January 22, 2007

DRAFT GEMS Meeting Minutes for January 11, 2007

  • The meeting was called to order at 3:15 by Greg Stuart. The following board members were present: Greg Stuart, Susan Ross, Gloria Jahnke, Jayne Boyer, Rose Anne McGee, Errol Zeiger, Dana Dolinoy, Dan Shaughnessy, Dario Ramirez, Mac Law, Stephen Little, and Janice Allen. An assortment of cookies and soft drinks were made available to the participants by the host, Susan Ross and the Hamner Institute. CIIT is now The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences. Corrected minutes from the November 15, 2006 board meeting were approved. The board agreed with Frank Stack’s suggestion that minutes posted on the GEMS web site should not contain financial information. Frank has been editing the minutes before posting.
  • Treasurer’s Report (provided in 4 handouts). Susan Ross presented the treasurer’s report which included: The GEMS financial summary for 11/15/06 and 1/11/07, expenses for the 2006 fall meeting, and a spreadsheet with GEMS meeting expenses for 1997–2006. The treasurer’s report was approved by the board.
  • Old Business
    • 2006 Fall Meeting - Greg has mailed certificates of appreciation to all fall meeting corporate sponsors and the mug for Mercedes Arana has been ordered. Dario and Mercedes have talked to the NIEHS ethics committee about receiving cash awards from GEMS. They will need to complete the required paperwork, but will be able to accept the awards
    • GEMS Web Domain/Site – Greg spoke to Frank Stack on 11/28/06 to thank him for his service and to discuss options for a GEMS web site. The best option is 1and1.com “Best Personal Package” as it has 100GB of storage space and more web pages than other options (Yahoo and Go Daddy). Frank has agreed to do the migration from the ncneighbors site. A web site design template would need to be constructed. Errol asked about whether 1and1.com has obligatory advertisements on the site and Greg will check this.
  • New Business-Corporate Sponsor InitiativeGreg has drafted a letter to potential corporate sponsors requesting sustaining financial sponsorship for GEMS. Errol is reviewing the letter. Greg met with Ken Tindall of the NC Biotechnology Center to discuss strategies for success. Ken suggested that there would need to be a long-term strategy and that GEMS may need to increase public relations visibility. This can be done by hiring a PR person to promote GEMS and approach influential people/organizations. Another suggestion is to have key people as honorary board members.
  • 2007 GEMS Spring MeetingMeeting Topics. Greg sent a list of potential spring meeting topics to the board for consideration. Errol and Steve thought that system biology would be a good subject, providing the subject was focused. Dan noted that a title such as “Systems biology approach to DNA damage response” would focus the topic and an overview of the field could be given by the first speaker. Each board member voted for 2 potential spring meeting topics and the voting results are summarized below:

    • 11, Integrative (Systems/Predictive) Biology - Functional Genomics, …
      7, Ribonucleic Acid Technology: RNAi (RNA interference), siRNA (silencing), miRNA (microRNA), …
      5, Diet & Cancer
      5, Mitochondrial DNA Damage & Repair
      4, Cancer & Inflammation
      1, Children as a Sensitive Population
      1, Genetic Variation and Gene - Environment Interaction in Human Health and Disease
      1, Individual Variation In Health & Disease
      1, Stem Cells (previously done) -- Stem Cells: Biology & Toxicological Relevance
      1, Toxicogenomics: The Promise and the Progress So Far
      0, Dietary Supplements
      0, Disease Models
      0, Epigenomics (previously done)
      0, Gene expression
      0, In vitro Models of DNA Damage, Mutagenesis & Repair (or Prevention)
      0, Rodent models
  • Meeting Location and Date. Discussion of the location and date for the spring meeting was lead by RoseAnne. Rental costs and available dates were the primary considerations. Possible sites considered were Sigma Xi, NIEHS, EPA, the NC Biotechnology Center, and the McKimmon Center. Mac and Susan reminded the board of the possibility for a half-day meeting with 4 good speakers. This option would omit the lunch cost and be more convenient for attendees with work-related obligations. It was decided by the board to book EPA for Monday, April 16, 2007. RoseAnne will book this venue once costs are determined. The length and agenda for the meeting will be discussed at the next meeting.
  • Next GEMS Board of Directors Meeting is Wednesday, February 7, 2007 at 3PM at The Hamner Institute.