The Division of Biological Chemistry publishes its newsletter on an annual schedule. Hear the latest news from our Chair, and read about upcoming meetings and symposia, award nominations, officer elections, and travel grants.

Message from the Chair: Anne-Frances Miller, Ph.D.

Dear Colleagues and Friends in Science,

As we launch 2019, it is very sobering to realize that the stalwart officers who kept the division organized and managed the ‘endearing’ administratium of the ACS, have now escaped.  They are free.  Of course none of them is lounging around, they are finally concentrating on their own science and new-year’s goals.  However their legacy remains tangible.  It is a pleasure to thank Craig Townsend for patient detail-oriented attention to the final revision of division bylaws, wrapping up an effort that in fact began with Dewey McCafferty.  I am inheriting from Craig a crucial project of securing sponsorship for more awards, as there is so much highly deserving biological chemistry going on, yet disproportionately little recognition.  Please write to me if you would be willing to join me in this effort, or have contact with a potential award sponsor.  Tom Meek somehow managed to get tasks done cleanly and ahead of schedule, even the hairballs.  He made it look so easy, a sure sign that we underappreciated him, too.  The buzz and bustle of our division would not have been possible without active committees ensuring that we had diverse input and numerous critical eyes at work on all our tasks.  Liz Hedstrom has completed her excellent service to the Program committee, upon which she served for four years. On the Nominating committee, Jimmy Hougland and his team are responsible for the great new folks we have coming on board.  We are grateful to Karen Allen and Michelle Hamm for their Advisory committee service, and will miss their helpful input at meetings.  Please thank these people for jobs well done, when you see them at the next National Meeting presenting science (instead of safeguarding division-sponsored food from marauding Org, Comp or Poly predators).

Although we new officers will be on a collective learning curve this spring, I am confident about the outcomes because we have excellent people coming on board.  Please join me in welcoming Sheila David (Chair-Elect) and Hazel Holden (Division Secretary) to our division executive. Kate Pletneva is beginning her service to the program committee as is Tim Stemmler to the Nominating committee.  I am very excited to have two people with extraordinarily valuable experience joining our Advisory Committee.  Taking advice can be more difficult than giving it, but when it comes from Ruma Bannerjee and Kay Ahn, we will know it is well worth listening to.  Please visit our web site to see photos and learn about the backgrounds of these, your division officers.

Finally, the most important predictor of an excellent 2019 is the membership itself.  Below, I invite you to read about some of the directions your officers want to explore for the division’s future.  However what we want most of all is to have YOU guide the process.  Watch our web site for a member poll, and please plan to contribute.  What do you wish the division were involved in? What activities could give the division real value to our scientific community, our nation, the practice of science, and the future that will fall to our children and our planet.  What would you be proud to help with?  Please think of these questions as a chance to become part of a team addressing pressing issues that matter a lot to you, but are too big for you to tackle alone.  Please think beyond the current deadlines that dot the land, and ask what we could do to reshape the landscape.  We have to cut the division’s expenditures stiffly this year, so we need to make decisions that align purposefully with the greatest concerns of our membership.  Please speak up.

In considering new opportunities we will also want to hear from you what are the current DBC activities you want retained or strengthened.  These include our student travel awards enabling undergraduates and graduate students to attend their first National Meeting; our symposia that give young professionals their first podium and a chance to fledge among friends; the social gatherings in which we are able to catch up with the author of a paper that has helped us, or get tips on a technique that eludes us; the poster sessions providing exciting snapshots of a diverse spectrum of biochemistry; our symposia offering in-depth coverage of topics that are changing the way we think, delivered by experts and people at the frontiers.  Our divisional awards are also important.  They help our department chairs realize what important contributions are made by biological chemists, and how much they are respected.  Finally our division has supported a bevy of regional and specialty meetings, which are in many cases the only meetings accessible to younger scientists at a crucial time in their decision-making, or professionals who are not professors but nevertheless are vital members of the research effort.

I welcome your feedback,

Anne-Frances Miller

Please email to and include ‘DBC’ in the subject line to help me retrieve your message from the sea of stuff.

Other information found in the newsletter (award nomination information, future regional meetings, etc.) can be found throughout this site.

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