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Council I-B

June 22, 2003

Philadelphia, PA


Council Members Present:  Wm. Slikker, R. Tyl, K. Jones, J. Friedman, J. Rogers, G. Dearlove, T. Chambers, B. Abbott, J. Graham, M. Tassinari, P. Wier and T. Masson


Meeting called to order 8:05 AM


Interactions with the NIH by D. Mattison, Senior Advisor to the Directors of NICHD and CRMC

(National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and Center for Research for Mothers and Children)

Don presented an update on interactions with the NIH, reviewed programs and plans for future areas of research on birth defects, perinatal research and data evaluations for pregnancy or pre-pregnancy studies.  There are many opportunities for Teratology to have input on the study designs.  The Society should go to the advisory committee to offer our services for exposure outcomes, etc. and to provide input on what questions should be being addressed.  The study is to be a "life study" and run from pre-pregnancy through 21 years of age.  There are a number of governmental agencies in this program to offer advice and many of them have Teratology Society members present already.  But we should try to have a Teratology Society person present to offer input.  The study is to begin funding in 2004/2005 with family enrollment in 2005/2006 with a 20 year follow up.  Teratology could have 15 minutes at the advisory committee to present our case.  We can also request information collected by the committee and ask to see the data evaluated.  All meetings are open to the public, but we probably could not have a specific "seat" on the advisory committee but we should try for representation.  The term would be a four year appointment.


Council to follow up as soon as possible.


FASEB Update by J. DeSesso.  John pointed out his term expires next June and he will provide Council with recommendations for a replacement.  The Society dues will be increased (currently approximately $10 per member) for associate membership.  Teratology Society is permitted to chair committees and all other functions within FASEB, so a full membership is not needed.


J. Manson presented a written report indicating she serves on two FASEB committees, the Science Policy Committee and the Training and Career Opportunities Committee.  The Science Policy Committee remains active in opposing legislation restricting Stem Cell Research and nuclear transfers, is trying to assist in expediting visa applications for visiting scientists and is pushing the Senate for an initial 4% increase in the NIH budget (they plan to push the House for more because the Bush administration redirected a large part of the appropriations to anthrax vaccine research).  The other committee is trying to address the shortage of postdoctoral applicants but the number of PhDs being granted by American Universities is flat, and the majority of graduates are going into industry because there has been no increase in tenure-track positions in American Universities.


Student Affairs Committee report by J. Bishop.  Jack indicated the Society had received $8,000 from the NIH (and thanked T. Knudsen for doing the grant application) and $1,000 from Eli Lilly for student awards.  Students applying for travel grants will receive $692 this year.  The platform presentation award will be based on 5 graduate student and 3 postdoctoral presentations (two awards to be given to the two best without regard for academic status); the Bradford poster award will be selected from 4 graduate and 2 postdoctoral poster presentations this year.  The Taubeneck award will be selected by the Student Affairs Committee this year (last year students voted).  This year a letter of support from the mentor was requested and two replied.  The requirement is that the student have presented at least once prior to this year.  So all presenters this year will receive a follow up letter indicating that they have met one of the requirements of the award for next year.


Discussion followed on possible reasons student enrollment was down.  Part of the reason could be that our records are not current and we need to update addresses, etc.  The tracking should come from the AIM office and reporting to the Student Affairs Committee.  The committee will discuss ways to assist Student Stewardship to reduce the dropout rate.  A number of carrots were discussed and more discussion is planned for the October meeting.


Education Committee report by D. Shuey.  Dana reported that there were 111 attendees in the course this year (includes the 19 on sight registrants) and the course materials provided by CTBR are extremely professional in appearance.  Certain Council members who place work at CTBR were urged to write to them to thank them for their efforts this year.   The committee is going to look into the potential of offering continuing education credits for the course.  This will be a cost/benefit evaluation as a lot of time and effort are required.


Website Committee report by R. Felix.  Robert informed Council that the website was up and operational.  The server was located at UCSD to facilitate work and we will save about $120 a year with the new server.  The directory will be on line and password protected.  The membership will receive an e-mail when all is ready for their review.  Some minor changes are still ongoing and the committee is working with AIM to move things along.  The journal access has not been changed yet and the current level of funding approved by Council appears to be adequate.


F. Clarke Fraser Award Committee report by M. Cunningham.  Michael reported that the nomination process produced viable candidates whose credentials were sent by e-mail to the committee.  The committee individually ranked the nominees and all votes were then evaluated.  This year, all committee members had the same candidate as their number one choice.


The ten year limit from granting of the doctoral degree, or from the last formal training period needs to be clarified as many of the prospective candidates are eliminated.   The original award selection process indicated 10 years from the last formal training, but this was changed to 10 years from the doctoral degree.  Council needs to provide clarification to the committee. 


Membership Committee report by T. Flynn.  Tom provided a written summary of the committee activities.  There were some concerns regarding the classification of Emeritus (two candidates for Emeritus were not granted this status:  One had left the field but was fully employed in another profession).  A request was presented that the committee be provide follow up materials from the SOT meeting so potential candidates could be contacted by the membership committee representatives.  Council agreed and will see that the names are sent on to the committee after the SOT meeting this coming year.


Some discussion followed with revisions to the by-laws indicated and changes to the Website information also requested.  All items are to be addressed prior to the October meeting of Council.


Nominations and Elections Committee report by M.A. Smith.  Mary Alice reported the results of the election for this year.  The Vice President elect is M. Tassinari, the Secretary elect is G. Dearlove and the new Council member is R. Parker.  The Council requested that Mary Alice assist the new committee by providing a list of candidates who were approached this past year.


Bioinformatics, Genomics and Proteomics Ad Hoc Committee report by T. Knudsen.  Tom provided a written report indication that the committee met by teleconference to adopt a Mission Statement, determine the number of members and length of term, and discuss logistics.  Council was asked to approve a committee composed of 12 members (6 to be chosen each year for a two year term), a moderate conference call budget that would allow 6 calls per year (at $250 per call).  The existence was to be put in the newsletter so more volunteers could be recruited.  The membership could go beyond the Teratology Society as the need to bring in expertise was recognized.  May have a course or workshop in the future to bring the Society up to speed in the evolving area.   Council moved "to approve $750 for conference call expenses for this committee.  The budget will be reviewed following a status update at the midyear Council meeting."  Motion passed.


Business Meeting Agenda Overview presented by Wm. Slikker.  Bill reminded all that time was limited and reports were to be short and to the point.


New Business:  There being no new business, meeting adjourned at 12:20 PM.





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