GSA News

July 28, 2010   


Jeremy Berg, Director of National Institute of General Medical Sciences and recent plenary speaker at GSA’s Model Organisms to Human Biology meeting, has recapped some of his MOHB discussion points in a recent NIGMS Feedback Loop posting.  Berg highlights the importance of studying model organisms in relation to human health: “studying fundamental mechanisms in a wide range of organisms can elucidate important processes relevant to human health and disease.”  To read more of his comments, including an investigation of the correlation between the new NIH grant review significance criterion and overall impact factor, click here.

The National Institutes of Health has announced the 2011 competitions for the NIH Director’s Pioneer Awards and the NIH Director’s New Innovator Awards.  According to NIGMS, the institute managing the awards, The Pioneer Award provides $2.5 million in direct costs over 5 years and is open to scientists at U.S. institutions at any career level. The deadline for applying is September 13, 2010. The New Innovator Award provides $1.5 million in direct costs over 5 years and is designed for early stage investigators at U.S. institutions who have not yet obtained an NIH R01 or similar grant. Applications are due by September 20, 2010.

The Defense Sciences Office (DSO) of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is soliciting innovative ideas and approaches in two research areas:  Biochronicity and Temporal Mechanisms Arising in Nature (BaTMAN) and Robustness of Biologically-Inspired Networks (RoBIN).  BaTMAN seeks to provide novel approaches to reveal the fundamental nature of time in biology, to transform biology from a descriptive to a predictive field of science.  RoBIN seeks to apply the critical control features of biological networks to build unique models for adaptable networks, and create a dynamic biologically-inspired network of scientists and other experts for crisis response and complex decision support.  Responses to both of the solicitations are due July 30, 2010.

GSA and the National Academy of Sciences encourage nominations for the 2011 NAS Award in Molecular Biology and 2011 Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology. The NAS Award in Molecular Biology is presented to recognize recent notable discovery in molecular biology by a young scientist who is a citizen of the United States, and the award is accompanied by a $25,000 prize. The Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology is awarded in recognition of excellence in the field of microbiology.


The National Academies Press (NAP) is asking you to contribute your expertise to the next generation of science education.  The National Research Council’s (NRC) Board on Science Education (BOSE) is developing a conceptual framework to guide the development of new science education standards.   NAP encourages you to learn about the project, read the draft of the conceptual framework, provide feedback, and then spread the word Deadline for feedback is August 2nd, 2010.


Iowa State University is holding the 19th Annual Growth Factor and Signal Transduction Symposium in Ames, Iowa, from September 9-12, 2010.  The theme for this year’s GFST Symposium is “RNA in Motion.”  This symposium will explore RNA motions and their consequences for function in the ribosome, viral RNAs, molecular motors and small molecules including riboswitches, aptamers and ribozymes. In addition, there will be a session on computational approaches to predict RNA folding and simulate intramolecular movements. The advance registration deadline is August 9th, 2010.


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