January 2012

New initiatives for 2012

A new Mentorship Committee  

Fred Maxfield, Weill Cornell Medical College, chairman of the Mentorship Committee

The ASBMB Education and Professional Development Committee, led by Peter Kennelly, oversees a number of wonderful programs that support high-school and undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows who share an interest in biochemistry and molecular biology. Yet all of our members can benefit from professional development activities. To bolster the ongoing activities of the EPD, the Council proposes to establish a new Mentorship Committee with the mission of providing members of all ages with tools to enhance their own personal mentorship and professional development.

The goals of the proposed Mentorship Committee will be to develop and sustain a monthly column for ASBMB Today on topics of relevance to the professional development of ASBMB mentees of all ages. These would relate to professional skills, lab management, personnel issues, how to apply for a postdoc or job and so forth. The columns will be written by committee members and by other invited authors. The Mentorship Committee will develop ideas for mentorship and professional-development programs for each annual meeting and possibly also ideas for stand-alone courses that could be offered biannually for members. This year’s annual meeting will include a time-management and work–life balance workshop; the Mentorship Committee will plan similar events for future years. In addition, the Mentorship Committee will work hard to identify other programs that would benefit our members in terms of mentorship and professional development. Should ASBMB offer methods courses in advanced proteomics or single-molecule analysis? Would a workshop in high-content, high-throughput screening be of value? Fred Maxfield of Weill Cornell Medical College has agreed to chair the committee, and I look forward to watching it take flight.

Should these new programs prove successful, we will consider adding them as standing committees of the society via a change in the ASBMB bylaws. I wish all of you a new year full of many new discoveries–both of the scientific and personal variety. Happy new year to you!

Suzanne PfefferASBMB President Suzanne Pfeffer (Pfeffer@stanford.edu) is a biochemistry professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine.


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