January 16, 2013


54th Drosophila Research Conference

Good News late abstracts will be accepted through January 31 or until space fills up, whichever comes first, for the 54th Drosophila Research Conference, April 3-7, 2013 in Washington, D.C. There is limited space available for these late abstracts. Submit early to ensure a place for your research!


Register for the Drosophila Conference by January 21, 2013 to secure registration at a discounted fee.  Registration fees will increase by anywhere from $10 to more than $150 depending upon your category of membership.  Register as a GSA member and receive a meeting registration discount plus additional benefits including reduced fees for publishing in the GSA journals, GENETICS and G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics; education and career support; a voice in advocacy on Capitol Hill and at U.S. funding agencies; and much more.


GSA News


Don’t miss out on any GSA benefits! Renew your membership now for 2013, if you have not already done so, to ensure that your GSA membership benefits do not lapse.  Thank you to all members who have renewed for 2013. Please encourage your colleagues, postdocs and students to join as well.


The January/February 2013 issue of The GSA Reporter is now online!  Read about the new members of the GSA Board of Directors including the early career representatives, the 2013 award recipients, the first message from 2013 GSA President Michael Lynch, upcoming conferences, and more before you receive your paper copy in the mail!


Did you know that GSA maintains an active presence on Facebook and Twitter? Join 1,000 of your colleagues following GSA on Facebook (facebook.com/GeneticsGSA) and more than 1,400 on Twitter (twitter.com/GeneticsGSA). Also join us on the new GSA group on LinkedIn.


The GSA Journals


The January issue of G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics is now online!  Read about research involving fish, flies, fungi, plants, yeast and more! 


The Saccharomyces Genome Database blog highlights an article, “Defining the Epigenetic Mechanism of Asymmetric Cell Division of Schizosaccharomyces japonicus Yeast,” by Chuanhe Yu, Michael J. Bonaduce, and Amar J.S. Klar (all at NIH) in the January issue of GENETICS.  Read this article and the blog, and check out the January issue for more articles on genome integrity and transmission, developmental and behavioral genetics, population and evolutionary genetics, and other topics of interest.






GSA is a partner in the NSF-sponsored Biology Scholars Program (BSP), which seeks to improve undergraduate biology education based on evidence of student learning.  If you are passionate about education and want access to alumni travel grants, alumni fellowships, and excellent BSP courses, join the BSP in 2013!  Members of the GSA community who are BSP Alumni include Alix Darden (Univ Oklahoma Health Science Center), Daron Barnard (Worcester State College), John Geiser (Western Michigan Univ), Kathy Zoghby (Univ Richmond), and Heidi Sleister (Drake Univ).  The 2013 program includes three residencies:

  • Assessment Residency: Measuring Student Learning in Washington, DC, June 12-15, 2013. Application deadline: February 1, 2013.
  • Transitions Residency: From Science Education Research to Publication in Washington, DC, June 24-26, 2013.  Application deadline: February 1, 2013.
  • Research Residency: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Washington, DC, July 17-20, 2013.  Application deadline: February 1, 2013.

The second draft of the Next Generation Science Standards for K-12 science education is accepting public feedback until January 29, 2013.  These standards, based on the Framework for K-12 Science Education developed by the National Research Council, are being designed to prepare today’s students for the workforce they will face in the next decades.

GSA Members in the News

Congratulations to Sue Biggins (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Res Ctr), who is being honored this year by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) with the NAS Award in Molecular Biology.  The award of $25,000, sponsored by Pfizer, Inc., recognizes her outstanding scientific achievement of the “isolation and in vitro characterization of a functional kinetochore complex, and for the use of that system to explore kinetochore function.” Sue, and the 17 others honored by NAS, will receive their awards at the 150th annual NAS meeting on April 28, 2013.

GSA Board member Mohamed Noor (Duke Univ) was quoted in The Washington Post on January 9 in an article on “massive open online courses” or MOOCs.  Mohamed teaches a 10-week online course on genetics and evolution that has more than 23,000 registered students.  The article discussed academic security measures for MOOCs, which will enable students to pay a small fee to obtain credentials (which are not the same as course credit towards a degree) for successfully completed courses.

Funding News

The National Science Foundation’s new version of its Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) is in effect for all proposals submitted or due after January 14, 2013. The new PAPPG includes a number of changes including revisions to NSF’s Merit Review Criteria—to implement National Science Board recommendations—and modifications to the Biographical Sketch, Facilities, and Equipment sections.

The Global Probiotics Council is sponsoring a $50,000 Young Investigator Grant for Probiotics Research.  Young investigators in the United States who are committed to basic research on bacteria, cell lines, derived cells or animal models related to gastrointestinal microbiota, probiotics and their role in health and wellness are urged to apply.  Deadline for application:  February 12, 2013.  For more information, visit the website.


Although the United States avoided the worst of fiscal cliff at the turn of the new year, potential drastic funding cuts for federal agencies are still looming. Sequestration was not cancelled, just delayed by two months. Please stay tuned for more information and keep up the communication with your elected officials in Washington about the importance of investments in research.

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a request that would have banned government-funded research on human embryonic stem cell research. The decision ends a long legal battle from two plaintiffs who had argued that such research violated a law which bans federal funds for research that destroys human embryos.

Deputy Director for Extramural Research at NIH, Sally Rockey, compares research grant success rates, applications, award amount and other statistics for fiscal years 2012 and 2011 in her January 2, 2012 blog post.

Other Meetings of Interest

The International Society for Biocuration is holding Biocuration 2013, the 6th Conference of the International Society for Biocuration, April 7 – 10, 2013 at Churchill College, Cambridge, UK.  Biocurators and developers of biological databases from academia, government, and industry are invited to attend and to submit abstracts.  Deadline for abstract submission is January 31, 2013.  For program information and registration, visit the website.  

The 10th Stem Cell Summit will take place April 29 – 30, 2013 in Boston, MA. The summit offers two tracks:  one on Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine and one on Stem Cell Commercialization and Partnering.  Deadline for abstract submission:  March 29, 2013.  For more information, visit the website.

Save the dates of June 30 – July 3, 2013 for the 2013 Aquatic Animal Models for Human Disease and the Midwest Zebrafish Conference.  The conference will be held at the Hilton Milwaukee Downtown, 509 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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: January 25, 2013. Send items to Phyllis Edelman, pedelman@genetics-gsa.org.