Ventana Canyon Resort
Annual Business Meeting of the Teratology Society was called to
order by President Melissa Tassinari at approximately 5:10 PM.
There were 47 regular members in attendance at the start of the
meeting (Quorum reached when 35 members in attendance).
PRESIDENT’S REPORT – Melissa Tassinari acknowledged
those members leaving Council (K. Jones, Past President; G. Dearlove,
Secretary; R. Parker, Council; B. Hales, Publication Committee
Chair and T. Scialli, Public Affairs Committee Chair). Melissa
reviewed the progress Council has made this past year in revising
the Code of Ethics for the Society and in establishing Guidelines
for the Journal. Council also created two new “awards”
to honor members whose service to the Society has been unsurpassed.
This year the Society implemented the Narsingh Agnish Fellowship
in grateful recognition of all the years of hard work Dr. Agnish
had given to the Education Course. The Society has also established
the Robert L. Brent Lecture to acknowledge the years of service
Dr. Brent has given to the Society, not only as Journal Editor
but also for organizing the Teratogen Update Symposium each year.
Progress on the Society Strategic Plan was reviewed and the membership
was informed that another planning session will be scheduled for
A new task force has been established within the Society whose
mandate will be to work within the FASEB organization to try to
make the Teratology Society more visible. The members of the task
force are T. Knudsen, J. DeSesso, G. Daston, P. Mirkes and M.
A moment of silence was observed for Dr. R.W.Miller who passed
away this past year. Dr. Miller was President of the Society from
VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT – Elaine
Faustman reported that we had a full program this year and reminded
the membership that the sessions on Thursday would start 7:30
AM. Dr. Faustman thanked the program committee for their tremendous
program (Committee listed in program) and acknowledged the invaluable
assistance of T. Masson and B. Rhame of the AIM office. The Society
thanked the grant writing efforts of M. Collins, M. Shelby, T.
Scialli and B. Rhame, acknowledged the Education Committee (see
list provided in packet). There were 370 registrants for the meeting
this year, and we had 132 abstracts, 65 posters and 58 platform
presentations. This year the program committee worked to increase
the interactions between NBTS and OTIS by increasing the number
of joint scientific programs.
VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT’S REPORT – Tom
Knudsen presented slides indicating that the meeting next year
will be at the newly renovated Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh.
The program finalization is targeted for August 1, and the new
Program Committee has a good start. This early completion of the
program should help in the writing of grant applications for support.
SECRETARY’S REPORT – George Dearlove
announced that the campaign to “recapture” delinquent
members who had not paid their dues last year was only partially
successful. However, the attrition rate indicates that the Society
will be around for the 50th anniversary in four years, but will
probably not be around for a 60th unless something is done.
B. Brent suggested providing scholarships to attend the course
for older members (a.k.a. the Agnish Fellowship that was established
this year) and to reduce membership rates for older/retired members.
The greatest loss in members is not from the ranks of the older
members. Council is trying to evaluate demographics to see who
is not renewing their membership (currently loss is very high
in students who do not retain membership as they graduate) to
work on retaining members in all stages of their careers.
G. Daston suggested this be one of the primary topics of the next
Strategic Planning Session.
TREASURER’S REPORT – Ida Washington
(presented by M. Tassinari) reported the current status of the
Society financial figures for 2005.
total revenue and support …. $494,544
Our total expenses ………. $418,996
Our change in net assets …..…... $75,548
Our current Investments ………...$294,115
Three CDs at $131,537
Mutual Funds at $162,578
cash and cash equivalents….. $355,841
Our current accounts receivable…$123,147
Current Interest receivable……… $ 1,109
Prepaid Expenses ……………….
Our total current assets ………… $793,151
This total achieves the goal set by the Strategic Planning Session
of bringing the cash reserves for a non-profit (i.e. the Teratology
Society) to 1.5 times the annual operating budget. This number
is recommended by accounting firms as the minimum reserves target
for societies such as ours.
Council investment plan was reaffirmed this year. This plan would
move forward with an investment plan that will put 25% of Society
funds in higher yield/higher risk investments; 65% in fixed return/secure
investments and 10% of funds will be retained as liquid investments
to cover operating expenses.
M. Tassinari pointed out that Legg Mason was purchased by SmithBarney
this year and the Society no longer has the account manager with
whom we developed the investment strategy. Therefore, Council
will look for a new investment assistance firm.
Note was made that a large part of the increase in Society funds
was the direct result of the contributions from the Publisher-provided
Royalty for the Journal. G. Daston was recognized as the individual
responsible for this very favorable contract with Wiley-Liss.
PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE REPORT – Barbara
Hales acknowledged her committee for their efforts (listed names)
and reported that the Journal Royalties this year were $119,675;
the Wilson Publication Award Winner this year was Diana Jurlioff
and the Wiley-Liss Symposium was a great success. The Code of
Ethics and Journal Guidelines project was discussed and the individuals
responsible for the new versions were thanked. Additionally, all
regular members will still have electronic access to all three
parts of the Journal through 2006 and we can expect the price
of the Journal to remain constant until 2008 (at which time the
subscription rate is expected to increase by $5.00 but the final
cost are not yet set in stone most probably will be $75.00 for
Part A or Part B with all receiving Part C, or $125 for those
subscribing to all three parts).
P. Mirkes gave the Editors report Part A of the
Journal. We have seen an increase in the number of manuscripts
being submitted and an increase in percentage of foreign authors.
The Commentaries were added to try to increase readership and
to make the Journal timelier and to permit a little open discussion.
The reviews have been included to increase usage of the Journal,
the same as inclusion of Teratogen Update has increased usage.
The current decision time for acceptance is under a month. Phil
also presented a list of Society members who had published in
BDR-A in 2005
G. Daston gave the Editors report Part B of the Journal.
We have a new Associate Editor (K. Treinen) for the female reproductive
toxicity papers. BDR-B has seen an increase in the number of manuscripts
being submitted. The current acceptance rate is between 54 and
68%. We have made our page budget for 2005 and 2006. The reviews
have been included in this issue as well to increase usage of
the Journal. The current decision time for acceptance is approximately
one month. George indicated that the current impact factor for
the Journal was 1.2 (last year it was 1.0) and the goal for the
next 12 months is to achieve an impact factor of 1.6 (equivalent
to Reproductive Toxicology).
R. Tuan presented the BDR-C editors report. Rocky
reviewed the goals of “C” – a review format
Journal. A number of tables of contents were presented to indicate
the scope of the reviews carried to date. Publication deadlines
and getting authors to adhere to them are the most taxing parts
of the editors’ job. Getting people to agree to publish
a review in the Journal is getting easier as the reputation of
the Journal goes up.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE – Janine
Polifka reported for Tony Scialli that two position papers
had been published this past year. One paper dealt with Maternal
Obesity and Pregnancy and was published in BDR-A and the other
paper was a statement on the success of varicella eradication
campaign (also published in BDR-A). Some media attention was generated
by each of these documents. For future position papers, the PAC
will also prepare a media statement that can be released if/when
any media attention is generated.
Three position papers in preparation will cover Clinical Trial
Ethics (M. Schellpfeffer is lead author), Use of the Word “Safe”
in Risk Assessments (T. Chambers is lead author) and a response
to the article “The Future of Teratology is in Vitro”
that was mailed to the membership (G. Daston is lead author).
The NIAAA sponsored course on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome at the Vancouver
meeting has not been repeated. Attempts were made to generate
local interest in similar programs prior to the meeting last year
and this year. Next year we will try one more time (Pittsburgh
meeting). Do we want this to become an annual FAS course, if we
can get it to run in Pittsburgh? Should coordination be a function
of the PAC or should that be delegated to a sub committee of NBTS,
OTIS and Teratology? Can we generate a set of slides that would
be available on the Web for all to use? Ideas will be presented
to the next Council meeting for action.
NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS COMMITTEE REPORT –
Don Stump reported the results of the 2006 elections.
All candidates were strongly supported by membership votes. The
Vice President-Elect this year is Tina Chambers, the new Secretary
is Deborah Hansen and the new Council Member is Karen Augustine.
Don thanked the members who ran against these individuals and
asked that they continue to remain active in the Society.
STUDENT AFFAIRS COMMITTEE – Wafa Harrouk
reported that we had 40 student/postdoc abstracts his year. The
Society awarded 27 travel grants of $500 this year (2 students
could not accept an award). Of the 27 awards, 18 were students
and 9 were postdocs. The students need to update the Students
Corner in the Web site and we will more clearly articulate the
guidelines for the awards and their availability for student assistance.
M. Collins has agreed to help with the grant writing again next
EDUCATION COMMITTEE – Gloria Jahnke announced
that the Vertebrate Embryology Continuing Education Course had
more registrants than we had course books (142 participants including
the speakers) and the Sunrise Mini-Course on Developmental Pharmacokinetics
had a course record of 94 registrants.
Charles River Laboratories and Keith Robinson were acknowledged
for providing the course books for both courses. The quality of
both sets of materials was again outstanding. Covance, Haskell
Laboratory and Gene Logic were acknowledged for supporting the
The Committee is still looking for ideas for future course topics
and members were urged to let the members know if they wanted
to assist in the future. C. Lau will be the new Chair and S. Marty
will assume the duties of Secretary for next year.
WEBSITE COMMITTEE – Robert Felix (report
presented Ed Carney), that a great many of the website links had
been modified, but more activity is needed by the members themselves
in addition to the Web Master at UCSD.
The Primer has been put on the Website as a PDF document downloadable
by chapter. This is in the members section of the Web.
The Web Committee is going to get the Positions Available section
up and, hopefully, operational.
The long range goal is to make the Web site a communications hub
for the Society. The committee is in need of students who are
interested in helping with the Student part of the Web pages as
well as the ongoing communications efforts.
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE – Ali Faqi
pointed out the listing of new members for the year: 21 regular
members, 3 associate members, 14 student members and 2 emeritus
BYLAWS COMMITTEE – George Clemens
reported for the Committee and indicated that the major revisions
that took place in 2004 (approved by membership vote in 2005)
have been re-reviewed and minor grammatical “housekeeping”
of “cosmetic” changes have been recommended to and
approved by the Council. One new change is Section 5 will be submitted
for vote by the membership this year.
K. Filkins informed the members that the EPA has a new program
on women’s health and environmental issues.
L.D. Wise stated that the IFTS has ceased to exist and wanted
to alert Council so we did not pay the web maintenance fee in
the future. Dave also indicated that the Teratology Society of
Germany has volunteered to take the slides that are on the Web.
(Council had already addressed these issues and the Society will
maintain the slides. Council to address further at Council II)
L.D. Wise commented on the absence of meeting minutes on the Web
(Meeting minutes for last year had recently been submitted for
posting to the Web Committee so this item had already been addressed)
Meeting adjourned at approximately 6:00 PM.
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