FacebooktwitterlinkedinYoutubeGoogle +

October 15, 2014
Society News

Registration and abstract submission are now open for the 28th Fungal Genetics Conference, March 17—22, 2015, at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA. The registration deadline is December 10, but be sure to sign up ASAP as recent conferences have sold out!

Calling zebrafish PIs: deadlines are approaching for travel award applications (October 16) and abstract submission (October 27) for the 6th Strategic Conference of Zebrafish Investigators, January 17—21, 2015, at Asilomar. Registrants will be notified by October 30 if their abstracts are accepted.

Proposals are being solicited for workshops at the 20th International C. elegans Meeting, June 24—28, 2015, in Los Angeles, CA. Workshops can be based on specific scientific areas, widely applicable technical approaches, community resources, educational issues, or other topics of interest to the worm community. Proposals must be submitted by November 15.

Abstract submission for the 56th Annual Drosophila Research Conference closes November 10. The conference will be held March 4—8, 2015, in Chicago.

GSA is accepting renewals for the 2015 membership year. Check your e-mail detailing the prizes you can win if you join or renew before November 15. New for 2015, GSA has added a membership category for K—12 teachers and community college faculty: please reach out to the educators you know and invite them to join the GSA community.

The GSA Journals

When the gene mutated in patients with a rare disorder is suppressed in zebrafish, the animals develop smaller heads, which is one of the major symptoms of the human disease. Image shows a control zebrafish larva (top) and one in which expression of rpl10 was suppressed (bottom), resulting in normal body length but a proportionately smaller head.
Image courtesy of Christelle Golzio, Amalia Kondyles, and Erica Davis
Human genetics in GENETICS: The editors of GENETICS are seeking submissions of a broad range of human genetics research, including articles that provide insight into human gene function and disease. Check out the editorial in this month's issue to learn more about the editorial board's efforts to increase the journal's presence in the human genetics arena.

Rare diseases & model organisms: To kick off GENETICS' call for papers on human genetics, an article in the latest issue by Brooks et al. identifies the likely cause of an X-linked microcephaly syndrome. The research demonstrates the power of using zebrafish and other model organisms for functional studies of rare diseases, one of the themes of a Commentary by Phil Hieter and Kym Boycott titled "Understanding rare disease pathogenesis: A grand challenge for model organisms." [more...]

Speaking of human genetics, GENETICS and G3 will be at next week's ASHG 2014 Annual Meeting in San Diego. Stop by Booth 1824 to meet journal editors and staff, talk genetics, and pick up some GSA trinkets!

GSA Award Essays: The October issue of GENETICS also features personal essays and interviews from the 2014 GSA award recipients, including:
  • GSA Medal winner Angelika Amon's passion for basic research
  • George W. Beadle Award winner Hugo Bellen's commitment to developing community resources
  • Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Education winner Robin Wright's simple proposition for improving biology education
  • Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal winner Fred Ausubel's twisty career path
  • Edward Novitski Prize winner Charlie Boone's strategy for modeling the cell
Biofilm Diversity: In the latest issue of G3, Hope and Dunham examine the breadth of biofilm-related phenotypes in diverse natural isolates of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Diploid strains showed both decreased and increased phenotypic strength compared to their haploid counterparts, giving a more complex view of the impact of ploidy than suggested by previous work with laboratory strains.

Members in the News

GSA Board member Angelika Amon
The latest issue of the HHMI Bulletin profiles research on errors in cell division and the dire consequences that can result. Several GSA members are featured, including GSA Board member Angelika Amon and GSA members David Pellman and Stephen Elledge.

The Boston Globe discusses the growing 'glut' of postdocs and how the position is now, "less of a stepping stone and more of a holding tank". GSA member Gary McDowell is among those featured. The research community responded with numerous #lifeafterphd stories (storified by the Boston Globe), mirroring the earlier #whyididaphd hashtag.

Included in this Issue:

September Issue

October Issue


Post-Doctoral Research Fellow - Statistical Genetics, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA

Postdoctoral Researcher: Critical Assessment of Genome Interpretation, University of California, Berkeley, CA

Lead Scientist: Critical Assessment of Genome Interpretation, University of California, Berkeley, CA

Staff Scientist - Biostatistics, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA

Postdoctoral Fellow in Statistical Genetics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Technical Supervisor, Clinical Chemistry, Chromocare, New Albany, OH

General Testing Personnel, Clinical Chemistry, Chromocare, New Albany, OH

Postdoctoral Fellow-University of Massachusetts Medical School, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA

Postdoctoral Fellow in Genetic Epidemiology/Statistical Genetics, NHGRI/NIH, Baltimore, MD

Developmental Biology Assistant professor job, Villanova University, Villanova, PA

Cancer Genetic Counselor, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Berkeley, CA

Senior Bioinformatics Scientist, Inova Translational Medicine Institute, Falls Church, VA

Faculty Position in Quantitative Evolution or Ecology, Michigan State University, EEBB, East Lansing, MI

Education and Professional Development

The Personal Genetics Education Project (pgEd) has just released two new quizzes for Map-Ed, a project that allows users to "pin" themselves on the map once they have learned about a series of key concepts in genetics and related topics. New quizzes include "Avoiding Genetic Discrimination: Know your rights," which highlights important facts about the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA); and "Ebola," which can help serve as an important informational tool about the virus.  Please spread the word, take the quizzes, "pin" yourselves, and use them as conversation starters in your classrooms!

What happens when you leave the lab life? Check out these profiles of outstanding researchers who eventually found their true calling outside of academia.

Funding, Fellowships, and Awards

Nominations for the FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award are due today. This annual award honors outstanding female scientists with €10,000, a commemorative statue, and a plenary lecture at the annual FEBS Congress. Previous winners include GSA member Susan Gasser.

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) is running a Challenge Contest to make connections between basic research and medical advances. In particular, they are soliciting stories that clearly associate NIGMS-funded research with improvements in health; applications in medicine, industry, or technology; or other tangible benefits to the public and/or economy. Winners will receive $500; submissions are due October 20. These stories will help make the case for the value of supporting basic research.


NIH Director Francis Collins was quoted in a Huffington Post story as saying that stagnant federal spending on biomedical research hindered progress toward an Ebola vaccine and effective treatments.

NIH has detailed the agency's operating plan during the current Continuing Resolution (CR). In short, non-competing research grant awards will be issued at up to 90 percent of the previously committed level as indicated on the most recent Notice of Award. The NIH notice also states that "upward adjustments to awarded levels will be considered after FY 2015 appropriations are enacted." The current CR extends through December 11, 2014.

And finally...

Thanks for helping us reach 3000 likes on Facebook! Keep up with recent highlights like these by joining us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+:

Biomedical engineers have developed a drug delivery system consisting of nanoscale "cocoons" made of DNA that target cancer cells and trick the cells into absorbing the cocoon before unleashing anticancer drugs.
Image courtesy of Zhen Gu. Source: NC State News

Do you have a brief announcement to submit to GSA e-News?
e-News items include news about GSA members — new positions, book publication, awards or grants received and obits; short policy items; brief research news items and grant programs; and, award nomination announcements.

Deadline for next issue: October 23, 2014. Send items (and feedback) to GSA's Communications and Engagement Manager, Raeka Aiyar, raiyar@genetics-gsa.org.