An Introduction to the STS
The "Gesellschaft für Signaltransduktion" (GST) or Signal Transduction Society (STS) is devoted to scientific exchange between investigators concerned with different aspects of cellular signal transduction.
From the 1990s on, colleagues from various disciplines of molecular biosciences have become increasingly interested in this area of research. We have witnessed rapid progress in the characterisation of mechanisms that underlie the generation and processing of inter- and intracellular signals. These findings are of common relevance to a multitude of scientists who are traditionally considered i.e. biochemists, molecular biologists, cell biologists, immunologists, pharmacologists or clinical researchers. Unfortunately, individuals assigned to these diverse fields do not meet frequently and have insufficient opportunity to discuss their ideas, hypothesis and achievements regarding signal transduction pathways in health and disease.
In 1996, the speakers of the Signal Transduction Study Groups established within the German Societies for Immunology (DGfI), and Cell Biology (DGZ), Ottmar Janssen and Ralf Hass decided to improve this situation. In spring 1997, Karlheinz Friedrich from the Society for Biochemistry/Molecular Biology (GBM) joined to co-organise a first interdisciplinary conference on Signal Transduction in Germany. The 1st Joint Meeting on Signal Transduction - Receptors, Mediators and Genes took place in November 1997 at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute in Langen and instantly was a considerable success.
This meeting was supported by the three societies mentioned above and by a number of sponsoring Biotech companies. It turned out that shape and scope of the meeting were highly appreciated by most participants and there apparently had been a need for such an interdisciplinary forum. It was decided to further improve this concept and to organise an annual follow-up meeting. However, already in course of the first meeting, it became evident that administrative and organisational matters could no longer be efficiently dealt with on an informal basis. In particular, financial transactions related to the meeting and the acquisition of sponsor funding was hampered by the fact that the organising committee was lacking an institutional status. For this reason, in summer 1998 the Gesellschaft für Signaltransduktion (GST) or Signal Transduction Society (STS) was founded by the meeting organisers. In accordance with German law, the GST/STS has the status of a non-profit organisation ever since.
Main purpose of the STS was and still is the development of an interdisciplinary forum for researchers who share a common interest in deciphering signal transduction pathways in normal or transformed cells, in health and disease, in animal models, in plants or bacteria. With the annual "Joint Meeting Signal Transduction - Receptors, Mediators and Genes", this aim has been pursued for more than 15 years. Although the overall ideas and the general concept of the meetings did not change much, the quality improved year by year. This is due to the input of individual members, and, in particular, to the developing network within the STS and the growing number of research consortia that contribute to the meeting in one way or the other. Still, the three cornerstones are the study groups that started the joint task in 1997. Therefore, together with the General Assembly of the STS, the individual study groups of the DGfI, DGZ or the GBM define the main focus of meeting, intentionally creating ample opportunities for scientific overlap and interactions.
In 2010, the GST/STS and the societies’ open access journal "Cell Communication and Signaling" (CCS) started a novel tradition and created the STS/CCS honorary medal which is meant to acklowledge outstanding scientific contributions to the field of signal transduction research. The first STS/CCS honorary medal was awarded to Prof. Tony Pawson, Toronto, for his discovery of modular interaction domains that regulate signaling pathways. In 2011, on the occasion of the 15th anniversary issue of the Joint Meeting, Prof. Tony Hunter, La Jolla, was honored for his first identification of tyrosine phosphorylation as a central mechanism of signal transmission.
The STS/CCS honorary medal represents the most prestigious award of the STS. However, it is good tradition of the STS to also appreciate the early work of young investigators by providing travel stipends and poster prizes, and to reward the achievements of young postdocs/PIs with the "STS Science award".
The STS is a young and active society that meanwhile attracted more than 400 scientists to join as members. The STS Council and Advisory Board strive to follow the demand of most members for the establishment and maintainence of a web-based network among members to promote the exchange of information and research material. To set the stage for this endeavour, the STS website is intended as a multi-purpose communication platform.
The STS encourages investigators from the whole area of signal transduction research to become members. By doing so, you will strengthen this fascinating aspect of research which cannot be covered as a whole by any of the traditional branches of biomedicine. You support the efforts of an interdisciplinary group of scientists to enhance the efficiency of their research. You will benefit from a better exchange between colleagues who are interested in related questions. Finally, you will become part of a forum that highly appreciates any initiative you might wish to launch in order to further improve its concept.
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|Last modified: 07.06.2012|