The ASBMB Sustainability Summit

Training periods and trainee populations have increased over the past decade despite stagnant federal funding, resulting in a research workforce that is expanding beyond the capacity of the available funding to support it. A variety of groups have written reports describing these problems in great detail and made a series of recommendations to fix them.

The Public Affairs Advisory Committee of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has also been working on issues concerning the sustainability of the research enterprise. This work culminated in an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in September. This article described eight recommendations made by a majority of reports addressing the significant structural problems of the enterprise.

On Feb. 4-5, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology will take the first major step toward implementing these recommendations by hosting a summit of leaders committed to change (see below). For the past two months, summit participants have worked to flesh out ideas and identify action items related to research funding, enhancing training and optimizing the workforce.

Chris Pickett, policy analyst at the ASBMB and lead staff member for the event, will conduct a phone briefing at 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 5 summarizing the major outcomes of the summit. Email for call-in information.

Participants in the 2016 ASBMB Sustainability Summit

Bruce Alberts, University of California, San Francisco and Rescuing Biomedical Research

Margaret Anderson, FasterCures and the Melanoma Research Alliance

Jeremy Berg, University of Pittsburgh

Cynthia Fuhrmann, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Howard Garrison, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Matthew Gentry, University of Kentucky

Kenneth Gibbs, National Institutes of Health

Judith Greenberg, National Institutes of Health

Susanna Greer, American Cancer Society

Louis Justement, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Terri Goss Kinzy, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Alan Leshner, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Jon Lorsch, National Institutes of Health

Kay Lund, National Institutes of Health

Susan Marqusee, University of California, Berkeley

C. Robert Matthews, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Kenneth Maynard, Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Gary McDowell, Tufts University

Sharon Milgram, National Institutes of Health

Mary O’Riordan, University of Michigan Medical School

Greg Petsko, Weill Cornell Medicine

John Randell, American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Phil Ryan, National Institutes of Health

Paula Stephan, Georgia State University

Wes Sundquist, University of Utah

Michael Teitelbaum, Harvard Medical School

Shirley Tilghman, Princeton University and Rescuing Biomedical Research

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