2022 voter guide
It's time to cast your ballot in the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's elections. Below, we've published the candidates' statements of interest, and you can see more about them and vote here. Voting ends June 29.
Candidates for Council
The ASBMB Council serves as an advisory board to the president and the executive director for setting priorities and strategic directions, overseeing resource allocations, and ensuring that all activities align with the mission of the society. Councilors are elected for three-year terms and can be re-elected or reappointed to serve one additional term.
Each voter is allowed to select two candidates in this race.
Rafael Alvarez Gonzalez
Chief executive officer, AGORA Scientific Services
Statement of interest: I started my scientific research career at age 15 in college in the 1970s. I majored in biological chemistry and pharmacology — in a five-year laboratory-intense program that required an innovative research thesis for graduation.
In the third year, I started a project on cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases in cultured cells, using and reading the Journal of Biological Chemistry as the main reference. Thus, I knew, before my military service and voting that I was to vigorously pursue joining the society behind that exemplary and high-quality peer-reviewed scientific journal. Thanks to that project, I received a full graduate fellowship for my Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of North Texas at Denton and finished in five years (1980–1985).
After attending the annual meetings of the ASBMB (then called the American Society of Biological Chemists) and completing my first postdoc in Europe, I went to the Samuel Roberts Noble foundation in Oklahoma and joined the society as regular member in 1987.
Over the years, I have been privileged to serve in the education committee (1990–1993) and minority affairs and career development committee (1993–1996), and I represented the ASBMB in a meeting with my congressional representatives in Texas. Recently, I was privileged to contribute the society’s undergraduate accreditation program (2011–2014). More importantly, our research team in Texas has managed to publish in the JBC five times out of more than 50 peer-reviewed publications.
Today, after 35 years with the ASBMB, I wish to contribute to the society to confirm and expand its global leadership and influence in the field, always maintaining the high standards of excellence that make it what it is, with inclusivity, diversity and equity for all. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to continue giving back to the society, which has generously supported my career throughout, in a new important role.
Professor and dean of The Graduate School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Statement of interest: I am grateful to have served on the ASBMB Council for one term and would love to serve another term. During my first term, I have learned more about our society, its challenges and opportunities. I am particularly intrigued by an opportunity that was discussed at a recent Council meeting: pursuing philanthropic support for the ASBMB. My experience as a dean, working with alumni, friends and prospective donors, will be helpful for this effort.
I am also excited about the new concept of Council liaisons and look forward to serving as liaison to the Public Affairs Advisory Committee. In that role, I will leverage my experience with advocacy for graduate education in the state of North Carolina to help the committee.
Finally, I was a member of the Minority Affairs Committee (now Maximizing Access Committee) for many years and hope to continue engaging with and supporting their important work.
For these reasons, I am running for a second term on ASBMB Council. I hope you will support me.
Professor and department head, Montana State University
Statement of interest: Through my independent career, I have been on the faculty of a small elite liberal arts college (Amherst College), of a large research-intensive state university (Michigan State University), and now of a modestly sized school in the rural mountain west (Montana State University). This range of experiences has given me a broad perspective on science education and academic research — and the intersection of the two.
I am passionate about science education and the importance and impact of involving science students in research at an early stage. I am committed to advocating for and advancing women in science at every stage, from undergraduate students through to full professors.
I have been honored to serve on the ASBMB Council for the past three years, and I would like to continue for another term in order to help advance the goals and ideals of the society and to serve as an advocate for women and others who are underrepresented in the sciences.
Professor, Cornell University
Statement of interest: I have been an active member of the ASBMB for most of my scientific career and have served on the Publications Committee since 2017. With that term ending, I wish to continue to serve the society and hence am applying to an open position on the Council. In addition to the general goal of promoting cutting-edge research and the exchange of information that makes it possible, I have strong interests in scientific education and the engagement of persons historically excluded because of their ethnicity or race.
Professor, University of Kentucky
Statement of interest: My first large scientific meeting was Experimental Biology. I was a graduate student and an ASBMB member. I was awestruck at the breadth and depth of biochemistry research and hooked for life. I was also struck by the outstanding mentoring opportunities that the ASBMB provided and the outreach that the society was performing.
As a faculty member, I have been fortunate to serve on the ASBMB Membership Committee, Public Affairs Advisory Committee, the Journal of Biological Chemistry editorial board and, most recently, ASBMB Council. In these roles, I have closely worked with the Education and Professional Development Committee, the Scientific Outreach and Communication Committee, the Student Chapters Committee, the Maximizing Access Committee (formerly the Minority Affairs Committee) and the Meetings Committee.
If selected to serve as an ASBMB Council member, my priorities would be:
- Communicate to members how to utilize their passions to serve on an ASBMB committee.
- Assist the society as it begins a search for a new executive director in 2023.
- Provide insights to ASBMB President-elect Ann Stock, current Executive Director Steve Miller, and the future executive director regarding committee functions, strengths, opportunities and goals
- Advocate on behalf of the ASBMB to biochemists at all career stages on how the society can benefit them.
Candidates for Nominating Committee
The ASBMB Nominating Committee nominates regular members of the society to stand for election for President, Council, Publications Committee and the Nominating Committee. Committee members are elected for three-year terms and can be re-elected or reappointed to serve one additional term.
Each voter is allowed to select one candidate in this race.
Juan L. Mendoza
Assistant professor, University of Chicago
Statement of interest: Being a member of the ASBMB Nominating Committee would be a wonderful opportunity for me to be an integral part of the ASBMB and be able to provide service to the ASBMB and the broader scientific community.
As an assistant professor at the University of Chicago, I am committed to promoting and educating about the molecular nature of life. As part of this commitment, I am passionate about making education in STEM accessible to everyone and inspiring future generations of scientists. For me, this includes active participation in community outreach and societies such as the ASBMB.
As a newer member of ASBMB, and having attended the annual meeting, I have been impressed by the scientific excellence and participation at all levels of training and career. I greatly appreciate the ASBMB’s ability to demonstrate that efforts in diversity and inclusion enrich and contribute to excellence in every area of research. In this and many other ways, ASBMB is exemplary.
I would like to help the ASBMB by contributing to this effort and continuing to find innovative ways to keep us at the forefront of research, promoting science, member participation, membership growth, education, mentorship and training.
Distinguished professor emeritus, University of California, Berkeley
Statement of interest: The mission of the ASBMB Nominating Committee is to encourage ASBMB members to stand for election to serve the society in its various leadership roles, specifically president, the Council, the Publications Committee and the Nominating Committee itself. The many activities of ASBMB are best achieved by ensuring gender equity and diversity in its advisory bodies and leadership, as well as in its general membership. To thrive, our organization needs to be inclusive, and to hear from and recruit diverse voices. Hence, the most important function of the Nominating Committee to make certain we draw on the rich pool of our membership and secure the participation of individuals from all quarters of the biochemical sciences.
Associate professor, New Mexico State University
Statement of interest: I was initially drawn to the ASBMB for the excellent journals and conferences as venues to disseminate my research work. When I took a faculty position at New Mexico State University, I became more interested in advocating for students in science to improve their research and educational and professional-development opportunities. The ASBMB has many of these opportunities!
I have acted as adviser for the NMSU student chapter, led the process for ASBMB accreditation of our B.S. in biochemistry degree, and for the last year served on the Student Chapters Steering Committee.
I am running for a position on the Nominating Committee to deepen my involvement in the ASBMB, because I believe in the things this society is doing. I would like to be a part of selecting the leadership that will continue the ASBMB’s dedication to excellence and inclusivity in science.
Candidates for secretary
The secretary is responsible for reviewing the minutes of the society, serving on the Nominating Committee and Audit Committee and completing other duties as assigned by Council, which may include certifying Council resolutions to support the operations of the society. The secretary is a voting member of Council, and participates in the governance of the society. The secretary serves a three-year term.
Each voter is allowed to select one candidate in this race.
Distinguished professor, Rutgers University, and director, Rutgers Center for Lipid Research
Statement of interest: The ASBMB has been a large part of my professional life since I joined the society in 1980. I have gained much experience in the inner workings of diverse organizations through service on ASBMB journal editorial boards, meetings committees, Council, Awards Committee, and Lipid Research Division, National Institutes of Health advisory panels, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology committees, and international societies on the biochemistry of lipids.
Throughout my career, I have profited from formal and informal mentors, and I am obliged to pay forward my knowledge and experiences to early-career scientists including undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral associates. As ASBMB secretary, I pledge to review the minutes of the society; actively serve on the Nominating and Audit committees; review nominations for regular membership referred from the executive director; and perform duties as prescribed by the ASBMB Council.
I will perform society activities in a manner that facilitates diversity, inclusion and equity.
Y. Jessie Zhang
Professor, University of Texas, Austin
Statement of interest: I found the ASBMB was my scientific home when I realized that many events by the society were specially designed with the junior researchers as the focus. I wholeheartedly concur with that vision and find education/mentorship a calling and the primary goal of my professional life. Ever since I started to volunteer my time in the society in 2014, I have always put any task from the ASBMB as a top priority because of its impact on junior scientists and the broader scientific community. I want an opportunity to further contribute to our beloved society because of my dedication to the ASBMB mission and passion for inspiring the next generation of researchers. I will voice the challenges our researchers are facing and identify mechanisms to promote their careers.
Candidates for the Publications Committee
The ASBMB Publications Committee oversees the society’s scholarly publishing activities and advises the Council on policy and ethical issues that may arise and advises journal editors about editorial matters, including the approval of associate editor appointments. Committee members are elected for five-year terms and can be re-elected or reappointed to serve one additional term.
Each voter is allowed to select one candidate in this race.
Associate professor, The Pennsylvania State University
Statement of interest: The ASBMB has been my favorite society throughout my academic career. Unsurprisingly, all of my mentors and role models have participated in leadership roles at the society.
The ASBMB meeting was my first conference as a graduate student when it widened my academic horizons. The society has been subsequently pivotal for my career growth: it has been a forum in my self-learning journey as an academic. It made me realize that scientists at all career stages benefit enormously from mentors.
The most enduring contribution of the ASBMB is to offer an unparalleled interdisciplinary overview of research and education that integrates spatial (molecules to organisms) and timescale (sub second to development over years) perspectives in biology. The ASBMB educates members (young and old alike), and it is an interdisciplinary and inclusive forum for advances in STEM subjects with art.
As a scientist who has benefited enormously from collaborative, interdisciplinary research, and as an academic who has traversed international research environments, encompassing basic and applied research areas, I am passionate about the ASBMB’s commitment to supporting lifelong learning and continuous mentorship for all ages.
I would like to be elected to champion younger scientists — by being a proponent for easing career transitions and helping scientists branch out into newer fields. The ASBMB can play an important role in assisting scientists to move beyond a comfort zone guided by a narrow scientific focus, defined by past training and expertise. I propose to continue the society’s mentoring mission to guide students and established scientists beyond their training focus areas to explore newer collaborative interdisciplinary research that transcends basic/applied research. I recognize that career direction changes might represent added challenges to underrepresented communities and propose to enhance ASBMB’s mentorship in this area. I seek to expand the ASBMB’s vision for increased inclusivity and diversity in fostering more collaborative research.
Professor, University of Toronto
Statement of interest: As a member of the ASBMB since 2003, I have been inspired by the contributions made by the society to the dissemination of knowledge in general and science in particular through its various publications.
Although my own research interests are in the field of protein homeostasis, I find it very important to keep informed of the progress made in other related fields of science. So, I always enjoyed reading ASBMB Today to get the latest news about awards, meetings, and, more importantly, research that might not be in my direct area of expertise.
Being on the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry since 2017 has been a very rewarding experience. As a result, I am keen to be involved in the ASBMB Publications Committee to further the reach of ASBMB publications and to promote open-access in a more equitable fashion. Also, I would advocate to continue the progress of ASBMB journals towards novel and innovative article review and publication formats. I find this to be especially important given the new and different article reviewing and publishing approaches being used by other journals. Hence, a clear policy needs to be established to address how ASBMB journals will interact with open-access preprint repositories such as bioRxiv and what value will be placed on reviews provided by journal-independent peer-review platforms such as the Review Commons.
We live in an exciting time for science publishing, and I look forward to contributing as part of the ASBMB Publications Committee.
Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Statement of interest: I welcome the opportunity to join the ASBMB Publications Committee. It would be a great honor to dedicate my efforts in order to advocate for excellence in our scholarly publishing activities, promote the highest standards for publication in ASBMB journals, and advise on editorial matters.
As an established scientist in the signal transduction field, I have had the chance to serve on multiple editorial boards, including the Journal of Biological Chemistry’s, and I understand emerging challenges to keep disseminating our scientific discoveries in a highly competitive environment.
I aim to support efforts toward facilitating communication between editors, authors and readers, with the ultimate goal of promoting high-impact science while affirming strong ethical publishing values.
Professor, University of Texas at Austin
Statement of interest: As a longtime ASBMB member who served on the ASBMB Council, I am impressed and appreciative of ASBMB’s efforts to support and promote our field. Chief among the jewels in the ASBMB crown are its publications, which are run by scientists for scientists, and I am delighted at the opportunity to help continue the ASBMB’s tradition of excellent publications as modes of scientific communication continue to evolve.
Wenshe R. Liu
Professor and department chair, Texas A&M University
Statement of interest: As a member who has long been benefiting from services provided by the ASBMB, I feel that this is my time to give back to the association by using my expertise in the publication and review process. As someone who has published about 100 research articles and edited for several journals, I would like to promote emerging research fields in the ASBMB journals with special emphasis on interdisciplinary areas. This will also represent my research expertise that combines biology, chemistry and other subjects.
Distinguished professor, University of Kentucky
Statement of interest: I want to serve on the ASBMB Publications Committee because I understand that publications are central to both the professional conduct of science and also its social fabric.
I am a big admirer of how ASBMB’s publications have spanned both spheres via the several journals the society produces. ASBMB Today nurtures networks of people and interest and keeps the science fun, engaging us all beyond the boundaries of our own specializations and keeping the best of our humanity connected to the best of our science. Meanwhile, ASBMB's established research journals provide critical channels for sharing high-quality scientific progress, complete with the assurances of expert peer review.
High-quality peer review is close to my heart, as it can raise the quality of science that enters the permanent record and provide on-going mentoring to all of us, to be our best scientists. However, journals need to balance respect for reviewers' time, efficient handling of researchers’ work and transparent fair evaluation of all science on its own merit, to create a level playing field for all.
My experience derives from five years of service on the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry (2007–2012) and prior service on the ASBMB Publications Committee (2013–2016) during a time of editorial flux and renewal. I was enormously impressed by the community spirit and commitment to excellence that I witnessed among all involved.
I also love the proactive energy of ASBMB that energizes and empowers. Working for ASBMB is a chance to be part of the solution.
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These funding mechanisms have been underutilized. The ASBMB public affairs staff offers recommendations to change that.