October 1995

News

Looking Back, Biotech Report Outlines Future Survival Strategies
Looking Back, Biotech Report Outlines Future Survival Strategies
Strategies Author: Karen Young Kreeger SIDEBAR: Significant Recent Biotech Product Approvals Amid a year of continuing hostile capital markets and product failures, biotech executives are retrenching, planning, and implementing scaled-down business plans they hope will sustain their industry into the next century. Their primary strategy to endure is to adopt tactics that are less reliant on public financing and the drug-approval process, according to the 10th annual Ernst and Young report on
National Medal Of Science Winners Contributed To Birth Of Their Fields
National Medal Of Science Winners Contributed To Birth Of Their Fields
Their Fields Author: Neeraja Sankaran SIDEBAR: Technology Medalists Life scientists whose work has shed new light on genetic disorders and the basic mechanisms and structure of RNA were prominent among the individuals President Clinton presented with the National Medals of Science on October 18. The medals-the United States' highest scientific honor-were given to seven men and one woman. The event also featured the awarding of the National Medal of Technology to three scientists and business
Michigan State University Patent Dispute Illustrates Changes In Technology Transfer
Michigan State University Patent Dispute Illustrates Changes In Technology Transfer
In Technology Transfer Author: Robert Finn An ongoing legal battle between Michigan State University (MSU) and the entities contracted to administer several of its highly lucrative patents has raised concerns among intellectual-property experts. These observers fear the dispute may cause a crisis in confidence among investors-and may further wrap inventors in red tape-in the rapidly burgeoning field of university technology transfer. NO NEED: MSU's Frederic Erbisch contends his school can han
Significant Recent Biotech Product Approvals
Significant Recent Biotech Product Approvals
Company Product Function Date Alza Corp., DynaCirc CR formulation of July 1994 Palo Alto, CA controlled-release antihypertensive drug Hybritech Inc., Tandem PSA detection of prostate Aug. 1994 San Diego cancer Molecular Bio- Albunex ultrasound Aug. 1994 systems Inc. contrast agent San Diego for detecting heart disease DNX Inc., BIODIGM reduction of LDLs Sept.1994 Princeton, NJ Quadra Logic Photofrin photosensitive drug Sept. 1994 Technologies Inc. for photodynamic Vancouver, BC therapy Canada
Technology Medalists
Technology Medalists
The recipients of the 1995 National Medals of Technology included two corporations, a team of three scientists from one company, and three other individuals. Like their science medal counterparts, the technology medals represent the United States' highest honor for achievement in technology. This year's winners are: A three-member team at IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., consisting of Praveen Chaudhari, Jerome C. Cuomo (retired), and Richard Gambino (retired), for t
Salk Institute, Unable To Retain A President, Struggles With Questions Of Leader's Role
Salk Institute, Unable To Retain A President, Struggles With Questions Of Leader's Role
Struggles With Questions Of Leader's Role Author: Bruce V. Bigelow The Salk Institute has long been known as a premier center for biomedical research, but lately the San Diego laboratory has acquired a reputation in scientific circles as the home of hungry headhunters. Efforts by the independent, nonprofit laboratory to recruit and retain a new leader over the past seven years have repeatedly misfired. The Salk's fruitless quest hit home again on September 1, when Francis Crick stepped down f
Atmosphere Of Sadness
Atmosphere Of Sadness
Members Disperse Author: Billy Goodman Sidebar:Where Are Roche Institute Members Going? The Roche Institute of Molecular Biology (RIMB)-once one of the premier basic research labs in the United States-is about to go dark. Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., the Swiss-owned pharmaceutical giant that chartered RIMB and gave it a great deal of independence, decided a year ago to close the Nutley, N.J.-based institute and move it to Palo Alto, Calif., where the company had just bought Syntex Corp., a small bio
Where Are Roche Institute Members Going?
Where Are Roche Institute Members Going?
Departing Roche Institute members received severance packages from Hoffmann-La Roche that include bridging grants to help the researchers restart their labs and pay their postdocs, and they are allowed to take essentially all their laboratory equipment with them. This generous offer comes with strings attached, say institute scientists: They must agree not to speak negatively of Hoffmann-La Roche or its officers. If the dispersing scientists hold their tongues--and many would not speak on the
Change in Citation Impact for U.S. Universities Conducting Clinical Medicine Research, 1990-94 vs. 1981-85
Change in Citation Impact for U.S. Universities Conducting Clinical Medicine Research, 1990-94 vs. 1981-85
Clnical Medicine Research, 1990-94 VS 1981-85. (Ranked by the magnitude of change among those publishing 1,000 or more papers, 1990-94) Institution Percent Change University of Texas, San Antonio +78 Oregon Health Sciences University +74 State University of New York, Stony Brook +70 Louisiana State University +65 University of Nebraska +63 University of Miami +62 City University of New York +61 Loyola University +61 Tulane University +61 Wake Forest University +57 Northwestern University +55 Un
Association Of Independent Research Institutes Honors Retired Director Of NIH Grants Division With New Award
Association Of Independent Research Institutes Honors Retired Director Of NIH Grants Division With New Award
Association Of Independent Research Institutes Honors Retired Director Of NIH Grants Division With New Award Author: Karen Young Kreeger Jerome Green, director of the National Institutes of Health's Division of Research Grants from 1986 to his retirement in June, was honored last month by the Association of Independent Research Institutes (AIRI) for distinguished service to the grantee community. Green received the $2,000 award, which was given for the first time, at the association's annual me

Leaders of Science

Joseph Gonnella
Joseph Gonnella
JOSEPH GONNELLA, Dean, Jefferson Medical College and Senior Vice President for academic affairs, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia "As a physician, I find THE SCIENTIST gives a very balanced view of science and the impact that it has on society." Joseph Gonnella applies the scientific method to his work both as a physician and as an academic administrator. He is dedicated to assessing the competence and problem-solving skills of physicians. Gonnella developed classifications of stages

Opinion

Camelot In Nutley, N.J.: Roche Institute Of Molecular Biology Remembered
Camelot In Nutley, N.J.: Roche Institute Of Molecular Biology Remembered
Remembered Author: Sidney Udenfriend In 1967, establishment of the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology (RIMB) by Hoffmann-La Roche received wide news coverage. In a relatively short time, the institute established itself as a world-class research and training center and maintained this reputation for almost 30 years. It came as a surprise, therefore, when in the fall of 1994 the staff of RIMB was informed by Roche that as of 1996 the institute would be disbanded. The closing of RIMB is as ne

Letter

Patent Resource
Patent Resource
At the end of Lee Katterman's article "A Patent Primer" (The Scientist, Sept. 4, 1995, page 8), the reader is directed to two URLs that are said to have more information about patents. I suggest that my law firm's patent information Web site, http://www.patents.com/, would also be of interest to readers. The site contains more than 100 pages of answers to frequently asked questions about patents and other intellectual property. The site, which has been open since July 1, is already cited in so
BIO Responds To Miller
BIO Responds To Miller
Henry Miller's essay regarding Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation of plant pesticides and BIO's position ("BIO's 'Cooperation' With Regulators Deals A Blow To Competition," The Scientist, Oct. 2, 1995, page 12) is replete with half-truths and makes a serious allegation that must be answered. Miller speaks of both monolithic regulation by EPA and an industry in lockstep with the regulators. Had he read the EPA proposal and the BIO response, he would have been much better informed.

Commentary

International Biosafety: A Global Imperative
International Biosafety: A Global Imperative
An international biosafety protocol is being debated under the Congress of the Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity (COP) that emerged from the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. This might seem superficially odd. What does biodiversity have to do with biosafety? Yet the convention provides a unique opportunity to try to prevent dangerous projects with recombinant DNA and related techniques-"biotechnology" as the term is popularly used. The journey of biosafety to the COP began beca

Research

Highest-Ranking U.S. Universities In Clinical Medicine Research, 1990-94
Highest-Ranking U.S. Universities In Clinical Medicine Research, 1990-94
RESEARCH, 1990-94 Rankings by total number of papers and citation impact among those publishing more than 1,000 papers. Note: Please see the clarification of this table. Output Rank Institution Impact 1 Harvard University 9,571 2 Johns Hopkins University 6,388 3 University of California, Los Angeles 6,272 4 University California, San Francisco 5,982 5 University of Washington 4,943 6 University of Michigan 4,773 7 University of Minnesota 4,165 8 University of Pittsburgh 4,016 9 University of P
Citation Records Show U.S.'s Top Schools In Clinical Medicine Research
Citation Records Show U.S.'s Top Schools In Clinical Medicine Research
Medicine Research Editor's Note: Recently, the newsletter Science Watch-published by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) in Philadelphia-analyzed the citation records of clinical medicine papers published by scientists at federally funded universities between 1990 and 1994 (6:8, September 1995). The report was an update of a similar Science Watch study of the literature for 1986 to 1990 (2:7, November/December 1991). Following is Science Watch's report, reprinted here with permissio

Clarification

Clarification
Clarification
{WantNoCacheVal} TI : Clarification PG : 15 A photograph accompanying the article "Ag Biotech Firms Lag In Regaining Investors' Favor" (R. Finn, The Scientist, Sept. 18, 1995, page 1) carried an incorrect caption. The caption to the photo, of Robert Fraley, president of Ceregen, a crop chemical and biotechnology unit of St. Louis-based Monsanto Co., should have said that Fraley is "bullish on the longer term." In the table headlined "Highly Referenced Scientists" accompanying the article "Specul

Hot Paper

Protein Folding
Protein Folding
J. Frydman, E. Nimmesgern, K. Ohtsuka, F.U. Hartl, "Folding of nascent polypeptide chains in a high molecular mass assembly with molecular chaperones," Nature, 370:111-7, 1994. (Cited in nearly 50 publications through September) Comments by Judith Frydman and F. Ulrich Hartl, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York This paper describes a series of experiments "analyzing how polypeptide chains fold to their final shapes when being synthesized," according to F. Ulrich Hartl, a member o
Tumor Immunology
Tumor Immunology
A.L. Cox, J. Skipper, Y. Chen, R.A. Henderson, T.L. Darrow, J. Shabanowitz, V.H. Engelhard, D.F. Hunt, C.L. Slingluff, "Identification of a peptide recognized by five melanoma-specific human cytotoxic T cell lines," Science, 264:716-9, 1994. (Cited in more than 60 articles through September 1995) Comments by Victor Engelhard, University of Virginia, Charlottesville The importance of this paper, according to Victor Engelhard, a professor of microbiology at the University of Virginia, is that "

Profession

Splitting Faculty Positions Allows Couples To Integrate Research, Family
Splitting Faculty Positions Allows Couples To Integrate Research, Family
Research, Family Author: Lee Katterman Susan Verhoek and Stephen Williams have been doing it for 21 years. Andrew and Carol de Wet have been at it for five years. Jane Lubchenco and Bruce Menge did it from 1977 to 1987. And Natalie Adolphi and Andrew McDowell just started it in September. These married couples-and many more-have been involved in sharing a single tenure-track faculty position in the sciences. Most such arrangements, which also occasionally involve non-married pairs of scientist
Yale Researcher To Receive Once-In-A-Century Prize
Yale Researcher To Receive Once-In-A-Century Prize
On November 8, the University of Würzburg, Germany, is hosting a ceremony to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of X-rays by its Nobel-winning alumnus, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen. To mark this event, the university is awarding three prizes-in the categories of biosciences, medicine, and physics-to outstanding researchers who have worked with X-rays in these fields. The awards will not be given again for 100 years. X-RAY VISIONARY: Axel Brünger studes the structure of

Technology

Advancements Enable Scientists To Use Their Microscopes In New Ways
Advancements Enable Scientists To Use Their Microscopes In New Ways
Ways Author: Holly Ahern In many areas of neurobiology and cell biology, researchers who a decade ago were confined to studying stained tissues are today using their microscopes in new ways to directly observe dynamic events as they occur in living cells. Although the optical systems of microscopes have not changed dramatically over the last quarter of a century, new methods of acquiring images and processing microscopic infor-mation have indelibly changed the way that scientists view the mic

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
ON THE BLOCK: An Ig Nobel celebrant won a date with Nobelist Dudley Herschbach. The Annals of Improbable Research followed tradition in its "Fifth First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony," honoring the 1995 Ig Nobel laureates with its own special version of pomp. Prizes-awarded to those whose achievements "cannot or should not be reproduced"-were presented by Nobelists Sheldon Glashow (physics 1979), Dudley Herschbach (chemistry 1986), Joseph Murray (physiology or medicine 1990), and Richard Robe