MBL


By Jennifer Walton

Would you like to spend part of your summer at the MBLWHOI Library studying or writing?

Karush-photo-for-webThe Fred Karush Endowed Library Readership provides the recipient with a study desk and library services in the MBLWHOI Library for one summer month, with limited funds granted for travel and/or housing. Applications are being accepted now for summer 2015; the deadline to apply is February 15.

The MBLWHOI Library has long been a working home for scholars and researchers in Woods Hole, offering a unique and historic environment for scientific study and writing. A Library Reader desk in the book stacks is a quiet space in the middle of the vibrant MBL community.

Here are a few comments from researchers and scholars on the MBLWHOI Library Reader experience:

“Every time I have a big writing project, grant proposal, or review paper, I try to find an excuse that will allow me to do it at a desk in the MBLWHOI Library. In many ways, the library is the most valuable feature of the MBL. It contains one of the largest, most comprehensive, and most complete collections of biological and oceanographic primary literature in the country, perhaps the world …  Although it comes as a surprise to my students, not everything is available on the Internet or for free—but it is usually in the stacks of the MBLWHOI Library.”

Sidney K. Pierce, Emeritus Professor of Biology, University of Maryland and Emeritus Professor of Biology, University of South Florida

“The MBL journals collection is one of the most inspiring library collections I’ve ever encountered. It’s the perfect source for anyone interested in current biological research and its historical origins, valuable not only to biologists, but also to historians and philosophers of science like me.”

Florian Huber, University of Vienna

Questions? Please contact Jen Walton, Coordinator of Library Services, at 508-289-7452; .

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 7, 2015
CONTACT: Diana Kenney
dkenney@mbl.edu; 508-289-7139

Get Your Hands On Research! Apply Now for a Fellowship
In the MBL’s Science Journalism Program

WOODS HOLE, Mass. – The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), an international center for research and education in biological and environmental sciences and an affiliate of the University of Chicago, invites journalists to apply for a fellowship in its Logan Science Journalism Program, to be held May 27 to June 5, 2015. The deadline to apply is March 2.

Since 1986, this program has plunged journalists into laboratory or field research in one of the most dynamic settings for scientific discovery in the world. Fellows choose between one of two courses: the Environmental Hands-On Research Course or the Biomedical Hands-On Research course. The main emphasis is on research activities, enriched by discussions, scientific talks, and excursions.

“This kind of [research] experience should be a requisite part of the career of any science journalist.”
—Erik Olsen, The New York Times (2013 MBL Environmental Fellow)

Alumni of the MBL’s Logan Science Journalism Program include hundreds of prominent journalists from U.S. and international media outlets. Read some of their testimonials here.

Salt marsh at Plum Island, Mass. Credit: DS Johnson

Salt marsh at Plum Island, Mass. Credit: DS Johnson

Fellows in the 2015 Environmental Hands-On Course will experience field and laboratory science immersion both at the MBL and at the Plum Island Long Term Ecological Research site north of Boston, Mass., where they will discover firsthand how human activities are shaping the health and functioning of a coastal ecosystem.

Fellows in the Biomedical Hands-On Course will gain exposure to the fundamental techniques and concepts of cell and molecular biology that underlie many approaches to current biomedical research.

Limited extended-stay fellowships will be awarded to Biomedical fellows to remain in Woods Hole during the dynamic MBL summer season, and to Environmental fellows to travel to Toolik Field Station in Arctic Alaska (pending program funding). Completion of the relevant Hands-On Course is a requirement to apply for an extended-stay fellowship.

To apply, please visit http://www.mbl.edu/sjp/ and submit an application by March 2, 2015. Domestic travel, room and board, and all course and activity fees are underwritten by the fellowship.

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The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is dedicated to scientific discovery and improving the human condition through research and education in biology, biomedicine, and environmental science. Founded in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, in 1888, the MBL is a private, nonprofit institution and an affiliate of the University of Chicago.

MBL Adjunct Scientist Amy Gladfelter can now add “video producer” to her resume. Tapped to make her science “visible to the world” by Celldance Studios, a project of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), Gladfelter came up with an aesthetically beautiful, simply told video about her discoveries of what goes wrong when cells form toxic aggregates, such as in Alzheimer’s disease. Her mini-movie, called “Companions in Discovery,” was filmed partly at MBL and partly at Dartmouth College, where she is an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences. It premiered for an appreciative audience in December at the ASCB annual meeting in Philadelphia.

“I like the end of the film, where members of [Gladfelter’s] lab talk briefly on camera. These young faces are the future of cell biology,” said Simon Atkinson, chairman of the ASCB’s Public Information Committee, which sponsors Celldance Studios.

Celldance Studios gave Gladfelter $1,000 to underwrite her costs, and provided video editing and post-production support. The original score is by Hollywood film composer Ted Masur, son of cell biologist Sandra Masur. More information is here.

 

Huntington Willard, an innovative leader in the fields of genetics and genome biology who has built comprehensive research centers at leading institutions, has been appointed the next president and director of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer, who is also Chairman of the MBL’s Board of Trustees, announced the appointment to the MBL and University communities. MBL is an affiliate of the University of Chicago, a relationship designed to yield novel avenues for scientific discovery and education at both institutions.

At the MBL, Willard will lead one of the world’s foremost centers for biological research, international collaboration and education. Willard, currently the Arts & Sciences Professor of Biology and Genome Sciences at Duke University, will begin his appointment at the MBL on January 1, 2015.

Huntington Willard

Huntington Willard

Willard has earned a reputation as a groundbreaking scientist, a strong leader and builder of complex academic initiatives, as well as a talented educator who has received multiple teaching awards. From 2003 to 2014 he was the founding Director of the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, a highly interdisciplinary unit that spanned the life sciences, engineering, medicine, social sciences and the humanities. For that program, Willard recruited 35 faculty members to Duke across 21 departments and established broad institutional strength in the genome sciences. He had previously chaired the Department of Genetics at Case Western Reserve University, where he also built a widely respected program of research and education.

As a researcher, Willard has explored many facets of genetics and genome biology, with a particular interest in the structure and function of chromosomes, the epigenetic regulation of gene silencing, and the evolution and organization of complex genomes. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has won many awards for genetics scholarship, including the William Allan Award from the American Society of Human Genetics.

“Hunt Willard is an outstanding scholar and a proven scientific leader who has created programs that have earned international respect,” said Zimmer. “He exemplifies the values that guide the Marine Biological Laboratory and the University of Chicago — wide-ranging collaboration, eagerness to explore and define new fields of study, and a dedication to discovery through engaged education. We are delighted to welcome him to this community, and confident that he will lead the MBL in a way that preserves its strengths, creates new opportunities for growth, and takes advantage of the relationship with the University of Chicago.”

Willard said he was attracted by the MBL’s historic role as a beacon for scientists from around the world, including its renowned summer courses and creative year-round programs of research and education.

“I’m honored to be named the next president and director of MBL,” Willard said. “The MBL has enjoyed such a strong tradition of integrating research and education since its founding, and offers wonderful opportunities to develop and implement novel strategies for tackling some of the most pressing questions in life sciences and biomedical research today. The highly interdisciplinary nature of its year-round and visiting scientists and students offers unique combinations of scholarship, teamwork and adaptability that can’t be easily matched elsewhere. I can’t imagine a place that better illustrates the values of integrated research and education that are important to me — as a scientist, an educator and as a leader. I look forward with great enthusiasm to joining this community, at both MBL and the University of Chicago.”

Jennifer Morgan, an MBL scientist and associate director of the Eugene Bell Center for Regenerative Biology and Tissue Engineering, said Willard is a perfect fit for the MBL’s intellectual culture.

“As a leader who has brought together researchers with many diverse kinds of expertise, Hunt Willard is an exceptional choice to enrich the spirit of innovation and collaboration that has guided the MBL since its founding in 1888,” Morgan said.

The MBL is known as an institution dedicated to scientific discovery and improving the human condition through research and education in biology, biomedicine and environmental science. In July 2013 the MBL and the University of Chicago formed an affiliation that is producing growing collaborations between the two institutions and researchers at Argonne National Laboratory, which is managed by UChicago and has many research ties to the University.

In addition to his leadership of the MBL, Willard will have a faculty appointment in the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Chicago. Prior to his appointments at Duke and Case Western Reserve, Willard held faculty positions at the University of Toronto and Stanford University and was founding president and director of the University Hospitals of Cleveland Research Institute. He received his PhD in genetics from Yale University and his AB degree in biology from Harvard University.

Willard is widely considered a leading figure among American geneticists, having authored or contributed to more than 300 scholarly publications, providing fundamental insights and new tools for studying how cells inactivate genes on the X chromosome and what DNA sequences are involved in chromosome segregation during cell division. His team also received international attention in 1997 when it constructed the world’s first human artificial chromosome.

“What’s so extraordinary about Hunt Willard’s academic career is his demonstrated ability to lead the charge in scientific discovery, both as an investigator and as a director of several large, ambitious programs,” said Neil Shubin, the Robert R. Bensley Distinguished Service Professor of Organismal Biology and Anatomy and associate dean for academic strategy in UChicago’s Biological Sciences Division. “He has a sense of where fields are going, and an ability to identify and recruit the best academic talent. That’s going to make him an outstanding leader for the MBL, and a great colleague for all of us.”

Sally Kornbluth, provost of Duke University and the James B. Duke Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, praised Willard’s contributions at Duke.

“Hunt Willard is a stellar scientist, an energetic teacher and an innovative leader who helped make genomics a point of excellence at Duke,” Kornbluth said. “His appointment at the MBL heralds an exciting opportunity for the laboratory.”

Willard will succeed Arthur M. Sussman, the MBL’s interim president and director, who assumed that role in November with the departure of former president and director Joan Ruderman. President Zimmer sent a message to the MBL community last May praising Ruderman’s record of commitment to the lab, which began in 1974 when she first arrived as a post-doctoral researcher.

The University of Chicago’s Neil Shubin, along with Michael Rosenfeld from Tangled Bank Productions and David Dugan from Windfall Films, will share the 2014 Kavli Science Journalism Award for “in-depth television reporting” for their three-part PBS series:
“Your Inner Fish.”

Neil Shubin, center, at the first University of Chicago-MBL Scientific Retreat in February 2014. Credit: Rob Kozloff/University of Chicago

Neil Shubin, center, at the first University of Chicago-MBL Scientific Retreat in February 2014. Credit: Rob Kozloff/University of Chicago

The coveted Kavli awards, administered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science since its inception in 1945, go to professional journalists for distinguished reporting for a general audience.

Please see the University of Chicago press release here. Shubin, a fish paleontologist, provides faculty leadership for the University of Chicago-MBL affiliation. His title at the university is Senior Advisor to the President and Robert R. Bensley Distinguished Service Professor of Anatomy.

 

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