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Teratology Society Annual Business Meeting Minutes
, 2001


Bob Kavlock called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. Approximately 80 Society members were in attendance. A motion to accept the minutes of the previous business meeting was made by George Daston, seconded by Shelly Tyl, and approved by those in attendance.

President's Report - Bob Kavlock briefly reviewed the concept of the previous Strategic Planning Session held prior to the SOT meeting in Cincinnati (review of the meeting was presented in the Newsletter, volume 7, no. 2, 1997). The four major goals of that session were to 1. Define a clear mission statement for the Society, 2. Increase the scope of the Journal to reflect the membership, 3. Increase the interdisciplinary nature of the Annual Meeting, and 4. Reduce the costs of the Annual Meeting. Progress has been made on all these goals and another Strategic Planning Session for 2002 was recommended. This session will be organized by Bill Slikker, Jan Friedman and George Daston and will take place just prior to the SOT meeting in Nashville next year.

Bob pointed out that the Society Web Site has been updated and contains current information regarding awards, Teratogen Updates, Position Papers, etc. All with the goal of increasing the communications among members. Teratology is working with the European Teratology Society to offer joint symposia in September at the ETS meeting to further increase our communications internationally. Additionally, the Society has responded to an article in the Washington Post Sunday supplement "Parade" with a letter to the editor within one week of the appearance of an article about dietary supplements.

The Society finances were noted as being on a very tight budget which is closely followed and supplemented by the President's seeking of donations from our Sponsor Organizations. The Society has revised the Sustaining Member categories and increased the amounts required to qualify. We currently have five Platinum members who gave at least $4,000; five gold member companies who gave $2,000 or more and 20 silver members who pledged at least $750 to this year's meeting. In addition, the Society was able to obtain $15,000 in student travel grant funds from a NIH grant. We will try for renewal of this grant for next year. Finally, AIM continues to save the Teratology Society money by frugal management. The bottom line of all this is evident by comparison of the registration fee for the Annual Meeting this year ($250) versus the actual cost per registrant ($506).

Membership recruitment was enhanced by the presence of a Teratology Society Booth at the SOT this year. (The booth is on display in the exhibit area at this meeting.) Bob thanked all members who volunteered their time to stand in the booth to answer questions prospective members may have voiced. Council would like to send the booth to a Clinical meeting this year and Bob asked for suggestions from the membership.

The potential Journal changes were mentioned and ideas from the Issues session were acknowledged. Bob announced that Lew Holmes would not seek renewal of his appointment to Editor after the end of his term next year. The search committee for a new Editor will be comprised of the Publication Committee, a past president (Rich Miller has agreed to chair the search committee), and an ad hoc (non committee member). This group will have one year to review candidates and come up with a recommendation.

There were no questions from the membership.

Vice President's Report - Jan Friedman reported on the status of the Annual Meeting this year. We had a 5% increase in pre-registrations (386), a very large increase in the continuing education course (we had to cut off registration at 152), an increase in both the quality and quantity of abstracts submitted (+17%) and were still able to reduce the registration fee to $250. Jan also thanked the Sponsors for their donations and the NIH for the student travel grant.

The meeting next year will be at the Fairmont Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona on June 22-27. The hotel is only 25 minutes from the airport (Phoenix), has two 18-hole golf courses, seven tennis courts and three swimming pools. The room rate negotiated will be $135 per night and all meals taken at the hotel will be priced at a 20% discount for meeting attendees.

There were no questions from the membership.

Vice President-Elect's Report - Bill Slikker discussed a new approach to program planning for the next meeting. This effort will involve the program planning committee as well as input from the membership (proposals were solicited from the members and evaluated by the committee). Bill thanked the membership for their input. The meeting will feature joint sessions with NBTS, OTIS and ETS next year. We will also try instituting "mini-courses" in addition to the standard symposia format. These will be short, intense courses on a narrow topic.

Bill requested members share additional ideas with him by e-mail so these ideas could be considered before the program was finalized.

The year 2003 meeting will be held at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia. The 2004 site is not yet determined but will probably be in the Western United States or Canada (suggestions are welcome). The location for 2005 will be the Midwest or the East Coast again.

There were no questions from the membership.

At this time, Bob Kavlock asked for a moment of silence in memory of David Walsh of Sidney.

Secretary's Report - George Dearlove reported on the Tabletop Booth at the SOT meeting. The booth was "acquired" from the SOT through the efforts of Ms. Tonia Masson of AIM. Tonia also created the graphics and arranged for shipment of the booth to the SOT meeting. Those members who worked in the booth were again thanked for giving their time in the effort to recruit new members.

The current status of active and inactive membership numbers were reviewed. We currently have 720 members of all categories (Regular, Associate, Student, Emeritus, Honorary, Combined and Sustaining). Of these, 29 have not paid their dues for 2000 and an additional 80 have not paid yet this year. Council will contact each of these 109 members to find out if they have intentionally let their memberships expire.

Bob Brent asked about how many Emeritus members there were and if they received the Journal. There are 26 in the US and 2 international members with Emeritus status and none of them receive the Journal.

There were no other questions.

Treasurer's Report - John Rogers reported that our numbers are getting better.

In 2000 we have $352,000 In 1999 we had $275,000
Revenue in 2000 = $367,600 Revenue in 1999 = $282,000
Expenses in 2000 =$277,000 Expenses in 1999=$235,000
Net change for the year is plus $90,710
We have revenue of $65,000 for the 2000 Annual Meeting and $41,000 in 1999.
We currently have two CDs one for $122,000 at First Union that matures in August of '01, and one for $48,000 at Legg Mason that matures in December '02
We also have $175,000 in checking. Some will be used to pay for the meeting and a portion will be placed in an investment vehicle with better interest rates.

Bob Brent asked about the interest on the checking and CDs and suggested that we consider putting the checking account funds in a Vanguard Money Market account at a higher interest rate. The services provided by Vanguard will be evaluated to see if they meet the Society checking and cash transfer needs.

There were no other questions from the membership.

FASEB Update was presented by Tom Knudsen. Tom reported that we are Associate members of FASEB and have input into their lobbying efforts. This year FASEB has been involved in the animals in research issue (seem to have put to rest the efforts to require coverage of rodents and fowl under the USDA guidance), has lobbied congress for increased funding for the NIH (successfully). To encourage FASEB to promote efforts aimed at increasing EPA's extramural research funding, the Science Policy Committee invited Dr. Elaine Francis to present data on EPA extramural research programs to the annual consensus funding conference in Potomac. The presentation was well-received.

Dr. Kavlock noted that Tom Knudsen has spent an extended term as FASEB liaison from the Teratology Society and is hoping to be relieved.

There were no dissenting opinions from the membership.

Committee Reports:

Membership Committee presented by Sid Hunter. Sid thanked his committee of Jeff Peters and Tom Flynn. E-mail with the names of people approved by the committee was sent to the membership for comments and no negative feedback followed. Sid asked that all members submit a letter when they sponsor someone for associate membership, or that the requirement be revised in the by-laws. The membership applications from the booth display at other scientific meetings will need to be revisited and improved because we lost some applicant materials. This item will be addressed prior to exhibiting again.

Nominations & Elections Committee results were presented by Tina Chambers. This committee was composed of David Beckman, George Daston, Elaine Francis, and Susan Henwood. The committee was able to obtain a great selection for this year's election. We had 220 ballots returned and 213 of them were counted (seven were not counted because they were unsigned, the signature was not legible or they had hanging chads). Tina announced the names of the successful candidates: Shelly Tyl as Vice President Elect, John Rogers as Treasurer and Pat Wier as Councilor. Tina thanked the other candidates and expressed her hope that they would consider being on the ballot in future elections.

Education Committee report was presented by Kok-Wah Hew. There were 152 attendees in the continuing education course this year. Hew thanked Eli Lilly for the $1,000 contribution towards the course books and the Monsanto Company for sponsoring the coffee breaks for the course. Donna Farmer will be the chair of this committee next year.

Student Affairs Committee report was presented by Janet Uriu-Adams, who thanked committee members Craig Harris (Chair), Jack Bishop, Michael Collins and Kim Brannen. Janet announced that 21 Young Investigator travel awards are to be presented at the awards luncheon this year. Each student or postdoctoral fellow will receive a travel grant of $900. The awardees will be listed on the Web site, along with the recipients of the Wilson Family presentation awards, the Marie Taubeneck award, and the James C. Bradford award.

Public Affairs Committee was very active this year. Ken Jones gave a plug for the symposium the next day (a report card on the FDA and the prevention of Birth Defects). The committee has issued one consensus statement on Thalidomide, is ready to submit one on alcohol, and has two in the drafting stages (position paper on cigarettes and position paper on ways to present animal data on labels of pharmaceutical products). The committee has also issued an acutane support statement for the FDA STEPS program and will try to come up with some statement for press coverage for the meeting in Arizona.

Web site report was given by Dave Wise who acknowledged committee members Bob Veneziale and Ron Hood and gave special accolades to Robert Vinson for his efforts at web design. Dave noted that the current redesigned web is the third one we have utilized. This year we offered on-line membership dues payment for the first time and have sections listing the awards, their requirements and their most recent recipients. The committee is working on putting the directory on line (a prototype should be available in August). In 2000, the Web site averaged 115 hits a day. This year, we are averaging 217 hits a day. Dave asked for more membership input.

Teratology Editor report was presented by Lew Holmes. Lew presented an overhead compilation of submissions to the Journal from January of 1998 to June of 2001. Lew noted that manuscript submissions are up greatly in quality, although not that much in actual numbers. Lew noted that Bob Brent had been very active with Teratogen Update and that he had instituted a letters section for reader comments. The book review component is in need of books to review and people to do the reviewing. Membership help in getting reviewers and soliciting books was requested and a few members agreed to discuss the possibility of participating following the business meeting. Lew reminded symposia chairs that we would like summaries of each symposium prior to the Annual Meeting next year so they can appear in the Journal along with the program.

Publications Committee report was given by Shelly Tyl. Shelly noted that Karen Augustine and Barbara Abbott worked with Lew and his Secretary to form the committee and select the James G. Wilson Publications Award winner each year. This year the committee will also spearhead the search for a new editor-in-chief (see above). Shelly suggested that all committees establish specific job descriptions so all future members know what is expected of them. This is the first item on the agenda of the Publication Committee for this year. Dave Wise asked that all committee chairs submit descriptions of the committee responsibilities for inclusion on the Web site. Shelly announced that the committee will try to select the Wilson Award winner earlier in the future, possibly by adjusting the candidate paper submissions to coincide with the calendar year to facilitate selection early enough for the winner to be announced prior to the Annual Meeting.

Constitution & By-Laws Committee had no activity to report this past year.

Old Business

Journal Contract Negotiations - George Daston reported that we are still negotiating with Wiley-Liss over possible format changes to the Journal as part of our contract renewal efforts. The committee carrying most of the work load is composed of Phil Mirkes, Bernie Schwetz, Tom Knudsen, George Daston and the President Elect. Their next step is to bring a formal proposal to the membership. Sid Beck requested that the notification of the membership be by hard copy/US Mail so there is no proactive requirements (e.g. searching the internet or looking at e-mail) necessary to become alerted to the options. This suggestion was discussed and agreed to by the membership.

AAAS Meeting Bob Brent reported that he attended as the Teratology Society representative. The two-day meeting was designed to deal with "junk science in the court room" and was attended by lawyers, scientists, judges, etc. The result was an application for a Carnige Grant to establish peer review of expert witness testimony. The Society is a part of this program.

New Business

Bob Kavlock reported that the NIEHS has an R-21 Grant to fund the study of mechanism of developmental toxicity. Any interested party can obtain details from the Teratology Web site.

Phil Mirkes mentioned that September 20-22 there will be a symposium in RTP for Developmental Biologists to establish the agenda for the next five years. Details will be posted on the web.

Adjournment 6:11 p.m.







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