Joseph C. LaManna, professor of physiology and biophysics, neurology and neuroscience at the School of Medicine, has been voted president-elect of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, a major advocacy organization for biological and biomedical research.
The Federation is the nation's largest coalition of biomedical researchers, representing 23 scientific societies and over 90,000 researchers from around the world.
"We try to be as objective as we can, lobbying for people doing science, people who are improving public health," LaManna said.
He doesn't have to look far for constituents: "Most of the faculty at the School of Medicine belong to at least one of the member societies," he said.
As president-elect, LaManna will run policy group meetings and build consensus for positions on new laws and regulations; programs, laws, annual budgets and funding at the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, NASA, and Department of Agriculture and more.
As president next year, he will be the public face of the Federation, meeting with members of Congress and their staff, testifying before Congressional committees and sending out position papers and analyses of issues as prepared by the organization.
When asked to run in February, LaManna thought for a while, then agreed. In a message to the Executive Officers Advisory Committee, which includes members of each society, he said, "We need to continue to strengthen FASEB's role as a respected advocate for biological and biomedical research. We are entering an era of increased appreciation for value of accurate and unbiased scientific advice in understanding significant challenges facing the nation and the world, and in providing potential scientific and technological approaches to their solution."
More important than communicating with political leaders, LaManna said the Federation must better inform and educate the public, and educating and training the next generation of scientists and engineers must be a significant priority.
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