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Division of Comparative Endocrinology (DCE): 2001 Spring Newsletter

In this newsletter:




Message from the Chair

David Norris (david.norris@colorado.edu)

As I gaze out my air-conditioned office window in warm Sydney, Australia, I find it hard to imagine that just a few weeks ago I was freezing various body parts in Chicago. If you weren't there, you also missed some great symposia and many stimulating presentations. The Aubrey Gorbman Award for the best student oral presentation went to Katrina Salvante of Simon Fraser University for her presentation "Hormonal control of reproduction: effects of corticosterone on timing of laying, egg size, clutch size and yolk precursor levels." C. Morgan Wilson of the University of Mississippi received an honorable mention for his presentation "The endocrine basis for trade-offs between immediate survival and reproductive success in arctic- and temperate-breeding yellow warblers." Daesik Park of Northern Arizona University received the award for the best poster which was titled "Purification and action of a repelling pheromone from male red spotted newts." Congratulations to these fine students and to their advisors. Many thanks to the judges Michael Romero (chair), Diana Hews, Miles Orchinik, Greta Rosen, Thane Wibbels and Kevin Kelley.

At our business meeting we voted to establish the Howard A. Bern Distinguished Lectureship in Comparative Endocrinology to be presented by a distinguished scientist at each annual meeting of SICB. Howard has consented to start off the series at Anaheim in January, 2002. Nominations for the 2003 candidate should be sent to me (or any other DCE officer) before the Anaheim meeting so that the Executive Committee can select the recipient. Also, plans are underway to erect a website for the coming international comparative endocrinology meeting being organized by Stacia Sower and Ian Callard for Boston in 2005. Look for information on that soon. Meanwhile, be planning those abstracts for Anaheim and don't forget to vote for your Chair-Elect and Secretary-Elect. Special thanks to the nominating committee that was chaired by Bob Dores and included Diana Hews and Penny Hopkins.





Message from the Program Officer

Sunny Boyd (boyd.1@nd.edu)

The Chicago 2001 meeting was a busy one for DCE members. First, three of the four meeting days included our symposia. Please join me in thanking Jim Carr and Cliff Summers for organizing the symposium on "Stress: Is it More than a Disease? A Comparative Look at Stress and Adaptation." Many thanks as well to Jai Menon and Bob Denver for organizing the symposium "Amphibian Metamorphosis." Both were stimulating additions to the program. Individual member contributions were also significant and we had 34 oral presentations and 29 poster presentations by DCE members at Chicago. The arrangement of both oral and poster presentations was based on keywords chosen by authors this year. This resulted in the posters of DCE members being spread a bit more than in the past. I welcome your opinions on organization of the oral papers and posters, whether you would like to complain or just "fine-tune" some aspect of the system. Remember that choice and order of keywords on the abstract transmittal form is of prime importance in deciding where your contribution will be scheduled. (Keywords are not used only for indexing, as they are by some organizations.) If all members of a lab would like to present together, then all abstracts should have the same keywords listed in the same order.

I would appreciate member input on two program issues. First, as the annual meeting becomes larger, the society as a whole is struggling with how to expand. At the Chicago business meeting, I took a straw poll on whether members preferred the society increase scheduling on Sunday afternoons or increase scheduling on Wednesday afternoons. Member votes at the meeting were about equally split. If you have an opinion on this issue, please write to me at boyd.1@nd.edu. Second, some changes in program scheduling may impact how we conduct the Best Student Paper awards. Presenters are now allowed to give both an oral and a poster presentation. Should we allow students to compete in both competitions in a given year? "Late" abstracts are now accepted for poster presentations. Should those students submitting late abstracts be allowed to compete or only those submitting by the regular deadline? Lastly, some other divisions have had problems with students asking to be judged in the best poster competition but those students are then not at their posters. Should we require DCE students in the best poster competition to be at their posters during the assigned times? Again, please email me with your opinions.

The Anaheim meeting in 2002 is being organized now. Kevin Kelley and Cunming Duan are organizing a symposium on hormone binding proteins for the Anaheim meeting. Remember that mini-symposia are easy to organize and there is still ample time before Anaheim. Mini-symposia do not have to be research topic-based. They can focus, for example, on individuals to honor, research techniques, or particular organisms. Please contact me (boyd.1@nd.edu) if you have any ideas. Feel free to send your ideas anonymously, if you are worried I might try to trap you into organizing!





Message from the Secretary

Bob Denver (rdenver@umich.edu)

Minutes of the Business Meeting
Chicago, Illinois, January 4 th, 2001

Chuck Crumley of Academic Press addressed the membership and announced that Bob Dores has accepted the position of Editor-in-Chief (USA) for General and Comparative Endocrinology . Bob Dores then addressed changes to the manner in which manuscripts will be processed and reviewed and changes to the journal (changes effective Feb. 1, 2001). A board of editors has been established comprised of 30 associate editors to handle manuscripts in specific topic areas. The two editors-in-chief (Dores and Hendersen) will distribute manuscripts to these editors who will then be responsible for selecting reviewers. Reviews will be transmitted to the communicating editor-in-chief who will make a final decision on the manuscript. Manuscripts should now be submitted to the editorial office at Academic Press in San Diego; please see current Instructions for Authors for details. The transmission of manuscripts for review via the Internet (e.g., as PDF files) will be encouraged. In addition to traditional research reports, state-of-the-art reviews will be solicited (Frank Moore will serve as editor of invited reviews) and short communications dealing with new findings in genomics, proteomics, or techniques will be accepted. These papers should be no more than 10 pages in length and are intended to "provide authors with a venue for presenting new data on gene sequences, hormone/neuropeptide structures, or technical innovations relevant to comparative endocrinologists." Also welcome are 'Current Perspectives' manuscripts. These papers, limited to 8 pages, are intended to "provide authors with a forum for discussing topics and trends in comparative endocrinology." These articles "should raise interesting or unanswered questions, present arguments about the significance of recent findings, describe the application and limitations of new methods and technologies, or consider potential interfaces between endocrinology and other disciplines in the sciences." An updated Instructions for Authors will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal or can be accessed via the Internet at www.apnet.com/www/journal/gc/gcifa.htm.

Bill Zamer, the new program officer for Integrative Animal Biology at NSF spoke on changes at NSF that will affect DCE members. Proposal and progress report submissions are now exclusively electronic, via FASTLANE. When submitting proposals as PDF files he cautioned that the files be downloaded for proof-reading before final submission (to verify that there are no glitches in the file). Also, access to proposals by ad hoc reviewers and the submission of reviews is now being conducted via the Internet. He solicited volunteers for program officer positions at NSF as well as reviewers and program panel members. Interested individuals should contact the respective program office at NSF. He requested that when NSF grant recipients publish in high profile journals (e.g ., Science, Nature, PNAS) that they inform their program officers. This is an important way to increase visibility for the research that NSF supports.

Sunny Boyd announced that DCE had 34 oral and 29 poster presentations at the Chicago meeting. Sunny emphasized that members wishing to have their papers grouped with other DCE papers should use "Comparative Endocrinology" as their primary keyword when submitting abstracts. Sunny pointed out that there is still time to submit proposals for mini-symposia for the Anaheim meeting. Note that the Anaheim meeting will be held January 2-6, 2002. It was noted that members should make travel plans early since the meeting may overlap with the local sporting events.

A proposal to establish the Howard A. Bern Lectureship in Comparative Endocrinology was accepted. The lectureship will be established at the Anaheim meeting and Howard Bern has graciously agreed to be give the inaugural lecture.

Changes to the Society's flagship journal American Zoologist were discussed. These include a proposal to change the name of the journal to "Integrative and Comparative Biology". A ballot for changing the name was collected at the Chicago meeting and results will be announced soon. In addition, the format of the journal will be changed to 81/2 x 11. The long delay, as long as two years, between submission of symposium articles and publication was discussed. It was agreed that this problem needs to be resolved and one short term solution will be to temporarily increase the number of issues to overcome the backlog.

The SICB Executive Committee requested feedback on a proposal to place more emphasis on posters and less on oral presentations at the annual meeting. It was generally agreed by the DCE membership that this would be a bad idea since the annual meeting is viewed as a valuable forum for students to gain experience presenting their findings in an oral presentation format.

It was announced that Miles Orchinik won the election for Program Officer-elect for DCE. Miles will take over the position from Sunny Boyd at the Anaheim meeting.

A new divisional website has been established (www.sicb.org/divisions/dce.php3) which is intended to provide current information of relevance to the DCE membership. Future development of this site will include links to sister society homepages and meeting homepages. Suggestions for material to be included on this site are welcome (rdenver@umich.edu).


Upcoming Meetings

The following link provides information on select upcoming comparative endocrinology meetings: www.sciref.org/links/AEOrgs/compendo.htm

14th International Congress of Comparative Endocrinology
Sorrento (Napoli), Italy
May 26-30, 2001

International Symposium on Amphibian and Reptilian Endocrinology and Neurobiology
Camerino, Italy
May 31 - June 2, 2001

5th Annual Meeting, Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology
Scottsdale, Arizona
June 27- July 1, 2001

Fourth Intercongress Symposium of the Asia and Oceania Society for Comparative Endocrinology
China, 2002
Info: Jean Joss jjoss@rna.bio.mq.edu.au

21st European Society for Comparative Endocrinology
Bonn, Germany
August 26-31, 2002

The 2005 ICCE will be held in Boston and will be co-chaired by Ian Callard and Stacia Sower. Stacia is currently requesting proposals for satellite symposia.

Please send comments on the newsletter and messages for the Fall 2001 DCE newsletter to rdenver@umich.edu.





DCE Candidates for Election


Candidates for Chair-Elect

Catherine Propper

Current Position: Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona

Education: A.B. Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, 1982; Ph.D. Oregon State University, Corvallis, 1989.

Professional Experience: NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Colorado, Mentor: Richard E. Jones, 1989-1990; Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, 1991-1996; Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, 1996-present.

SICB Activities: Member, Graduate Student, Postdoctoral Fellow Representative DCE 1986.

Other Memberships: Sigma Xi, AAAS

Research Interests: Action of endocrine disrupting compounds on reproduction and stress responses; neuroendocrine control of seasonal reproduction and behavior. We use amphibians as model systems to examine the effects of low-level exposure to pesticides on reproduction and behavior. We are also investigating the molecular mechanisms that are involved in the initiation of seasonal reproduction.

Goal Statement: Comparative studies in many fields have often led to outstanding discoveries in basic science. I would like to develop a platform for promoting both historical and current comparative endocrine studies that are important to pushing forward the field. I believe that SICB and the Division of Comparative Endocrinology are positioned to act as the sponsors of such an effort.


David Borst

Current Position: Professor of Biology, and Head of the Cell Biology, Physiology, and Developmental Biology Section, Department of Biological Sciences, Illinois State University, Normal, IL

Education: B.A., Biology, Reed College, 1969; M.A., Zoology, UCLA, 1970; Ph.D., Biology, UCLA, 1973.

Professional Experience: Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. Zoology, UC Berkeley, 1973-76; Assistant Professor, Physiology Section, Univ. CT, Storrs, 1976 - 1985; Visiting Scholar, UCLA, 1984; Associate Professor of Biology, Illinois State Univ. (ISU), 1985-1990; Professor of Biology, ISU, 1990 - present; Visiting Scholar, Univ. Washington, 1990 - 1991; College of Arts and Sciences Research Award, ISU 1995, Visiting Professor and NIH-Fogarty International Fellow, Univ. Liverpool, 1997 - 1998; Editorial Board, American Zoologist, 1997 - present; Outstanding University Research Award, ISU, 1999; Associate Editor, Journal of Experimental Zoology, 1999 - present.

SICB Activities: SICB member since 1972. During the past decade my activities in the SICB have included: Chair, Graduate Student Postdoctoral Affairs Committee (1990-1994); Co-Organized, Midwest Regional Endocrinology Conference (May, 1992); Member, DCE Best Student Paper Award Committee (1992, 1995, 1996); Editorial Board, American Zoologist (1997 - present); Chair, Graduate Student Awards Committee (1996 - present); I organized panel discussions on: The Publication Process: Four Inside Views (1990); Life Outside the Ivory Tower: Nonacademic Jobs for Biologists (1991); Strategies for Finding an Academic Job (1992); How to Shake the Money Tree: a Guide to Research Funding for Graduate Students and Post-Doctoral Fellows (1993); I co-organized a symposium " Recent Advances in Crustacean Endocrinology - a symposium in honor of Milton Fingermann " (2000).

Other Memberships: American Association for the Advancement of Science, MBL Corporation, Endocrine Society, Crustacean Society, International Federation of Comparative Endocrinology, Sigma Xi, Phi Sigma.

Research Interests: Endocrine regulation of development, growth, and reproduction. Current studies focus largely on the roles of juvenile hormones and ecdysteroids in arthropods and ovarian steroids in birds. In the past, I studied the role of prolactin and insulin related compounds on the growth and differentiation of mouse mammary tissue.

Goals Statement: The SICB has been reinvigorated during the past decade, in part because new molecular and cellular tools have given us a more sophisticated understanding of how organisms integrate their functions. Since endocrine systems have a critical role in such integration, it is not surprising that the DCE has also grown stronger during this period. One goal of our division should be to encourage the further development and use of these molecular and cellular tools. Another goal should be to increase the dialogue between our members and with members of other SICB divisions. These goals can be achieved in several ways. First, we need to increase attendance by new (especially younger) and current members at the national meeting. This can be partly accomplished by the continuing to increase the quality of our symposia, some of which should be focused on the technical developments in our field. Second, we need to continue to improve our journal, since it is a major means of attracting interest to our field. Finally, we need to continue and perhaps increase our financial support of regional meetings.



Candidates for Secretary-Elect

Cliff H. Summers

Current Position: Professor of Biology and Neuroscience, University of South Dakota

Education: Ph.D., University of Colorado, Boulder, 1987

Professional Experience: Postdoctoral training at UCLA, Univ. Tennessee, and Univ. Colorado 1986-1990. Assistant Professor, California State University, San Marcos 1990-1991. Assistant, Associate and Professor, University of South Dakota 1991-2001.

SICB Activities: Life Member, Organized Symposium: Stress - Is it more than a Disease? A Comparative Look at Stress and Adaptation, with James A. Carr for the 2001 annual meetings in Chicago.

Other Memberships: Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, Society for Neuroscience, JB Johnston Club, AAAS.

Research Interests: Neuroendocrinology of stress. Mechanisms for how and why individuals differ, how responses are characterized temporally, and the relationships between stress, learning, biological rhythms, and reproduction.

Goals Statement: I think the objectives for any society, division, or officer should include being: User friendly, effective within a limited scope, and informative. My goal is to apply those principles to the duties of secretary.


James A. Carr

Current Position: Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences and The Institute for Environmental and Human Health, Texas Tech University, Lubbock.

Education: B.S., Rutgers University, New Brunswick, 1982; M.A., University of Colorado, Boulder, 1986; Ph.D. , University of Colorado, Boulder, 1988.

Professional Experience: Research Associate, Department of Anatomy, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, 1988-1989; NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, 1989-1991; Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, 1991-1997; Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, 1997- Present; Adjunct Faculty, The Institute for Environmental and Human Health, Texas Tech University, 1998-Present.

SICB Activities: Member, 18 yrs. Co-organizer, SICB symposium, "Stress-Is it more than a Disease? A Comparative Look at Stress and Adaptation"; Judge, Aubrey Gorbman Best Student Paper/Poster, Division of Comparative Endocrinology (1996, 1999, 2000); Co-organizer, Southwest Regional Conference on Comparative Endocrinology, Lubbock, TX, 1994.

Other Memberships: Society for Neuroscience, J.B. Johnston Club, American Heart Association, International Neuropeptide Society, European Comparative Endocrinology Society.

Research Interests: My research focuses on various aspects of comparative neuroendocrinology. I am particularly interested in the physiology and evolution of brain and pituitary melanocortin peptides and the influence of environmental contaminants on endocrine function.

Goals Statement: To maintain the identity of our division while at the same time fostering interaction with other divisions within the society, especially through jointly sponsored symposia. To support and publicize our regional and national meetings as platforms for discussing comparative endocrinology from molecular to behavioral levels, thereby encouraging an integrated approach to the topic.





Link to officer list on DCE page