Division of Neurobiology (DNB) - Spring 2000 Newsletter
Message from the Chair
who attended the Atlanta meeting seemed to feel that it was a great success.
The two symposia sponsored by our division represent major contributions to the
field, and their publication can be expected to enhance SICB's reputation as a
good forum for neurobiologists. The experiment with topical organization of
contributed sessions was generally viewed as a success, and this trend will be
especially beneficial to neurobiologists, as our field extends so naturally
into behavior, endocrinology and other comparative topics. The meeting also
treated us to other excellent symposia and paper sessions, the posters were
plentiful and well attended and the schedule still allowed valuable
opportunities to catch up with old friends, make new ones and browse among new
books and other displays. In addition to the strong scientific appeal of the
Atlanta meeting, there was excitement in the air, as the division leaders and
SICB officials met to chart new directions for the organization. The changes
under consideration reflected our renewed health and commitment to promoting
research and science education.
the meeting was over, several changes were announced that will be greeted with
enthusiasm by all members: first, the abstract fee for papers presented at the
meeting in Chicago in 2001 has been eliminated. Second, early membership fees
have been reduced by 10 percent for next year. Additionally, funds have been
committed to a Program Innovation Fund that will support development of new
vehicles to carry SICB towards its strategic plan of scientific growth and
outreach. Please communicate with me, your Program Officer Rich Satterlie or a
member of the committee if you have ideas for activities that you feel will
energize Annual Meeting events and help SICB be responsive to the needs of its
present and future members.
changes are predicated on continued financial health, which translates into a
need to recruit new members. We neurobiologists, in particular, stand to gain
by urging our compatriots to join SICB now. Those of us who have attended the
meetings lately know how conducive the interactions between faculty and
students are to collaborations and information exchange that can improve our
research and teaching. The responses of students to the Annual Meeting are
always enthusiastic, and reflect SICB's ideal of egalitarian scientific
interchanges. New students should be encouraged to join SICB early, to get
involved, plan to present their findings and qualify for the opportunity to
exchange work time at the meeting for lodging fees. Other advantages to
students include the opportunity to apply for grant-in-aid for support of
student research projects. Keeping in touch with SICB is getting easier all the
time, with the work underway to reconfigure the SICB Web site (http://daphne.bio.uci.edu).
This is developing into a resource we can consult for advice on animal species
and sources, comparative biochemical and genetic data, possible collaborations
and to share discoveries, students and technology.
from the Secretary
year we are to hold an election for the chair of our division. You will be
receiving in the near future short descriptions of the selected candidates that
will run for chair. We encourage you to return the ballots to the address that
will be provided with your noted selection as soon as you receive them. Below
is the descriptive background information for our two candidates.
chair's appointment is for a two-year term. In DNB, the secretary and the
program officer positions will be open and voted on in the year 2001. Start to
decide if you would like to participate in the excitement of being involved in
the society’s activities!
this year’s Atlanta meeting we increased student membership in our
division, and we had a growth of neurobiological presentations. This was
mostly due to the wonderful participation of the neurobiology unit at Georgia
social hosted by Georgia State University and organized by Dr. Paul Katz was a
success for bringing students and faculty together to talk in an informal
setting. Thank you Georgia State University and our own division for helping to
cover the expense of the drinks and snacks. This would not be such a bad trend
to start for our division at future meetings!
tuned for the selection for our chair candidates.
from the Program Officer
Atlanta meeting was a success for the division in terms of both the depth and
breadth of participation. We sponsored two symposia, and had an increase in
the number of oral presentations. The number of poster presentations was about
the same as last year. We would like to continue the momentum in the upcoming
meetings. To this end, we are currently negotiating to co-sponsor two symposia
for the Chicago meeting. However, now it is time to think about the 2002
meeting in Anaheim. I have had one symposium inquiry for this meeting, but I
would like to see one more. Symposium application forms can be obtained from
the SICB Business Office, but an initial inquiry, through me, would be
appreciated. In the long run, I would like to see the division sponsor at
least one symposium per year, with not more than two in any year. If you have
ideas for future topics, I would be happy to discuss them--even if the time
frame is two or three years in the future.
I would like to forward our collective congratulations to our two student
presentation award winners. Holly S. Cate received the Best Student Oral
Presentation award for her talk entitled "Functional Units of a Compound Nose:
Aesthetasc Sensilla House Similar Populations of Olfactory Receptor Neurons on
the Antennule of Spiny Lobsters." Robb W.S. Schneider received the Best
Student Poster Presentation award for his poster entitled "Boundary Layer
Effect on Chemical Signal Movement Near the Antennae of the Sphinx Moth." We
will continue to recognize our outstanding student members with these two
awards in upcoming meetings. Established members of the division are encouraged
to help by serving as judges (contact any of us).
Candidates for DNB Chair
Donald H. Edwards
Professor, Departments of Biology and Physics, and Director, Center for Neural
Communication and Computation, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia.
B.S., Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1970;
Ph.D., Neurobiology (Biology), Yale University, 1976.
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Stanford University, 1976-79; Grass
Foundation Fellow, Marine Biological Laboratory, 1978; Postdoctoral Research
Associate, University of California at Davis, 1979-1981; Assistant, Associate
and Professor, Georgia State University, 1981-present; Director, Program in
Computational Neuroscience, National Science Foundation, 1992-1993; Director,
Center for Neural Communication and Computation, Georgia State University,
1995-present; Visiting Fellow, Gatty Marine Laboratory, University of St.
Andrews, 1991, 1996; Summer Investigator, Marine Biological Laboratory, 1997;
Director, Collaboratory on Aggression, Center for Behavioral Neuroscience at
Georgia State, Emory, Georgia Tech, and Clark-Atlanta Universities,
1999-present; Professor of Physics, Georgia State University, 1999-present.
Member since 1999; Co-organized (with Dr. Robin Cooper) participation of
Decatur H.S. A.P. Biology students in 2000 Annual Meeting.
AAAS, Society for Neuroscience, International Society for Neuroethology.
Neural mechanisms of social hierarchy formation, computational mechanisms in
the nervous system, mechanisms of behavioral choice, the neurobiology and
behavior of crayfish.
Although new to the SICB, I have been very impressed with the importance of
the niche that it fills in neuroscience. Comparative, evolutionary,
developmental, ethological, ecological and physiological questions about
nervous systems all have a home here, where they are asked by neurobiologists
and by those whose primary concerns are in each of these other areas. These
questions take neurobiology out of the clinic and back into the wild, where
nervous systems evolved and where they can most easily be understood. My major
goal would be to make the neuroscience community more aware of the opportunity
that SICB provides to them, and to encourage their participation in the
James Alan Murray
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, University of Central Arkansas.
Cornell University, 1988; Ph.D., University of Washington, 1994.
research, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 1994-95; University of
California, San Diego, Department of Biology, 1995-98; Grass Foundation
Fellowship in Neuroscience, Friday Harbor Laboratories 1997; Lecturer, UCSD
1997-98; Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Colby College
Member as of 1999.
for Neuroscience, International Society for Neuroethology, Faculty for
Undergraduate Neuroscience, Council on Undergraduate Research, Arkansas Society
of orientation and navigation in gastropods. Behavioral and physiological
responses to water flow.
increased access to and familiarity with the Internet among students, I believe
the best opportunity for division growth will be by targeting those students
early in their scientific careers. It is at that point in a budding
scientists' career that their interests begin to narrow, so our society can
offer a broader perspective to encourage young scientists to keep their minds
open to the benefits of the comparative and integrative approach. We should
capitalize on the increasing frustration with larger meetings with narrowly
specialized subgroups by increased electronic outreach to established
scientists. We should build on past success in establishing the SICB Web site,
by adding content from the DNB such as member profiles, histories of various
research traditions and information that would increase the opportunity for
collaborations that would broaden the training of students. I would endeavor
to increase the division's efforts in proposing and publicizing future
symposia, and to share these presentations with the public. I am especially
interested in supporting interdivisional cooperation in presenting symposia.
One possible way of showcasing our research is by providing case studies or
lesson plans that could be used in secondary or undergraduate classrooms.