Public Policy

About the Committee

The committee’s major role is to advise the Society and its leadership on public policy issues related to cell biology and the basic biomedical research community, with

attention to research funding and relevant science policies. The committee, its members, and staff meet with Members of Congress and other government officials to educate them about implications of proposed policy measures on the cell biology community, and provide advice on funding priorities and other matters relevant to cell biology. The committee is also responsible for educating ASCB members on grassroots advocacy activities and alerting them to advocacy opportunities.



  • Monitor legislation in Congress
  • Provide analysis and review of legislation on Capitol Hill and Administration policy proposals
  • Build and maintain relationships with Members of Congress and their staff
  • Comment on draft federal agency policy proposals
  • Publish White Papers on cutting-edge topics important to the scientific community
  • Educate ASCB members on grassroots advocacy including how to start Student Policy and Advocacy Groups
  • Award an annual ASCB Public Service Award
  • Organize science policy advocacy sessions at the ASCB/EMBO Meeting

Signature Programs

  • ASCB Leadership Hill Day – After the ASCB Council and leadership meet in Washington, DC each summer, ASCB leaders spend a day meeting with members of Congress and their staff discussing issues important to the ASCB community.
  • Advocacy Training – At each ASCB| EMBO Annual Meeting, the Public Policy Committee sponsors training session on important tools scientists need to improve their advocacy skills.
  • Public Service Award –  The Society’s highest honor for public service, selected by the ASCB Public Policy Committee. The ASCB Public Service Award recognizes outstanding national leadership in support of biomedical research.


Member Criteria

Committee membership is open to regular members and postdocs. Full members serve three-year terms renewable one time. New members can serve one year terms as Associate members before being considered for full membership. Committee members are expected to regularly participate and be engaged in committee activities and have a genuine interest in the mission of the committee. Prior experience in science policy and science policy advocacy is an additional benefit.

Time Commitment

Members participate in monthly video meetings and one in-person meeting held during the ASCB/EMBO Meeting. Additional activities include participation in taskforces, subcommittees, and email as needed.

Interested in Applying?

Applications for 2024 are now closed.

Staff Contact Info

Please email for questions regarding the Public Policy Committee.
View Committee Members Committee Charter  
“The ASCB Public Policy Committee is a very goal-oriented committee filled with thoughtful people who are focused on working as a team to keep basic science at the forefront of national policy. I learn an incredible amount about our government and funding agencies on this committee.” - Harry Higgs, Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine
“Serving on the Public Policy Committee has given me a great education in the intersection of politics and science, allowed me to meet some amazing ASCB colleagues at many career stages, as well as some knowledgeable outside experts, and given me a chance to help ASCB advocate for all of its members.” - Mark Peifer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“It’s a great way to learn about how research is funded, first hand from real experts. ASCB is the only association consistently advocating to support basic research in cell biology. You get to interact with some of the most respected cell biologists in a fairly small group. You get to give an award to Tony Fauci and he actually accepts! You learn skills you can use to advocate for yourself and your own research.” - Simon Atkinson, University of Kansas