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DNB: 1998 Spring Newsleter

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Message from the Chair

Charles H. Page

We are beginning our fourth year as a SICB division. Continued progress in the development of DNB was evident at the 1998 SICB Annual Meeting in Boston. In addition to sponsoring a neurobiology poster session, we made our first award for the Best Student Presentation in neurobiology, and approved the DNB bylaws at our business meeting. Hopefully, we have begun a trend of increasing participation in the SICB Annual Meetings which will continue at Denver (1999) and Atlanta (2000).

Presentations in the neurobiology poster session spanned a broad range of topics, from the ultrastructure of synapses in sea anemones to the development of a sexually dimorphic motor system in fishes. Mark Gonka of DePaul University received the first DNB award for the Best Student Presentation in Neurobiology for his poster presentation entitled "Contralaterally Projecting Visual Interneurons in the Praying Mantis, Sphodromantis lineola, Respond Preferentially to Prey-like Stimuli."

The strong interdisciplinary focus of the meeting and its emphasis on "integrative issues" provided much interest to neurobiologists. Interdisciplinary sessions included symposia on comparative myogenesis, crustacean biology, and the evolution of circulatory systems; contributed paper sessions on locomotion and movement and feeding and foraging; as well as selected papers/posters in sessions sponsored by other SICB divisions. The interdisciplinary nature of so many sessions is what makes the SICB Annual Meeting a unique asset for neurobiologists.

The DNB business meeting was attended by a very select set of DNB members who, in addition to unanimously approving the DNB bylaws, established a schedule for the election of DNB officers during the coming year (1998), and discussed at length proposals for increasing the visibility and impact of the DNB within SICB and the neurosciences community. Rich Satterlie, our program officer, reported that we will co-sponsor a symposium on animal consciousness with the Division of Animal Behavior at the Denver meeting, and organize at least one DNB symposium for the Atlanta meeting. Plans are being made for two symposia; one on nitrous oxide in invertebrates, and the other on the control of locomotion.

Regarding long range planning, we agreed to try to coordinate with the regional Nerve Net group(s), to attract Nerve Net members and their students to the SICB Annual Meeting whenever it is held in their region of the country (i.e., Western Nerve Net for Denver).

For the vast majority of members who were not able to make it to Boston, we welcome your comments and proposals on how best to develop DNB. Ideas for symposia are especially welcome; it is not too early to start thinking about DNB sponsored symposia for the 2001 meeting in Chicago. We need as many members as possible to take an active role in the division for DNB to flourish and grow. In addition to participation at the Annual Meeting, we have openings for DNB representatives on the SICB Public Affairs Committee, the Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Com-mittee (postdoctoral or student members only) and evaluators for the Best Student Presentation award at the Denver meeting.

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