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Teratology Society Council Business Meeting

Scottsdale, Arizona

26-June-02

Jan Friedman called the meeting to order at 5:15 PM. Approximately 80 Society members were in attendance. A motion to accept the minutes of the previous business as posted on the web site was made, seconded and approved by those in attendance.


President’s ReportJan Friedman briefly reviewed the Strategic Planning Session held prior to the SOT meeting in Nashville (review of the meeting was presented on the Web site earlier this year). The Council is moving forward with the implementation of the recommendations from the Strategic Planning Sessions.


The changes suggested for our Journal are being implemented. We are in final stages of contract negotiations with the publisher. Our lawyer needs to review it prior to finalization. The main highlights are: (Put in some scholarly bullets first, e.g.,)
• Creates the new Teratology Society Journal Birth Defects Research to cover all phases of clinical, molecular and developmental biology, and reproductive and developmental toxicology.
• The three-part structure of the Journal will be launched with a major advertising campaign. The Journal will have a new look (examples available at the registration desk) and there will be more color plates available at no additional cost.
• The publisher has agreed to fund an editorial office for each part of the new Journal.
• The publisher will provide the Teratology Society with a minimum of $50,000 in royalty payments each year.
• The publisher will not reduce their contributions to the annual meeting (i.e. will continue to support the Wiley-Liss Symposium at the current funding level).


Rich Miller has headed up the search committee (B. Abbott, K. Augustine, J.D. Erickson, L. Holmes and R. Tyl). The committee had a very formal set of guidelines and was extremely rigorous in the searches. Their efforts resulted in the identification of strong candidates for each component part of the journal. Council then voted on the recommended lists of candidates to select the three editors.
• Part A editor is to be Phil Mirkes
• Part B editor is to be George Daston
• Part C editor is to be Rocky Tuan


Public Policy Issues and Position Papers were discussed at the Strategic Planning Session and the members determined that the Teratology Society should become more active and timely in our response to concerns in our areas of expertise. To this end, the Society responded to the request for comment on the Integrated Assessment Method (Tool), with a letter to the FDA. We are considering a position paper regarding post-marketing surveillance of prescription drugs (draft document being reviewed) and we have a Fetal Alcohol Syndrome statement before Council now.


Another priority is to improve the Annual Meeting. To address these issues, we are asking for input from the membership. We will be exploring the possibility of having joint meetings with other scientific organizations (in addition to OTIS and NBTS, not to the exclusion of these groups). We are looking at the possibility of having consensus development conferences at future annual meetings. We are asking for suggestions regarding changing the meeting schedule (either order of the meeting or date of the meeting) and future meeting sites.


There are Web Site revisions planned to increase communication among members and to facilitate conduct of the Society’s business.


Finally, we have negotiated renewal of the Society management contract with AIM. This is for another two years.


Jan asked for comments and there were no questions from the membership.


Vice President’s Report – Wm. Slikker reported on the status of the annual meeting this year. We had 345 pre-registrations for the Annual Meeting, 130 registrants for the continuing education course that was organized by Donna Farmer and Dana Shuey. The newly added "mini course" was an instant success and had 82 people registered to get up early and take the course which was organized by Deborah Hansen.


The meeting schedule was revised this year in order to permit more joint sessions with our sister Societies, and more opportunity to attend the platform presentations of our graduate students, post docs and the Wilson Publication award "best paper" presentation. "Late Breaking Abstracts" were also added to the program to provide the opportunity for the most current data to be presented.


The program committee (M. Christian, M. Cunningham, D. Farmer, D. Hansen, A. Machado, P. Mirkes, J. Polifka, R. Tyl, P. Wier, J. Buelke-Sam and R. Miller) was recognized for their outstanding efforts.


The meeting next year will be at the beautiful Loews Philadelphia Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 21-26. The hotel is only 25 minutes from the airport and is located in the city where lots of off-site eating and shopping are within walking distance. The historic city of Philadelphia will be the location where the new Society Historian, Dr. Ron Jensh, will display artifacts from our Society Archives.


There were no questions from the membership.


Vice President-Elect’s Report –Shelley Tyl invited input from the membership for 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 again this year and will be evaluated by the committee). The meeting will feature joint sessions with NBTS, OTIS and BTS next year. We will also continue the "mini courses" in addition to the standard symposia format and are considering the addition of scientific debates on selected topics. Shelley requested members share additional ideas with her by e-mail so these ideas could be considered before the program was finalized.


The year 2004 meeting location has not yet been finalized. There are questionnaires available for the membership to offer input on future site selection. As soon as the location for the 2004 meeting has been finalized, the membership will be informed through the Web site.


Secretary’s Report – George Dearlove reported on the TableTop Booth at the SOT meeting and reminded the membership that the intent of having the booth was to promote interest in the Society. Those members who worked in the booth were again thanked for giving their time in the effort to recruit new members. The listing of new members provided in the registration packet was referenced and then the current membership update was presented. The increase in the number of Emeritus members was believed to be the result of a mailing reminding members of this option.


The Teratology Society currently has 749 members of all categories (Regular, Associate, Student, Emeritus, Honorary, Combined and Sustaining). Of these, 35 have not paid their dues for 2001 and an additional 107 have not paid yet this year. Council will contact each of these 145 members to find out if they have intentionally let their memberships expire.


Treasurer’s Report – John Rogers reported that our numbers are getting better. We currently have approximately $300,000 in investments with approximately $250,000 of that in CDs that will mature over differing time periods.


We have a relatively large balance in our checking account today. Some of these funds will be used to pay for the meeting and a portion will be placed in an investment vehicle with better interest rates.


The total assets of the Society are just over one half million dollars for the first time, with the addition of $50,000 last year. The anticipated contribution to investments this year will be in the range of $25,000, even though donations are lower this year.


The cost of the Strategic Planning Session held in Nashville was $25,000. These funds have already been subtracted from the above figures for last year.


There were no questions from the membership, and the Treasurer’s report was approved.


Committee Reports:


Public Affairs Committee - Tina Chambers
reported that the committee had responded to the FDA request for comment on the Integrated Assessment Tool last year (letter is on the Web site) and currently is finishing up position papers on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. We are looking for some outside support to add clout to the position paper and expand the publication coverage, if possible. The committee is also working on a drug labeling paper and a position on the effects of tobacco smoke on pregnancy outcome.


The Public Affairs Symposium may be reformatted to a Consensus Workshop for the meeting next year. This format would address one specific issue and may be a guidance document for clinicians to interpret animal data.


The committee plans on continuing the initiative started this year where local community physicians are invited to the meeting for special topic talks (this year, we invited local pediatricians to the Warkany lecture). The possibility for more publicity is also being considered.


Education Committee – Dana Shuey reported for Donna Farmer. The course appeared to be very well received this year. The speakers were excellent, and the committee (Donna, Dana, David Clarke, Peter Wells, Michael Narotsky and Anne Pastuszak) is to be commended. New additions to the committee for next year are Eve Mylchreest, Steve Braddock, Janet Uriu-Adams and ad hoc student member, Michael O’Hara with Dana Shuey serving out the remainder of David Clarke’s term.


The Education Committee has agreed to take over operation of the Mini Course for the next annual meeting.


Membership Committee – Jeff Peters was unable to attend the meeting. G. Dearlove gave the membership report (new members are listed on the sheet in the registration material), thanked those members who donated time at the SOT to stand in the Teratology Booth. All members were requested to submit suggestions for scientific meetings to which the Society could send the booth in the future.


Nominations & Elections Committee – Kok-Wah Hew reported the results of the last election. Ken Jones was elected Vice-President Elect and John Graham was elected to a three-year term on Council.


Student Affairs Committee – Janet Uriu-Adams thanked her committee members (Jack Bishop, Bruce Buehler and Michael O’Hara) for their hard work. Janet also thanked Phil Mirkes for taking care of the paperwork to apply for the NIH Travel Grant which, in addition to the funds provided by the Eli Lilly Company and the Larry Wetzel Fund, were sufficient to fund 17 students/post-docs to the sum of $750 each.


The Wilson Award this year was changed to evaluate only oral presentations and there was no distinction between pre-and post-doctoral status. Instead, the award was given to the two presentations that were judged to be the top two. The Taubeneck award this year was based on votes by the students themselves. The winners will be announced at the awards luncheon and all awardees will be listed on the Web site.


Web site – Robert Felix asked all members to thank Dave Wise for the work he has done on the web site. Robert then reported that the committee was starting on redesigning the site and that they have plans to get the membership directory up this year.


The past year the committee has added a search engine to the site (Google), is planning on adding direct links to other societies, and is trying to determine how they can be more responsive to educational needs.


The committee is looking in to requirements for on-line journals and is considering various options to increase funding (e.g. possibility of sponsorship).


FASEB Update – Jeanne Manson presented the report and thanked Tom Knudsen for his dedicated service to Teratology at FASEB. Jeanne noted that the NIH budget was through negotiations and FASEB was instrumental in getting the budget doubled in five years. They were also active in getting an increase in funding for the NSF.


FASEB is currently playing a roll in the cloning debate and is pushing Congress to permit therapeutic cloning.

 

Teratology Editor – Lew Homes introduced the publications committee and his assistant Phyllis and noted how helpful all of them were to the Journal’s success. Lew then presented summary of submissions to the Journal from January of 1998 to June of 2002. Lew noted that manuscript submissions are up greatly in quality, although not that much in actual numbers. The good news is that the articles are reflective of the newer technologies. Lew presented an overhead listing of Society members who had submitted a number of articles this past year and thanked them.


We are still not utilizing all the pages allocated to the Journal. Our citations by other journals are going up, and the number of downloads off the Wiley system shows the Wilson Publication Award winner was also the paper most often downloaded. This is a good way to measure the success of the changes we are instituting in the new journal format.


Phil Mirkes discussed the new Journal concept and how he will build on the current efforts of Lew Holmes. Phil asked all members to submit their best work to the new journal to make it grow as it moves into the electronic submission and electronic review stages. This will speed up publications because the electronic component will be formatted to be a rolling on-line (fully citation ready) article published two to three months before the print copy is available. As mentioned at the issues session, the new Journal will have an increased number of color plates made available at no cost to the authors (editor’s discretion).


Publications Committee report was given by Shelley Tyl. Shelley noted that Karen Augustine and Barbara Abbott worked with Lew Holmes and his Secretary to form the committee and select the James G. Wilson Award winner. Next year, all candidate papers must be in print by December 31, 2002. This will permit the publication of the winner in the meeting issue of the Journal. The presentation of the winner’s talk will again follow the Warkany lecture to provide enhanced visibility.


The committee worked very hard to help select strong candidates for the editor positions of the three parts of the Journal, and all candidates who submitted materials are to be commended for taking the time and offering their services to the Society.


Shelley reminded the members of the Wiley-Liss Symposium on Immunotoxicology the next day.


Constitution & By-Laws Committee had a significant amount of activity to report this year. All members received advanced copies of the proposed amendments to address the new Journal format and other housekeeping items. Karen Acuff led the item-by-item discussion of the 13 amendments to the Constitution and the five amendments to the By Laws. All members present at the Business Meeting were afforded an opportunity to comment on each suggested change. The abbreviated summary follows:

Constitution
1. Added "electronically" and conference call to conform to communication technology. No comments from the membership.
2. Described the Web site committee size and function and change to a standing committee rather than an Ad Hoc committee. D. Wise suggested wording be added to indicate that the terms will be staggered. Approved.
3. Associate membership applications will require signatures of two members only. The letter of recommendation has been eliminated from the requirements for application. Approved.
4. Change name of Journal (this is throughout the Constitution and the By Laws). Approved
5. Editor-in-Chief to Editors through out to conform to three part format of Journal. Approved
6. Change make-up of Council to remove the Editor-in-Chief and add the Chairperson of the Publications Committee. Shelley Tyl requested that the name of the Committee be changed from "Publication" to "Publications" throughout. Approved
7. Allows for review article to be published in the Journal. Approved
8. Nomination Committee will be at the Annual Meeting rather than the Business Meeting and "ballots by mail" will be replaced to allow electronic voting. Approved
9. Reflects new Editorial Staffs for three parts of Journal. Editorial Offices. Approved.
10. –13. Some discussion on the make-up of the Publications Committee followed, with the numbers of people and term lengths being changed by consensus from the floor (New wording will suggest having eight members, each of whom will serve a four year term. There will be two new members each year and the committee will determine which person will be trained during their third year to be Chair during the final year of their term. Additionally, no section editor may be a current member of the Publications Committee.)

By Laws
1. Clarifies the three-part nature of the Journal. Members requested identification of Part A and B as the two selections from which members were to pick as their desired journal.
2. Minor change in wording of Secretary duties (add "or designee")
3. More details of the three parts of the Journal
4. Definition of the duties of the Publications committees to request reports from the editors and from the publisher, etc.
5. Change in dues to be approved by the members at the annual meeting.

 

Old Business – None from the Chair, none from the floor.


New Business– None from the Chair, none from the floor.


Adjournment -7:00

 

 

 

 

 

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