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Strat. Planning 2002

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Teratology Society Interim Council Meeting

NOVEMBER 9, 2001

The meeting was called to order at 8:05 a.m. by President J. Friedman.

Council Members present were J. Friedman, President; B. Slikker, Vice President; R. Tyl, Vice President-elect; R. Kavlock, Past President; J. Rogers, Treasurer; G. Dearlove, Secretary; T. Knudsen, M. Tassinari and P. Wier, Councilors; C. Chambers, Public Affairs Committee Chair; T. Masson, Executive Director.

Also present for part of the meeting were L. Holmes, Editor-in-Chief for Journal Discussions, G. Daston (via teleconference) for Journal Relaunch Negotiations and R. Miller (via teleconference), Chair of Editor-in-Chief Search Committee.

President’s Report — J. Friedman

Committee Appointments — A list of existing information on committee members, addresses and lengths of terms was distributed for review and comments. Corrections were noted.

The Public Affairs Committee has one open term for 2003, but there are currently two Council Liaisons, so no action was deemed necessary at this time.

Web site committee will be chaired by R. Felix and E. Carney will be added to the committee.

The new FASEB representative will be J. Manson, who will replace T. Knudsen as he rotates off the Science Policy Committee.

The question regarding Council Liaison representation on every committee was raised. If a Council member is an ex-officio member of a committee (as specified in the Constitution), does the committee also need a liaison from Council and a member of Council? The decision was to take the Vice President off the Public Affairs committee because the Chair is on Council and a Council Liaison is also on the committee.

Liaisons to other organizations — A list of the current Societies and respective Liaisons was distributed for review. Many of these are out of date and require revision. Discussion followed on what new organizations should be added (e.g. European Teratology, Japanese Teratology, Australian Teratology, SOT Neurotoxicology and Reproductive Toxicology Specialty sections, NBTS etc). The existing organizations need to be contacted to determine if they still want a liaison and some of the associations that are not useful need to be eliminated when the new listing is prepared.

The function of the liaison position was discussed and agreed that the individuals would provide a newsletter article at least once a year to help the rest of the Society to maintain awareness of activities of other organizations. These individuals will also be asked to establish and maintain communications with the other organizations and promote participation in our meetings whenever possible. This may include Web site links, serving as guest speakers, joint meeting preparations, etc.

G. Dearlove, T. Knudsen and M. Tassinari are to draft "requirements" for a liaison to be reviewed by Council in June. There will also be an attempt to schedule a meeting of all liaisons at the next annual meeting.

Strategic Directions Retreat — The next strategic planning session for the Teratology Society will take place just prior to the next Society of Toxicology meeting in Nashville (March 14 and 15) at the convention hotel. All Council members were asked to attend the session.

The budget for the meeting will be $20,000 and is to include facilitator expenses as well as Council expenses. The facilitator will be selected by a subcommittee composed of current Council members and individuals who took part in the first strategic planning session in Cincinnati = J. Friedman, B. Slikker, T. Masson, R Tyl, G. Daston, and M. Tassinari. The subcommittee will consider recommendations from the membership.

The session will set Goals for the Society for the next five years and will focus on membership recruitment, defining the role of the Teratology Society today (including review and definition of education programs) and relationships with other sectors to enhance training and understanding of our field. There will be emphasis on public policy making and public outreach. Succession planning will also be addressed.

The event will be one and one half days and will include others besides Council members. A number of names were suggested and the ad hoc committee noted above will review suggestions, committee chairs, members at large, and the regional Teratology organizations for determination of a list of individuals to be invited. No prior approval by Council vote will be required. The list will be kept as close to 25 participants as possible.

P. Wier suggested that the facilitator should mail to all members a request for input to gain a broad spectrum of concerns, goals and topics to be addressed. The planning session should encompass the full cross section of the membership.

Web site — Quality and improvements were discussed, along with the possibilities of a formal position of Web Editor with responsibility and Council-level position. Links to other Scientific Organizations, more user friendliness, etc. were discussed. The issue of cost was considered, as well as looking for an outside sponsor or selling advertising space. The issue will be put on the list of items to be reviewed at the strategic planning meeting in March as there may be financial ramifications to instituting some of the suggested changes or enhancements.

Fundraising — was briefly discussed and deferred until the Vice President report. A list of current sponsors was circulated for Council to review and correct contact names where necessary.

Fraser Award Benefits — were reviewed and Council reaffirmed that the award will continue to have no monetary award nor will it reimburse the travel expenses of the recipient. Argus Research Laboratories will continue to cover the travel and meeting expenses for Dr. Fraser.

Primer of Teratology — This text is still in the works and many of the authors may want to review their manuscripts again before it is published to ensure the chapters represent state-of-the-art thinking. Council needs to provide more guidance and oversight to get this work completed. The table of contents should be reviewed to determine what chapters need to be written. J. Friedman will discuss with the current editor.

Warkany Lecturer — J. Friedman announced that K. Jones has agreed to present the Warkany Lecture next year.

Secretary’s Report — G. Dearlove

T. Masson prepared a listing of Teratology Society members who had not paid their dues this year and another list for last year. All Council members were asked to review the list and contact the members to determine why they wanted to let their memberships lapse. The possibility of emeritus status should be presented to those who have retired and cannot afford to keep up their membership, as there are no dues required.

The newsletter was discussed and ideas for bringing the newsletter "on line" were put forward. This issue will be one of the topics suggested for the Strategic Planning session in March and should be part of any future Web site discussions.

The updating of the liaison list will await the guidelines being developed for Society liaisons with other organizations.

Treasurer’s Report — J. Rogers

A draft budget for 2002, a year-to-date analysis of the 2001 figures and a balance sheet for our current status were presented for discussion. The Teratology Society has recently invested in bond funds for the first time.

The $20,000 requested for the strategic planning session was not included in the budget and will have to be added. This additional expenditure should not present a problem with our current financial status. We now have $250,000 invested in CDs (laddered to mature annually in 2002, -03, -04, -05 and —06), and $50,000 in the bond fund.


At the current rate of growth, the Teratology Society should reach 1.5 times our annual budget as reserves within the next two years. The utilization of any excess for the Web site, outreach, Journal price assistance, etc. should be items for discussion at the Strategic Planning session.

The final budget for 2002 will be revised and circulated after we know what the program expenses for the annual meeting are projected to be and what the registration fees will cover in Arizona.

Vice President’s Report — B. Slikker

Bill thanked the Program Committee (A. Machado, D. Farmer, S. Tyl, P. Mirkes, J. Buelke-Sam, R. Miller, M. Cunningham, M. Christian, D. Hansen and P. Wier) for their dedicated efforts. Bill noted that he had requested input from the general Society membership with the use of an electronic form and many excellent suggestions were received. Several of these were selected by the Program Committee as symposia and other types of sessions for the 2002 Annual meeting. The Program Committee this year was organized so that each member acted as a liaison for one of the scientific sessions.

Bill noted that the cooperation with NBTS (J. Meyer) and OTIS (D. Quinn) this year has been excellent. The communications were initiated at the Montreal meeting and actually could be started even earlier in the future. OTIS and NBTS will be holding joint sessions with Teratology as in the past, and we will be offering a mini-course in conjunction with NBTS this year.

The Education committee (D. Farmer and D. Shuey) and Student Affairs committee (J Uriu-Adams) have also assisted in producing an excellent program.

P. Mirkes has applied for the R13 NIH grant to fund students this year (Bill cannot apply, as he is a government employee). If possible, this grant application may be submitted earlier in future years to make an earlier funding cycle. This will require an almost definitive meeting program much earlier. The up side is that we will know about NIH funding for student travel earlier in the planning process.

Bill noted that he has also applied for funding assistance from the EPA, SOT and ASPET. T. Knudsen requested special funding from Perkin-Elmer Life Sciences. These requests were in addition to the support requests initiated by J. Friedman to our usual sponsoring organizations.

A detailed discussion of the program followed. Additional discussions regarding registration fees for each of the Society meetings and the possibility of reduced or combined fees for individuals attending NBTS and/or OTIS sessions in addition to TS sessions were conducted. The difficulty in coming up with just one fee for attending more than one meeting is confounded by the differing lengths of the meetings. No common registration fee covering all three Societies appears feasible at this time. Discussions will continue with these other Societies to enhance our already close working relationships.


The budget for the meeting was presented. In order to aid in smooth meeting registration processes, an additional person for AIM was requested to assist T. Masson during the meeting. In order to enhance scientific interaction time and in recognition of the limitations for out of the hotel for breakfasts at the meeting site this year, Council agreed that a continental breakfast would be offered each morning. A registration fee increase up to $300 was approved to cover these additional expenses.

The need to identify support for producing the Education Course printed materials for the next meeting was stressed. This is an additional $2000 in Course-related materials that have not been assigned to a Sponsor at this time.

Vice President Elect’s Report — R. Tyl

Shelly had no report at this time.

Journal Negotiations and Relaunch — G. Daston (via teleconference)

George called in to discuss the results of his survey on possible alternatives for the Journal. The majority of the respondents approved the concept of a three-part journal entitled "Birth Defects Research", however there is still some concern regarding subtitles of the three different parts. To address this concern, Council suggested more communication was needed to more clearly define the scope of the three component parts of the new Journal.

The actual decisions can wait a little longer as the current contract runs to January of 2004 and the publisher is aware the entire membership must be consulted before such a major change is instituted.

L. Holmes expressed some concern regarding generating a sufficient number of manuscripts to support a high-quality three-part journal. G. Daston pointed out that the concept for the part C component has already been worked out and a tentative editorial board and list of authors for the first year have already been proposed (the Teratology Society is not creating this review journal de novo). For Part B, we may be able to pick up a number of safety evaluation papers that are currently finding limited vehicles for publication. These articles no longer fall into the scope of most existing journals. There is also a good possibility that the current regulatory environment will increase the number of studies being performed in specific areas (e.g. endocrine disrupters, high production volume chemicals).

Council discussed the selection of the titles of the three component parts of the journal and agreed that more discussions were needed to be more inclusive to recruit papers that are currently being submitted to other journals.

Council determined that more discussions with the publisher were necessary to better define how we will form one journal titled "Birth Defects Research" which contains three different parts.

L. Holmes suggested that G. Daston have another general membership discussion period on this issue at the next annual meeting.

T. Knudsen pointed out that the Constitution Committee will have to revise a number of sections of the Constitution before we finalize any name change for the journal.

G. Daston will write a review article for the Newsletter to inform the membership of the results of the survey and the current plans to proceed.

J. Friedman, G. Daston, B. Slikker and T. Knudsen will prepare information for the membership to include the mission statements of the three parts of the new Journal concept.

Executive Director’s Report — T. Masson

Membership Update indicates the Teratology Society currently has 631 members (all categories) who have paid their dues for 2001. This is down two people from the 2000 totals.

2001 Annual Meeting Review indicates that the attendance was up and the Society made money this year. The hotel allowed the Society to utilize menu prices from the year the contract was signed, rather than the current prices, thereby allowing the Society to realize substantial savings in the food and beverage services. The hotel room utilization commission (negotiated by AIM) will again be used to offset some of the hotel expenses for the next Annual Meeting.

Web site concerns about membership information not being password protected were discussed. Council agreed that access to the membership directory on the Web site should be password protected. The Web site Committee will pay greater attention to the domain name expiration period (the office will get renewal notices in the future) so we do not have people claiming our site due to lapse of fee.

All postings and hyperlinks to the Web site must go to the committee to be put on the Web. These items will include the Newsletter, and any other general communication documentation.

Management Contract Renewal was discussed and Council voted unanimously to approve the new contract between the Teratology Society and AIM.


Editor-in-Chief Search Committee — R. Miller

Rich called in to report on the status of the search for a new Editor for the Journal. The committee has had numerous discussions with L. Holmes regarding requirements of the office of Editor. To date the committee has reviewed vision statements and CVs of candidates who met the October application deadline. Items reviewed were commitment to the Society and its goals, scientific experience of the candidates, evidence of management skills and editorial work, and the cross-discipline contact base of each applicant.

Reviews were followed up by phone interviews with the committee (including clarifications of questions, willingness to serve a second term if requested, concept of the future of the Journal as well as the Society). The candidates were narrowed from an initial list of seventeen qualified individuals to a list of seven. The committee will further review these applicants to present Council with a final list of candidates by the end of February.

L. Holmes reported that the journal budget of $65,000 a year (including institutional overhead) may not be sufficient in the future. This budget must cover the cost of an Editorial Assistant who generally must work four days a week in order to keep the Editor-in-Chief time commitment down to just one-day a week. The funds must also cover expenses for Section Editors (usually calculated at $100/manuscript) and any Associate Editors deemed necessary. These funds must also cover copying fees and any stipend the Editor may be granted. The publisher covers all other necessary charges (e.g. postage). This allowance may be limiting on what the new Editor wants to do.

Additionally, Wiley-Liss has yet to provide the tracking system software promised.

Sustaining Member Benefits Survey — M. Tassinari

M. Tassinari is surveying the corporate members to determine their concerns and to try to ascertain whether or not the current sustaining membership program meets their needs. Two lists have been generated: one lists the current sustaining member companies and the contact representatives, the other is a list of questions developed to determine if our offerings are meeting corporate needs.

Council reviewed the lists and discussed the questions and how the telephone survey should be conducted. Also discussed were different ideas for rewarding or recognizing our corporate sponsors, without whom we could not afford to put on the excellent programs we have come to expect at the Annual meeting.

Membership Data Analysis — P. Wier

Pat has been entering data from our 1995 and 2000 directories to prepare spreadsheets to evaluate the types of questions that can be asked and the sorts of data available for further analyses. This will enable the Society to evaluate which sectors of membership have changed the most over time. We will be able to ascertain who is joining and leaving the Society, what is their country of origin, etc. The problem is not easily evaluated because the Society has no printed database from 1975 through 1998. We have the year a member joined between 1975 and 1991, and from 1998 to present, but not if they were student or full members or if loss of membership was due to retirement, death, or another cause.

The intent is to determine what data are actually available. We can then determine how to farm those data to gain the most useful information, e.g. why are we not growing more rapidly; who is leaving the Society; what areas of the Society are enduring the greatest growth, or greatest decline, etc?

Placement Committee — J. Friedman

Council considered the apparent lack of interest (and usage) of the placement committee offerings and determined that the committee would be eliminated.

Public Affairs Committee — C. Chambers

Tina presented the final draft of the committee letter to the FDA regarding pregnancy Labeling. The letter was discussed and minor revisions were suggested. The letter, with revisions, was approved by unanimous vote of Council and will be sent to Tommy Thompson. The letter will be posted on the Web site so the members can print it out and send a copy with their personal signatures. OTIS will also be sent a copy to distribute to their membership.

The committee has completed the summarization of the herbal products symposium from the Public Affairs Symposium at the 2000 annual meeting. H. Buttar is writing an introduction and the text will be submitted to the Journal for publication. The 2001 Symposium review is currently being drafted and should be available for review by the end of the year.

J. Polifka is taking the lead on a position paper regarding the predictability of animal reproductive toxicity studies for human risk assessment and J. Adams is heading up a second group working on a position paper dealing with smoking and pregnancy. Council requested that outlines of both papers be submitted for review to avoid any delay that might occur do to reworking the "finished" product.

Tina reported that the Public Affairs Symposium for the 2002 meeting is all set.

Some discussion followed on procedures for getting the most rapid Society response when necessary. Procedures will be worked out so that the President will determine if the Public Affairs Committee can respond, or if Council concurrence is required on a case-by-case basis.

Committee Liaison Reports —

Nominations — B. Kavlock reported that he had received nominees for both Vice President and Council based on the e-mail request. The list will be finalized in December.

Constitution and Bylaws — J Friedman stated that there was no report from this committee at the present time.

Publications — R. Tyl announced that the selection of the Wilson award winner will be based on papers in press by December 31. The committee will be able to review the documents and announce the winner by February so this information can be available for the annual meeting.

Education — B. Slikker reported that the committee had developed an excellent education course for the Scottsdale meeting and they were working closely with him.

Web site — J. Friedman the Web site had been discussed previously.

Future Site Selection — B. Slikker said sites on the West Coast were being evaluated for the 2004 meeting in order to continue the alternation of Coasts to facilitate membership travel. More will be available for Council review at the strategic planning session in March.

Student Affairs — J. Uriu-Adams reported the committee was discussing whether to award the Wilson award to the best pre-doc and best post-doc platform presentations or to the two best presentations without designation of pre- or postdoctoral status. The concern was raised that if there were only one pre-doc or only one post-doc presentation, then that would be an automatic winner. Council left this determination in the hands of the committee.

FASEB — T. Knudsen reported there remains good Congressional support for the NIH and other federal agencies and that at the moment there appeared to be a continued effort to complete the 5-year doubling of the NIH budget. Efforts to include EPA under FASEB recommendations were put in place for the December consensus conference. Tom will attend this conference and write a follow-up newsletter article.






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