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ASCB Newsletter - December 2002

Public Policy Reps Visit NIH Director

A delegation of members of the Joint Steering Committee for Public Policy, the coalition of four scientific societies including the ASCB chaired by Harold Varmus, met last month with NIH Director Elias Zerhouni in Bethesda. Topics of discussion included FY03 and longterm appropriations, publishing and archiving initiatives, research priorities, the facilitation of stem cell research, and committee and council appointments.

The two-hour meeting included JSC society members Huda Akil, Paul Berg, David Botstein, Eric Lander, Elizabeth Marincola, Bettie Sue Masters, Tom Pollard, Maxine Singer, Susan Taylor and Keith Yamamoto, in addition to Varmus and Zerhouni.

JSC members will meet periodically with the NIH Director to support the efforts of the NIH to advance medical research.


  “Divide & Conquer” Available at ASCB Meeting

The ASCB will debut its ninth t-shirt, “Divide & Conquer” at the 2002 ASCB Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The caption was submitted by ASCB member Terry Allen of the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research in Manchester, UK. The dividing epithelial cell image was provided by ASCB member Magdolna Sebestyén of the Mirus Corporation in Madison, WI.

The t-shirt will be available at the ASCB booth during exhibit hours in the Moscone Convention Center. It may also be ordered by contacting the ASCB at (301) 347-9300.


Revised Job Hunt Booklet Published

The ASCB Women in Cell Biology Committee revised the popular 1970s publication that provides nuts-and-bolts tactics for identifying and procuring a first independent job. The 54-page publication, originally a brochure called, “How to Get a Research Job in Academia and Industry” has been substantially revised and retitled Life Sciences Research and Teaching: Strategies for the Successful Job Hunt.

The new edition reflects the current job market and offers practical advice for those seeking positions in academic research, teaching and industry. The publication is targeted to post-doctoral fellows seeking a first independent position, to students, and to those who work with and advise students and trainees.

Members can pick up a free copy at the ASCB booth in the Exhibit Hall during the ASCB Annual Meeting.


Fifth Annual ASCB-Promega Early Career Life Scientist Award Call for Nominations

Nominations are being solicited for the fifth annual ASCBPromega Early Career Life Scientist Award.
Scientists who have received their doctorate since 1990 and have served as an independent investigator for no more than 7 years are eligible for nomination. Past awardees are Ray Deshaies of CalTech (1999), Erin O’Shea of UCSF (2000), Daphne Preuss of the University of Chicago (2001) and Kathleen Colllins of UC Berkeley and Benjamin Cravatt of the Scripps Research Institute (2002).

Candidate packages should include the candidate’s CV, a brief research statement and a nominating letter plus no more than three letters of support, at least one of which must come from outside the candidate’s current institution. The primary nominator must be a member of the ASCB but the candidate and support letter authors need not be.

Nominating packages must be received in the ASCB office no later than April 30, 2003. The winner will speak at the 43rd ASCB Annual Meeting in San Francisco in December, 2003, and will receive a monetary prize.


Free “E-tocs” Available for CBE and MBC

Readers of ASCB journals Molecular Biology of the Cell and Cell Biology Education may register to receive Tables of Contents as soon as an issue is posted online. MBC readers may link their alerts to postings in “MBC in Press,” published 4-6 weeks before the paper journal.

Use this link to register for the free service.


Short Course on Time-Resolved Fluorescence Spectroscopy

The Center for Fluorescence Spectroscopy, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, is offering a Short Course on Principles and Applications of Time-Resolved Fluorescence Spectroscopy in Baltimore, March 24-28, 2003. The course will cover basic and advanced topics in fluorometry, including timeand frequency-domain measurements, and Forster resonance energy transfer. Advanced topics include chemical sensing, imaging, fiber optics, infrared fluorometry, twoand multi-photon excitation, instrumentation, confocal and multi-photon microscopy, protein fluorescence, DNA technology, high throughput screening, metal-ligand probes, correlation spectroscopy, lanthanides and immunoassays. Textbook, course materials, lunches, and refreshments will be provided. For further information, a schedule, and fees, please contact Ms. Mary Rosenfeld, or Prof. J.R. Lakowicz at the CFS, Dept of Biochem and Molec Biol, 725 W. Lombard St., Baltimore, MD, 21201; (410) 706-8409 or Fax (410) 706-8408.


Call for Proposals Summer Meeting Series

All ASCB members, individually or in teams, are invited to submit proposals to organize an ASCB Summer Meeting in 2004 or 2005. The three-day meetings will host about 200 participants.

Topics should be novel (e.g., combining fields that don’t traditionally meet together, or focusing on an emerging area) and include:

  • a one-page summary of the scientific substance of the meeting;
  • names of 3-10 potential speakers (confirmation need not be obtained in advance);;
  • CVs of proposed lead organizers.;

Submit proposals to the American Society for Cell Biology, 8120 Woodmont Ave., Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814.

Application deadline is July 1. Some participation in fundraising may be required of organizers. Meeting dates and sites are to be determined by the Society in consultation with the organizer(s).


Members In The News

James Rothman of the Sloan-Kettering Institute, an ASCB member since 1982, and Randy Schekman of the University of California, Berkeley, an ASCB member since 1984 and President in 1999, received the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize of Columbia University.


Letters To The Editor

Dear Editor:

We at the National Science Foundation (NSF) were very surprised to see the headline “NSF to Receive Funding Increase Over Director’s Objection” in the ASCB Newsletter (Vol. 25, No. 11). Citing a September 17 letter from the NSF Director Dr. Rita R. Colwell to Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), the article stated that, “astonishingly, Colwell advocated for the Administration’s budge request ...” in the course of commenting on a bill authorizing significant increases for the agency.

Actually, it’s hardly astonishing—at least not to people who know how Washington works.

When Congress produces bills that call for substantially more spending than the Administration’s budget request, the White House Office of Management and Budget often asks agency heads to send a letter to the relevant congressional committees stating, or restating, the official Administration position. Sen. Wyden, of course, chaired the Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space. At the time of Dr. Colwell’s letter, that panel was considering the NSF reauthorization bill that subsequently passed both house of Congress in a slightly different form.

As representatives of the Administration, all agency heads—including the NSF Director—are expected to endorse and articulate the Administration’s position. Typically, letters expressing those views are cleared by executive branch officials to ensure that the Administration presents a unified position.

To label such behavior “astonishing” is not only naïve, but leaves a false and very misleading impression.

Curt Suplee Director,
Office of Legislative & Public Affairs
The National Science Foundation


Classified Advertising

Assistant Professor, Molecular Cell Biology. The Department of Biological Sciences at Ohio University seeks to fill a full-time, tenure track position at the Assistant Professor level in molecular cell biology beginning fall, 2003. We seek candidates who use molecular approaches to address fundamental questions in cell biology. A Doctorate in cell biology or a related area, postdoctoral research experience, and evidence of scholarly research achievement are required. Candidates are expected to develop an independent, fundable research program. Strong institutional research support includes a new, 70,000 sq. ft. Life Sciences building, a transgenic mouse facility, scanning and transmission electron microscopes, a confocal microscope, NMR and mass spectrometers, and a fluorescence-activated cell sorter. The successful applicant will teach undergraduate cell biology and an upper level course, preferably in immunology or virology. Salary, benefits, and start-up funds are competitive. Further information about these positions can be found at www.biosci.ohiou.edu and www.cas.ohiou.edu. Please submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae, summaries of research program and teaching interests/philosophy, and the names, postal addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers of three references to Dr. Ellengene Peterson, Department of Biological Sciences, Ohio University, Irvine Hall, Athens, OH 45701-2979. Review of applications will begin on December 3, 2002. Ohio University is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply.

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