour.” If you appreciate wonderful biological images, each JPEG photo will certainly get an “ooh” or an “aah” from you. This would make an excellent screen saver collection

These sites were checked April 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


Members In The News

H. Robert Horvitz of MIT and the HHMI, an ASCB member since 1989, received the $100,000 March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology for his work on programmed cell death.

Leonard Jarett of the University of Pennsylvania, an ASCB member since 1968, received the 2000 Gold Headed Cane Award from by the American Society for Investigative Pathology.

George M. Langford, former officer of the ASCB and a member since 1978, and Torsten I. Wiesel, Nobel Laureate, President Emeritus of the Rockefeller University and an ASCB member since 1996, were elected to the Board of Trustees of the Marine Biological Laboratoy in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Norka Ruiz Bravo , an ASCB member since 1986, has been appointed Associate Director for Extramural Activities at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the NIH.

Seven ASCB members were named new Investigators of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute: Stephen Bell of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a member since 1999; Nancy Bonini of the University of Pennsylvania, a member since 1987; Ray Deshaies of the California Institute of Technology, a member since 1994; Eva Nogales of the University of California, Berkeley, a member since 1997; Erin O’Shea of the University of California, San Francisco, a member since 1999; Daphne Preuss of the University of Chicago, a member since 1992; and Yixian Zheng of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, a member since 1995.


Education Committee Offers Second Workshop on New Teaching Paradigms

Continuing the Dialogue on Genomics: A Revolution in Progress
At the 1999 Annual Meeting in Washington DC, the Education Committee inaugurated a new series of Saturday afternoon workshops with the general theme of “New Paradigms in Teaching Introductory and Cell Biology.” The first workshop, on “Genomics: How Do You Teach in the Middle of a Revolution?” was highly successful, attracting excellent presenters and a capacity audience. The series will be continued at the ASCB meeting in San Francisco this December with a workshop entitled “Continuing the Dialogue on Genomics: A Revolution in Progress.”

“Teaching biology has special challenges because of the rapid pace of discovery in the field,” commented Committee member Sarah Elgin. “We know that many of our colleagues are concerned with integrating DNA science into their teaching, and have come up with creative solutions using both wet lab and computer approaches. This workshop provides us with an opportunity to showcase outstanding contributions to biology education, and provides a format for discussion among our members with a major interest in teaching.”

The workshop will be held on Saturday, December 9, from 1:00-5:00 p.m. A keynote talk by DNA chip technology pioneer Pat Brown of Stanford University/HHMI, will be followed by six platform presentations on teaching approaches. Platform speakers will include John Jungck of Beloit College, discussing ”Evolution as a Basis for Bioinformatics Education,” and A. Malcolm Campbell of Davidson College, presenting “The Genome Consortium for Active Teaching: A Progress Report.” (GCAT was formed as an outcome of the 1999 workshop.) Four additional platform speakers will be selected from among those submitting abstracts to the Science Education Session of the ASCB meeting. Members who have successfully integrated genomics into introductory courses for majors or non-majors, cell biology courses or similar courses are encouraged to submit an abstract. Note that members may sponsor two abstracts for the ASCB meeting if one is for the Education Session.

The format of the workshop will include speaker presentations and time for discussion in small groups. Printed materials describing each approach will be distributed. Attendance will be limited to 120 people to facilitate small-group discussion; a $15 registration fee will be charged to allow copying of the materials and to provide refreshments.

“Our goal is to provide a forum to discuss teaching innovations, so that we can all benefit from sharing ideas in this rapidly changing field. Additionally, we hope to foster teaching collaborations through contacts established at the Annual Meeting,” commented Elgin.

Co-chairs for the Workshop are Sarah C. R. Elgin, Washington University, Linda Silveira, University of Redlands, and A. Malcolm Campbell, Davidson College.



Postdoctoral Position immediately available in a cell biology laboratory in the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center to study the structure and function of the Golgi complex (J. Cell Biol., 139:339, 1997; Electrophoresis, 18:2601, 1997). We have taken a global proteomics approach to identify a non-biased protein complement of the organelle in various cell types. We have identified multiple proteins of unknown function and are seeking a postdoctoral fellow with solid experience in cell biology, molecular biology, and/or biochemistry to work on the functional characterizations. Techniques include cell fractionation and immunoisolations, 2D gel electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, cell culture, and electron and light microscopy. Send (or Fax) curriculum vitae, 2 letters of reference, and a statement of interest to: Dr. Kathryn Howell, Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 4200 E. 9th Ave. B-111, Denver, CO 80262. Phone: (303) 315-6248; Fax (303) 315-4729; The University of Colorado is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

Postdoc position in Nuclear Transport. We are seeking an imaginative and enthusiastic researcher to join our group in investigations of structural aspects of Nuclear Pore Dynamics; involving the molecular mechanisms of transport through the pore complex, and the disassembly and reformation of the pore at cell division. Most of this work is performed in amphibian systems, either in oocytes or with in vitro nuclear formation. Experimental modulation of these systems requires a cell biological approach which incorporates molecular and biochemical techniques.We are probably best known for the Field Emission Scanning EM visualisations of the Nuclear Pore (see Allen et al J.Cell Sci,113 ,2000), although we also routinely utilise confocal microscopy and TEM. Most of our endpoints are structural, but experience of microscopy is not essential, and can be substituted by enthusiasm to learn. Salary: Negotiable. Position: Currently available. Location: Paterson Institute Manchester, U.K.. Contact Terry Allen.

Postdoctoral position. We have identified conserved genes and proteins in Chlamydomonas, C. elegans, Drosophila, sea urchin, mouse and human (J. Neurosci 18:8912; Mol Biol Cell 11:201-215) required for assembly of centrioles, motile & sensory cilia, and flagella. We seek a recent Ph.D. to continue these studies using genetic, biochemical & structural approaches, offering a 1-year renewable fellowship after September 1, 2000. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Send initial resumé & addresses of £ 3 references to: Dr. Richard Linck, Genetics Cell Biology & Development, 6-160 Jackson Hall, University of Minnesota, 321 Church St, Minneapolis, MN 55455.

Microscopist: To manage light and electron microscopy facility. Minimal degree requirement MS/BS. Experience with confocal microscopy, computerized image analysis and histological sample preparation essential. Experience in SEM/TEM sample preparation and video microscopy desirable. Must be an interactive person willing to facilitate microscopy experiments for faculty and students with a wide variety of interests in a University setting. Salary commensurate with experience. Full time desired but will consider part time. For further information. UMBC is an AA/EOE. To apply send resume and names and addresses of 3 references to Dr. Daphne Blumberg, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD 21250.

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