VOLUME 20, NUMBER 1 , 2001
AChemS Association for Chemoreception Sciences
fostering chemical senses research and understanding smell and taste in health and disease
Stuart J. Firestein, Ph.D.
John Hildebrand, Ph.D.
University of Arizona
Stephen D. Roper, Ph.D.
Univerity of Miami
Linda A. Barlow, Ph.D.
University of Colorado Health Sci. Ctr.
Debra A. Fadool, Ph.D.
Florida State University
Tom A. Christensen, Ph.D.
University of Arizona
Alan Spector, Ph.D.
University of Florida
Program Chair Elect
Chuck Derby, Ph.D.
Georgia State University
Leslie Tolbert, Ph.D.
University of Arizona
M. Scott Herness, Ph.D.
Ohio State University
AChemS Central Office
c/o Panacea Associates
744 Duparc Circle
Tallahassee, FL 32312-1409
Phone/FAX: (850) 531-0854
In This Newsletter You Will Find:
· Comments from the President, Stuart Firestein
· Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting, April 25, 2001
· Minutes of the AChemS Business Meeting, April 27, 2001
Including comments from Jim Battey, Director of NIDCD
· Budget, 2001-2002
· AChemS Awardees for 2001
· Announcing AChemS XXIV from the Program Chair
· Electronic submission of Abstracts for AChemS XXIV: Information and Instructions
· Applications for Minority and Clinical Travel Fellowships
· Application for Student Travel/Housing Awards
· Message from the Membership Chair
· Upcoming Meetings of Interest
· Positions Open
· Call for Nominations for AChemS Awards
· Call for Nominations for AChemS Officers
· Description of the Directory of Chemical Senses Training Programs
Deadlines/Events in 2001-2002:
· January 15, 2002: Abstracts and Abstract Fee Due
· January 31: Student Travel/Housing Award Applications due
· January 31: Minority Travel Fellowship Applications due
· January 31: Clinical Travel Fellowship Applications due
· January 31: Nominations for Officers and Awards due
· March 15: Deadline for pre-registration for AChemS XXIV
· April 1: Deadline for Hyatt reservations
April 24-28, 2002: AChemS XXIV
The AChemS Newsletter is published once a year. Those interested in publishing in the2002 Newsletter should submit material by October 31, 2002 to: Dr. Linda Barlow, Secretary of AChemS, Dept. of Cellular and Structural Biology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Ctr., 4200 East 9th Ave. Box B-111, Denver CO 80262. Tel: (303) 315-5604; FAX (303) 315-4729; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
COMMENTS FROM THE PRESIDENT,
As we all struggle to get back on our feet and recover our sense of proportion about the world, I invite you to turn your attention towards the AChems annual meeting. The meeting is the signature event of our organization, providing a scientific forum for what is one of the faster growing disciplines in neuroscience. But over the years it has also generated an extraordinary sense of community and purpose, and it is that feature of the meeting that is perhaps more critical this year than ever. It was heartening to see so many of our members at the Neuroscience meeting in San Diego, and indeed to see the huge turnout for a meeting that at one point was almost cancelled. We should do no less.
Towards that end I remind you that AChems has always had a strong commitment to students and younger scientists in the field. This year more than ever I appeal to you to stretch your resources and insure that all of our students and post docs come to the meeting and partake of that sense of community that crosses all national and political boundaries. This meeting is our opportunity to commit to the future, and there is no better way to show that commitment than by having the future of the field attend in full force.
The details of the meeting, heroically organized this year by Alan Spector, can be found elsewhere in the newsletter, and you will see that the scientific quality is superb. Whatever the difficulties of traveling and security, I hope that you will not be deterred in attending what will be a scientific meeting of more than ordinary importance.
See you in Sarasota!
ACHEMS Spring Executive Committee Meeting
April 25th, 2001, Sarasota, Florida
At our home away from home, the Sarasota Hyatt Hotel.
In attendance: Steve Roper (President), Christine Byrd (Councilor), Leslie Tolbert (Councilor), David Hill (Past President), Charlie Greer (Past, past president), Debbie Fadool (Treasurer elect), Scott Herness (Councilor elect), Pat Meredith (Panacea), Susan Lampman (Panacea), Linda Barlow (Secretary), Wayne Silver (Treasurer), Stuart Firestein (Program Chair, President elect), Rob Costanzo (standing in for Chuck Wysocki), Alan Spector (Program Chair elect), Tom Christensen (Membership Chair), John Hildebrand (Soon to be President Elect), John Scott (Program Chair)
We had numerous items to discuss in this 4 hour meeting. First, we reviewed agenda items put forth by Steve Roper, then heard comments from several of the executive committee members, and finally entertained management contract proposals from Panacea and another company.
Report from Steve Roper, President.
Item 1. Steve suggested that we figure out how to have the NIH grant that funds our annual meeting awarded to the AChemS organization, rather than to the University of Florida, as is the current situation. This option would greatly reduce paperwork and confusion.
Item 2. We briefly reviewed the AChemS website (www.achems.org). Steve suggested that we consider, in addition to the current link to the Chemical Senses web page, that the society may want to consider outright web publication of the journal. It was also suggested that the contact information for executive officers and for Panacea be posted in an obvious place on the site. This latter suggestion has been incorporated into the website under the “Contact Us” link on the homepage.
Item 3. The executive committee voted in favor of a bylaw change to be put before the membership that the past Past President be established in a senior advisory capacity. The past Past President would attend executive committee meetings as a non-voting member, in order to generate better continuity for each new President of AChemS.
Item 4. Steve informed us that Firmenich Corporation made a donation to AChemS to cover the Young Investigator Dinner at the annual meeting in Sarasota.
Item 5. At Steve’s request, members of the current executive committee had created a list of duties and responsibilities for each executive committee position. These lists are now available on the AChemS website for perusal by the membership under the “members only” link on the homepage. Leslie Tolbert proposed that Councilor 2 (or the more junior of the two councilor positions) help Alan Nighorn organize the student audiovisual duties before the annual meeting. This motion was passed unanimously.
Report from John Scott, Program Chair.
John announced that attendance at AChemS XXIII (2001) was 460 people, and that approximately 360 abstracts were submitted. He also mentioned that the cost of the Scholar 1 abstract submission and database service was going to increase substantially for 2002, and that we may want to look into other vendors for this service. A subcommittee was assigned this task.
Report from Wayne Silver, Treasurer.
Wayne assured us that the finances for AChemS are in good shape, so far. However, the large increase in the abstracting fee proposed by Scholar 1 was something the society would not be able to afford. Nonetheless, the committee felt that electronic abstract submission and database management was certainly a process we should continue. This raised questions about costs of running the society and the annual meeting in the long run.
Report from Stuart Firestein, President Elect.
We revisited the Tucker Award, which goes to the best graduate student presentation at the meeting, in terms of the criteria for nomination, and how to identify nominees at the meeting before the Tucker has been awarded.
Report from Linda Barlow, Secretary.
I suggested that we reduce the number of printed newsletters from two to a single issue per year in late fall/early winter. The rationale was that the most up-to-date and complete information for the society can be found easily on the website (www.achems.org). In fact, many people were simply sending newsletter-type items to the website rather than to me for the newsletter. The executive committee voted unanimously to put this suggestion before the general membership at the business meeting. Ultimately, we proposed to cease production of hardcopy of the newsletter in the future, and rather post the information on the website and notify the membership electronically of website updates. For those members still desiring hardcopy, the suggestion was made to make that option available on the dues notice. In addition, we explored the idea of creating a promotional type of brochure for the society, as well as an annual meeting poster. Both projects were proposed to increase visibility of the society in the scientific community.
Report from Tom Christensen, Membership Chair.
In another attempt to increase the society’s visibility, Tom had looked into listing AChemS with an association clearinghouse-type website (www.associationcentral.com). After perusing this site prior to the committee meeting, the committee decided this was not a useful service for AChemS to purchase. Tom also had been working on attracting vendors to display their products at the annual meeting, with some success. The committee discussed a fee schedule that might better entice vendors to participate.
Report from Rob Costanzo (standing in for Chuck Wysocki, PR committee Chair).
Rob reported that the GWIZ educational outreach event in Sarasota had gone very well. There was good participation by the community. In addition, he proposed that we establish an archive section on the society webpage that would chronicle these types of events.
Report from Dave Hill, Past President.
Dave ran the elections this year, and reported that, correlated with electronic balloting, participation in the election was way up; over 150 people voted! The results of the election of 2001 were: John Hildebrand, President elect; Chuck Derby, Program Chair elect; Debbie Fadool, Treasurer elect; and Scott Herness, Councilor 2.
Report from Charlie Greer, past Past President, informal advisor.
Charlie further emphasized the value of having the past president serve in an advisory role on the executive committee. In this way, for example, connections with corporate sponsors from previous years could be better maintained.
Report from Chris Byrd, Senior Councilor.
Chris ran down the numbers for student travel awards for the 2001 meeting. Fiftyeight students from 44 different labs applied for travel/housing awards. Of those, we offered housing awards to 36 students and 34 accepted; 9 rooms were needed, 4 were complimentary and 5 were purchased at a cost of $3,220. The society also offered $5,616 in travel awards to 29 students, but ultimately awarded $6,797.60 to 28 students (average travel award was $243). Chris also reported on the status of the chemical senses training programs database. There had been 2 additions to the list this year, bringing the total number of programs to 6.
Susan Lampman and Pat Meredith, Report from Panacea.
Susan presented a new proposal for the next three years for management of AChemS and its annual meetings. In addition, Panacea proposed to continue to update and manage the society’s website. The executive committee also entertained a presentation by a competing management group. While the services provided appeared to be extensive, the costs of these services were not clearly delineated.
At the end of both presentations, the committee met in private, and voted to renew our contract with Panacea for another 3 years.
Minutes of the AChemS Business Meeting
April 27, 2001 Sarasota, Florida
Sarasota Hyatt Hotel
The business meeting was called to order by outgoing President Steve Roper.
Annual Report from Steve Roper, President.
When Steve assumed the presidency last year, his primary goals were to develop professionally the society’s website, increase corporate sponsorship of our annual meeting, and increase AChemS membership to 1,000. Toward those ends, the website has been substantially updated, and it’s functionability dramatically improved, under the management of Panacea. Corporate sponsorship of the society increased this year to $16,000. While membership in AChemS has increased to approximately 800, active membership has remained steady at around 650.
Steve next summarized the suggestions arising from this year’s meeting of the Executive Committee. 1. Establish the past Past President has a non-voting, advisory member of the Executive Committee. 2. Reduce the number of newsletters from two, to one per year. 3. Commission the Public Relations Committee, chaired by Chuck Wysocki, to look into a color brochure to promote broader awareness of AChemS. 4. Renew Panacea’s contract with us for another three years. Item 1represents a change to the bylaws, and was to be placed on the website for perusal and vote by the membership.
Report from John Scott, Program Chair
As of the time of this meeting, there were approximately 400 presentations, 395 abstracts, and 607 total attendees, making this the most well attended AChemS meeting in the history of the society. He also pointed out how much work the Program Committee put in to this successful meeting. Finally, he announced that Alan Spector is next year’s Program Chair, and that Chuck Derby is the Program Chair elect.
Report from Wayne Silver, Treasurer
Wayne summarized that the society will take in $177,000 in income this year, and the cost of running AChemS will be $190,000. But because we now have $213,000 in an interest-bearing account, AChemS can cover the deficit. It cost approximately $140,00 to run the meeting in 2001, but most costs associated with the meeting are increasing quickly. In particular, the electronic abstracting service for next year likely will cost significantly more, such that the abstract fee we each pay will no longer cover this cost, as it has in years past. In closing, Wayne mentioned that his term as treasurer is finished, and that Debi Fadool will take over the position at the close of the meeting.
Report from Stuart Firestein, Awards Committee Chair.
Between phone calls, Stuart requested that there is still, as always, a need for more nominees for each of the awards, and for a more standardized set of criteria for selecting awardees.
Report from Linda Barlow, Secretary.
The Executive Committee opted to reduce the newsletter frequency to one issue a year, due out in early winter. This decision came about because much of this year’s meeting information was not available in time to include in the newsletter hardcopy, but was subsequently very easily obtained at the website, and via notification to the membership via email. Susan Lampman reminded us that a downloadable pdf file of the membership directory is available on the AChemS website, and this directory is updated annually.
Report from Tom Christensen, Membership Chair.
Membership in AChemS has increased over the past year by about 160 new members, thanks in large part due to online registration at www.achems.org. As of April 2001 there were 512 regular, 132 students, and 7 emeritus members for a total of 651 paid members. However, if all past members had paid their dues, we would be at 850 people. Tom mentioned that Panacea will both mail and email dues notices in a timely fashion, so please pay your dues on time.
Report from Dave Hill, Past President.
This was the second year of electronic balloting, with 158 ballots cast, down 100 from last year, although it was not clear why. The President elect is John Hildebrand, Program Chair elect is Chuck Derby, the Treasurer is Debbie Fadool, and Councilor is now Scott Herness. Chris Byrd is cycling off as senior Councilor.
Report from Christine Byrd, Councilor.
The senior Councilor has 2 duties, which Leslie Tolbert will assume next. The first of which is to make awards for student travel and housing at the annual meeting. This year 58 students applied for support from an awards pot of $10,000. All eligible students requesting housing were supported at a cost of ~$3000, and 28 students received travel awards, at a cost of $6,798 (covering full airfare for those not requesting housing, and 75% of the airfare for students also awarded housing). Chris also reported on the status of the chemical senses training programs database, maintenance of which is the 2nd duty of the senior Councilor. There were 2 additions to the list this year, bringing the total number of programs to only 6. Chris encouraged any institution or department with chemical senses training, even if it is not a formal program, to please put yourselves on the website list.
Report from Barry Ache and Dave Smith, Editors for Chemical Senses.
Barry announced that Chemical Senses has increased the number of issues to 9 per year, with the intent of increasing this in the future to 12 issues per year. In addition, the editors have plans in the near term to have electronic submission and review of manuscripts, and ultimately to produce electronic galley proofs (html files) and provide the option of electronic reprints. Barry also announced the cost for color plates for AChemS members would go down to $300 per plate.
Report from Jim Battey, Director NIDCD.
The budget for NIDCD increased 13% over last year. Currently, the budget is approximately $300,000,000. Seventy two per cent is dedicated for support of research projects and grants, and 5% is directed toward training.
There are several changes underway at the NIDCD in terms of the details of how budget dollars are being used. First, the R01 portfolio is steadily increasing, with an emphasis on new investigators. Second, the NIDCD has introduced a P30 core grant mechanism, to provide core facilities for groups of chemosensory researchers. Third, NIH and the NIDCD have increased substantially the stipends for pre-doctoral (F31) and post-doctoral (F-32, T-32) fellows, which will increase over several years to $25,000 and $45,000, respectively. Further, there has been a modest increase in the number of F-32 awards, with a concurrent decrease in the funding of postdocs on T-32 training grants. The review process for F31 and F-32 proposals has been accelerated, so that turnaround from submission to award is now 4, rather than 8 months. However, these grants will remain restricted to citizens and green card holders, due to the will of the US Congress. Fourth, the salary and research support has been increased for Mentored Career Development Awards (K08, K23), and a Transition Award Program (K22) has been initiated for extramural postdocs transitioning to independence. Fifth, the NIDCD has eliminated both Program Project Grants (P01) and Research and Training Centers (P60). Finally, the use of Multiple Project Research Centers (P50) is now restricted to clinical research.
The NIDCD is making a large push to enable mouse models for chemical senses research. In that light, the NIDCD participated this year in a sequencing consortium, which resulted within 6 months, in a public draft of the mouse genome. The NIDCD is also supporting neuroscience-oriented mutagenesis and phenotyping centers in the hope that this effort will result in the genesis of mouse models with chemosensory deficiencies. Finally, the NIDCD is soliciting proposals for grant supplements to create transgenic mouse models or knockouts to study the role of specific genes in the chemical senses. This program allows researchers to apply one time only for up to $50,000.
Stuart Firestein takes over the gavel.
First thanks to Steve Roper, for his work last year on society membership, sponsorship, and the fantastically improved website. For the next year, Stuart had several goals. First, he wishes to continue attempts to increase membership to 1,000. Second, he intends to work with Michael Lampman and any interested parties, to build on the website to make it scientifically useful, in addition to its use as a communication tool. Third, he proposed to develop more corporate and industry ties, to improve corporate support as well as scientific interaction. He also would like to work to continue to develop programs for young scientists within the chemical senses. Finally, he is looking forward to working with Alan Spector to make an even better meeting next year.