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ASBMB to host summit on the sustainability of the research enterprise

Chris Pickett
February 01, 2016

Training periods and trainee populations have increased over the past decade despite stagnant federal funding, resulting in a research workforce that is expanding beyond the capacity of the available funding to support it. A variety of groups have written reports describing these problems in great detail and made a series of recommendations to fix them.

The Public Affairs Advisory Committee of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has also been working on issues concerning the sustainability of the research enterprise. This work culminated in an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in September. This article described eight recommendations made by a majority of reports addressing the significant structural problems of the enterprise.

On Feb. 4–5, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology will take the first major step toward implementing these recommendations by hosting a summit of leaders committed to change (see below). For the past two months, summit participants have worked to flesh out ideas and identify action items related to research funding, enhancing training and optimizing the workforce.

The author of this article (Chris Pickett, policy analyst at the ASBMB and lead staff member for the event) will conduct a phone briefing at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 5 summarizing the major outcomes of the summit. Email bcorb@asbmb.org for call-in information.

Participants in the 2016 ASBMB Sustainability Summit

  • Bruce Alberts, University of California, San Francisco and Rescuing Biomedical Research
  • Margaret Anderson, FasterCures and the Melanoma Research Alliance
  • Jeremy Berg, University of Pittsburgh
  • Cynthia Fuhrmann, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Howard Garrison, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
  • Matthew Gentry, University of Kentucky
  • Kenneth Gibbs, National Institutes of Health
  • Judith Greenberg, National Institutes of Health
  • Susanna Greer, American Cancer Society
  • Louis Justement, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Terri Goss Kinzy, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Alan Leshner, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Jon Lorsch, National Institutes of Health
  • Kay Lund, National Institutes of Health
  • Susan Marqusee, University of California, Berkeley
  • C. Robert Matthews, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Kenneth Maynard, Takeda Pharmaceuticals
  • Gary McDowell, Tufts University
  • Sharon Milgram, National Institutes of Health
  • Mary O’Riordan, University of Michigan Medical School
  • Greg Petsko, Weill Cornell Medicine
  • John Randell, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Phil Ryan, National Institutes of Health
  • Paula Stephan, Georgia State University
  • Wes Sundquist, University of Utah
  • Michael Teitelbaum, Harvard Medical School
  • Shirley Tilghman, Princeton University and Rescuing Biomedical Research
Chris Pickett

Chris Pickett was a policy analyst at the ASBMB when he wrote this article. Today he is the director of Rescuing Biomedical Research.

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