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Interim Council Meeting

Herndon, Virginia

October 21-22, 2004


Council Members in Attendance: K. Jones, President; M. Tassinari, Vice President; E. Faustman, Vice President-elect; R. Tyl, Past President; G. Dearlove, Secretary; K. Filkins and J. Graham, Councilors; A. Scialli Chair, Public Affairs Committee; D. Hansen, Chair, Publications Committee; T. Masson, Executive Director.

Call to Order at 10:20 AM.


Minutes from Annual Meeting Council and Business Meeting were presented for approval. Minutes were approved after corrections/amendments as follows:

Council I-A (6/26/04) Attachment 1 - correction to Profit /Loss Statement for 2003 […net ordinary income of $18,810…]

Council I-B (6/26/04) Attachment 2 - no corrections required

Council II (7/1/04) Attachment 3 – Addendum to Ad Hoc Committee to coordinate joint symposium between Teratology and SPER in 2006: K. Jones to ask M. Werler to serve as Chair of this Ad Hoc Committee.

Revision of Granting Assistance section to read “E. Faustman volunteered to get someone from the NIEHS to give a presentation on transitional funding at the Annual Meeting if possible.”

Postdoctoral Fellowship Committee, second to last sentence of first paragraph corrected to read […do and how they will be…] Next paragraph, reference to University of Washington deleted.

Publications Committee report revised to state “Council provided Deb with a list of three candidates for each position.”

Council II –Conference call continuation (8/9/04) Attachment 4 – Participant list revised to delete D. Hansen from list.

E. Faustman requested, and Council approved the addition of an ACTION ITEMS section to the minutes. This listing will be presented at the end of the minutes in the future.


President’s Report – K. Jones

Strategic Plan Update with Matrix (Attachments 5 & 6) Ken reviewed the progress the Society had made on the Strategic Plan adopted in 1997 (revised in 2002).

  1. The Society has improved the Annual Meeting program and number of submissions was up at the last meeting.
  2. To build on the diversity of the members to move toward facilitating consensus on scientific issues relevant to policy, K. Jones has asked a number of members to take part in a Diversity Committee. The members who have accepted this offer are J. Adams (representing NBTS), A. Correa (representing CDC), T. Chambers (representing OTIS), W. Harrouk (representing the FDA) and Kok-Wah Hew (representing industry). The goal of the Committee and the definition of diversity were discussed (note: This committee will not deal with minority issues. That will be the venue of another Ad Hoc Committee to be called the Special Populations Committee). This committee is to remain in close contact with the PAC, A. Scialli to serve as Council Liaison.
  3. The Society utilization of the Web is improving, but not rapidly. The Website Committee needs to update the student page more often and Council has requested the Committee to provide us with data on the number of hits the site gets monthly.
  4. Council felt the progress on the Journal was excellent.
  5. Education Outreach will be an ongoing effort. The participation of High School Teacher in the location of the Annual Meeting was deemed to be successful this year.
  6. Council Management of Society activities will require developing metrics. Council will review the measurements of success in the attachments and provide input electronically within 30 days of this meeting. Some discussion of the fate of the Newsletter followed. No final determination was made at this time. Council discussed adding the coordination of PAC, Website, Secretary/Newsletter Outreach to the functions of the Vice President-elect. A revised job description is being drafted by M. Tassinari and E. Faustman. Part of function will be to follow up with members who did not attend the Annual Meeting to determine if the program was a contributing factor.

Committee Appointments were reviewed (Attachment 7). Some of the suggested nominees for various Committees will require submission of application for membership. All nominees were approved if they become active Regular, Associate or Student Members. A few Committees are still not at the proscribed membership numbers and K. Jones will continue to look for appropriate nominees. K. Jones to develop charge for Special Populations Committee (Ad Hoc) and appoint members.

Warkany Lecturer this year will be T. Scialli.

FASEB membership was discussed in lieu of the proposed increase in dues. Clarification on the actual amount is needed before Council could determine the financial impact of retaining our full Society membership. The dues are prorated to the number of active members in the Society.


Vice President’s Report – M. Tassinari

Meeting Program Update (handout without Attachment number) The Program outline was reviewed by M. Tassinari. Changes in schedule on Monday and with the Poster sessions were discussed. Student/Postdoc posters will have special identification tags. The Hotel and the Student Accommodations were visited and appear to be adequate for our meeting. The Society will be meeting with NBTS, BTS and OTIS. The Education Course (Stem Cells) and program were reviewed and very minor changes suggested. This year there will be a second mini-course which will have separate registration fee. The additional course will be just prior to the Bioinformatics Symposium and is to serve as an introduction to the symposium. The separate registration is being charged to help defray the costs of computer access requested for the Bioinformatics Symposium. The hotel has offered to provide box lunches for sale each day and the Society does not have to guarantee a minimum number purchased. The current program plans permit specific nights when Sponsors may have off site functions including the one free evening without any official Society function. The banquet will be replaced by a “beach party” following the business meeting.

2005 Meeting Budget was reviewed (Attachment 8). Council discussed Student Travel Awards and NIEHS requirements that their award be a true competition with no more than 60% of the applicants receiving a travel grant. Numerous scenarios were discussed. The intent is to keep student registration high and provide as much travel assistance as possible. Council voted to continue funding student travel at $500 per student who had an abstract accepted for platform or poster presentation. The number of corporations who sponsor the meeting has fallen (mergers, financial times, etc) so sources of funding need to be expanded. The budget, although very ambitious, was accepted for the Annual Meeting with minor modifications.


Vice President-elect’s Report – E. Faustman had to do with the SPER joint symposium. E. Faustman was not on Council when these discussions were initiated so K. Jones provided the update. Ken spoke with Gary Shaw of SPER regarding the joint symposium (SPER/TS) to be held at the Epidemiology meeting in Seattle in June of 2006. K. Jones has asked M. Werler, T. Chambers to be TS reps on this group and G. Shaw and D. Savitz will represent SPER. The meeting is an international meeting and our suggested topic will be fetal determinants of adult disease. This is being proposed as part of the Strategic Plan to increase Society visibility and to serve as a possible lead in to running our meetings with SPER in the future.


Secretary’s Report – G. Dearlove (Attachment 9) The report presented some significant concerns for the Society.

Newsletter is dying a slow death. The articles from Society Officers are not forthcoming and the articles from Council (as Liaison to the various Committees) have also been few and far between. Council discussed the merits of the Newsletter and G. Dearlove and E. Faustman are to discuss after the meeting and present a plan to Council.

Delinquent Members and attrition was again discussed. Lists of delinquent members from 2003(Attachment 10) and 2004 (Attachment 11), previously prepared by AIM, were circulated. Council members were requested to sign up to contact members whose names appeared on the lists to determine why they had stopped paying their dues. G. Dearlove collected the list and was to e-mail council with a compilation of contacts for each Councilor. Any names not selected were contacted by the Secretary. During this discussion, the non-paying category of Emeritus reviewed. Council will determine if this will continue to be a classification of membership or if it will be replaced by another category that would require the payment of dues, even if at a reduced rate. Any change will have to go to the Constitution and By Laws Committee. R. Tyl is to draft a new description for Distinguished Fellow. A suggestion was made that members in good standing from the JTS, ETS or Australian TS should have their membership application procedures waived if they want to join the Teratology Society. This suggestion should be reviewed and supported by the Membership Committee before being enacted by Council.


Treasurer’s Report – I. Smoak (Attachment 12 and supplemental handout – Balance Sheet from 8/31/04) Report was presented by T. Masson.

T. Masson reported that the Society had a Certificate of Deposit due to mature in very early November and she requested guidance from Council regarding investing of these funds. Discussion of roll-over or mutual funds followed. Council voted to authorize the Executive Director, if unable to obtain a response from either member of the Finance Committee (I. Smoak, Treasurer and J. Rogers, Past Treasurer), to have the CD cashed in at maturity and have the funds sent to the Society for investment at the direction of Council.

Post meeting note. Ida spoke with the Legg Mason representative and he recommended that we rollover the CD. T. Masson informed Ida that Council seemed to support looking at other strategies for the Societies investments. Ida is in the process of collecting more information from Legg Mason.

Items noted by Council;

The $10,000 authorized for expenditure on a Bioinformatics Workshop this year will be carried over to next year, so the budget deficit must be increased by $10,000 for 2005 (and reduced by $10,000 for 2004).

The Primer is not in the current 2005 budget estimate. The committee is still using the 2003 allocation of funds. No new budget expenses are projected for 2005. All chapters have been edited and are ready to go to Council and the authors for final review. Graphics and figures are still in progress. When all is completed, a final publication estimate can be obtained. This will be a no fee primer to be issued to medical students in the current format. Council asked to review primer and determine if the no charges status is acceptable. The 2005 budget (deficit budget of about $27,000) was approved by voice vote. The deficit is expected to be pushed into the positive by the additional Royalties projected from Journal sales.


Executive Director’s Report – T. Masson (Attachment 13)

Annual Meeting Update The 2004 Annual Meeting is expected to generate $1,500 in revenue after the $21,500 from grants is booked and one more contribution is received. AM registration was 371, Education Course had a registration of 115 and the Mini-Course registration was 59.

The 2005 Annual Meeting Abstracts submission system will be the same as the one used in 2004. The cost is $950 for the entire process. We will be accepting on-line registrations for the meeting. The Web Site Committee will update the payment pages and have them live by the time the Preliminary Program is printed. M. Collins has agreed to serve as PI for the NIH travel grant application (Letter of Intent due Nov.1). We are still waiting to hear when the CDC grant is due. Should be in mid November. The copyright concerns from the Education Committee were reviewed by our attorney and the changes to the forms were approved. We still are not at liberty to put the materials on a CD or on the internet for more general usage.

Speaker Reimbursement Policy was reviewed and no changes were recommended. M. Tassinari to call Education Committee for clarification on number of speakers for Mini-Course and their reimbursement requests.

Post-meeting note. The mini-course speakers include one member and one non-member. Rules for speaker re-imbursement will apply and Eve Mylcreest, chair will clarify this for the invited speakers.

Demographic Information (Attachments 14 & 15) The need for collection of this information was reviewed. Council was asked to add all revisions/suggested additions or deletions to the two sets of data collection forms and return to Headquarters with in 30 days.


Public Affairs Committee Report – T. Scialli

Press Releases The Committee did not identify a great deal of benefit from the Press Releases of last year. Felt were not worth the costs last year, but will continue the effort to see if they can find the right combination of releases in the future.

CME Accreditation was reviewed and an agency identified (American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine) that is willing to co-sponsor accreditation efforts. This is desirable for increasing attendance by Clinicians who are required to earn a set number of CMEs each year. The group identified will charge the Society only $1500 (going rate for other CME-granting groups was $10,000 plus $500 for each half day plus a great deal of paperwork). M. Tassinari to work with K. Filkins to facilitate for the next Annual Meeting. The requirements were discussed and Council voted to move forward with this program. M. Tassinari to present to Program Committee for their approval.

Teachers Education Program was a success in Vancouver because it was offered in conjunction with another meeting and the speakers were provided by the NIAAA. PAC will attempt to get NIAAA assistance in Florida. T. Scialli to try to determine correct contact group in Florida.

Position Papers
  • The obesity paper will be a follow on to the symposium of the last meeting. This paper will be authored by the PAC to avoid individual authors having to gain clearance for their names to be listed as author.
  • Causation in Teratology will address testimony regarding single event cause and effect. Want to get a consensus on what is required to show causation, not a list, but a prescription of what is needed to assign cause and effect to exposures. This will be Public Affairs Committee authorship. Not a guide on ethics of testifying. That would be a different standalone paper.
  • Statins position paper was discussed and Council determined that this was not an appropriate subject at this time. A workshop to review the requirements of the “black box” would be appropriate but a position paper would not. It was recommended that a review of statin literature be considered.
  • Maternal exposures issues were discussed and Council determined that this was not an appropriate subject at this time. Council was to receive electronic details about the publications in question to review for potential action in the future.


Publications Committee – D. Hansen (Attachment 16)

New Members to the Committee are W. Harrouk and K. Augustine.

Wiley-Liss Symposium will focus on effects of pre-conception and early post-conception exposures on phenotype. The symposium will be followed by a review issue of BDR-C on the same topic.

Wilson Award for Best Paper in BDR-A or BDR-B has a schedule established and all editors are in agreement. Schedule, Nominations procedures, Scoring and Award amount were presented to Council.

Price Increase for the Journal will not occur in 2005. Electronic access to all three parts of the Journal will continue until Wiley-Liss determines how they are going to restrict access to only two parts of the member selects only Parts A and C or Parts B and C.

Publisher’s report will be requested for the Annual Meeting.

Committee terms are not being fulfilled in accordance with the current By-Laws. The current chair is supposed to assume that role in their fourth year (following a year as the Vice Chair during their third year on the Committee), and then remain for a fifth year as the past Chair to provide more continuity to the committee. The Vice Chair is currently selected in the second year of the term, the Chair is in the third year, and the past Chair function is served during the fourth year of the term. This item is to be referred to the By-laws Committee. Either the Committee will have to change the way it operates, or the By-laws will have to be revised.

Liaisons from other Teratology Societies were discussed. Council felt that Liaisons were not necessary for the normal operations of the Publication Committee. Therefore, Liaisons from other Teratology Societies need not be recruited/reappointed.

Continuation 22-Oct-04

Committee Liaison Reports:

Metrics Issue was again discussed. Council asked for input on how to score Society progress on the Strategic Plan. The input of the Membership and that of Council were discussed in an effort to arrive at metrics that would be helpful. Council requested T. Masson to merge the data sets for Council to re-review and offer input on metrics of the revised scorecard. Council suggested that this be a topic for the Issues Forum.

Nominations Committee - S. Tyl reported the committee has compiled a list of candidates. The names will be prioritized and called. Council will have a final ballot to review/approve by December 1, 2004.

Constitution and By-Laws Committee – K. Jones reported No report from the Committee. The membership has received the ballot and about 150 have been returned. Final date for return is 10/28/04. The Committee will be given two new tasks: to review the Publications Committee terms of Office and to review changes to the membership category “Emeritus” to Distinguished Member. S. Tyl has drafted criteria for this membership classification; T. Masson to e-mail to Council for review and revision prior to presentation of the document to the Constitution and By-law Committee.

Web site no report. No Council Liaison. Council agreed that this should be a function of the PAC Committee and T. Scialli to be designated Liaison.

Student Affairs Committee – M. Tassinari reported that M. Collins requested Council to confirm the student travel support will continue. Council agreed to fund all students and postdocs with abstracts that have been accepted for presentation at the Annual Meeting. The awardees should be members of the Society. Discussion followed regarding the NIEHS requirement that not all applicants should be funded with their travel grants. They want a competition with no more than 60% of the applicants receiving NIEHS travel money. Council agreed that $500 would be provided to all student/postdoctoral presenters at the Annual Meeting, regardless of the amount of money granted by the NIH fro travel.

Membership Committee had no report

Position Statement on Stem Cells to be worked up by M. Tassinari and S. Tyl for review by Council.

National Children’s Study Update will be presented by Carole Kimmel at the Annual Meeting. No recent changes were available.

The suggestion from R. Tuan that Symposium Speakers who are not members have their students sponsored by the Society to encourage them to stay for the entire meeting was briefly discussed. The current compensation package was deemed adequate and no additional funding will be provided to students from the labs of invited speakers. They may apply for travel assistance the same as all other students.

A conference call will be held in late-March to follow-up on items discussed during this meeting and to prepare for the upcoming June meetings. T. Masson to obtain availability for scheduling the call.

Meeting adjourned 11:58 AM.







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