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Council I-B Minutes

Vancouver, BC

June 26, 2004 (1645 hr)


Council Members in Attendance: R. Tyl, President; K. Jones, Vice President; M. Tassinari, Vice President-elect; Wm. Slikker, Past President; J. Rogers, Treasurer; G. Dearlove, Secretary; J. Graham and R. Parker, Councilors. Also in attendance was T. Masson, Executive Director, R. Miller, Chair of the Publication Committee; and B. Buehler, Chair of the Student Affairs Committee.

P. Wier was excused and C. Chambers, Chair of Public Affairs Committee had duties with OTIS and was unable to attend the working dinner.

Business Meeting Details:

The agenda for the Business Meeting was reviewed and the order of presentations (and time for each presentation) was established. The Business Meeting must remain on schedule this year as we have scheduled the meeting for just one hour.

Completion of Old Business from Council I-A

M. Tassinari presented that status of the “Primer”. All chapters have been submitted and approximately 75% of them have been edited. The individual authors will have one last chance to review their chapter and update the references cited prior to finalization. To date, approximately 33% of the graphics are completed. The primer should be ready to start production in the fall (shooting for an August date).

M. Tassinari will reconfirm that Pfizer will contribute to the publication of the document. A table of contents is to be e-mailed to all Council members for review. Current activity is the creation of a Glossary for the book. Targeted audience is first year medical students.

Discussion followed regarding selling copies or giving them to Students. Many Society members will want their own copy. If sold, this will raise all sorts of copyright issues. Council voted to make the book free of charge to medical students. There may be a possibility of making the primer available to Teratology Society members as a PDF file.

Website Committee – R. Felix informed Council that the website was up and operational. To date, the committee has used just $1900 (plus $300 to the host site at UCSD). Last year the Committee used $5800 of the $6000 budgeted. Council agreed to keep the budget at $6000 for the coming year.

The directory is on line and password protected. Changes in the directory require about 5 working days to be implemented.

This year the Committee instituted a “Room Share” function to assist students in finding roommates for the annual meeting. Some regular status members may be interested in this function also.

A log for “comments and Questions” has been initiated to analyze queries that come in to better address the needs of the community. The Web Committee currently sends all Clinical questions to OTIS, Genetics questions to K. Jones and any Teratological questions to AIM for further distribution.

Robert reminded Council of the current access structure. Plans are underway to assign everyone a password and then have them change it to their own specific password for security purposes.

Search functions being added to the directory will include City and State of members. The Committee is also looking into making the directory accessible as a PDF file so members can download and print the whole directory to one file. Electronically-challenged members can still get a hard copy from the AIM Office.

The Student Page still needs to be updated. This will require a student to do the work and various rewards/inducements were discussed.

F. Clarke Fraser Award Committee –J. Peters reported a total of five people nominated for the award this year - two nominations received this year, three nominees remained from the previous year and were reconsidered. One person was determined not to be a member in good standing (unpaid dues). The decision to choose Karen Augustine was unanimous, with the runner-up standing a good chance for next year. Three nominees from this year's award will be considered next year.

The Committee then requested Council to take a more active role in providing the F. Clarke Fraser Young Investigator Award a more prominent position at the Annual Meeting. “Given that the two of the three founders, Wilson and Warkany, get full honors, it seems that Dr. Fraser has become somewhat left out. Now that we are finally recognizing his contributions, the Clarke Fraser Award presentation keeps getting pushed to the back of the schedule as if it were not as important as the Wilson and Warkany events.”

Council will address this issue in the planning of the Annual Meeting program for 2005.

Education Committee –M. Narotsky reported that there were 108 pre-registered attendees in the course this year and 52 pre-registrants for the mini course. The course materials for both offerings were again provided by CTBR. They are full color and extremely professional in appearance.

Council members who place work at CTBR were again urged to write to them to thank them for their efforts this year.

There was some concern that a number of the slides did not match the presentations from the speakers. One speaker did not present slides for the workbook because the material had not yet been published and was concerned about potential copyrighting the material once presented in a workbook.

Some of the speakers did not like the wording on the copyright release form and did not sign. This topic again generated a great deal of discussion in Council and the matter is being reviewed by the committee. T. Masson will work with M. Narotsky to revise the legal wording for copyright issues.

Student Affairs Committee – B. Buehler reported the Committee has granted more awards than anticipated this year because there was an increase in participation by students. The committee will continue to push for early notification and announcement of awards to continue the high student interest in the meeting. This was a great success and Council was largely responsible when they voted a $500 travel grant to every student who had a poster or platform presentation.

The Room Share assistance from the Web Committee this year was a great help. The location of hotels with reduced rates for students should be continued. (Note: The hotel complex selected for the 2005 meeting is offering student rates of $99 per night for a room - the cost to be shared by the inhabitants.)

A request for more student social events was made. They would like to have the events during the early part of the meeting as well.

Next year there will be a special table at registration for students. This will facilitate the meeting of fellow students and provide them increased visibility. Hopefully, this will induce an increased tendency to include Teratology Meetings in future travel plans.

Some logistics discussions on AIM participation in the Student Affairs Committee functions followed. There were also some concerns the students presentations were out of context when they were spread around the meeting rather than having them all presented at one platform session. Pros and cons were discussed and the Committee will make recommendations to Council for further consideration.

Membership Committee – I. Smoak reported there were 31 new full members, 9 new associate members, 7 new student members being presented at this meeting.

Council requested that the Membership Committee, with concurrence of the editors of BDR-A, BDR-B and BDR-C, approach authors of articles who are not currently members of the Society to congratulate them for the interesting article and to determine if they had any interest in becoming members of the Society. This activity should only occur with the full knowledge and blessing of the Publication Committee.

Nominations and Elections Committee – B. Kelman announced the results of the election. E. Faustman was elected Vice President-elect, I. Smoak was elected Treasurer and K. Filkins was elected to a three year term on Council

Council requested that the confidential information imparted by the Committee Chair be relayed to the new Committee to facilitate their candidate search and to provide a list of candidates who might be willing to serve in the future.

Bioinformatics, Genomics and Proteomics Ad Hoc Committee - T. Knudsen provided a written report summarizing the activities of the Committee to date. Following relocation to the University of Louisville, T. Knudsen established an IBM-based server for implementing a birth defects systems manager (BDSM) to be web accessible. This will permit researchers to use the data base network for teratology issues.

The potential of an NICHD RFA on Birth Defects (similar to the one just advertised for Genomic and Proteomic Network for Premature Birth Research) may become a reality. J. Hanson should be asked if this is in the works so the Society can collect data to get the project moving.

There is some sponsor interest in a workshop for the fall and the Committee is trying to coordinate this activity. The details need to be formalized so Council can determine if any level of Society funding is available. The current budget for conference calls appears adequate for the calls.

The first project will be to get microarray data from the various labs and put it into a meaningful format. Tom suggested an Ontology of Phenotypes approach to provide a metric for numerical classification of defects so they may be ranked.

R. Parker and M. Tassinari are to provide T. Knudsen the names of individuals within their respective companies who would potentially be able to release these data. GSK has vetoed this approach with their data set.

FASEB Update – a written report submitted by J. Manson and presented by R. Tyl. M. Tassinari is to draft a Stem Cell Opinion letter for review by Council prior to providing the document to FASEB. The document should also be presented as a press release from the Society. An August timeframe was assigned to this task.

Bylaws Committee – G. Clemens presented in B. Beyer’s absence. The committee has reviewed the bylaws and noted areas of inconsistency within and with the revisions to the constitution. These are all minor and will be presented to the membership at the business meeting and followed up with written documentation for a vote. The only item that may be of some concern is the change in wording to “domestic partners” rather than spouse.

Council approved all recommended changes for presentation to the membership.

Site Selection Committee – M. Tassinari reviewed the Hotel materials gathered by AIM in an effort to locate adequate space for the Annual Meeting in 2007. Council reviewed room allocation, meeting dates and prices for Rochester, Pittsburgh and Atlanta. Discussion, followed by voice vote resulted in the selection of the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh as the site of the 2007 meeting.

New Business: Communication from Past Presidents regarding the number of platform sessions, the number of days for platform sessions, and membership desires for current research presentations was discussed. Some clarification of the letter was required as different Council members read the letter with different emphasis points.

Council II meeting time was changed to facilitate plane connections.

There being no additional new business, the meeting adjourned at 2130 hrs.







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