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ASCB Newsletter - March 2001

Ward Named Cell Biology Education Editor-in-Chief

Samuel Ward of the University of Arizona has been named Editor-in-Chief of Cell Biology Education, after a nationwide search.

Cell Biology Education will be a quarterly journal projected to launch late this year. The journal will be published electronically and will communicate and assess effective teaching strategies.

Upon his appointment, Ward, who is a Professor of Molecular & Cellular Biology with a joint appointment in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona, stated that “Cell Biology Education is an exciting opportunity to do something new and creative and to help foster an increased interest and appreciation for educational scholarship.” His goals for the journal are:

  1. To provide an opportunity for scientists and others to publish high-quality, peerreviewed, educational scholarship of interest to ASCB members.
  2. To provide a forum for discussion of educational issues.
  3. To promote recognition and reward for educational scholarship.

The journal’s content will include scholarship on educational approaches, particularly new web-based teaching; examples of interactive problems for laboratories and classrooms; resources for undergraduate teachers; commentaries and updates on advances in educational approaches and technology, and science education policy.

Ward’s deep involvement in education and research dates to the 1970s when he was teaching graduate and medical students at Harvard Medical School. Later, at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Embryology and Johns Hopkins, he taught courses for high school teachers in addition to his undergraduate and graduate teaching. As a Department Head at the University of Arizona, Ward has worked to support both outstanding research and excellent teaching. With support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, he directs a successful undergraduate research program as well as K–12 outreach efforts. He served as Chairman of a National Research Council Committee which examined the role of professional teacher development.

Ward’s research focuses on genetic control of cellular differentiation, using the distinctive crawling sperm of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to identify genes controlling sperm development and motility.

Ward was appointed by a Search Committee that included Education Committee Chair Frank Solomon, President Elaine Fuchs, immediate Past-President Richard Hynes, former President J. Richard McIntosh, and Molecular Biology of the Cell Editor-in-Chief David Botstein. Upon making the appointment, Solomon said that Ward “has made outstanding contributions both to basic research and to education. He is a leader nationally and on his own campus in enhancing the way we teach biology as the subject changes so rapidly. Sam bestows immediate stature to the new journal, and brings to it his energy and his ideas. We are fortunate to have identified the ideal founding editor.”


Washington Meeting Features Genomics, Stem Cell Keynote

Shirley Tilghman of Princeton University, Craig Venter of Celera Genomics, Irving Weissman of Stanford University and former Congressman John Porter will open the ASCB’s 41st Annual Meeting with the Keynote Symposium on “Genomics, Stem Cells and Functional Approaches to Cell Biology of the New Century.” The kickoff event will be on Saturday, December 8 at 6:00 PM in the Washington Convention Center.


  Call for Proposals New Summer Meeting Series

All ASCB members, individually or in teams, are invited to submit proposals to organize the first in a series of summer meetings, to be held in 2002. The three-day meeting will host about 200 participants.


Call For Education Initiative Proposals

Each morning of the ASCB Annual Meeting, the ASCB Education Committee presents an Education Initiative Forum during the coffee break between 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 41st ASCB Annual Meeting in San Francisco are invited to direct suggestions to the ASCB, 8120 Woodmont Ave., Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814; Phone: (301) 347-9300; Fax: (301) 347-9310.


Molecular Biology of the Cell Paper of the Year Award

Each year, Molecular Biology of the Cell sponsors the MBC Paper of the Year Award. The winner of the award is the first author, who must be a student or postdoc, of the paper judged by the Editorial Board to be the best among those published from June to May of each year. The winner will then be a speaker in an appropriate minisymposium at the next ASCB Annual Meeting. The award pays travel expenses for the winner to attend the Annual Meeting.

Papers are currently being considered for the tenth MBC Paper of the Year Award, the winner of which will be featured at the ASCB Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., December 8-12, 2001.

Submit papers to: MBC Publications Office The American Society for Cell Biology 8120 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 750 Bethesda, MD 20814-2775.


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 will revisit Web-based molecular modeling sites. To take advantage of the sites, several pieces of public domain software will be needed, including Chemscape Chime (preferably version 2.0) and RasMol (version 2.6). The first two listings have the pathways leading to this software and how to use them. Rotating the molecules of life in three dimensions is a wondrous thing for students.

  1. The Online Molecular Museum
    This Web site was originally reviewed in January of 1999. The site’s creator, David Marcey, has moved to Pacific Lutheran College as has this excellent molecule visualization site. Each visualized molecule is accompanied by a well-referenced explanation of how the molecule functions. Antibodies, catalase, fibronectin, and HIV reverse transcriptase are illustrative of the molecules described.
  2. Molecular Models for Biochemistry
    This site is maintained by William McClure of the Department of Biological Sciences at Carnegie Mellon. It has tutorials and quizzes that support the following topics: small molecules, amino acids, proteins, molecular biology and metabolic pathways. This site goes well beyond just showing pretty three-dimensional pictures. The image and information dealing with the nucleosome are particularly impressive. The display of the glycolytic pathway and the Kreb’s cycle makes you realize why you own a computer. The display of the periodic chart should give any student a new appreciation of why that chart is hung in all those chemistry lecture rooms. Any class that is studying molecular elements of biology would benefit by a look at this site.
  3. Molecules from Chemistry at Okanagan University College
    Dave Woodcock of Okanagan University College of British Columbia is responsible for this useful site. The site has over 1400 chemicals represented in three dimensions. Included in this superb visual collection are the following: birth control molecules, poisons, the ten most used pharmaceuticals, food colorings, and even the molecules used to flavor chewing gum. The formulary section is very extensive and ranges from methane to viagra. This is an excellent place to find an organic molecule you may have always wanted to see rotate in 3-D.
  4. Center for Molecular Modeling
    This site has been developed by the Division of Computational Bioscience at NIH. If as an individual you wanted to find everything you could to begin to learn molecular modeling, this is the place to start. If as an instructor you wanted to build a class in molecular modeling, this is a place to begin. There are links to dozens of software packages. There are links to tutorials as to various methods of modeling and analysis. There is a metalink titled “Science on the Web.” Virtually every important molecular modeling and structural analysis site is listed here. There is so much referenced here, one doesn’t know which way to turn. Kid in a candy store comes to mind.

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


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 2001 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 maxiumum of 3 letters of support. A complete packet of materials should be sent to Trina Armstrong at the ASCB National Office: 8120 Woodmont Ave., Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814. Nominations must be received by August 1.


  Grants & Opportunities

Grant Writing Workshop. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences offers grant writing workshops in six regions of the United States and Puerto Rico to prepare applications for the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE), the Minority Access to Research Careers Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research Awards (MARC U*STAR), and the Bridges to the Future programs.

Maria Mitchell Women in Science Award. Recognizes an individual, program or organization that encourages the advancement of women in the natural and physical sciences, mathematics, engineering, computer science and technology. Deadline is April 30. Contact (508) 228-9198.



NIH-funded Post-Doctoral/Research Associate position is immediately available to study the mechanisms of ischemic renal injury. Cell survival and cell death signaling pathways including the role of caspases, Bcl-2 family members and serine/threonine kinases will be studied. A strong background in molecular biology including cloning, cell transfections, and preparation of recombinant proteins is highly desirable. An opportunity to interact with other investigators working in the related areas will be available. Interested individuals should e-mail or fax CV and names of three referees to the following address: Dr. GP Kaushal, Associate Professor Deparment of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences 4301 W. Markham Street, Little Rock. AR 72205. Phone: (501) 257-5834 Fax: (501) 257-5827.

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