O'Donnell Lab Society Memberships

American Society for Cell Biology

ASCB is an inclusive, international community of biologists studying the cell, the fundamental unit of life. We are dedicated to advancing scientific discovery, advocating sound research policies, improving education, promoting professional development, and increasing diversity in the scientific workforce.

The American Society for Cell Biology was first organized at an ad hoc meeting in the office of Keith R. Porter at Rockefeller University on May 28, 1960. In the 1940s, Porter was one of the first in the world to use the revolutionary technique of electron microscopy (EM) to reveal the internal structure of cells. The other early leaders of the ASCB—George Palade, Don Fawcett, Hewson Swift, Arthur Solomon, and Hans Ris—were also EM pioneers. All were concerned that existing scientific societies and existing biology journals were not receptive to this emerging field that studied the cell as the fundamental unit of all life. The ASCB was legally incorporated in New York State on July 31, 1961. A call for membership (at $10 a year) went out, enlisting ASCB’s first 480 members. The first ASCB Annual Meeting was held November 2-4, 1961, in Chicago where 844 attendees gathered for three days of lectures, slides, and movies of cellular structure. The results of a mail ballot were read out and Fawcett was declared ASCB’s first president.

The ASCB did not remain an EM society. New technologies and new discoveries in molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, and light microscopy quickly widened the field. Cell biology has continued to expand ever since, extending its impact on clinical medicine and pharmacology while drawing on new technologies in bioengineering, high-resolution imaging, massive data handling, and genomic sequencing. ASCB membership has grown to 9,000 worldwide (with 25% of ASCB members working outside the United States). Annual meetings now draw upwards of 5,000 people. Since 1960, 32 past or current ASCB members have won Nobel Prizes in medicine or in chemistry.

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The American Society of Biological Chemists (ASBC) was founded on December 26th, 1906 at a meeting organized in New York City by John Jacob Abel of the Johns Hopkins University. The meeting was attended by 28 other biochemists, many of whom had participated in the launch of the Journal of Biological Chemistry in the previous year, and who were subsequently joined by an additional 52 “charter” members. The roots of the Society were in the American Physiological Society, which had been formed some 20 years earlier, and, prior to the founding of the ASBC, had provided the principal forum for the dissemination of American research on the chemical aspects of biology. Indeed, it was the sense, as most strongly espoused by Abel, that this outlet was no longer adequate to serve the rapidly growing experimentation in this area, which led directly to the creation of the ASBC. From this modest group of 81 scientists from North America, the Society (now called the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) has grown into one of the most important learned scientific societies with over 12,000 members from around the world.

 The Society's mission is to advance the science of biochemistry and molecular biology through publication of scientific and educational journals: the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, and the Journal of Lipid Research, organization of scientific meetings, advocacy for funding of basic research and education, support of science education at all levels, and promoting the diversity of individuals entering the scientific workforce.

Association for Women in Science

AWIS champions the interests of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics across all disciplines and employment sectors. Working for positive system transformation, AWIS strives to ensure that all women in these fields can achieve their full potential.

AWIS has a vision for women in STEM to be:

Compensated fairly and without discrimination

Advanced equitably and without bias

Exposed to successful role models in leadership positions

Recognized and respected for their scientific and leadership achievements

Founded in 1971, the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is the largest multi-disciplinary organization for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We are dedicated to driving excellence in STEM by achieving equity and full participation of women in all disciplines and across all employment sectors. AWIS reaches more than 20,000 professionals in STEM with members, chapters, and affiliates worldwide. Membership is open to any individual who supports the vision and mission of AWIS.

University of Pittsburgh


Room A312 Langley Hall, 

5th & Ruskin
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


Phone: 412.648.4289


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