AMERICAN COLLEGE OF NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
APRIL 2004 VOL 10 ISSUE 3

ACNP Educational Outreach Initiatives - Call for Proposals
Elizabeth Abercrombie, Chair, ACNP Education and Training Committee

The ACNP Education and Training Committee is accepting proposals for programs designed to promote a greater awareness of the role of biomedical research in understanding biological mechanisms of mental disorders through education, training, and professional development initiatives. Funds of up to $5000 will be awarded to support this goal. The College will fund up to ten such awards each year.

Proposals must be received by August 1, 2004 and all funds must be expended by September 1, 2005. A subcommittee of the Education and Training Committee will evaluate the proposals. Priority will be given to the funding of new programs although support for existing programs may also be considered. The committee urges members to be inventive in devising mechanisms to achieve the goals of this initiative.

Applicants must be regular ACNP members who are personally involved in the production or presentation of the proposed program. The application should provide a description of the planned program including the targeted audience, potential participants, and a proposed budget. Applicants must agree to publicly acknowledge sponsorship by the ACNP and to provide copies of materials developed with award funds to an ACNP repository. Applicants are strongly encouraged to make an effort to attract public media attention. In addition, web access to appropriate aspects of the program should be provided via links from the ACNP website to include, at a minimum, a text description of the program but also possibly other viewable materials (e.g. downloadable PowerPoint Panels, video etc) as permitted by available funds.

A final report must be provided to the Chair of the Education and Training Committee within two months of completion of the program. This information will be incorporated into the Education and Training Committee report to Council at the annual meeting of the College. The summary should detail the nature of the program, the number of participants and attendees and should provide samples of distributed materials generated specifically for the program.

Questions may be directed to the Chair of the Education and Training Committee ( Abercrombie@axon.rutgers.edu ) and application instructions will be posted on the ACNP website ( www.acnp.org ).

AAMC Council of Academic Societies
Roger Meyer

The Council of Academic Societies (CAS) is one of the three Councils of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Along with the Council of Deans and the Council of Teaching Hospitals, the CAS provides a forum and a framework to address issues of importance in biomedical and behavioral research, education, and patient care at medical schools and teaching hospitals in the US and Canada. The CAS is composed of representative academic societies and organizations of department chairs and residency and medical student educational program directors across specialties. Along with ACNP, other neuroscience-related organizations that belong to CAS include the Society for Neuroscience, the Association of Medical Neuroscience Department Chairs, the Association of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Neurobiology Chairs, the American Academy of Neurology, the American Neurological Association, the Association of University Professors of Neurology, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Society of Neurological Surgeons, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Association of Chairs of Departments of Psychiatry, the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training, the Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry, the Association for the Behavioral Sciences and Medical Education, and the Association of Medical School Psychologists. ACNP is actually listed with other pharmacology societies (the American College of Clinical Pharmacology and the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Current). ACNP representatives to CAS are Roger Meyer and Oakley Ray. Past representatives have been Art Prange and Daniel X. Freedman. The CAS meets twice/year (in March and November). Membership in CAS has made us part of the major advocacy coalition in Washington for support of the NIH and VA research budgets. It has also enabled us to bring our issues to the rest of academic medicine.

The principal theme of this year's CAS meeting in Santa Monica, CA was "Changing Academic Medicine's Priorities from Growth to Quality." The most interesting and provocative plenary came on the first day in an excellent talk by David Baltimore (a Nobel Laureate and President of Cal Tech). Baltimore opined that the future of biology would be very similar to other information sciences like physics and astronomy with a cadre of prestigious "Theoretical Biologists", a system of "big lab" science like high energy physics and the space telescope and recent Mars mission, and some traditional single laboratory "small science" efforts. He argued that the present structure of research training, research funding, and the tenure system for basic scientists in medical schools and universities now represent obstacles to progress because they only produce the small laboratory scientist. He contrasted this with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Cal Tech with many basic scientists working for many years on contracts, and on "big science" projects. He noted "there are no experimental data to advance string theory"; yet theoretical physicists represent the cream of their science. This is different than what we have now in biology where the R 01 funding of laboratory science is the mode. Theoretical physicists and mathematicians come to their research positions in their late 20s and early 30s. In biology, it is increasingly happening 10 years later. He questioned whether this is optimal for scientific creativity in biology. He noted that cancer research is still small-lab driven, but he was somewhat more optimistic about neuroscience, where "big laboratory" science and theoretical biology and cognitive psychology are important. Baltimore's talk reverberated throughout the meeting-and was referred to repeatedly in some of the other sessions. The issues that he raised are certainly relevant for ACNP. Baltimore proposed that we need a "think tank" devoted to planning the future of biological research. It is an interesting idea. We should perhaps think about having a session at ACNP on the topic of the future of our science, implications for the education of the work force and the present funding structures. ACNP and CAS each need to go beyond Baltimore's themes related to basic science to consider how the future will also need to re-integrate clinical science (especially translational science) into the mix.

For more information about the CAS meeting, please contact Ronnie Wilkins for a copy of the brief report prepared by Roger Meyer.

REMINDER--Travel Award deadline is earlier this year

The deadline for the ACNP Travel Awards is one month earlier this year-- April 16, 2004 . The deadline was moved forward to accommodate an earlier poster abstract due date in order for the abstracts to be published this year. You may call the Secretariat at 615-322-2075 or email Kathy Latimer at klatimer@acnp.org if you have questions. Nominate someone today!