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 www.myspace.com/theswinggypsys! 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: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Welcome to Nate Pumplin, a Cornell grad Website: http://www.caas.net.cn/caas/ student and newest member of the Harrison lab. 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 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: http://www.pnas.org/content/vol103/ 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. http://www.isso.cornell.edu. 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 www.fcsith.org. 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- http://www.ohr.cornell.edu/careerDev/ “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 http://bti.cornell.edu 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). DIRECTIONS 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!!!