DDCB Fall 1999 Newsletter
This Newsletter by Section
Message from the Secretary
Charles H. Ellis, Jr.
When a division secretary becomes prodigal as summer ends, and his fellow officers engage in some sabbatical travel (Scott Gilbert) or move to a new institution (Billie Swalla), it can lead to a less than complete divisional newsletter. My apologies to our members. I now have things back together, and there will be much more for the spring newsletter.
As Billie's message indicates, there will be a superb program at the Atlanta meeting with a number of paper sessions and symposia of great interest to DDCB members. Our thanks go out to Billie for her indefatigable and excellent work over the last four years as our program officer (the "extra" year occurred as she completed the last year of her predecessor's term). We have had some truly spectacular symposia, some of which even helped to the spawn our new sister organization, the Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology. Excellent work, Billie!
During the summer, we appointed a new graduate student/postdoctoral representative for the division. She is Brenda Schumpert, a developmental biology graduate student in the Zoology Department at University of Washington. We look forward to her participation with us at the Atlanta meeting and beyond.
As I write this, we do not yet have a program officer to succeed Billie, and Billie will be stepping down at the end of the Atlanta meeting. The candidate that our nominators had in mind is now the program officer of the new DEDB. We hope to find a candidate, or preferably candidates, soon so that we can have our new program officer at work come January. This is a very important job. If you can suggest an able colleague who would be willing to be program officer (or wish to nominate yourself) please contact Scott Gilbert or me right away.
Finally, I have to report the sad news that our long-time, and very active colleague Clement Markert passed away on October 1, in Colorado Springs, at the age of 82. He was a giant in the field that became today's developmental biology and was a true mentor to many colleagues, even beyond those of us lucky to have done our theses or postdoctoral research with him. Among his many activities, he chaired our division and served as president of ASZ. The impending newsletter deadline impedes preparation of a proper memorial note. I will have one for the spring issue. He is already missed by his students and colleagues. We thank his wife Margaret and their children Alan, Robert and Samantha for sharing him with all of us throughout his life and career.
Message from the Program Officer
Billie J. Swalla
Greetings from the DDCB program officer! We have put together a dynamite program for the Atlanta meetings and are currently reviewing the Chicago 2001 symposia, which are really exciting, too. The big excitement in Atlanta will be the kick-off celebration of the Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology, which will strengthen the Division of Developmental and Cell Biology considerably. Please be sure that you come to the meetings for the entire four days, as each day will be filled with abstracts, posters and symposia to interest and inspire you. This year, the SICB made a daring move to organize the meeting entirely along a topic-based program, made possible by the vision and energy of John Pearse, the new SICB program officer. We are very enthusiastic about this change and want to hear your input. This change means that instead of a day filled with presentations by DDCB members, regardless of topic, there will be topical sessions with all division members mixed together. For instance, there are larval biology sessions with members from DDCB, DIZ and DSEB, talking about the same topic with different perspectives. This is a major change in programming and took a lot of time and effort on the part of all program officers, so if you enjoy the meeting, make sure you let John (and his wife Vicki) know you appreciate all of his efforts.
We are co-sponsoring two symposia with the new division that will bring in a stellar group of scientists who will be interested in your work. On Friday, January 7, the symposium HOX Clusters and the Evolution of Morphology will go through the major animal phyla, reviewing what is known about Hox gene clusters and their expression in the metazoa. It will then conclude with three final talks that review the "big picture" regarding invertebrates, plants and all organisms. Then on January 8, there will be another symposium, entitled Evolutionary Developmental Biology: Problems, Paradigms and Prospects, that will review the history of evolution and development and look forward to the future prospects of the field. Both of these promise to be excellent, so I look forward to seeing you all in Atlanta and having a great time.
Finally, I would like to thank the terrific officers and members of this division who have worked with me the past four years in planning and executing symposia. I took on the position of program officer of DDCB as a challenge, and that expectation was met beyond my imagination. However, I enjoyed the meetings as they finally came together, facilitating and furthering everyone's science, and I felt I had, in a small way, made a difference. I appreciate that opportunity and am now stepping down to allow someone else's vision to be the guiding force for the DDCB's program. Thanks again and don't forget to vote for the new officer on the Web site. Enjoy Atlanta!
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