ABRF Member wins FASEB BioArt Image Competition

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) held a BioArt Competition to showcase the artistic side of science and technology.  Eleven images and two videos were selected as winners of this year’s competition.  Sean T Glenn, an ABRF member, along with his colleagues Heinz Baumann, Mary Kay Ellsworth, and Kenneth W. Gross from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute submitted an image of Rainbow-hued cells colored to indicate their lineage in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer.  Glenn and his colleagues image reflects their research focus on pancreatic cancer.  Members of a FASEB society or those who receive federal funding are eligible to submit an art piece, image or video, that reflect ’21st Century biomedical and life science research’.

For more information on Glenn’s image and other winning images and videos please visit the FASEB BioArt website.

BioArt_2015_BaumannHeinz Baumann*, Sean T. Glenn†, Mary Kay Ellsworth, and Kenneth W. Gross‡ 
Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Research Focus: Pancreatic cancer
When multiple tumors or cancers have spread throughout the body, distinguishing which cell came from which  tumor can be difficult. To overcome this challenge, this research team used “confetti” fluorescent labeling in their  mouse model of pancreatic cancer. In this proof of concept image, adult mouse cells were induced to randomly  make one of four different fluorescent molecules. The descendants of these cells continue to produce the same  color as their parent cell. The NIH National Cancer Institute funds this research project, which seeks to identify  genetic changes that contribute to pancreatic cancer.

*American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
†Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities
‡American Physiological Society

Image and caption from FASEB website

ABRF announces New Executive Director

EDThe Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities (ABRF) has hired Susan DeCourcey to serve as Executive Director beginning November 10, 2015.  Susan is employed by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) to work full-time for ABRF. FASEB is composed of 27 societies with more than 125,000 members, making it the largest coalition of biomedical research associations in the United States.

As Executive Director, Susan will be responsible for coordinating all aspects of ABRF operations including the annual meeting Program Committee, relations with Research Groups and Committees, Chapter relations, as well as membership, educational and communications initiatives.

Susan brings a unique and diverse background to the position by having worked in non-profit as well as for-profit organizations in consulting, management, and client solutions roles. Since beginning her career in association management 27 years ago, Susan has held senior-level positions with the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP); the Professional Insurance Marketing Association (PIMA); and most recently with the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI). As the Vice President for Membership, IT and Operations at AAMI, she was responsible for the development and implementation of the membership strategy for growth, retention, and engagement, while also providing vision and leadership for capturing greater market share in the association’s customer base. Susan also led significant upgrades and implementations to AAMI’s information technology infrastructure, and she had direct oversight of AAMI’s internal operations and the membership, IT and operations teams.

William Hendrickson, ABRF President, commented: “We are excited about the opportunity to work with such an experienced and well-regarded non-profit executive. Susan brings the wide-ranging experience the ABRF needs at this point in our evolution to broaden and deepen our positive impact within the US and international scientific community, and to develop new membership and educational programs.”

Susan received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. In addition to serving on the Ursinus College Major Gifts Committee, Susan enjoys reading, running road races, and photography. She also has a passion for travel. Having journeyed to 16 countries (some of them multiple times), Susan enjoys exploring and learning about other cultures through their history, cuisine, and music. Susan resides in Bethesda, Maryland.

The Executive Board sincerely thanks David Friedman, interim Executive Director, for stepping in at a difficult time for the ABRF. He has provided leadership and worked very hard on multiple fronts, including the annual meeting, the Membership Committee, and the complete redesign of the ABRF website.

ABRF Executive Board

Highlights of MWACD 2015 Kansas City, MO Oct 28-31st

Fountains dyed Royal blue, crisp fall weather and core directors wearing spiky, brightly colored wigs talking science and management can only mean one thing…The 6th annual meeting of the Midwest Association of Core Directors in Kansas City, MO!  Royals World Series fever and the festivities of Halloween added to the atmosphere of the meeting which kicked off Thursday night with a fabulous Halloween-themed Social event at the Stowers Institute sponsored by Illumina.  Performances by Voler Thieves of Flight added to magic of the evening and a costume contest added to the humor of the evening at the expense of our colleagues.  Congratulations to our Costume contest winners:  David & Dorris McCarter (1st), Cole Price (2nd) and Chris Wright (3rd)!

Thursday events kicked off with the administrators’ workshop where we explored the topics of core facility careers and web initiatives.  Attendees could also attend a single cell science workshop given by Nathan Salomonis and Lee Grimes which was offered in parallel.  In the afternoon, attendees visited the Stowers Institute for Medical Research where 16 different cores and central support services discussed their technologies and approaches for doing core science.

Friday events kicked off with a welcome from MWACD president, Karen Staehling, and ABRF president, Bill Hendrickson.  Are you a core director with problems?  Well the next session would have been for you!  For the “Group Problem Solving” Session attendees were divided into small round table groups where they were given a problem to solve as a group.  Corporate sponsors were encouraged to join the groups and their insight was much appreciated! The problems varied from marketing approaches to performance reviews to cross core collaborative projects.  One member of each group then presented a flash talk on possible solutions.  Kudos to Nichole White and David McCarter for organizing a successful session who’s format we will repeat again. Platinum sponsor talks, scientific breakout sessions and a panel discussion on LIMS rounded out the day.  In the evening, Jorge Cham of Ph.D. comics reminded us of the value of procrastination in our own geeky version of a comedy club.

We ended the meeting earlier on Saturday due to Halloween but our 3 sessions packed a punch with powerful speakers and interesting topics.  Scott Hawley from the Stowers Institute corrected all of our misconceptions about Meiosis that we learned in high school biology and Jeanne Braha from the AAAS gave us insight into engaging the general public about scientific issues.  Being a social group, the MWACD ended the meeting with a panel discussion on social media. Millennials brushed up on their skills while the old timers were grateful for the instruction since it meant not asking our children or grandchildren for help.

All in all, MWACD 2015 was a great success!  We look forward to our 7th annual meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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WACD 2015: Meeting Wrap

Hello from the west coast! We are still enjoying the high (pun intended) from our successful WACD meeting held at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, OR. For our fifth annual meeting, we attracted ~100 managers and staff from all over the western US, as well as attendees and a speaker from British Columbia, Canada.  We had engaging speakers in four main areas: how instrumentation feeds innovation, a look at different business models, multidisciplinary research approaches and tools for core facilities, and the always popular core management session. Check the WACD website for links to the presentations.

Our esteemed keynote speaker this year was Dr. Adam Margolin, Director, Computational Biology, OHSU School of Medicine. Adam spoke on precision medicine and the challenges of big data for core facilities. Tim Hunter from University of Vermont (and ABRF executive board member) was on hand to share what some of the ABRF research groups are up to and how they can benefit core facilities. We also had a lively round table with core directors, principal investigators, as well as vendors and service providers to openly discuss perspectives and pain points for each and ultimately how we might work together. We will definitely plan to continue this type of productive interaction at future meetings.

As always, getting together starts many conversations and gets a great mix of information and ideas flowing. To keep this alive and well throughout the year, WACD is offering Collaboration and Education grant awards to help foster these relationships. These grants aim to encourage sharing of best practices, learning new technologies or skills, and providing networking to strengthen the community as a whole. The deadline for this year is December 1st for those that want to apply.

We are excited that the annual ABRF meeting is coming back to the western region at UC San Diego in spring 2017! We look forward to collaborating with ABRF and UCSD in this venture and providing more updates as this approaches.

Until then,

WACD Organizing Committee

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