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                AWIS-CJC News
        Volume 8 Issue 2                                                                     December 2003

President’s Message                                         AWIS-CJC Board 2004
Min Xu, Ph.D., President
                                                            President: Shoreh Miller, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Congratulations to the newly elected executive board of     Vice-President: Mary J. Egbert, B.S.
AWIS-CJC!                                                   Secretary: Manjiri Khanolkar, M.S.E.E.
                                                            Treasurer: Rose Oughtred, Ph.D.
It is hard to imagine that the year 2003 is almost over.    President Elect: Smita Thakker-Varia, Ph.D.
As I end my Presidential term, this will be my last         Past President: Min Xu, Ph.D.
newsletter address. Over the past year, I have the
opportunity to work with and get to know some fantastic
people and I would like to take this opportunity to thank
them. To the entire Board, thank you for your support
and cooperative work, which makes it all happen. To
all of the speakers, thank you for your wonderful           Treasurer’s Summary
presentations and sharing your experience. To our
Secretary, Sandra Saouaf and Christina Krosche, thank       The following is a summary of the financial activities of
you for the many emails to keep people informed about       CJC-AWIS for the year 2003. For the year, our total
the events. To our Treasure, Rose Oughtred, thank you       revenue was $3,300. Net receipts for membership dues
for keeping us financially under control. To the Past       accounted for $300 and donations accounted for $3,000.
President, Jeanette Figueroa, thank you for sharing the     We were fortunate to have received three generous
information. I would also like to give a special thank      donations from the following sponsors: Lab Support
you to our Vice President, Shoreh Miller. Shoreh has        ($500), Wyeth Research ($500), and Amersham
been with the organization for many years and               Biosciences Corp. ($2,000).
continuously provide us tremendous amount of service.
As a Vice President for this year, she has volunteered      On the expense side, $1,300 was used to cover meeting
countless hours and efforts to execute each monthly         and newsletter expenses, and three high school science
event with attention to all the details. She has shown      awards (one for $500 and two for $100). Thus, we
incredible amount of spirit towards this organization       operated with a net surplus of approximately $2,000.
and inspired all of us as women in science. I thank her     The CJC-AWIS checking account will contain about
for her enthusiastic and hard work. Last but not least, I   $6,000 by year’s end and therefore we will have more
would like to thank Vidhya Ramesh for her dedication        than sufficient funds for our program in 2004.
to keep the AWIS website alive.
                                                            We gained several new members in the last year and
As a Past President for 2004, I am fully confident in the   had a number of membership renewals. For those who
new president’s capability to keep the organization         opted for the local CJC-AWIS membership only, there
growing. I will still be an active member of the board      were 3 renewals and 4 new members. For those who
and stay involved in such a wonderful organization. We      obtained both the National and CJC-AWIS membership,
have already been working hard to prepare the funds         there were 9 renewals and 14 new members. Therefore,
and schedule programs for next year. There is a lot         CJC-AWIS has 30 active members and we look forward
need to be done. Please offer to help. Be flexible in       to seeing all of you at our networking meetings and
what you can do. Consider doing a job you have never        activities in 2004!
done before. It is only with your involvement that we
can continue our services and provide the best to all of
us, the members of AWIS-CJC.

Finally, thank you for allowing me to serve you. It has     AWIS-CJC Holiday Dinner
been a pleasure and great learning experience to be
involved.                                                   The annual AWIS-CJC Holiday Party was held at
                                                            Romeo’s Italian Restaurant in Plainsboro on December
                                                            4, 2003. Twenty people including four of our 2003
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guest speakers attended the party. The holiday dinner       Topic: Financial Planning - An Informal Round
was a great hit! It presented a great opportunity for       Table Discussion
people to meet and network.                                 David Fuhrman is a partner with Fuhrman Management
Please check our web site to view the holiday dinner        Associates (FMA), an independent investment
pictures.                                                   management and financial advisory firm. FMA utilizes                 a balanced, disciplined methodology to conservatively
Photo gallery, December 2003 photo gallery.                 manage investment portfolios for individuals, trusts, and
                                                            retirement plans. David specializes in investment
                                                            analysis, portfolio management, and financial planning
AWIS-CJC Speakers                                           services for his 7-person firm.

We had many excellent speakers this year. We truly          SMITA THAKKER-VARIA, PHD
appreciated the opportunities to learn from their success   Topic: Molecular Basis of Neurotrophin Induced
stories.                                                    Synaptic Plasticity as Revealed by Gene Profiling
                                                            Smita Thakker-Varia is currently an Associate Professor
LISA DRAKEMAN, PHD                                          at the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology of                                             Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at the University
 Topic: Advantages of Human Antibodies to Treat             of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ).
Cancer                                                      She has co-authored 28 manuscripts in the top scientific
President & Chief Executive Officer of Genmab. Dr.          journals and has presented over 65 abstracts and
Drakeman has fifteen years' experience working in the       presentations. Her research interest is in the areas of
biotechnology industry, including establishing corporate    genomic regulation in neurotrophin-induced synaptic
partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies,           plasticity and differential gene regulation in the brain
managing clinical trials of monoclonal antibody-based       during injury and neurodegenerative diseases.
products and developing government programs for
financing biotechnology research.                           SUSAN E. RACE, PCC
LEI TANG, PHD                                               Topic: Job Security for Life
Topic: siRNA vs antisense as therapeutic agents             Susan Race is a professional certified coach, author,
Lei Tang, Principal Scientist at New Leads Discovery,       professional speaker, seminar leader and founder of
Schering-Plough Research Institute. She has been            Personal Growth Systems (PGS). Business leaders,
working in pharmaceutical R&D for 10 years,                 educators, individuals and parents hire Susan to coach
specializing in assay development and HTS.                  employees, College and high school students in
                                                            developing confidence and self-esteem to select and
PHYLLIS SISENWINE                                           excel in compelling careers. Managers work with Susan                                   to learn how to coach versus control employees, and
Topic: Reach Your Own Excellence                            educators learn to coach versus lecture students to excel
President and Founder of Powerful Solutions. Phyllis is     in school, work and life.
a Professional Certified Coach and motivational
speaker. With twenty years experience in corporate
America. Phyllis has a monthly column in Smart              AWIS-CJC Volunteer
Business Now magazine and is a contributing author of
two books, Intentional Change and A Guide to Getting
It – Self Esteem                                            We are looking for volunteers for several committees:
                                                            Please contact Shoreh if you have any questions or you
                                                            would like to participate.
Topic: "LifeLine" - The One Sentence Secret to              Corporate Sponsor committee: This committee is
Lasting Relationships                                       responsible for sending letters to area companies
Carole Goldstein McKay. She is a professional speaker       (usually Pharmaceutical or Biotech companies) to solicit
on such topics as the Divorce process, valuing marital      funding from them annually for our many activities.
assets, and relationship partnerships. Carole has
appeared on A.M. Philadelphia, Good Day                     Newsletter Committee: This committee solicits our
Philadelphia, PBS affiliate WHYY, and the QVC               membership for articles for 3-4 newsletters per year.
Network. Carole has been interviewed by and written         They format and edit the newsletter.
about in New Woman, Philadelphia Magazine and The
Boston Glob (relationship partnerships.                     High School Award committee: This committee
                                                            publicizes our annual award for area high school seniors
DAVID A. FUHRMAN                                            planning to major in science and technology fields in
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college. They review the applications and select            caused the environment. There were huge areas of
winners of the award.                                       destruction, bad spots where the trees and animals that
                                                            lived among them once had their homes. People don’t
Hospitality committee: This committee is responsible        realize the destruction that logging causes because they
for obtaining refreshments for monthly meetings. Costs      don’t sees it. A once pristine forest now rumbles with
incurred are reimbursed by AWIS-CJC.                        the sound of logging trucks and equipment until late into
                                                            the night.
Website committee: This committee is responsible for                   My love of the environment has fueled my
updating and maintaining our website.                       desire to save the rest of my life on this mission. We
                                                            live in a society of users. We only think about
                                                            production and moving forward, not having the waste
                                                            and destruction we cause. Every sunset I see and
                                                            mountain I climb strengthens my resolve to save this
                                                            beautiful planet. I furthered the quest towards my future
High School Essay Award                                     goal by participating in an Environmental Field Study
Thirty-two high school senior students participated in      Program at Southampton College, New York. There I
the essay contest. A committee of four scientists           learned what environmental advocates go through in
reviewed the applications and selected three winners.       order to get their voices heard. The field study allowed
The topics of essays were:                                  me to research different aspects of the Southampton
     1. Discuss an experience or person that                area: the erosion of shorelines, pesticides effect on
         influenced your choice to peruse a degree in       crops and the residents of the surrounding areas, in
         science.                                           addition to the benefits of organic farming.
     2. Discuss what you have learned through this                     During the summer of my junior year, I
         experience or person and how it will help you      completed an independent Environmental Research
         to succeed.                                        study at the Environmental and Occupational health
                                                            Science Institute at Rutgers University and Robert
First place winner:                                         Wood Johnson Medical School. My mentor was Dr. J.
Christine George, Piscataway High School. Christine         Zhang, and the study was conducted in his laboratory at
is currently a freshman at Stanford University.             the institute. I decided to do my research on air quality
                                                            in the kitchen areas of restaurants in order to determine
Second place winners:                                       if the staff was at a higher risk of developing cancer.
Kristamarie Collman, South Brunswick High School.           The lab provided all the materials that I needed to
Kristamarie is currently a freshman at the University of    complete the research.
Maryland.                                                              This was the beginning of my “real” learning.
Teresa Patel, Nothingham High School. Teresa is             Soon, I was learning more about the difficulties that
currently a freshman at Rutgers University.                 scientists go through in order to get valuable research
                                                            information. On more than one occasion, I experienced
The first place winner received a $500 check and the        rejection. I addition, the data collection was interrupted
second place winners each received $100 checks.             many times since the air sampling apparatus was
Congratulations to all the winners!                         considered intrusive by the restaurant management.
                                                                       However, I learned to persevere even when I
Christine George ‘s essay, which won first place, is as     had to do some of the studies in the rain. Eventually, I
follows:                                                    understood that scientists need to be flexible and willing
                                                            to accommodate the need of others. I realized that one
Goals and Aspirations                                       must put in long hours so that data can be collected,
I went on my first week-long hiking trip when I was         analyzed and interpreted. Above all, the Independent
twelve years old. I knew then that I wanted to be an        Environmental research study helped me to develop an
environmentalist. Later, Outward Bound, a Wilderness        appreciation for the type of work which is done by
Awareness Program, gave me the chance to learn about        environmental scientists in the public health fields.
nature and wilderness survival skills. The two Outward                 One step at a time I have reached my goal to
Bond courses that I have taken have given me unique         save our environmental Stream Research Team to clean
opportunities to be in the wilderness for prolong periods   up the stream behind my own high school. I started this
of time. I have come to enjoy the outdoors, especially      program after noticing the pollution in the stream that
the experience of hiking in the wilderness.                 was behind the high school. We cleaned up the garbage
                                                            from around the stream. I taught everyone how to take
        This passion took me to the top of Mt. Peale a      water samples, test for the dissolved oxygen and pH
12,721-foot peak in the La Sal range in Utah last           levels of the water. The stream has showed a drastic
summer. As I looked down at the breath-taking               transformation. A place that was filled with so much
wilderness, I could see the devastation that logging has    garbage, weeds, and thorns that most students at the
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school did not know there was a stream, is now a clean
place where bullfrogs and small fishes swim all day.
Our society needs a new generation of environmentalists
who strive to protect are precious wilderness, and I plan
to be a part of the on-going effort.

AWIS-CJC corporate sponsors
Lab Support
Bristal Myers Squibb
Powerful Solutions

AWIS-CJC Board 2003
Min Xu, Ph.D., President
Jeanette Figueroa, B.S., Past-President
Shoreh Miller,D.V.M., Ph.D., Vice-President
Rose Oughtred, Ph.D., Treasurer

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