Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
MIT graduates can now easily keep in touch with friends and colleagues from the Institute through a new service called E-mail Forwarding for Life, the first of several planned electronic resources offered by the Association of MIT Alumni/ae.
MIT will provide a permanent "@alum.mit.edu" e-mail forwarding address for interested graduates, who can then use the service to send and receive messages from former classmates as well as other non-MIT friends and relatives. More information is available on the Web site for Alumni Network Services (ANS), a new branch of the Alumni Association, at <http://web.mit.edu/alum/ans>.
Also in the works from ANS is an on-line directory, an electronic version of the hardcover volume in which verified graduates can both update their personal data and access information about MIT's 100,000 other alumni/ae. The directory system, like the Electronic Forwarding for Life service, will have privacy safeguards to prevent access by unauthorized users. The system is scheduled for an April rollout, according to Jason Slibeck (SB '91), who heads the project.
In addition to ANS staff, others who have been working on the Association's electronic offerings include Bob Johnson (SB '63), the Association's On-Line Communications Committee chair, Jeff Schiller (SB '79), Tim McGovern, Greg Anderson, David Pires and Diana Strange.
For the more distant future, ANS is looking into creating a distance-learning gateway, an on-line career mentoring program in conjunction with the department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and an "entrepreneurial hothouse" to link alumni/ae who want to start a business with experts and fellow alums who have complementary interests and skills.
"We see these services as a real benefit for alumni," said Maggy Bruzelius, the newly hired director of ANS.
The Alumni Association's own Web site will also be updated. It now has links to approximately 2,300 pages of information on reunions, MIT Clubs around the world, special alumni groups, class officers, Technology Review and other sources of MIT news and information (including the on-line directory of current students and staff), and a growing roster of alumni/ae home pages searchable by name, department or class.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 12, 1997.