2000 NATIONAL DROSOPHILA BOARD MEETING

 

March 22, 2000

Doubletree Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA

 

AGENDA

INTRODUCTION, APPROVAL OF THE 1999 MINUTES

2:00 - 2:10 PM

MEETINGS AND FINANCES:

2:10 - 3:30

            2000 PROGRAM COMMITTEE
                        (Pam Geyer, Lori Wallrath)

2:10 - 2:30

            SANDLER LECTURER COMMITTEE (Bill Saxton)

2:30 - 2:35

            2001 PROGRAM COMMITTEE (Dave Deitcher)

2:35 - 2:40

            GSA COORDINATOR (Marsha Ryan)

2:40 - 3:00

            TREASURER (Steve Mount)

3:00 - 3:20

            BOARD DISCUSSION OF MEETINGS AND FINANCES

3:20 - 3:35

BOARD MEMBERSHIP AND ELECTIONS

3:35 - 3:45

COMMUNITY RESOURCES:

3:45 - 5:20

            STOCK CENTER ADVISORY COMMITTEE
                        (Hugo Bellen)

3:45 - 3:55

            BLOOMINGTON STOCK CENTER (Kevin Cook)

3:55 - 4:10

            DIS (Jim Thompson)

4:10 - 4:15

            BERKELEY GENOME PROJECT (Gerry Rubin)

4:15 - 4:30

            FLYBASE (Bill Gelbart)

4:30 - 4:45

            NIH SUPPORT FOR COMMUNITY RESOURCES
                        (Bill Gelbart, Laurie Tompkins,)

4:45 - 5:00

            BOARD DISCUSSION OF COMMUNITY RESOURCES

5:00 - 5:20

OTHER BUSINESS:

5:20 - 6:00

            a) Status of women in the fly community 
                        (Terry Orr-Weaver)

5:20 - 5:40

            b) Status of P element license (Larry Goldstein)

5:40 - 5:45

            c) Press release on the completion of the genome

5:45 - 6:00


DRAFT MINUTES / REPORTS

 

1. SUMMARY OF 2000 MINUTES

 

 

2. APPROVAL OF THE 1999 MINUTES

 

A motion to approve the minutes of the 1999 Board Meeting, as posted on Flybase by past president Larry Goldstein, was proposed and approved.

 

 

3.  REPORT OF THE 2000 PROGRAM COMMITTEE (Pam Geyer, Lori Wallrath)

 

Plenary Speakers - Eleven plenary speakers were invited for plenary talks, leaving one slot for a business meeting. An updated List of Speakers is appended to this report that includes the year 2000 invited speakers.

 

Abstract Submission- Abstracts were solicited under fourteen areas of primary research interest.  This represents an expanded list from the 1999 meeting, including the more specific topics of RNA Processing, Localization, and Translation; Cytoskeleton Assembly and Dynamics; and Signal Transduction and Apoptosis.  The list of 2000 topics is appended to the end of this report, including number of abstracts submitted in each area.  In total, 802 requests were made. There were 397 requests for slide presentations for 144 available slots, allowing accommodation of approximately 35% of the requests.

 

            The most popular submission topics were Pattern Formation and Signal Transduction.  This suggests that the future organizers may want to refine these topic areas to make them more specific, thereby facilitating the organization of slide and poster sessions into more related areas.

 

            Some topic areas, notably Transposable Elements; RNA Processing, Localization and Translation and Techniques, received such a small number of abstract submissions that a separate slide session was not justified. Abstracts submitted to the topic Transposable Elements were merged with those in Chromosome Structure and Function, while abstracts submitted to RNA Processing, Localization and Translation were redistributed among several sessions.  To accommodate abstracts submitted under Techniques, a workshop was organized and these abstracts were considered for presentation at this workshop.  It is recommended that the Conference maintain a highly visible technique workshop which will allow selection of critical development for Drosophila research. 

 

Workshops - There were 9 workshops organized.  The title and moderators of each workshop are appended to the end of this report.  Organization of the workshops was done early to allow publication of the schedule of speakers in the Abstract book.  This strategy should increase visibility of the workshops among participants.  Additionally, workshop presentations were cross-referenced with poster or slide abstracts, if the corresponding presentation covered the workshop topic. 

 

Programmatic Changes-  Several changes made to the general format of the program.

 

1. To streamline abstracts submission, a new list of key words was developed to facilitate sorting of poster and slide presentations into related themes.  It is recommended that the new organizers continue to refine this list.  Within each of the 14 primary research interest topics, a space was reserved for authors to submit new key words, however this was not used in an effective way. It is recommended that the new description in the Call for Abstracts encourage authors to identify new words, if the subtopics do not specifically identify their research area.

 

2.  Abstract submissions were accompanied by a request for the author to classify their presentation preference.  This system was in lieu of the existing default procedure that assigned all abstracts a poster space, if the abstract was not selected for a slide presentation.  The goal of the new system was to avoid having empty poster spaces.  Authors were asked to choose between slide only, slide or poster, poster only.  Unfortunately, there appeared to be some confusion concerning whether a person requesting a slide only presentation actually understood that their presentation would not be given poster space. It is recommended that additional language be included in the Call for Abstracts to clarify this system.

 

3. Abstract books were mailed to those requesting a copy prior to the meeting.  This practice adds pressure to the submission deadline, as the abstract book needs to be sent to the publisher at an earlier date.  The GSA office reports that approximately 30% of participants requested the abstract book be mailed. 

 

4. The schedule of opening night events was changed slightly.  A request from Thom Kaufman for time to make an award presentation was accommodated.  Additionally, in response to criticisms that the opening night activities were very too long, the Historical Speaker was allotted a 45 minute presentation and the Sandler Presentation was limited to 35 minutes.  It is recommended that future organizers adhere to these shorter time limitations, to allay criticisms that there is not enough time available for the mixer. 

 

Future Considerations and Organization of the Meeting - The abstract submission date was November 8.  The Genetics Society chose this date based upon their commitments and scheduling of other research meetings, whose participant number far exceeds that of the Drosophila Conference.  This early date was problematic, as the Drosophila community was not prepared.  This resulted in the low response and required that the deadline for abstract submission be extended by one week.  This accommodation substantially improved submission numbers. 

 

            For next year, GSA requests a similar submission deadline, stating that they cannot accommodate a date later than November 15. It is recommended that the early submission date be accompanied by a reminder email distributed to the fly community, to prevent difficulties similar to those that arose this year.  This warning email could be distributed one week prior to the submission deadline. 

 

            A second consideration for future meetings is the issue of company sponsorship.  One pharmaceutical company inquired about possible funding of an event during the Drosophila meeting.  This possibility was not pursued, as the mechanism by the company sponsorship could be advertised was not clear.  Additionally, there was some concern over favoritism shown to one particular company.  It is recommended that the Board establish a procedure so that the next organizing committee can pursue company sponsorship.  These moneys could defray costs associated with renting some of the projection equipment and perhaps even provide some coffee breaks.  This idea was strongly supported by the Board, and it was recommended that next year's organizers pursue company sponsorship rigorously. 

 

            Finally, it should be noted that several plenary speakers, workshop organizers and session moderators were under the impression that the Drosophila community would pay for their travel, housing and registration costs.  It is recommended that in any correspondence with these individuals include a statement that the Drosophila Conference does not have money to defray these costs.

 

I. Updated Plenary Speaker List

 


Susan Abmayr                      1995

Kathryn Anderson            1999

Deborah Andrew               1997

Chip Aquadro                      1994

Spyros Artavanis              1994

Bruce Baker                           1996

Utpal Banerjee                    1997

Amy Bejsovec     2000

Phil Beachy                         1998

Hugo Bellen                          1997

Celeste Berg                          1994

Marianne Bienz                  1996

Seth Blair                              1997

Nancy Bonini     2000

Juan Botas                               1999

Vivian Budnik  2000

Ross Cagan                             1998

John Carlson                          1999

Sean Carroll                         1995

Tom Cline                               2000

Claire Cronmiller             1995

Rob Denell                             1999

Michael Dickinson           1995

Chris Doe                               1996

Bruce Edgar                           1997

Martin Feder                        1998

Janice Fischer                       1998

Bill Gelbart                          1994


Pam Geyer                              1996

David Glover     2000

Iswar Hariharan               1998

Tom Hayes                             1995

Ulrike Heberlein               1996

Ulrike Heberlein               1998

Martin Heisenberb            1998

Dave Hogness                      1999

Joan Hooper                           1995

Wayne Johnson  2000

Rebecca Kellum                  1999

Christian Klambt             1998

Mitzi Kuroda                       1997

Paul Lasko                             1999

Cathy Laurie                       1997

Maria Leptin                        1994

Bob Levis                                1997

Haifan Lin                             1995

Susan Lindquist 2000

Dennis McKearin               1996

Mike McKeown 1996

Jon Minden                              1999

Roel Nusse                             1997

David O'Brochta              1997

Terry Orr-Weaver            1996

Mark Peifer                           1997

Trudy MacKay  2000

Nipam Patel                        2000


Norbert Perrimon               1999

Leslie Pick                             1994

Pernille Rorth                     1995

Gerry Rubin                           1998

H. Ruohola-Baker            1999

Helen Salz                             1994

Babis Savakis                     1995

Paul Schedl                           1998

Gerold Schubiger               1996

John Sedat                              2000

Amita Sehgal                      1996

Allen Shearn                        1994

Marla Sokolowski            1998

Ruth Steward                      1996

Bill Sullivan                        1996

John Sved                                1997

John Tamkun       2000

Barbara Taylor                   1996

Bill Theurkauf                    1994

Tim Tully                                1995

Steve Wasserman              1996

Kristi Wharton                                    1994

Eric Wieschaus 1996

Ting Wu                                   1997

Tian Xu                   1997

Susan Zusman                       1998


 
II. Areas of Primary Research Interest

 

Slide Request

 

Poster

Total

Cell Cycle

24

20

44

Chromosome Structure and Function

33

41

74

Cytoskeleton Assembly and Dynamics

17

21

38

Gametogenesis

37

36

73

Neural Development

35

39

74

Neural Physiology and Behavior

32

32

64

Organogenesis and Muscle Development

19

28

47

Pattern Formation

62

66

128

Populations and Evolution

28

17

45

RNA Processing Localization and Translation

16

16

32

Signal Transduction and Apoptosis

56

50

106

Techniques

11

2

13

Transcriptional Regulation

18

27

45

Transposable Elements and DNA Repair

9

10

19

 

III. Keywords

 

IV. Workshops.

 

Workshop Title

Moderator

 

 

Ecdysone Workshop

Broadus, Julie

 

The Sequence of the Drosophila Genome

Celniker, Sue

 

Telomere Structure and Function

 

Mason, Jim

Resources in the Post-Genomic World: A Community Forum

 

Tompkins, Laurie

Stem and Cells and Asymmetric Division

 

Lin, Haifan

Technical Advances

 

Carthew, Richard

 

RNA

Lopez, A. Javier

 

Drosophila Immunity

 

Hoffmann, Jules

 

Drosophila Research in Drug Discovery

 

Carroll, Pamela

 

 

4. REPORT OF THE SANDLER LECTURER COMMITTEE (Bill Saxton)

 

I.  2000 Sandler Award Committee

                        Amy Bejsovec

                        Tom Cline

                        Joe Duffy

                        Chris Field

                        Janice Fischer

                        Scott Hawley

                        Bill Saxton (Chair)

                        Bill Sullivan (1999 Chair)

 

II.  Applications.

 

            A.  Applications consisted of

                        1.  Thesis abstract.

                        2.  Student's CV

                        3.  Letter of support from Advisor

 

            B.  12 Applicants: (and Ph.D. Advisors)

                        Purnima Bhanot  (Jeremy Nathans)

                        Bin Chen (Sidney Strickland)

                        Robert Cavallo (Mark Peifer)

                        Daniel Cox (Haifan Lin)

                        Anupama Dahanukar (Robin Wharton)

                        Karen Fitch (Barbara Wakimoto)

                        Amin Ghabrial (Trudy Schupbach)

                        Sarah Gibbs (James Truman)

                        Douglas Guarnieri (Michael Simon)

                        Eric Lai (James Posakony)

                        Tracy Tang (Terry Orr-Weaver)

                        Mark Wu (Hugo Bellen)

                       

III.  Selection Process:

 

            A.  Criteria for judging the applicants.

                        1.  Quality of research.

                        2.  Depth of experimental analyses

                        3.  Creativity, continuity, and depth of thought.

                        4.  Independence of applicant

                        5.  Significance of contribution

 

            B.  Initial round of selection.

                        1.  Each committee member ranked the applications (#1=top, 12=bottom).

                        2.  The 6 with the best scores (lowest summed ranking numbers) were carried forward.

            Comment:  The applications were all excellent and this step in the process was quite difficult.

 

            C.  Second round of selection.

                        1.  Each committee member submitted comments on the 6 semifinalists                          to the chair via email.

                        2.  Comments were collated and then sent back out to the committee.

                        3.  Each committee member picked their top 3 applicants.

                        4.  Positions 3 and 4 were ambiguous, so we declared 4 finalists.

                                    Bin Chen (Sidney Strickland)

                                    Daniel Cox (Haifan Lin)

                                    Douglas Guarnieri (Michael Simon)

                                    Eric Lai (James Posakony)

 

            D.  Final round of selection.

                        1.  Finalists were asked to send 8 copies of their theses to the Chair.

                        2.  A set of 4 theses was sent to each committee member by the chair.

                        3.  After reading the theses, comments were exchanged as before.

                        4.  Each committee member voted for their top choice.

                        5.  Bin Chen received 5 of the 8 votes.

 

IV.  The Sandler Award 2000

            A.  Opening talk of the Drosophila Research Conference Wed. March 22.

            B.  Publication of thesis (after editing) as a monograph by Kluwer Academic                   Publishers.

            C.  Sandler Award Plaque.

            D.  $1,000 approved by Drosophila Board, for lifetime membership in the GSA and a subscription to Genetics.

 

V.  Finances

            A.  Outstanding expenses from 1999 award

                        1.  $1,000 award to 99 awardee Terence Murphy.

                        2.  Cost of Sandler Award Plaque ($40) to Bill Sullivan.

 

            B.  Expenses from 2000 award

                        1.  $126 shipping costs (Bill Saxton).

                        2.  Cost of Sandler Award Plaque ($40) to Bill Sullivan.

                        3.  $1,000 award to 2000 awardee Bin Chen (if approved by Drosophila Board).

 

 

5. REPORT OF THE 2001 PROGRAM COMMITTEE (Mariana Wolfner, Mike Goldberg)

 

 

6. REPORT OF THE GSA COORDINATOR (Marsha Ryan)

 

41st  Annual Drosophila Research Conference

Advance registrations for the 2000 meeting indicate that overall registration numbers will be down slightly from 1999. Total registration in 1999, after deducting cancellations, totaled 1,366.  Hotel room rates for singles in 2000 were lower than in 1999,  ranging from $115-$127 single or double.  Room pickup on peak night at the two conference hotels plus two additional overflow hotels, totals 702, significantly higher than the 674 peak night in Bellevue. This is the highest pick-up on record. Major contributions to increased room pick-up may be due to the diligence of the Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau Housing office that continued to take reservations and track room reservations until the meeting ends instead of the room block cutoff date of February 14. The other contributing factors include clarity of room type descriptions (spelling out that a quad room is only 2 double beds, not 4 separate beds/rollaways) and the lower room rates being more affordable for single and double occupancy.

 

The number of exhibits sold this year is the same as last year. Represented are eight commercial companies and one not-for-profit organization in a total of twelve spaces.

 

Geographic distribution statistics for pre-registrants follow:


 

BY COUNTRY:


Australia............................. 4

Austria................................ 7

Brazil................................... 1

Canada............................. 35

Denmark............................ 1

England............................ 41

France............................... 31

Germany.......................... 34

Israel................................... 7

Italy..................................... 3

Japan................................. 27

Korea.................................. 7

Mexico................................ 6

Netherlands....................... 1

Portugal.............................. 3

Russia.................................. 2

Singapore........................... 1

South Korea....................... 1

Spain .................................. 2

Sweden............................... 4

Switzerland........................ 8

Taiwan................................ 4

TOTAL NON-USA:

230 Registrants in 22 Countries.



BY STATE:


Alabama........................... 11

Arizona............................... 4

California....................... 122

Colorado............................ 5

Conneticut....................... 15

District of Columbia......... 1

Florida................................ 3

Georgia............................. 21

Hawaii................................ 1

Iowa.................................. 19

Idaho................................... 1

Illinois............................... 31

Indiana................................ 6

Kansas................................ 8

Kentucky............................ 8

Massachusetts.................. 89

Maryland.......................... 48

Maine.................................. 2

Michigan........................... 12

Minnesota.......................... 9

Missouri............................ 26

North Carolina................ 37

Nebraska............................ 3

New Hampshire............... 4

New Jersey...................... 48

New Mexico....................... 3

Nevada............................... 1

New York........................ 90

Ohio.................................. 31

Oklahama........................... 3

Oregon............................... 4

Pennsylvania................... 82

Rhode Island...................... 1

South Carolina.................. 4

Tennessee........................... 2

Texas................................. 38

Utah.................................. 10

Virginia............................... 9

Washington..................... 21

Wisconsin......................... 14

TOTAL USA:

847 Registrants in 40 States.


 

2001 - 42nd Annual Conference - March 21-25 - Washington, DC

Washington, DC and the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, and the Omni Shoreham Hotel for overflow, were selected and contracted for the 42nd  Drosophila Conference.  There will be meeting space rental charges if fewer room pickup falls below 90%. However, since we have only 555 rooms blocked peak night, unless there is a significant drop off in registrations or if a significant number of attendees find other housing on their own, likelihood of falling below this number is not high. Between the two hotels, total peak night rooms blocked are 615--87 rooms fewer than picked up this year. We anticipate fewer rooms will be picked up due to the much higher room rates that will be in the $195-215 single/double per night range (hotel to finalize rates 12 months in advance). Should pick up be higher than anticipated, additional overflow hotels will be sought.

 

2002 - 43rd Annual Conference - March 6-10 - Town & Country Hotel, San Diego, California

The Board selected the Town & Country Hotel in San Diego, as the venue for the 2002 conference. Overall, the Town & Country was selected over Tucson for several reasons. These include: meeting space configuration, location and convenience; meeting space on same property as sleeping rooms; no space rental for meeting/poster space; concessions made by the Town & Country to address problems and situations that arose at the 1996 conference; and the addition of convenient, inexpensive access to nearby Old San Diego and downtown San Diego. Room rates guaranteed in the contract range from $135-155 single/double per night.

 

2003 - 44th Annual Conference - March 5-9 - Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers

Sheraton Chicago contacted the GSA office with an attractive meeting package for 2003. Based primarily upon conference attendees' positive response to two previous conferences held at this property, combined with the hotel's offer to increase meeting space set aside to accommodate posters and larger concurrent sessions, the Board agreed upon the Sheraton as the 2003 site. Though the possibility of inclement weather in early March was considered, the majority of the Board agreed that the risk would be significantly higher than that of other Midwestern cities. Rates will be finalized one year in advance, but will fall in the same range as the 2001 rates in Washington, D.C. These rates represent a real value for a high quality property in Chicago.

 

 

7. REPORT OF THE TREASURER (Steve Mount, Steve Wasserman)

 

a) Annual Drosophila Conference income/expense

 

                                                                                         2000                                                                                                                         ACTUAL

                                                                               PROJECTIONS                                      1999                                                                                                     

Revenue

Registration                                                                      $171,600                                                                                                                           $191,395

Exhibit Fees (8 @ $700)                                                          8,000                                          8,000

Mailing Fees                                                                           1,500                                                                                                                                              0

Miscellaneous                                                                            400                                             724

 

Total Income                                                                    $181,500                                                                                                                           $200,119

 

Expenditures

Fixed Expenses:

Hotel and Travel-Staff and others                                        3,000                                                                                                                             $  3,395

Printing and mailing                                                             25,500                                      32,524

Telephone, fax & FlyBase room computer lines                2,000                                        1,638

Office Supplies (badges, signs, misc.)                                   1,500                                        1,050

Projection/audio-visuals/electrical/sound                      31,000                                      12,796

Space and equipment rental                                                40,500                                      41,176

Contracted Services                                                                6,300                                        3,860

Housing Services                                                                    3,500                                        5,000

Computer Services                                                                 1,000                                      13,652

Insurance Expense                                                                     700                                           769

Salaries/Wages/taxes/benefits                                         55,900                                      49,379

 

Variable Expenses: (Based on 1300 attending)

Catering                                                                                 42,000                                      37,223

Credit card/bank fees                                                            4,000                                        3,794

Miscellaneous Expense                                                              350                                               0

 

Total Expenditures                                                          $217,250                                                                                                                           $206,256

 

NET REVENUE(EXPENSE)                                           ($35,750)                                     ($6,137)

 

 


b) Meeting attendance

 

Pre-registration by category this year:

Members                                     435 @ $130 =                         $56,550

Non-members                           192 @ $250 =                           48,000

Student Members                      161 @ $ 25 =                              4,025

Student Nonmembers              250 @ $ 90 =                            22,500

Total                                          1,038                                      $ 131,075

 

Pre-registration by category 1999:

Members                                     450 @ $130 =                         $58,500

Non-mem                                   254 @ $235 =                           59,690

Stu Mem                                        63 @ $ 70 =                              4,410

Stu Non                                       375 @ $ 90 =                            33,750

Total                                          1,142 =                                    $156,350

 

Total registration by category 1999:

Members                                                             450 @ $130 =                               $58,500

Members on site                                                  94 @ $150 =                                 14,100

Non-mem                                                           254 @ $235 =                                 59,690

Non-members on site                                         49 @ $255 =                                 12,495

Student Members                                                63 @ $ 70 =                                    4,410

Student Members on site                                      8 @ $100                                         800

Student Nonmembers                                      375 @ $ 90 =                                  33,750

Student Nonmembers on site                            64 @ $120 =                                   7,680

Complementary registrations                             9                                            ________

Total                                                                  1,366                                             $191,425

 

215 on site registrants in 1999

 

c) Account balances

 

1. Drosophila Main Fund

 

 

 

 

Meeting

Year

Net Income

Fund

Balance

Excess Over Reserve

# Meeting

Attendees

1993

$17,105

$ 25,146

$      146

1,165

1994

2,800

27,946

2,946

1,222

1995

8,417

36,363

11,363

1,103

1996

15,035

51,398

26,398

1,423

1997

31,663

83,061

58,061

1,382

1998

21,894

104,955

79,955

1,378

1999

(6,053)

98,530

73,530

1,366

2000  (Estimated)

(35,750)

62,780

37,780

1,077+

 

 

 

 

 


 

2. Sandler Fund

 

 

 

 

Meeting

Year

Net Income

Fund

Balance

Excess Over

Reserve

 

1993

$1,417

$26,720

$18,720

 

1994

-1,207

25,513

17,513

 

1995

1,891

27,404

19,404

 

1996

1,009

28,413

20,413

 

1997

1,467

29,880

21,880

 

1998

1,386

31,266

23,266

 

1999

894

32,160

24,160

 

 

 

8. BOARD DISCUSSION OF MEETINGS AND FINANCES

a) Account management

The Board discussed the status of the bank accounts.  It was decided that although we have carried a substantial balance over the past few years, we cannot continue to lose $35,000 at each meeting and expect to stay solvent.  The costs of meetings are going up precipitously, especially costly are the rentals of projection equipment, including digital projectors.  It was decided that we need to take measures directed at ensuring that the meetings at least breaking even.  The Board discussed offsetting meeting expenses by increasing the registration fees, choosing cheaper venues, and obtaining commercial support (see below). 

 

The bias of the Board has always been to maintain low registration fees, especially for students, and this view was reinforced during the discussions.  It is important that this meeting be accessible to as many members of the community as possible.  However, it was decided that moderate increases in registration fees may need to be considered in the future, depending on our ability to obtain funds from other sources. 

 

Concerning choosing cheaper venues, the Board discussed the pluses and minuses of this issue.  Cheaper venues such as Pittsburgh have not been met with enthusiasm by the community, and the attendance reductions this year reflect that bias.  Cities outside the main airline routes also involve increased travel expenses, which would defeat the purpose of encouraging widespread attendance.  Cities that are easier and less costly to travel to, such as Chicago, DC, and San Diego are also preferred by the community because these cities tend to have a more lively restaurants and a more exciting cultural atmosphere.  The Board directed Marsha Ryan to continue to investigate other, cheaper venues as part of our usual discussion of meeting sites, and the Board will continue to weigh the pros and cons of each site.

 

            b) Commercial support of meetings

For the first time, the Board discussed the possibility of obtaining addition funds for the meeting by encouraging sponsorship by commercial entities.  This proposal was met with great enthusiasm by the board, although it was agreed that any sponsorship needed to be in keeping with the scientific nature of the meeting, and that different companies should be given fair and equal treatment.  The Board agreed that the following proposals should be pursued: advertisement in the abstract book, sponsorship of coffee breaks, workshops and plenary sessions, and encouraging the participation of more commercial exhibitors.  These goals should be pursued by the meeting organizers.  However, it is likely that the Board will need to set up a committee whose sole focus will be obtaining commercial sponsorship for the meetings.

 

9. 2000 BOARD MEMBERSHIP AND ELECTIONS

 

            a) Current Composition

 

Officers:

Gary Karpen                          President                        karpen@ salk.edu

Larry Goldstein                      Past President               lgoldstein@popmail.ucsd.edu

Steve Wasserman                  President-Elect              stevenw@ucsd.edu

Steve Mount                           Treasurer                       smount@wam.umd.edu

 

Regional Representatives:

Paul Lasko                              Canada                           Paul_Lasko@maclan.mcgill.ca

John Belote                             Great Lakes                  

Hannele Ruohola-Baker       Northwest                     hannele@u.washington.edu

Richard Fehon                        Southeast                       rfehon@acpub.duke.edu

Scott Hawley                          California                       shawley@netcom.com

Robert Boswell                       Heartland                     

Claude Desplan                      New England               

Steve Mount                           Mid-Atlantic                  smount@wam.umd.edu

Jeff Simon                               Midwest                         simon@biosci.cbs.umn.edu

 

Ex Officio:

Michael Ashburner                Europe                           ma11@gen.cam.ac.uk

Hugo Bellen                            SC adv. comm.             hbellen@bcm.tmc.edu

Celeste Berg                           at-large                                                  berg@genetics.washington.edu

Kevin Cook                            Bloomington SC           matthewk@indiana.edu

Bill Gelbart                              FlyBase                           gelbart@morgan.harvard.edu

Thom Kaufman                     Bloomington SC                                                   kaufman@sunflower.bio.indiana.edu

John Lucchesi                         at-large                           lucchesi@biology.emory.edu

Dan Lindsley                          at-large                           dlindsley@ucsd.edu

Kathy Matthews*                  Bloomington SC           kcook@bio.indiana.edu

Gerry Rubin                           BDGP                              gerry@fruitfly.berkeley.edu

Bill Saxton                               Sandler Lect. 2000         bsaxton@bio.indiana.edu

Jim Thompson                       DIS                                  jthompson@ou.edu

Ronny Woodruff                   Mid-America SC           rwoodru@bgnet.bgsu.edu

 

2000 Meeting Organizers:

Pam Geyer                                                                      pamela-geyer@uiowa.edu

Lori Wallrath                                                                  lori-wallrath@uiowa.edu

 

GSA Representatives:

Elaine Strass                            Exec. Dir.                        estrass@genetics.faseb.org

Marsha Ryan                          Mtg. Coord.                  mryan@genetics.faseb.org

 

Other Attendees:

Laurie Tompkins                   NIH                                Tompkinl@NIGMS.NIH.GOV

 

* not in attendance

 

 

            b) Changes for 2000-2001

 

Steve Wasserman will be President, Steve Mount will be the Treasurer, and the President-Elect will be elected by a general e-mail election, after the Nominations Committee chooses nominees.  The committee will also propose replacements for the departing representatives.  Gary Karpen will chair the committee.  There was also a strong sentiment to take direct action to increase the participation of females on the Board (see below).  The Board also decided to develop a plan for rotating at-large members on and off the Board, in order to better utilize the many talented members of the Drosophila community. 

 

The 2000 Drosophila Board includes:

 

Officers:

Steve Wasserman                  President                        stevenw@ucsd.edu

Gary Karpen                          Past President               karpen@ salk.edu

??????                                      President-Elect

Steve Mount                           Treasurer                       smount@wam.umd.edu

 

Paul Lasko                              Canada                           Paul_Lasko@maclan.mcgill.ca

John Belote                             Great Lakes                  

?????                                        Northwest                    

Richard Fehon                        Southeast                       rfehon@acpub.duke.edu

?????                                        California                      

Robert Boswell                       Heartland                     

Claude Desplan                      New England               

?????                                        Mid-Atlantic                  smount@wam.umd.edu

Jeff Simon                               Midwest                         simon@biosci.cbs.umn.edu

 

Ex Officio:

Michael Ashburner                Europe                           ma11@gen.cam.ac.uk

Hugo Bellen                            SC adv. comm.             hbellen@bcm.tmc.edu

Celeste Berg                           at-large                                                  berg@genetics.washington.edu

Kevin Cook                            Bloomington SC           matthewk@indiana.edu

Bill Gelbart                              FlyBase                           gelbart@morgan.harvard.edu

Thom Kaufman                     Bloomington SC                                                   kaufman@sunflower.bio.indiana.edu

John Lucchesi                         at-large                           lucchesi@biology.emory.edu

Dan Lindsley*                         at-large                           dlindsley@ucsd.edu

Kathy Matthews*                  Bloomington SC           kcook@bio.indiana.edu

Gerry Rubin                           BDGP                              gerry@fruitfly.berkeley.edu

Bill Saxton                               Sandler Lect. 2000         bsaxton@bio.indiana.edu

Jim Thompson                       DIS                                  jthompson@ou.edu

Ronny Woodruff                   Mid-America SC           rwoodru@bgnet.bgsu.edu

 

2001 Meeting Organizers:

Mariana Wolfner                                                            mfw5@cornell.edu

Mike Goldberg                                                               mlg11@cornell.edu

 

GSA Representatives:

Elaine Strass                            Exec. Dir.                        estrass@genetics.faseb.org

Marsha Ryan                          Mtg. Coord.                  mryan@genetics.faseb.org

 

10. REPORT OF STOCK CENTER ADVISORY COMMITTEE (Hugo Bellen)

 

The board (Hugo Bellen (Chair), Michael Ashburner, Scott Hawley, Norbert Perrimon, Amanda Simcox) is  very pleased with the activity of the Stock Center run by Kathy Matthews, Kevin Cook, and Thom Kaufman (see their report!).  As reflected by some of the key statistics shown below, the Stock Center is probably one of the most valuable assets of our community.

 

Total stocks as of 3/14/00                     7,907

Added during 1999                                 1,044

Use during 1999                                71,023

Cost recovery

Funding for FY 99/00

            NSF    $307,660

            NIH    $100,000

            IU        $  38,192

            Fees    $158,500 (estimated -- $171,360 - 7%)

          -------------------------------------

            Total   $604,352

Endowment

The value of the endowment as of 2/29/00 was $330,686 (this figure reflects 20% appreciation of capital).

Proposal to expand the collection beyond 10,000

The possibility of expanding the collection to accommodate an additional 6,000 P insertions to  be produced by the BDGP (a collaboration between G. Rubin, A. Spradling, and H. Bellen) is currently under discussion by the stock center, the advisory committee, NSF and NIH. This set would be composed of P insertions  (with or without an obvious mutant phenotype) in or near genes that are not represented in the  current BDGP 'lethal' P collection. The stock center would like to add this collection if a satisfactory agreement can be reached among all parties and funding becomes available.


Deficiency/Duplication project

Kevin Cook and Thom Kaufman's proposal to "complete" the deficiency kits by generating deficiencies for the euchromatic regions not currently covered and to begin generating segregating duplications for the X chromosome (allowing the X deficiencies to be more useful) was funded by NIH. Funding began May 1, 1999 and expires April 31, 2003. Progress to date: The project is analyzing existing deletion and X duplication coverage in detail. This work has led to the addition of 51 preexisting deletions to the collection. The survey of duplication coverage led to the development of an "X Chromosome Duplication Kit" containing the fewest duplications needed to provide 88 to 92% X chromosome coverage. The project has been screening for duplications and deletions to fill gaps in coverage. From the 51 screens to date, two gaps in deletion coverage and one gap in duplication coverage have been filled and many aberrations have been isolated but not yet characterized.

 

Exelixis agreement

The agreement with Exelixis described in last year's report was never finalized.

 

We are concerned with the funding situation in Europe.  We are not well

informed and we hope that Michael Ashburner will tell us what is happening

there.

 

 

11. BLOOMINGTON STOCK CENTER REPORT (Kevin Cook, Kathy Matthews, Thom Kaufman)

 

Total stocks as of 3/15/00                          7,907

                                                                        5,575 Main collection

                                                                        2,322 P collection

 

Added during 1999                                      1,044

            Lethal, sterile or visible alleles       853 (462 are P insertion lethal alleles)

            GAL4/GAL80/UAS                  65

            GFP                                                           8

            FRT/FLP                                                42

            lacZ                                                            4

            Deficiencies                                            51

            Duplications                                             6

            Balancers                                                13

            Marker chromosomes                           2

 

Use during 1999 -- increase compared to 1998 is shown in parentheses

               802 (9%) groups received stocks

            6,573 (19%) shipments were made

          71,023 (43%) subcultures were sent

                 37% of shipments and stocks went to groups outside the U.S.

                 98% of stocks went to researchers in academic institutions

 


Cost recovery

            Fee structure for 1999 and 2000

 

            Category       Stocks/Shipments                Base fee + additional shipping

            100+    1-20 stocks in up to 6 shipments                $100 + $8 per shipment over 6

            200+    21-100 stocks in up to 12 shipments          $200 + $8 per shipment over 12

            400+    101-250 stocks in up to 12 shipments        $400 + $8 per shipment over 12

            500+    251-500 stocks in up to 12 shipments        $500 + $8 per shipment over 12

            600+    >500 stocks in up to 12 shipments $600 + $8 per shipment over 12

 

            Number and percent of groups in each use category and amount invoiced*

            100+    362      45%     $ 31,172

            200+    263      33%     $ 51,152

            400+    109      14%     $ 47,944

            500+    46        5.7%    $ 26,604

            600+    22        2.7%    $ 14,488

            Total                           $171,360*

           

            * for 1998 use, 7% of the amount invoiced was never paid

 

Funding for FY 99/00

            NSF    $307,660

            NIH    $100,000

            IU        $ 38,192

            Fees    $158,500 (estimated -- $171,360 - 7%)       

          -------------------------------------

            Total   $604,352

 

            We are currently in year 1 of a 5-year funding period. We have funds to reach a

            collection size of 8,500 by the end of year one and 10,000 by the end of year four.

 

Endowment

The value of our endowment as of 2/29/00 was $330,686 (this figure reflects 20% appreciation of  capital). Due to the larger-than-expected increases in use of the collection over the last two  years, user fees have yielded more income than anticipated when our grant proposal was submitted  in July of 1998. Our costs associated with that heavier use are also higher, but we hope to have  some funds left over from user fees to add to our endowment (the panel that reviewed our  proposal recommended that increasing our endowment be given a high priority and NSF and NIH have  agreed to allow us to retain any excess funds for this purpose during the current funding  period).

 

The Board raised the question how long can these funds be held, which will be answered by the Stock Center directors in the future.

 

Proposal to expand the collection beyond 10,000

The possibility of expanding the collection to accommodate an additional 6,000 P insertions to  be produced by the BDGP in collaboration with Hugo Bellen is currently under discussion by the  stock center, the advisory committee, NSF and NIH. This set would be composed of P insertions  (with or without an obvious mutant phenotype) in or near genes that are not represented in the  current BDGP 'lethal' P collection. The stock center would like to add this collection if a  satisfactory agreement can be reached among all parties and funding becomes available.

 

Deficiency project

Kevin Cook and Thom Kaufman's proposal to "complete" the deficiency kits by generating  deficiencies for the euchromatic regions not currently covered and to begin generating  segregating duplications for the X chromosome (allowing the X deficiencies to be more useful)  was funded by NIH. Funding began May 1, 1999 and expires April 31, 2003.

 

Progress to date: The project is analyzing existing deletion and X  duplication coverage in detail. The overlap of preexisting deletions or the  existence of gaps between adjacent deletions on chromosomes 2 and 3 has  been confirmed experimentally, allowing an accurate count of gaps in  coverage. This work has led to the addition of 51 preexisting deletions  to the collection, 9 adding additional coverage to the deficiency kits and the  rest providing better subdivision of regions already covered. Also, 6  preexisting duplications were added that improve coverage. The survey of  duplication coverage led to the development of an "X Chromosome Duplication Kit"  containing the fewest duplications needed to provide 88 to 92% X chromosome  coverage. The project has been screening for duplications and deletions to fill  gaps in coverage. From the 51 screens to date, two gaps in deletion coverage and  one gap in duplication coverage have been filled and many aberrations have been  isolated but not yet characterized. Once the analysis of existing coverage is  complete, screening efforts will be intensified.

 

Exelixis agreement

The agreement with Exelixis described in last year's report was never finalized (after  initiating the discussion and receiving a detailed proposal from us, which we heard informally  through Gerry Rubin was acceptable to Exelixis, Exelixis ceased communicating with us for  reasons that were never communicated to us). We are not directing users to patent information  nor providing stock recipient information to Exelixis.

 

Advisory Committee - current members

            Hugo Bellen (Chair)

            Michael Ashburner

            Scott Hawley

            Norbert Perrimon

            Amanda Simcox

 

 

12. DIS REPORT ( Jim Thompson)

 

Volume 82 of Drosophila Information Service was published last summer and included research and technique notes, new mutant descriptions, and a reprint of teaching notes from out-of-print back issues.  In addition to the traditional areas of coverage, DIS is actively soliciting articles that describe exercises that can be incorporated into genetics laboratory courses.  For the second year, an email call for papers has been distributed to addresses provided by FlyBase, and I thank Kathy Matthews for again facilitating that distribution.  A web page is being developed for the journal, and when implemented in the next few weeks, its address will be:  http://www.ou.edu/journals/dis.  In addition to encouraging Drosophila geneticists to share teaching exercises, a focus this year will be on profiling the programs of regional Drosophila research conferences.  Many contributors at these meetings are postdoctoral researchers or graduate students.  By publicizing their work as reported in small regional meetings, DIS can help bring their interests and expertise to the attention of a wider audience of research groups.  Very few conference organizers have taken the time to mail a copy of their program for inclusion in DIS.  Hopefully, members of the Board will help in this effort to promote the work of postdoctoral and graduate students.  I predict that the size of the annual issue will be significantly smaller than previous years.  This has been a recurring prediction, but it seems that a major article has ultimately been submitted each year.  The idea of reprinting important research articles that originally had limited distribution remains attractive, since this can be done essentially free of cost.  To order DIS volume 83, the charge will remain unchanged at $12.00 per copy plus $3.00 shipping/handling in the U.S.A., with slightly higher shipping costs to subscribers abroad.

 

 

13. BERKELEY GENOME PROJECT REPORT (Gerry Rubin)

 

Release 1 of the annotated sequence of the D. melanogaster genome will be published in the March 24th issue of Science and will be available through GenBank and FlyBase. This version still has many gaps and low quality regions and we will devote the remainder of our current grant year (until Oct 31, 2000) improving the quality of the sequence. (Full details will be presented at the workshop on Thursday afternoon.) Working closely with our FlyBase colleagues, we will also be improving the associated annotations.

 

We are currently negotiating with the NHGRI to revise the goals for the third and final year of our current grant period. These funds were originally awarded to sequence the last third of the genome. Some of these funds will likely be "repossessed" by the NHGRI, but it is also likely that we will be allowed to sequence full-length cDNA clones. This was, after completion of the genomic sequence, the highest priority goal for the fly community as reported to the NIH following the non-mammalian model organisms workshop held at the NIH a little over a year ago (for full text see http://www.nih.gov/science/models/nmm/):

 

Completion of high quality sequences of full-length cDNA clones corresponding to all genes in the genomic sequence (and their major alternative splice forms) and the assembly of a complete "unigene set" of all major expressed transcripts. The cDNAs should be made available in appropriate vectors in anticipation of their use in proteomic analyses. This "rosetta stone" will be crucial to fully comprehend the range of proteins encoded in the Drosophila genome. This goal can likely be accomplished for $8,000,000 and could be accomplished in 2 years."

 

We currently have cDNA corresponding to about 6,000 different fly genes and have plans for finding the rest, including sequencing 200,000 more ESTs, but these depend on approval of the NIH of our revised goals. Final approval of revised goals will need to wait until the NHGRI Council meeting in late May.

 

 

14. FLYBASE (Bill Gelbart)

 

The FlyBase project continues to work to provide an up-to-date and robust resource of genomic and genetic information on Drosophila melanogaster and other drosophilids.  While continuing our usual data capture and presentation operations, we have had a considerable focus on issues pertaining to three areas:

    (1)  anticipating the explosion of information on the genome sequence of Drosophila melanogaster, both in terms of the FlyBase responsibility for maintaining and updating these annotations and in terms of how this will change the science that Drosophilists do.

    (2)  working toward complete integration of the BFD and FlyBase public databases.

    (3)  developing effective ways to evaluate and redesign the FlyBase www interface as part of the BFD - FlyBase integration effort. 

    (4)  the implementation of a layered controlled vocabulary describing the function, biological role and cellular location of gene products: GO (Gene Ontology).

        

A brief summary of where we are follows.  This will be supplemented by a discussion of the results of the 2.5 day FlyBase Project and Advisory Committee meeting, which will take place in Pittsburgh immediately in advance of the Drosophila Board meeting.

 

    (1)  Some of this information is also in the BDGP report from Gerry. The Celera/BDGP collaboration will culminate as you know in  publication of the work in the March 24, 2000 issue of Science. At that time, the sequences and their annotations will be made  public through the BFD - FlyBase servers as well as through  GenBank/EMBL/DDBJ and perhaps other sites.  The annotations represent a set of predictions of the structures of CDS's  across the assembled genome.  These predicted gene models  will then be the starting point for FlyBase to automatically re-compute those predictions as BDGP finishes the sequences, and to curate this information by expert review and by integrating  experimentally-derived annotation.  How to best obtain input from the community into this process of annotation is under active discussion by FlyBase.

        

    (2)  We are actively integrating some of our data sets and presenting highly integrated and/or crosslinked views of our data.  Areas of highest priority are genomic annotations and transposon insertion data.  A subcommittee has been formed to make recommendations on long term integration objectives.  Several different models for integration can be considered and we are not yet in a position to choose among these options.  Because the integration effort itself will occupy considerable resources, it is important that we take the time to do it right. 

    

    (3)  We have established a FlyBase Web Design Committee (WDC) with curators from each of the four FlyBase sites to evaluate and where appropriate, recommend redesign of our high level web pages.  This committee has worked extremely well together and their work has led to some very good changes in our web site. In addition, the WDC ran a FlyBase survey that was posted not only on FlyBase and the BFD, but also on OMIM, NCBI and MGD. The results of this survey are currently being evaluated, and are available to the Board.  The Board proposed that responses should also be solicited by email, as the web-based approach yielded too few responses to get a strong sense of the community opinions.

 

    (4)  The GO (Gene Ontology) project is currently a collaboration between members of FlyBase (Michael Ashburner and Suzanna Lewis), SGD and MGD.  The idea is to develop a database of controlled terms describing non-sequence level information about gene products, such that biologically related molecules can be organized and retrieved according to function, role and cellular location.  A first pass at assigning GO terms to the predicted Celera/BDGP gene products occurred at and subsequent to the November Annotation Jamboree at Celera.  FlyBase is now actively using the Gene Ontology both for internal purposes and for making robust crosslinks to other organism databases. 

        

As stated earlier, FlyBase will supplement this report with information about the outcome of our Project and Advisors meeting.

 

 


15. NIH SUPPORT FOR COMMUNITY RESOURCES (Laurie Tompkins, Bill Gelbart)

 

Bill Gelbart:

 

I had a long talk with Laurie Tompkins about the whitepaper status and her role on the Trans-NIH NonMammalian Model Organism resources committee.

 

It sounds like things are well under control for her Drosophila subcommittee (that she chairs).  The most important of the whitepaper issues have been addressed by NIH, and this workshop will be useful to update some of the others ... sequencing other species in the  light of the current technology, thinking about expression pattern in the light of chips, microarrays, etc.

 

I suggested to Laurie that I and perhaps some other board reps to NIH meet with her subcommittee as a follow-up to the Thursday evening  resources workshop.  She would like her subcommittee to have "access" to the community through some combination of FlyBase postings and  bionet.drosophila announcements.  This is of course fine with me.

 

How the board might encourage national consortia on resources (such as microarray centers) is something that we might talk about at the  board meeting.

 

Laurie Tompkins (NIH):

 

NIH Process for Considering Support for Genetic and Genomic Resources for Non-Mammalian Models

 

 

This document describes NIH's process for considering planned applications for projects whose goal is to develop genetic and genomic resources for non-mammalian model systems.  This process will be used for projects that are large (generally greater than $500,000 in direct costs per year) or that require a long-term commitment (such as databases and repositories).  Applications for projects that are known to be of interest to specific institutes should be submitted in the standard manner.  However, applicants are encouraged to discuss these projects with the appropriate institute staff member.

 

The process described below is designed (1) to provide guidance to investigators prior to submission of a grant application and (2) to provide a mechanism for determining whether there is sufficient programmatic interest in the proposed project before the investigators prepare and submit an application.

 

1.     A representative of the model organism community should discuss the plan with the NIH contact person (or the NMM committee co-chairs, if there is no contact person).

 

2.      If NIH considers the planning process to be far enough along, the applicants should submit a concept paper to the NIH contact person (or to the NMM committee co-chairs, if there is no contact person).  The concept paper must address the following questions:

 

      By what process did the community obtain input and reach a consensus about the priority for the proposed project?

      What other sources of support, including non-U.S. sources, exist?

      What are the advantages and limitations of the model organism for research purposes, including genome size, tractability for genetic studies, ease of use, generation time, storage of organism or gametes, etc.?

      What is the justification for needing the genomic resources now, rather than later, when costs are likely to be lower?

      Do the proposed resources exist, or are there plans to develop such resources, outside the U.S.?

      What are the unique advantages of having the genomic information of this organism?

      What scientific advances will be made possible that otherwise would not, given the current state of the genomic tools?

      With as great precision as possible, what is the cost of the project?

      What is the duration of the project?

      How will resources, such as databases and repositories, be supported after the completion of the project?

      How will data and resources generated by this project be made available rapidly and efficiently to the research community?

      What genomic resources, including databases and repositories, currently exist?

      What is the size of the research community for the organism?

      Who will benefit from the improved genomic resources?  The immediate community?  The broader biomedical research community?

      What will be the benefits?

 

NIH staff have formed working groups to coordinate and share information about genomic activities related to some model organisms.  If a working group has been established for a particular model organism, the contact person will distribute the concept paper to that working group.  If no working group exists, the contact person will distribute the concept paper to the NMM committee and to its liaisons from other agencies.  

 

      If one or more Institutes and Centers (IC's) and/or other agencies express an interest in providing support for the development of the proposed genomic resources, the applicant will be invited to submit a grant application. 

      If no IC is interested in accepting a formal application, the applicant will be notified. 

 

 

16.  OTHER BUSINESS

a) Status of women in the fly community  (Terry Orr-Weaver, Celeste Berg, Pam Geyer, Helen Salz)

 

There has been serious underrepresentation of female principal investigators on the Board, especially the President position, as well as other high level community projects, such as the Celera jamboree and the panel that attended the Model Organisms.  The problem, as I see it, is that this becomes a self-propagating problem, meaning reduced involvement of female Pis in 'high-level' events and meetings perpetuates the perception that there aren't women 'trained' to perform such functions.  I therefore asked this group to address the issue of female representation and come up with some practical suggestions.   Here is the response:

 

You asked us to comment on ways to increase the representation and involvement of women in the Drosophila community and to make suggestions to the Drosophila board.

 

We agree that increased representation of women on the Drosophila board will permit women to have more input into decisions that affect fly research.  We think you have received a number of suggestions from other women about mechanisms to increase the number of women on the Drosophila board.

 

We think, however, that it is essential to recognize that simply providing  women with more opportunities to do service functions for the community will not enhance their research efforts.  Women do a tremendous amount of service for the Drosophila community, for example look at the number of women who have organized the National meeting in recent years.  This service benefits the community, and the visibility of women in these roles does serve as a good example to younger women.  The problem is that these service jobs are a sacrifice, they take away from women's research efforts.   So we think it is critical that any endeavors to increase the representation of women do not solely add more administrative jobs for them. Women in the fly community need equal access to research information and opportunities-this is what is really critical.

 

We support your efforts.  We urge you to heighten awareness and take steps that will ensure women have access to information, technologies, and reagents in the post-genome era of Drosophila research.

 

Proposal:

The Nominations Committee should make every effort to maintain adequate female representation among the regional representatives, the President and the Treasurer, board committees, and in any community events.  In all cases we should attempt to achieve complete parity (50%), which approximately reflects the composition of the fly community.  If there are not enough women currently on the Board to populate committees, we should pick ad hoc representatives from the community at large.  The long-term goal is to encourage female participation in all 'high-level' Drosophila business.  It is hoped that these strategies will result in being able to approach nominations in a gender-independent fashion, in the not-too-distant future.

 

The Board heartily approved the institution of measures to increase female participation in the Board and other activities of the Drosophila community.  However, the Board favored an approach that was not 'hard-wired' with respect to percentages; instead, the Nominations Committee was strongly encouraged to ensure appropriate representation of women in the nominees.

 

b) Status of P element license (Larry Goldstein)

           

Exelixis has not yet produced a final license proposal, despite numerous attempts to complete this task.  George Scangos has pledged to bring the language into line with the agreed upon intent. 

 

The Board was not concerned about the absence of an agreement, as the patent will expire in about 2 years.  It was decided to let Exelixis dictate the timing, and that we would not continue to push them on this issue.

 

c) Press release on the completion of the genome

 

In order to take advantage of press interest in the completion of the genome, we needed to provide a press release from the Board, as representatives of the community.  Here is the text of the final release.

 

THE DROSOPHILA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

41st Annual Drosophila Research Conference

News Release

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:  Gary Karpen, President, The Drosophila Board of Directors

                              (412) 281-3700 ext. 2606; karpen@salk.edu                                                       

 

 

The Drosophila Research Community Thanks

 Celera Genomics and the Publicly-Funded Genome Projects for Delivering the Fruitfly Genome Sequence

 

 

PITTSBURGH, PENN. March 23, 2000 - The publication and release of the complete DNA sequence of the fruit fly Drosophila in the current issue of Science reports an achievement that will have enormous impact on understanding human biology and disease.  Nearly two-thirds of the genes known to cause human disease are present in the Drosophila genome, including genes responsible for birth defects, neurodegeneration, and cancer. These findings demonstrate that basic research using Drosophila has enormous value in the fight against human disease. 

 

            This occasion caps a century of ground-breaking discoveries made using Drosophila, several of which were recognized by Nobel prizes.  These include the demonstration that radiation causes mutations and the discovery of genes that control the basic body plan of all organisms.

 

            Drosophila has the largest genome sequence produced to date.  This daunting project was only accomplished at an accelerated pace because private industry and government funded public efforts collaborated in a true partnership.  The Drosophila Board, representing the community of Drosophila researchers, sincerely thanks Celera Genomics, Inc. and the Drosophila Genome Projects for providing this important resource to our research community.

 

            The completion of the Drosophila genome sequence heralds a new era of biomedical discovery.  The Drosophila community welcomes this leap forward and the opportunity it affords to advance our understanding of how organisms function and how genetic defects cause disease.

 

The Drosophila Genome Project is a consortium of the Berkeley Genome Project, European Genome Project, Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Center, and FlyBase.  The Drosophila Board of Directors represents the interests of the international community of Drosophila researchers. 

 

For further information contact :

Dr. Gary Karpen

President of The Drosophila Board of Directors

The Salk Institute

karpen@salk.edu

(858) 453-4100 ext. 1473