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ASCB Newsletter - September 2001

Brugge, Machesky to Receive 2001 WICB Awards

Joan Brugge of Harvard Medical School and Laura Machesky of the University of Birmingham were named by the Society’s Women in Cell Biology Committee to receive the annual WICB awards at the 41st ASCB Annual Meeting in Washington, DC this December.

Brugge, who will receive the Senior Award, was recognized for identifying the product of the v-Src gene, representing a fundamental breakthrough in terms of understanding the molecular basis of cancer. She has done follow-up research on exploring the role of Src and other tyrosine kinase in cell regulation, including their critical function in neuron growth and signal transduction through adhesion receptors in blood platelets. Brugge is an Associate Editor for Molecular Biology of the Cell, is Program Committee Chair this year and presently a member of the ASCB Council. She has also served on the Society’s Education and Nominating Committees.

Machesky will receive the Junior Award for her pioneering research of the Arp2/3 complex, its role in actin filament assembly, organization, and function.


Biotech Symposium to Feature Haseltine, Sigal, Yancapolous

The fourth annual Biotech Symposium will feature three major figures in biotechnology. The Symposium will be held on Sunday, December 9, at 8:00 pm at the ASCB Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.


ASCB Introduces Calendar of Cells

The ASCB will offer a premier 2002 Calendar of Cells, “Life Imitates Art.” The fullcolor calendar includes 12 spectacular cell images contributed by ASCB members.

The original publication highlights diverse cell biology research. ASCB members placing orders by October 31 will receive a special rate. Limited quantity available.


Letters To The Editor

ASCB Members Abroad Convey Sympathy in Attack’s Wake


Colleagues: We express our sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of the victims of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. We sincerely hope that nobody of the ASCB community, whether personally known to us or not, has been involved directly in this tragedy.

Looking forward to seeing you all again at the Annual Meeting in December 2001,

I remain,
Sincerely yours,
Your ASCB Member
Professor Josef H.Wissler, Ph.D.
ARCONS Applied Research Institute

Editor’s Note: ASCB staff and officers are extremely gratified by the many expressions of sympathy and solidarity received from members and friends overseas and nationally. We are unaware of casualties among ASCB members, and pray that this ultimately proves to be the case. The ASCB staff and offices, ten miles from the Pentagon, were not affected physically. We, with Professor Wissler and others, look forward especially to the Annual Meeting this year, where we hope to find comfort as the cell biology community comes together there.


Society Chair Appointments Announced

ASCB President-elect Gary Borisy has announced the appointments of chairs for the Society’s 2002 Program, Nominating and Local Arrangement Committees.

John Cooper of Washington University will serve as Chair of the Program Committee, responsible for the scientific program for the 2002 Annual Meeting.

W. James Nelson of Stanford University will chair the Nominating Committee, which will recruit candidates to run for Society leadership positions to initiate three-year terms in 2003.

Pat Calarco of the University of California, San Francisco will serve as Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee. The LAC organizes Annual Meeting events including the Social, the High School and College programs, the ASCB-Zeiss Run and the Restaurant Guide.


“Honey & Sting” to Perform for High School Students

The 2001 Annual Meeting High School Program will feature a performance by “Honey & Sting.” Planned by the 2001 Local Arrangements Committee and produced by Imagination Stage, “Honey & Sting” is a futuristic play about genetic manipulation and the beliefs that are challenged by a young couple in love.

The High School Program provides an opportunity for local students and teachers to attend a major international meeting that focuses on state-ofthe-art research and science careers. There is no cost to attend the program; preregistration is encouraged.

The performance of “Honey & Sting” is sponsored by NIH Office of Science Education. For more information, contact the ASCB at (301) 347-9300.


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. Immunoanimations
    This site is essentially a commercial advertisement for a London graphics house called Blink Studio. Blink has done the graphics for several well-known textbooks such as Wolpert’s Principles of Development.

    The URL represents animations developed for Immunobiology, 5th edition by Janeway, Travers, Walport and Shlomchick, published by Garland Press. (This review does not represent an endorsement of the book or Web site; however, the animations are too good to overlook.) In order to view the animations, your browser will need Flash V, available for free from Macromedia. The Blink site has a link to a Flash download site.

    The page opens with three controlling areas: a subject index, an icon descriptor, and an animation viewing box. There are 27 animations distributed among four topics that are titled: antigen recognition, lymphocyte development, immune response, and responses & disease. Approximately 60 icons have been developed to represent subjects such as lysosomes, T cells, and chemokines. The animations based on this common icon set are from 1 to 3 minutes in length and cover a variety of subjects including the following: dendritic-cell migration, MHC class II processing, TRC signaling, complement system, lymphocyte trafficking, and hapten carrier effect. Captions pop up to describe portions of the animations. A 56K modem would be too slow to play these animations effectively. As one would expect, animations developed for a textbook should have high teaching value. These animations do. Enjoy them before the site goes away.

  2. Below is a collection of URLs dealing with stem cells. Clearly research based on embryonic stem cells is of considerable interest. The listed sites have very high educational value and should help your students place the issues associated with stem cell research into context.
    1. A Primer on Human Embryonic Stem Cells
      Scott Gilbert, a developmental biologist from Swarthmore College, has developed a short and very readable primer on human embryonic stem cells. Students will find this primer to be quite helpful as they grapple with the topic for the first time. His primer is posted on Metanexus, which is an interesting site to explore as it deals with issues concerning science and religion.
    2. NIH: News: Stem Cell: Stem Cells; Scientific Progress and Future Research Directions
      This site provides access to an NIH report on stem cells. It is divided into eleven chapters accompanied by seven extensive appendices containing a great deal of resource and reference materials. The entire document can be downloaded as a 20 Mbytes PDF file. The publication is quite timely and useful.
    3. NIH: News: Stem Cell Information
      This page provides links to twenty information sources on stem cells. There are press notices and video broadcasts included among the links. A White House fact sheet, a stem cell primer, and HHS Secretary Thompson’s briefing about federal funding of stem cell research are identified. The free Real Player is needed to view and hear Thompson’s briefing. Students will have access to a broad overview of this subject as they navigate this site.
  3. Panel on Scientific and Medical Aspects of Human Cloning
    Joining human stem cell research in the public eye is the possibility of human cloning. The National Academy Board on Life Sciences had a panel meeting on the topic August 7, 2001. The topics covered by the panel were Overview of Embryology, Scientific Issues Underlying Cloning, Reproductive Cloning in Animals, Cloning of Stem Cells, Reproductive Cloning in Humans, Applicability of Animal Cloning Data to Human Cloning, Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Public Policy Issues. Visuals associated with panel presentations are part of this site. Some excellent teaching material can be harvested from the copyrighted material.

These sites were checked August 25, 2001. Previous ASCB columns reviewing Educational Websites with the links to the sites may be found online.



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

Carl Blackman
Matthew Brady
David Carroll
Laura Cisa
Jan R. DeMay
Victor DeLeon
Susan DiBartolomeis
Esther Bullitt
Harrison Farber
Kathy Foltz
John Frenster
Costa Georgopoulos
Sarah Gibbs
Guido Guidotti
Daryl Hartter
Maryanne Herzig
Ching Ho
Jonathan Jones
Pedro Jose
David Kirk
Sergey Korolev
Annette Krecic
Ralph Kubo
William Leach
Lee Limbird
R.B. Maccion
Wilfredo Mellado
Alan Leslie Munn
Patricia Harris Noyes
Yukio Okano
Virginia Papaioannou
Edward Penhoe
Rober Phair
David Piston
Nancy Pryer
Ellen Rasch
David Samois
Emma Shelton
Michael Shelanski
Pam Silver
Jean-Pierre Simon
Peter Sonderegger
Joan Steitz
Donna Stolz
Bayard Storey
Kingo Takiguchi
Fuminori Tokunaga
Alice Yia-Fei
Welch James Weatherbee
Stan Wiegand


The ASCB Women in Cell Biology Committee Presents A Women’s Professional Problem-Solving Group

An audio recording from the Women in Cell Biology Committee presentation at the 34th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology is now available on the ASCB Web site. The session was entitled, “Beyond Survival: The Evolution of a Women’s Professional Problem-Solving Group.

The presentation summarizes how to form a women’s problemsolving group, how the group works and basic guidelines for forming a local group.

Speakers include Beth Burnside, UCB; Ellen Daniell, Roche Molecular Systems; Carol Gross, UCSF; Christine Guthrie, UCSF; Judith Klinman, UCB; Mimi Koehl, UCB; Suzanne McKee, Smith-Ketterwell Eye Research Institute and HelenWittmer, UCB.

To listen to the 35-minute presentation


Grants & Opportunities

AAAS Representative. The AAAS seeks a representative to attend the 89th Session of the Indian Science Congress, January 3-7, 2002, at Lucknow University, on “Health Care, Education & Information Technology.” Contact Alliene Brown at (202) 326-6654.

HHMI Undergraduate Science Education Grants. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute announces 20 $1 million awards to scientists who transmit the excitement and values of scientific research to undergraduate education.



Tenure-Track Faculty Positions. Twin Cities. University of Minnesota.The Department of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development seeks candidates for two new tenure-track positions at the Assistant or Associate Professor level in the discipline of Cell Biology. The Department serves as a focal point for the University of Minnesota’s initiative in Molecular and Cellular Biology and will be housed largely in the new MCB building to be occupied in the summer of 2002. Research strengths in the Department include structure/function of the cytoskeleton, genome manipulation, human and cancer genetics, and developmental genetics of model organisms (including fungi, protists,worms, flies, zebrafish and mice). Candidates working in all areas of Cell Biology will be considered, but specific areas of research expertise sought in Cell Biology include transmembrane signaling, endocytosis and secretion, cell junctions, cell polarity, nucleoplasmic structure and function, and cell growth regulation. Candidates must have a Ph.D. and/or M.D. degree, at least two years of postdoctoral experience, and a strong publication record. The ability to interact collaboratively among a variety of disciplines will be encouraged and participation in the undergraduate, graduate, and/or professional teaching programs of the Department will be expected. Successful candidates will receive substantial start-up packages and starting salaries commensurate with education and experience. For additional information about the Department, and the University. Please send a curriculum vitae, statement of research interests, and three letters of recommendation that consider both research and teaching potential to: GCD Faculty Search Committee, c/o Mary Muwahid, University of Minnesota, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development,6-160 Jackson Hall, 321 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455. Review of applications will begin October 15 and will continue until the positions are filled. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

Post-Doctoral Positions in Cell Signaling and Cytoskeletal Organization. Our lab is studying the cellular basis of plant cell growth. Arabidopsis leaf epidermal development is being used as a model process to identify genes that are required for polarized cell expansion, tissue function, and organ shape. One research project will focus on the characterization of a novel plant adapter protein, SPIKE1. SPIKE1is related to the DOCK180 family of adapter proteins that regulate cytoskeletal organization in response to extracellular signals. Based on immunolocalization and GFP-based cytoskeleton probes, SPIKE1 integrates cell-cell interactions and microtubule organization during epidermal development. We are exploring several avenues to understand the composition and function of SPIKE1-containing complexes in vivo. Experience in protein biochemistry is desirable. Another project employs the “distorted” group of leaf trichome mutants to understand actin-dependent growth in plant cells. Diverse molecular genetic, biochemical, and cytological tools are being used to understand ”DISTORTED” group gene function. If interested please send your CV and the names and e-mail addresses of three references to Dr. Dan Szymanski, Purdue University, 1150 Lily Hall of Life Sciences, W. Lafayette, IN 47907.

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