SOCIETY ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING
June 25, 1996
Sulik called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM MDT. Approximately
120 members were in attendance.
of Minutes: The minutes of the 1995 annual business meeting
Report: Dr. Sulik reported that she had appointed Dr. Mirkes
to head an ad hoc Committee on Grant Funding to determine what could
be done to increase support for birth defects research. It became
clear to this group that the problem of research support was integrated
with many other issues crucial to the future of the Teratology Society.
Therefore, the Grant Funding Committee has been dissolved, and a
new Committee on Strategic Planning will be established, also headed
by Dr. Mirkes. This committee will be similar in mission to the
Blueprint 2000 Committee, and the recommendations of that committee
and the Strategic Planning Committee will be used to develop an
action plan to ensure the continued growth and health of the Teratology
Sulik reported that she had met during the year with Michael Katz,
Kay Johnson and Suzanne Cassidy of the March of Dimes, and was pleased
to report that March of Dimes has provided $12,000 to support one
of our symposia.
Sulik stated that an ad hoc committee had been formed to establish
a page for the Teratology Society on the Worldwide Web. She also
reported that the meeting abstract form had been updated. The new
form was more efficient and therefore less costly to process.
Sulik reported that foreign postage for Teratology had increased,
and that the publisher was passing on the cost to the Society. The
cost would be fully covered by a $15 increase in dues to all members.
It was moved and seconded that dues be increased by $15 to cover
the cost of foreign postage. Dr. Brent expressed his belief that
postage was the responsibility of the publisher, but was informed
that this had changed under the new contract. Dr. Agnish inquired
whether the publisher or the Society mailed the journal and was
informed by Dr. Skalko that it was the former, and that postage
rates are negotiated between the publisher and the postal service.
The motion was amended to simply state that the dues be raised by
$15. The amendment was accepted, and the motion carried by a vote
Sulik reported that one issue of Teratology had mistakenly been
mailed to members of the American College of Toxicology, because
the publisher of the journal had been sent the wrong mailing list
by the Teratology Society office. Reprinting and mailing of the
issue to our members resulted in a charge of approximately $3500.
(Note added by Executive Secretary: exact cost was $2931.65)
Sulik expressed the opinion of Council that it is no longer adequate
to select meeting sites only three years in advance. An ad hoc site
selection committee will be established at the Council meeting on
June 27, 1996.
Sulik reported that Drs. Lipson, Monie, Murakami, Nishimura, Pexeider,
and the spouses of Dr. Scott and Dr. Tassinari had passed away.
A moment of silence ensued.
Sulik reported to the membership that the Society had failed to
occupy the number of rooms that had been estimated in the contract
with the Keystone Resort, a situation that could potentially result
in a financial penalty. Negotiation to resolve this issue was ongoing,
and she expected that these would be completed in a few months.
At that time the details of the solution will be publicized to the
President's report was approved by consensus.
Report: Dr. Daston reported that the Society currently has 751
members, most of whom are regular members. There are 4 associate,
13 student, 3 honorary and 50 emeritus members. Fifty-nine of our
members are delinquent in their dues for 1996.
Society has 13 companies in its President's Circle, and 14 corporate
members as of this meeting. One additional company has indicated
its intention to subscribe as a corporate member shortly after the
Secretary's report was approved by consensus.
Report: Dr. Francis provided the attendees with a written summary
of the Teratology Society's finances. Income for 1995 was more than
$300,000, with expenses of about $280,000, and net growth being
close to $30,000. This was attributable to good annual meeting revenue
and high attendance at the Education Course. Income for the Warkany
Fund was down, largely because the consulting fees that had been
redirected to the fund are no longer coming in.
Francis noted that there is an apparent deficit in the operating
fund because dues, which are the revenue for this fund, do not sustain
the office, which spends much of its resources supporting the annual
meeting. The deficit is made up by annual meeting revenue. In the
future the meeting and Education funds will be realigned to better
reflect the support of the annual meeting provided by the office
Oakley inquired about how much the Society has in reserve. Dr. Francis
replied that the Society had $110,000 in certificates of deposit.
Dr. Oakley suggested that we put this money in a stock market fund.
Dr. Brent replied that non-profit organizations have an obligation
to their members not to take risks. Dr. Schardein asked what the
1996 income was. Dr. Francis replied that the Society was on target
to reach its projected income, but that the annual meeting was the
time of the Society's greatest expenses and income. Dr. Faustman
suggested that the budget be included as an item for the Strategic
Treasurer's report was approved by consensus.
President's Report: Dr. Cordero reported that next year's annual
meeting will be held at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida,
on June 21-26. The room rates will be in the range of $115-150.
(Note added by Executive Secretary: Student room rate is $79.)
and Elections Committee: Dr. Welsch reported that Dr. Scialli
had been elected Vice President-Elect, and Dr. Hales Councilor,
but that both races had been close.
Committee: Dr. Knudsen reported that the course had 126 attendees,
and that the evaluations were very positive. He and Dr. Tellone
will rotate off the committee. Dr. Weir will be the incoming chair.
He thanked Dr. Agnish and Hoffmann LaRoche for their continuing
support of the course.
Affairs Committee: Dr. Friedman reported that position papers
are being developed on folic acid and neural tube defect prevention
(effort chaired by Dr. Holmes), and an update of vitamin A teratogenicity
(chaired by Dr.Lammer). He indicated that his committee will develop
a plan and subcommittee to improve communication between the Teratology
Society and other organizations and policy makers. Dr. Sadler urged
the Public Affairs Committee to expedite completion of its position
and By-Laws Committee: Dr. Hardin reported that all five ballot
issues to amend the Constitution passed.
Affairs Committee: Dr. Rogers reported that the Committee had
received 21 requests for travel awards and 24 for consideration
for a Wilson award. This is a marked decrease from previous years,
but appears to be due to problems in funding for mentors and should
not be taken as a decreased interest in the field. The Wilson Fund
is doing well, and is contributing an additional $100 to each travel
award. The Eli Lilly Company is supporting two travel awards. The
student mixer held earlier in the meeting was successful, and Dr.
Rogers thanked Dr. Parker for his presentation. Dr. Welsch's wife
has developed a pamphlet on effective communication, which was distributed
to the students. Lastly, the committee is developing a plan for
preliminary judging for the Wilson awards, and to highlight student
presentations by scheduling them earlier in the meeting.
Committee: Dr. Hood reported that there were 33 applications
for regular membership, 5 for student membership and 1 for associate
membership; one application had subsequently been withdrawn. The
Committee recommended that all of the applicants be accepted as
members, and has posted the names on the message board outside the
meeting rooms. It was moved and approved to accept the roster of
Committee: Dr. Skalko reported that the Publications Committee
had lengthy discussions about the future of the journal, its editorship,
and the Society, with no resolution. He stated that Dr. Holmes had
been appointed as Editor of the Teratogen Update section of the
journal, and that Dr. Holmes was increasing the number of updates
submitted. He reported that Dr. Yasuda had suggested to the Committee
that the journal have a web page: this is being set up by the publisher.
Dr. Skalko reported that a suggestion had been made to establish
an annual award for the best paper in the journal, but that this
idea had been tabled by the Committee. Lastly, he reported that
Dr. Sadler had made known his intention not to seek another term
as Editor-in-Chief of Teratology, and that Council would be appointing
a search committee, according to the Constitution and By-Laws.
Dr. Sadler reported that 130 manuscripts were submitted to the journal
in 1995, but that the publication of the journal was a few months
behind schedule. Average review time was 1.9 months, as was average
time to make revisions, but the review time has decreased to 6 weeks
thanks to a new secretary in the editorial office. Most of the delay
between submission and publication is at the publisher, who has
promised to pick up the pace.
submission rate for 1996 has dropped: only 45 manuscripts have been
submitted during the first six months. Dr. Sadler reported that
the impact factor of the journal has decreased because there are
fewer citations of articles in Teratology. Our ranking among developmental
biology journals has slipped. Wiley-Liss has indicated that it will
launch an advertising campaign to target molecular biology, clinical
teratology/ dysmorphology and genetics researchers to try to increase
manuscript submissions from these areas. The publisher has agreed
to increase the number of color plates provided gratis to 16 per
year. The journal will now advertise that it offers free color plates.
editorial board will be expanded, and Section Editors will be eliminated.
The journal will begin to offer rapid publication on an ad hoc basis.
CDC will publish its annual report on developmental data as an issue
of Teratology. Review articles will be solicited, for which Wiley-Liss
will provide an honorarium.
Sheehan suggested that the journal include mini-reviews. There was
also some discussion about changing the name of the journal, but
it was decided that this needed further consideration. Dr. Brent
urged that not too many things be changed at once.
Business: It was announced that Dr. Carole Kimmel was stepping
down as editor of the newsletter, and her service was gratefully
acknowledged. Dr. Daston will be the new editor for the newsletter.
Dr. Gary Kimmel was also thanked for his service as chair of the
Legislative Affairs Committee, which he is now relinquishing.
Brent reported that the National Council for Radiation Protection
is devoting its 1997 annual meeting to reproductive effects. He
suggested that Dr. Sadler consider publishing the proceedings in
Teratology. Dr. Sadler supported this. Dr. Brent also reported that
there had been a legislative initiative in Congress last year supporting
testing of new therapeutic agents in children, but did not have
any information beyond that.
Miller provided a synopsis of the festschrift in honor of Dr. Brent
held earlier this year at Jefferson Medical College. Dr. Miller
also reported that in response to the publication on vitamin A teratogenesis
by Rothman et al., published in November 1995 in New England Journal
of Medicine, the Organization of Teratogen Information Services
(OTIS) had set up an 800 number to provide information on vitamin
A. It was also reported that Drs. Erickson and Oakley had written
an editorial about the Rothman paper in the same issue of NEJM,
and that a number of letters to Lancet on the subject of vitamin
A teratogenesis had been published.
DeSesso inquired about the actions being taken by Council to resolve
the issue with Keystone of not meeting our room quota, and what
steps were being taken to prevent similar problems in the future.
Dr. Sulik replied that the Society's lawyer was reviewing the Keystone
contract and all contracts for future meetings, and that we were
in negotation with Keystone to resolve the room slippage issue.
She expressed the belief that the outcome of the negotiation would
be fair, and reiterated that the membership of the Society would
be fully informed of the outcome of the negotiations as soon as
they were completed. Dr. Sulik stated that in the future the Society
may develop its own draft contract rather than relying on drafts
from hotels, and that Dr. Daston was looking into the possibility
of using professional meeting planners. Dr. Stephen Harris inquired
as to how much the penalty for the room slippage would be. Dr. Sulik
replied that this was subject to negotation and was not known at
Oakley asked that the Teratology Society consider over the next
year the topic of changing its name to help laymen understand what
we do. Dr. Sulik replied that this topic has already been under
consideration, and reminded the attendees that Dr. Mirkes had written
a newsletter article about it. She also indicated that this would
be a subject of discussion of the new Strategic Planning Committee.
Oakley reported that the House Appropriations Committee had approved
a $600 million increase to theNIH budget for the next fiscal year,
but this has yet to be acted on by the Senate.
meeting was adjourned at 7:40 PM.
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