BTI Family Picnic by Valleri Longcoy

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					May/June 2006
                        THE HUB                  Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research                                          Volume 8, Issue 4

BTI Family Picnic by Valleri Longcoy                                                                       In This Issue
                                                                                                 BTI Family Picnic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           1
                           Back To The Farm...                                                   Bombs Away! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           1
When BTI was located in Yonkers, they owned a 441-acre farm that was mainly used                 Arrivals & Departures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .               2
for experimental purposes. But to some,                                                          Talks & Travels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .         2
it is better remembered as the site of the                                                       Living Wage Employer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                  2
Annual BTI Family Picnic. Many retirees                                                          International BTI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           3
hold fond memories of this extremely well                                                        Service Anniversaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .               3
attended event that featured, in addition to                                                     Congratulations/Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                3
lots of eating, fishing, volleyball, softball,                                                    Kudos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
swimming, horseshoes, and other activities.                                                      EAP: Only A Phone Call Away . . . . . . . . . .                       3
                                                                                                 After the postdoc: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          4
So this year, we thought weʼd mix up, combine                                                    S.E.E.D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    4
and revive a few traditional BTI events and                                                      BTI Benefit Contact Info . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                 4
“go back to the farm”. The Fun Committee,          BTI’s Dutchess County Farm - 1965             Picnic Agenda & Information . . . . . . . . . . .                     5
Educational Outreach, and David and Karen
Stern cordially invite the BTI Community and their families to attend the BTI Summer
Family Picnic at Windsong Farm (a.k.a. the home of David & Karen Stern).                                    Bombs Away!
                                                                                                 For the past 4 years, the Institute has sponsored
The picnic is on SATURDAY, JULY 15th from NOON-4:00pm at David and Karenʼs                       a team in Cornellʼs Intramural Summer
scenic farm in Burdett, NY. The directions, along with other event info, can be found on         Softball league. This year is no different as
page 5 of this issue. Join us for a relaxing and fun afternoon of exploring trails, woods        the BTI Bombers (2005 League Champions)
and fields, visiting with friendly farm animals, games and activities for adults and kids         head into season 5!
(including a wading pool for the little ones), live music, socializing, GIANT group/family
photo, and FOOD!                                                                                 This seasonʼs games are all scheduled for
                                                                                                 Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30pm at Jessup
                                                                                                 Fields (corner of Jessup and Triphammer
Smokinʼ Bones BBQ will be on-site, grilling up hamburgers, hotdogs, Italian sausage, and
                                                                                                 Roads). Spectators and cheerleaders are
veggie burgers from 1:00-3:00pm. And you certainly donʼt want to miss The Swing Gypsys,          always welcome so if youʼre having World
                                           who will be entertaining us from 12:30-               Cup withdrawals, come watch a game and
                                           2:30pm! They are considered to be “Ithacaʼs           support our team. Good luck, Bombers!
                                           premiere Gypsy Jazz quartet, evoking the
                                           nostalgia, elegant simplicity, and danceable                   Tuesday 7/11 - Jessup Field 2
                                           rhythm of classic big-band swing, and spiced                 BTI Bombers vs. Hughes All-Stars
                                           with the intricate harmonies of Bebop, exotic                    Thursday 7/13 - Jessup Field 4
                                           Latin rhythms, and the improvisational flare                       BTI Bombers vs. Stack Rats
                                           of the Gypsies.” Hear a sampling of their
                                           musical style and learn more about them at                       Tuesday 7/18 - Jessup Field 3
                                 !                                   BTI Bombers vs. Snee Sox
  Windsong Farm 2006 - David & Karen Stern                                                                 Thursday 7/20 - Jessup Field 5
                                               Remember, BTI “Community” includes not                      BTI Bombers vs. Egsa Gnomes
only staff on payroll but retirees, students, interns, grad students, sabbaticals, volunteers,
visiting scholars, etc., AND your families! This larger, more family-oriented event will                  Tuesday 7/25 - Jessup Field 4
combine/replace the “Meet the Interns/BTI Staff Picnic” and annual holiday party this year.             BTI Bombers vs. Beasts of the East

                                                                                                        Thursday 7/27 - Jessup Field 1
*The final count on the sign-up sheet indicated that 195 folks are planning to attend!                BTI Bombers vs. Real Ultimate Power

                                                                                                         Tuesday 8/1 - Jessup Field 3
    The popular “Hot Seat” column will be on summer vacation for the                                BTI Bombers vs. The Fighting Reuleaux
   next two issues. We hope to see many of you at the farm on July 15th!
                                                                                                             Thursday 8/3 - Jessup Field 1
                               - David Stern                                                                  BTI Bombers vs. Mathletes
  Arrivals & Departures
The BTI Community had a significant influx            A few other BTIʼers have departed the Institute, moving on to new adventures...
of new additions during May and June; the
biggest in over a year, I think. Thatʼs not even    Although I never received any official notice (or a forwarding address!), it appears that
counting the 20+ summer interns. So, please         Moira Sheehan is outta here. According to Cornellʼs database, she is down in Bradfield
say hello to all of our new BTIʼers!                in the department of Plant Breeding & Genetics. So long, Moira!

The Giovannoni lab has (or shortly will have)       Yingfan Cai, a visiting scholar in Haiyang Wangʼs lab, is moving on to Texas A&M to
three new visiting postdocs, all from Italy.        continue his research before returning to China.
Gianfranco Diretto was the first to arrive and
got here just in time for BTI to be closed for      And finally, we say goodbye to Jianping Yang as he and his family head home to China.
the Memorial Day holiday. Probably seemed           Jianping wrote a short letter to the BTI Community, which is printed below.
like a peculiar welcome. Welcome to BTI!
Donʼt come in tomorrow. Here, have a flag.           Safe travels and best of luck to everyone.

As I write this, visitor #2, Maura Begheldo, is      Hi Every BTIʼer,
in the air, soaring towards the U.S. and will be
joining us just in time for the July 4th holiday     This is Jianping Yang, a postdoctoral associate in Haiyang Wangʼs lab. I joined BTI
shutdown. Welcome to BTI! Donʼt come in              on December 2, 2002. And now I have a position at the Institute of Crop Sciences,
tomorrow. Here, have a sparkler.                     CAAS, Beijing. My new project focuses on maize breeding.

Visitor #3, Silvana Grandillo, is actually on        You know that China has been developing very fast in recent years, and BTI is
visit #3 to BTI so many of you may recognize         one of the best institutes for plant research in the world. I do think we have lots of
her. Ooh...I just checked her start date and itʼs    opportunities to cooperate with each other. Keep my contact information, please. I
possible she is on a plane at this very moment       would gladly help you as a collaborator or intermediator.
as well. Just in time! Time for what? Here,
have a sparkler.                                     In July 2006, my family and I will go back to China. All of you and your family are
                                                     invited to visit my house if you have a trip to China. We can share Chinaʼs history
Hello and welcome back to Heather McLane,            of more than 5,000 years, Chinese traditional culture and so many kinds of delicious
who has recently joined the Martin lab as a          foods together. Donʼt forget my family is waiting for all of you in Beijing!
Research Specialist. Many will remember
Heather from the Churchill lab, where she            Thank you for your kindly help during three and half years! Good luck! I will miss
worked for a number of years before taking           all of you!
a position in the Vet School.
                                                     Jianping Yang
The Stern lab is now home to Jonathan                Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
Fuller, the labʼs newest Research Assistant.         No. 12 Zhongguancun South Street
                                                     Beijing 100081, P. R. China
Welcome, Jonathan!                                   Email:
Welcome to Nate Pumplin, a Cornell grad              Website:
student and newest member of the Harrison
                                                    Talks & Travels
Vicki Hodgkinson has joined the Kochian             Joyce Van Eck gave a presentation entitled, “The International Tomato Sequencing
lab as a Research Assistant. She has actually       Project and Related Solanaceae Initiatives”, at the Tomato Breeders Roundtable meeting
been working with Owen (Hoekenga) for a             in May in Tampa, Florida.
few years already while she was a student at
Cornell but is now an official employee!             Joyce also met with two faculty members from the University of Ghana in June. They
                                                    were visiting Cornell to learn about plant biotechnology and plan to start a biotechnology
Have you seen some new faces amongst the            center at their university. The week after meeting with Joyce, they returned to shadow
greenhouse staff recently? Please welcome           Tish Keen while she did a tomato transformation experiment.
Kat Reeves and Kurt Brennan, BTIʼs newest
greenhouse assistants.
                                                    Living Wage Employer
You may also have noticed some faces are            BTI is pleased to announce that we have recently been certified by the Tompkins County
now missing from the greenhouse staff as
                                                    Living Wage Coalition and Workerʼs Rights Center as a “Living Wage Employer.” We
Liza White and Ialon Irijimovich both
said farewell to BTI. Liza left BTI in May          join 16 other local employers who are committed to providing access to health care and
to pursue other options while Ialon, along          paying wages that allow their employees to meet basic living needs without public
with his wife Vered (Stern lab), are packing        assistance. BTI far exceeds the minimum requirements of certification, by paying higher
up and preparing their family for their return      wages, offering excellent health insurance and a retirement plan for all regular employees,
to Israel.                                          as well as other benefits that support our employees and their families.

 Volume 8, Issue 4                                                                                                                   Page 2
International BTI                                            Congratulations
When making plans to travel outside the        Greg Martin (PI) and Tim Devarenne received a 3-year grant for $399,560 from the
U.S., for either work or vacation, please      USDA-NRI Biology of Plant-Microbe Interactions program: “Role of AvrPto-dependent
take a look at your visa/immigration           Pto -interacting protein, Adi3, in the host response to Pseudomonas”.
documents to make sure you have all the
necessary signatures and documents to get      Greg Martin, Alan Collmer (PI), and Magdalen Lindeberg received a 4-year grant for
back into the U.S.!                            $2,500,000 from the NSF Plant Genome Research program: “Exploiting tomato genomics
                                               resources to investigate basal plant defenses against pathogens”.
As well as checking visa stamps and
passports, J-1 visa holders require a travel   Owen Hoekenga recently had a paper accepted by PNAS entitled, “AtALMT1 that
authorization signature from Valleri or        encodes a malate transporter is identified as one of several genes critical for aluminum
Lucy on their DS-2019. (The signature is       tolerance in Arabidopsis.” It appeared in the June 20th edition of their online publication
valid for one year from the date we sign       (PNAS:Early Edition). View the entire article:
it.) H-1B visa holders are supposed to         issue25/#PLANT_BIOLOGY
obtain their original Form I-797, which is
stored in Valleriʼs office. And, depending      Congratulations to Joan Curtiss, who completed her ILR Certificate in Management
on when and where you are traveling, there     Development-Supervisory Studies. To do this Joan successfully completed 11 workshops
may be a number of other documents you         this winter and spring. Congrats, Joan!!
must obtain from us as well.

Again, Lucy and Valleri are both authorized           Kudos Kudos Kudos
                                                        Kudos! Kudos! Kudos!
to sign so make sure you check with them,      Kudos to Joan, Elaine, and Brian G. for all of their trials and tribulations in dealing with our
several days if possible, before you leave.    most intractable First Floor 4700! They have been really helpful in getting us up and running!
(If you are traveling on Saturday, please                                                                          - Liz Estabrook
donʼt wait until 4:00 on Friday afternoon
to come see us!)                               I would like to send Kudos to the person or people that set out the flower arrangements on the
                                               tables in the atrium; as well as the Greenhouse Staff who keep it looking so nice. The atrium
Cornellʼs ISSO website is very informative     is always beautiful thanks to them and the flower arrangements just add to the beauty.
and can guide you through the various                                                                               - Joanne Carruthers
requirements and regulations for your
particular visa situation. Visit them at:      To The Delegation (Martin, Julien, Corny)...World Cup...Massive Kudos, Gentlemen.                   MASSIVE.                                                  - Soccer Fans, New & Old

       Service                                                   Special Thanks
                                                               Special Thanks
     Anniversaries                             Dear People of BTI,
                                               My heartfelt thanks to all of you for your support, your thoughts, best wishes, and the
        MAY & JUNE                 2006
                                               wonderful cards and gift baskets. The surgery was the easy part. Healing and being away
                                               from all of you was HARD! (Really!) Iʼm glad to be back.      - Kate Krupnik
        Kim Huizinga              15 yrs
        Brian Gollands            14 yrs
        Donna Meyer                7 yrs       EAP: Help is Just a Phone Call Away
       Tom Bollenbach              7 yrs       The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through Family & Childrenʼs Service of Ithaca
                                               is a free benefit for Boyce Thompson Institute employees, their spouses and dependent
          Don White                7 yrs       children. The EAP is confidential and offers assessment, short term counseling and referral
     Suma Chakravarthy             5 yrs       with compassionate counseling professionals.
         Corina Vlot               3 yrs       Individuals are allowed up to 8 free in person sessions a year. If further counseling is needed,
       Yongzeng Wang               2 yrs       Family & Childrenʼs Service can continue counseling with you using your health insurance
                                               and a sliding fee scale. The EAP can also refer you to other providers if needed. People
       Sangwook Park               2 yrs
                                               use the EAP for all kinds of reasons: depression, anxiety, marital or relationship problems,
        Dustin Scheve              2 yrs       divorce, parenting, family issues, problems with children or teens, eldercare issues, money
         Jeff Heichel              2 yrs       management, adoption issues, drug/alcohol, grief and loss, job stress or just about any life
                                               stress one may be experiencing. Help is just a phone call away and the EAP is here to help
        Mabel Thomas               1 yr        you.
         Minsang Lee               1 yr
                                               For questions about the EAP or to make an appointment, contact the EAP at: 273-7494 or
         Hee-Jin Park              1 yr        1-800-834-1239 or

   Volume 8, Issue 4                                                                                                                   Page 3
After the postdoc:                                                                                           S.E.E.D.
How to Succeed in Science Job 101                                                                      Staff Educational
By Gabriel Miller - Cornell Chronicle: May 11, 2006                                                    Exploration Day
                                                                                                  Cornellʼs Office of Human Resources
G     etting a job after being a postdoctoral
      researcher doesnʼt just require demon-
                                                that postdocs are encouraged to pursue ca-
                                                reers that best match their own unique skills,    and the School of Continuing Education
                                                                                                  and Summer Sessions are pleased to an-
strated and potential excellence in research,   interests and lifestyle.”
but a value-added skill that will make the                                                        nounce the 8th annual Staff Educational
scientist unique to a potential employer. So    Take industry panelist George Yancopoulos,        Exploration Day (S.E.E.D.) to be held on
said Elizabeth Ross, professor of neuroge-      for example, whose career exemplifies the          Wednesday, July 19, 2006. All members
netics at Weill Cornell Medical College         fast-paced, high-risk science of biotech and      of the Cornell community are encouraged
(WCMC), to a group of postdoctoral as-          pharma companies. After postdoc work in           to stop by G10 Biotech any time between
sociates at a symposium earlier this spring     molecular immunology at Columbia University,      10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m., get a pack of seeds,
on how postdoctoral associates can best         Yancopoulos had achieved what he had long         purchase an inexpensive lunch, sign-up for
transition into science careers.                thought was his dream: a faculty appointment      a door prize, and learn about the numerous
                                                at Columbia and an eight-year, $1.5 million       educational opportunities available, both
Networking, in the form of attending faculty    Lucille P. Markey Scholar Award. Then he          on campus and in the surrounding local
meetings, asking questions and organizing       did the unthinkable.                              communities.
events, can be critical to making a name
for a rising scientist.                         He turned it down and helped start a bio-         Last year, more than 500 employees spent
                                                pharmaceutical company, working out of an         time looking at displays, picking up infor-
“Science is a personality-driven business.      acquaintanceʼs apartment with only enough         mation, and talking with representatives
People hire people they know and like,”         capital to last a week.                           from a broad range of on-campus offices
said one of the panelists, who included                                                           and Finger Lakes-area financial and edu-
professionals from academia, industry and       Now, 17 years later, he is a member of the        cational institutions about furthering their
alternative careers. Panelists recounted        National Academy of Sciences and one of           education and sharpening their skills. Door
their own career paths and offered advice       the most highly cited scientists in industry,     prizes and a choice of lunch specials pro-
to postdocs from Tri-Institutional partners     proving that “high science” can be practiced in   vide an added draw. We also have a book
WCMC, The Rockefeller University and            a market-driven environment. But Regeneron,       exchange table where participants may
Sloan-Kettering Institute during the daylong    the company he helped launch, has yet to          bring books they no longer want or pick
symposium hosted by Weill Cornell. The          make a major commercial breakthrough and          up books they do. Books left over will be
symposium also provided a forum for the         reported a net operating loss of nearly $100      donated to the Tompkins County Library.
kind of networking that nearly all speakers     million in 2005.
agreed was the cornerstone of any success-                                                        To learn more about career development
ful scientific job search.                       Beyond academic and industry speakers, the        options through Cornell, visit:
                                                symposium also featured scientists with alter-
“Eventually our postdoc positions are go-       native careers, including a science writer, a
ing to end, and the hope for most of us is
to be a principal investigator. So the goal
                                                consultant, a lobbyist and a patent lawyer.               BTI Benefit
                                                With so many choices, the proposition of
of the symposium was to focus on what we        launching a career could seem daunting.                    Contacts
can do to help us get there,” said Leonardo                                                       Want to discuss your retirement options
Pignataro, a Weill Cornell postdoctoral as-     “Itʼs important to stay optimistic, in your       or move your investments? Are you in-
sociate and the principal organizer of the      science and your life,” said Joel Pardee, as-     terested in supplemental cancer or dental
                                                                                                  insurance? Call the numbers below to
event. However, because most postdocs           sociate dean of the Weill Graduate School of
                                                                                                  speak with a rep or set up an appointment
will not become tenured faculty in aca-         Medical Sciences and faculty director of the      on campus.
demia, an additional goal of the sympo-         Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. “Itʼs very im-
sium was to expose postdocs to the range        portant to follow that dream.”                           Fidelity: 1-800-642-7131
of opportunities for science Ph.D.s both in                                                            TIAA-CREF: 1-877-209-3144
and out of academia.                            The advice was not lost on Pignataro, who               AFLAC (Diane Harkness):
                                                hopes for a career in academia: “We didnʼt                    1-570-596-7974
“One of the key missions of the office of        become scientists because there was sign on
postdoctoral affairs is to provide up-to-       the door that said ʻscientist wanted.ʼ We be-
                                                                                                                   THE HUB
date career information for science Ph.D.s      came scientists to be scientists, and if you                Boyce Thompson Institute
and opportunities to acquire the skills nec-    stay and insist, you will make it.”                                Tower Rd.
                                                                                                                Ithaca, NY 14853
essary for a variety of careers,” said Karen                                                        
Sherman, director of WCMCʼs Office of            Gabriel Miller is a writer with Weill Cornell                Editor, Valleri Longcoy
Postdoctoral Affairs. “It is very important     Medical Collegeʼs Office of Public Affairs.
Volume 8, Issue 4                                                                                                                  Page 4
July 15, 2006 * 12:00-4:00

                      David & Karen Stern
                        5051 Tuttle Rd.
                          Burdett, NY
                          (607) 546-5408

                       PICNIC AGENDA
       Noon:        Event start time
       12:30pm:     Live music by The Swing Gypsys (until 2:30pm)
       12:45pm:     Giant Group Photo - All attendees!
       1:00pm:      Smokin’ Bones BBQ (Serving until 3:00pm)
       1:30pm:       Hayride
       1:30pm:      ‘Organized’ Games for the Grownups
       2:30pm:       Hayride
       3:30pm:       Hayride
       4:00pm:       Event end time

*Bring your own lawnchairs and blankets.

*Some children’s activities may be messy (paint, etc.). Consider
bringing a change of clothes (and a towel if they want to play in the
wading pool).

*Rain or shine – the picnic will take place even if it’s raining (some
activities will have to be changed or cancelled if it’s raining).

           1) ROUTE 79W                 13.9 miles
           2) LEFT onto NEWTOWN RD      1.8 miles
           3) RIGHT onto TUTTLE RD      0.1 miles
           4) Look for WINDSONG FARM on the RIGHT!!!

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