HomeVolume Fall 2008

Division of Developmental and Cell Biology (DDCB): Fall 2008 Newsletter

Message from the Chair

Karen Crawford

Greetings! Since January, the Division of Developmental and Cell Biology has continued to rejuvenate as a division separate from the Division of Evolutionary Developmental Biology (DEDB) and has rounded out its leadership with Scott F. Gilbert (Swarthmore College) as our Program Officer, Jennifer Dearolf (Hendrix College) as our Secretary, Michelangelo von Dassow (University of Pittsburgh) who will serve as our graduate student/postdoctoral fellow representative and, Richard Elinson (Duquesne University), who was enthusiastically approved to serve as our representative on the editorial board for the journal. Welcome all and thank you for your willingness to serve.

Further regeneration of our Division! In January Alexa Bely (University of Maryland) came forward with a wonderful idea for a symposium for the 2010 meeting in Seattle. For this she will team up with Sara Lindsay (University of Maine) to co-organize a session entitled "Animal Regeneration: Integrating Development, Ecology, and Evolution." Their plan is to bring together researchers studying regeneration from diverse perspectives and using a range of study organisms, including both vertebrates and invertebrates. The ultimate goal of this symposium is to create an environment conducive to the exchange and integration of ideas and knowledge of regeneration across disciplines and to identify needed areas for future work. Key questions that this symposium hopes to address include: Why do regeneration abilities vary across groups? What are the causes of frequency of tissue loss, leading to regeneration, in the field? What are the costs and benefits of tissue loss and regeneration? Which features of the regeneration process are homologous across major groups of animals? And, to what extent does regeneration employ the same developmental processes as embryogenesis, adult growth, and asexual reproduction? Her proposal to the planning committee was very well received and we look forward to an exciting new beginning for our division with this wonderful symposium. Kudos to Alexa and Sara for putting together such an exciting proposal!

As we continue to gain momentum as a division we look forward to an exciting meeting in Boston this January. Please contact any of us regarding your thoughts and ideas for the future of the Division of Developmental and Cell Biology.

Message from the Secretary

Jenn Dearolf

Salutations from Arkansas!

I am writing with the hope that some of you took my advice from the spring, really looked at your research focus and projects, and submitted an abstract for the upcoming Boston meeting to DDCB. And, I really hope that you encouraged your students to do the same. I know for myself, that a good number of my students' projects fit under the umbrella of our division, so you will find a big group of Dearolf lab students at our poster sessions.

Judges Needed

With these ideas in mind, I am asking you to consider being a judge for the student presentations, either oral or poster, in January. I am not expecting the number of student presentations to be large (that would be awesome!), but I would like to find a group of people (four to six) that would be willing to serve as judges. And, I am not leaving myself out. This card-carrying member of DDCB will act as an oral judge, since all of my students are presenting posters. But I can't do it alone, so I am calling on all of you to help me out! Please contact me if you are willing to serve.

Remember, being a judge doesn't just help the students. By visiting with the students presenting their work in our division, you get a chance to meet the best and the brightest. You might just be able to find the right student to fill a graduate position in your lab or your next post doc. And, you get a chance to see the directions in which the field is going. Finally, students are just excited about their research. Talking with them always helps me remember why I wanted to do research. I get a "shot in the arm," that helps me get back in the lab and keep up the fight.

So, please consider volunteering to be a judge of the student presentations in our division. If enough folks volunteer, I am confident that we will be able to accommodate the needs of everyone in the group. All of us will be able to attend the talks we want to hear and the poster sessions we find interesting and still make sure that all of the student presentations are evaluated. Help out our regenerating division and support our students! I hope to see you in Boston, and I look forward to working with some of you as judges.

Link to officer list on DDCB page