Division of Comparative Endocrinology

Fall Newsletter 2019

Alice C. Gibb
Oct 30 · 11 min read

Message from the Chair, C. Loren Buck, chair.DCE@sicb.org

Greetings DCE members! We are already deep into fall semester and this means that the 2020 meeting in Austin, TX is just around the corner. The last time that we held our SICB Annual Meeting in Austin was in 2014. I am looking forward to participating in a stimulating SICB Annual meeting and taking in other activities in Austin and the surrounding region. Austin is known as “The Live Music Capital of the World”, having the most live music venues per capita of any US city. It is regionally situated in the Texas Hill Country and thus affords easy access to rivers, lakes and state parks.

DCE program officer, Brian Walker, has compiled an exciting program that will be of great interest to comparative endocrinologists and to the broad SICB community. I encourage your participation in the three exciting symposia (detailed below by Brian) we are cosponsoring as well as the many DCE-themed presentations and poster sessions. I am pleased to report that this year’s meeting will also include highlights such as the Howard A. Bern Lecture, the Aubrey Gorbman oral presentations, and the Lynn Riddiford poster presentations. A big thank you goes out to those DCE members that have already agreed to judge the oral and poster competitions. If you are interested in participating as a judge and have not yet reached out, please contact Brian for specifics on how to get involved.

Dr.George Bentley, this year’s speaker for the Howard A. Bern Lecture

It is my great pleasure to introduce Dr.George Bentley, this year’s speaker for the Howard A. Bern Lecture. Dr. Bentley is Professor of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley, with a joint appointment in The Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. He studies the neuroendocrinology of reproduction in vertebrates. Although his lab focuses on avian reproduction, he has carried out studies on sheep, horses, mice, rats, hamsters, monkeys and humans — with current studies on bats and vizcachas. He teaches Comparative Endocrinology and Animal Behavior. He and his team established GnIH as an important regulator or physiology and behavior and notably that the gonadal GnIH system can act seemingly independently of the brain/pituitary. Since 1997, he has produced over 140 research papers in highly regarded journals, as well as 13 book chapters. Dr. Bentley has been and continues to be a prominent and successful mentor of students of all levels. He has mentored numerous post-doctoral fellows and graduate students and an impressive 123 undergraduates and high school students in research. Please join me for what is sure to be an instructive and illuminating lecture by Dr. Bentley.

Directly after Dr. Bentley’s lecture, please join me for the DCE social. Following on the success of last year’s social, we will be jointly hosting the social with DEDE, DAB, and DNNSB (see more details below in Brian’s Program Officer message).

Please keep in mind that it is not too early to begin planning for Washington, DC in 2021 and Phoenix, AZ in 2022. Please utilize the Austin meeting to get together with other DCE members to brainstorm symposia and workshop ideas for these up-coming meetings. If you have an exciting and timely idea and are interested in organizing a symposium or workshop, see me or other members of the DCE Executive Committee during the Tampa meeting. We are happy to help to shape your idea into reality.

I look forward to seeing everyone in Austin in 2020!

Nominating Committee Information: All SICB divisional chairs were notified this fall that each division needs to appoint a Nominating Committee. We were encouraged to publish the names and contact information in our newsletter to increase the “speed, transparency, and inclusivity of our elections”. Our Division has historically had a Nominating Committee, as per our bylaws, but we have not advertised the makeup of the committee except at our annual divisional members meeting. The Nominating Committee encourages DCE members to run for the various vacant Officer positions within the division; nominated individuals run for office in the spring. In addition, the Nominating Committee selects the Howard Bern Lecturer in late summer. Our recent by-law changes were approved in the last election, extending the duration of the Program Officer’s term in office to a third year (Brian has kindly agreed to serve an additional year). As such, we do not have an election scheduled for 2020. If you have an interest in voicing your opinion on the nominating committee, please be sure to attend our Members Meeting immediately before the Bern Lecture. The composition of the nominating committee for next year’s Bern Lecture and elected positions will be posted in next year’s newsletters.

Message from the Program Officer, Brian Walker, DPO.DCE@sicb.org

Ya’ll fixin’ to be ready for SICB 2020 in Austin? The planning committee has just met, and I’m excited about our upcoming conference in January in Austin. Hopefully, unlike the two days I just spent there, the temps won’t be 98 degrees in January! Although then again, here’s also hoping that it won’t be the frigid temps we experienced when we last visited Austin in 2014. The new venue at the JW Marriott is beautiful, all self-contained — hotel and conference all right there. No need to venture out if you don’t want to. But I can assure you…you’ll want to, as there are tons of restaurants and waterin’ holes within walking distance to insure a good time will be had by all (*following your poster or talk!). I personally tested some chicken fried steak, gulf sea food and Tex-Mex cuisine for quality control. Ya’ll will be fine, gastronomically. And Austin isn’t known as the Center of Live Music for nothing. Bring your best Karaoke number ready to go and your boots for Two-Stepping! And so you’re not left out in some distant motel, DON’T FORGET TO MAKE YOUR JW MARRIOTT HOTEL RESERVATIONS before the deadline for discounted prices (December 11th, 2019).

This year, a total of 1894 abstracts were submitted for the 2020 SICB conference. This resulted in 140 sessions, to accompany the 11 symposia that were selected last year. DCE is co-sponsoring three symposia: Epigenetic Variation in Endocrine Systems (January 4); Reproduction: The Female Perspective from an Integrative and Comparative Framework (January 5); and Building Bridges from Genome to Phenome: Molecules, Methods and Models (January 6). Additionally, I have set up seven oral sessions spread across the four days of the conference:

  • Aubrey Gorbman Best Student Oral Competition (7 talks)
  • Reproductive Development: Hormonally Speaking (7 talks)
  • Growth Factors & Neuropeptides (6 talks)
  • Comparative Endocrinology (6 talks)
  • S.T.R.E.S.S. 1 (7 talks)
  • S.T.R.E.S.S. 2 (7 talks)
  • How Hormones Make Animals Do What They Do (7 talks)

We also have a special session entitled Celebrating the Scientific Contributions of Rosemary Knapp: Hormone and Alternate Reproductive Tactics, with 14 talks across two sessions, all honoring the memory of Rosemary and her amazing work. We will miss her and her devotion to our Division! In addition to these nine oral sessions, we have an exciting selection of 44 poster presentations, distributed across the three poster sessions the first three days of the conference.

The list of talks for the Aubrey Gorbman DCE Best Student Oral Award has been chosen by the selection committee. It was a tough decision to narrow it down to what we expect to be seven excellent talks. Additionally, we have an exciting group of 11 posters that will compete for the Lynn Riddiford Best Poster award from DCE. Look for requests for judges for these two important competitions. And thank you in advance for volunteering!!!

As Loren said, we are excited about the Bern Lecture on Sunday, January 5th from Dr. George Bentley. And, we all know that following his talk, he, and the rest of us, will be ready to enjoy the DCE/DAB/DNNSB/DEDE joint social… which will be right outside the lecture hall with a great view of downtown Austin. Perhaps the first round will be on Dr. Bentley??? If not, remember that students and post docs who attend the DCE members meeting that is held right before the Bern Lecture are rewarded with a complementary drink ticket (or two… depending on attendance). We will also hopefully be announcing the winner of the Gorbman Best Student Oral presentation at the social!

While we have a great suite of talks and posters for 2020, the number of abstract submissions for DCE are slightly down this year, and we remain one of the smaller divisions in SICB as far as science contributions go. I encourage you all to submit your work for 2021 in Washington DC, remind your colleagues to think SICB, and especially bring your students to the conference and get them sharing about their exciting work. The future is in the hands of these millennials, right??? I’d love to have the arduous task of sorting and organizing many more oral and poster abstracts next year!!!

Perhaps in response to some pretty heavy encouragement for increased symposium applications by all the Program Officers across the Society over the last year, the Divisional Program Officers were given the task of having to narrow down the selection of symposia for the 2021 conference in Washington DC from 24 to 12 submissions! This is nearly double the number of submissions that were considered for 2020 in Austin. While obviously a much tougher discussion, we have come up with what I think is an exciting list of 12 symposia that will be invited to Washington DC in 2021. Stay tuned for the announcement of those symposia by the SICB Program Officer. DCE has provided co-sponsorship for four of these symposia!

Well ya’ll, in closing, get your Powerpoint fired up, and your Kinkos purchase order ready for printing your posters. And even if you aren’t presenting, come and take part in learning about a lot of new stuff, meeting up with old friends, and making new ones. I think Austin will be a great conference! The science looks exciting, diverse, and full of cool new discoveries. And downtown Austin holds those same three characteristics as well, at least from my two days of experimental observations. See you soon to increase the analytical sample size!

Message from the Secretary, Timothy Greives, secretary.DCE@sicb.org

It is the middle of October and Fargo, ND is experiencing it’s first snow storm of the season. Needless to say, I’m already looking forward and another SICB meeting and the more moderate temperatures of Austin, TX! Aside from an improvement in weather for some of us, the 2020 meeting in Austin will I’m sure be stimulating and and fun for DCE members.

First, I’d like to congratulate Rachel Bowden, who was elected as the Chair-elect. Her term as chair-elect will begin at the end of the 2020 SICB meeting. Thank you also to Ignacio Moore for being willing to run for this important position, and we appreciate the time all of you took to vote! Congratulations to Rachel — we look forward to your leadership and contribu­tions in this critical role.

As Loren and Brian have described above, we are delighted to have George Bentley giving the annual Howard Bern lecture at the upcoming Austin meeting. Please be sure to put the DCE members meeting on your calendar this year. It will occur just prior to the Bern Lecture. Participating in this meeting will ensure that you get the latest divisional updates and also that your voice is heard when it comes to important divisional decisions. So please come and help us discuss our divisional plans, and it will then be an easy walk after its conclusion to the Bern lecture. After the conclusion of the Bern Lecture, be sure to join us for the DCE social, which we will again this year hold jointly with the DAB/DNNSB/DEDE. This truly will be an INTEGRATIVE BIOLOGY social, and is sure to be a fun time, so please join us!

Also, if you haven’t already, please join the DCE Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/104465249680261

We would like to keep the group growing, so please spread the word to your colleagues! This has become an excellent venue for asking endocrinology-related questions, connecting with colleagues, and posting announce­ments about jobs, funding opportunities, and conferences. Please also be sure to follow the DCE Twitter account (@SICB_DCE).

As always, you can email me at secretary.DCE@sicb.org with any announcements you would like to have included in the SICB monthly member update. If you would like to do this, please be sure to do so by the 5th of each month.

Message from the Student/Postdoctoral Affairs Committee Representative, Carla B Madelaire, carlamadelaire@gmail.com or carla-bonetti.madelaire@nau.edu

Hello everyone! The SICB 2020 meeting in Austin, Texas is coming up! Here are some quick details that could benefit DCE graduate students and postdocs. For more details on each topic, please review the meeting website (http://www.sicb.org/meetings/2020/).

1. Remember to register!! If you have a presentation, you are required to register by November 6th. The early fee deadline is Dec. 4th.

2. Roommates: If you’re on a budget and are looking for a roommate to share hotel expenses, please check out SICB’s roommate matching service.

3. Social media: If you’re on Facebook, please join the DCE group. It’s a great place to ask questions about your research, or about material for elaborating endocrinology courses. If you’re on Twitter, please follow the DCE account (@SICB_DCE)! I’m happy to retweet your paper announce­ments, job inquiries, questions, and also announce SICB related information and deadlines! Just direct message or @ the SICB_DCE. During the meeting, you can follow and live tweet using #SICB2020.

4. Childcare: The childcare will be FREE and registration by December 4 this required to participate. Beside the childcare room, there will also be a nursing room avail­able! Please check here(http://burkclients.com/sicb/meetings/2020/site/general_info.html) for more information.

5. International travelers: Please review travel restrictions well in advance of the meeting. See the SICB website(http://burkclients.com/sicb/meetings/2020/site/international.htm) for details.

This year’s meeting has many activities you should know about. New attendees who want to get the best experience from SICB should consider attending the Training Session and First-Timer’s Orientation on January 3rd. This event will explain how the conference is organized, what are the parallel events, and offer many other pieces of advice. The Training Session is mandatory for students that receive Charlotte Magnum funding.

SICB’s Society-Wide Wine and Cheese Reception in Honor of Students and Postdocs will happen on January 4. Above all, it’s an opportunity for networking and free snacks! If you’re interested in networking and career advice, I’ll organize the annual Lunch with a Comparative Endocrinologist. Groups of students will be matched with a comparative endocrinolo­gist for a networking lunch. This is a great opportunity to meet researchers whose work you are interested in and ask questions about research opportunities, funding, and the job market. Many of the conversations are also an opportunity to help you make an informed decision on pursuing the next step in science. If you’re a professional researcher in comparative endocrinology in academia OR a trained endocrinologist (who is continuing to use your training) outside of academia, and are willing to have lunch with students, please contact me. Graduate students and postdocs: I will be sending around information about how to participate in this event.

The Student-Postdoctoral Affairs Committee (SPDAC) provides an interesting and complete list of advice on applying to postdocs, grants and fellowship opportunities that is accessible (http://www.sicb.org/resources/studentpostdoc.php3) with your membership number. They will also organize a brown-bag lunch workshop. Stay tuned to DCE, SPDAC twitter and the SICB website for further information on the theme and content of that event. Another exciting resource is the Mentorship Matching, which is a wonderful initiative that puts together mentors and mentees to talk science in general. The survey for matching mentors and mentees is open (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe1D_Kx9ptupTT2fz8IVxfnPELGdI89pM6zAQiq05Zjfz4fng/viewform) until December 8th. For more information, go here: http://www.sicb.org/meetings/bp/SICB%20BP%20Mentorship%20Guidelines.pdf.

Make your datablitz funny

This year, I will also organize a datablitz event on twitter and Facebook. Start preparing short videos (3 min max) explaining your research findings (better if it’s funny!) that I will tweet and post on Facebook during SICB. This is a super cool way to invite people to your talk and spread the word about the results that took so much effort to obtain. I hope everyone can participate!!! Best student selected presentations are especially encouraged to participate. Even if you don’t have a twitter or a Facebook account, you can just email me the video and I will put it there with your name, date and time of presentation. See you all in Austin!

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