January 30, 2013


Renew/Join GSA for 2013

This is it . . . if you haven’t renewed your GSA membership for 2013, your GSA member benefits will soon lapse. These benefits include your subscription to GENETICS, discounts for publishing in the GSA Journals GENETICS and G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics, and reduced registration fees at 2013 GSA meetings. Thank you to all members who have renewed for this year.  Remind your colleagues, postdocs, and students to join GSA too!


Federal Funding Opportunities & the Proposal Review Process, a GSA Career Development Workshop, will be a pre-conference workshop available to attendees of the 2013 Drosophila Research Conference. The workshop, organized by National Science Foundation (NSF) Program Director Joyce Fernandes, will be held from 3-5 pm on Wednesday, April 3. Participants will learn about multiple federal funding opportunities through NSF and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). A panel discussion with program officers will be followed by a hands-on exercise to examine program solicitations and review criteria, and to work through the mechanics of writing a good proposal.

Submissions to GSA’s Educational Resources Portal are now being accepted! If you have a laboratory exercise, laboratory protocol (e.g., quick and inexpensive DNA extraction), lecture exercise, image/animation, or even a course syllabus, please submit it to be part of GSA’s database of educational resources and make it available to your teaching colleagues.  All submissions will be peer reviewed to ensure the learning materials are based on core concepts and core competencies to improve the quality of genetics education. Resources accepted into the portal will not be published in a scholarly journal but will be citable, allowing the authors to list the resource on their CV. Submit your teaching materials today!

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 of Oklahoma Hlth Sci Ctr), Daron Barnard (Worcester State College), John Geiser (Western Michigan Univ), Kathy Zoghby (Univ of Richmond), and Heidi Sleister (Drake Univ).  The 2013 program includes three residencies, all in Washington, DC:

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


Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars – are you interested in science policy?  Check out GSA’s web page on Policy Fellowships Learn about the science organizations that provide state, national and international policy fellowships and how you can apply.

The GSA Journals

The zebrafish research of G3 editor Nico Katsanis’ (Duke Univ) lab was described in an article, “Will This Fish Transform Medicine?” in Popular Science on January 21, 2013.

Members in the News

GSA congratulates its Past President (1988) Gerald R. Fink, founding Member of the Whitehead Institute, Margaret and Herman Sokol Professor, and American Cancer Society Professor of Genetics at MIT, who has been chosen to serve as president-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  Dr. Fink will begin his three-year term as an officer and member of the AAAS executive committee on February 19, 2013. A yeast molecular biologist, Dr. Fink also is the recipient of the GSA Medal (1982) and the George W. Beadle Award (2001).


Last week an NIH Council of Councils Working Group issued a report on the Use of Chimpanzees in National Institutes of Health (NIH)-Supported Research, which recommended that the agency’s chimpanzee research projects should be shut down within the next few years. The group developed 28 recommendations regarding the use of chimpanzees, focusing on appropriate physical and social environments, colony size and placement, and the review process for future proposals to use these animals in NIH-supported research.  A 60-day public comment period regarding the report recommendations is now open.  At its conclusion, NIH Director, Dr. Francis Collins, will decide whether or not to accept the working group’s recommendations.  

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) released the Republican rosters of the 12 subcommittees. Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee also announced the Democratic rosters.  Check to see if your Congressional representative is on this committee or its subcommittees, which will be instrumental in determining the budget and reducing the deficit and debt of the United States.  Sign up for the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) e-action list to receive important e-mails about major public policy issues including funding issues affecting scientific research.

In an interview with Politico (a widely read Washington newspaper with broad circulation on Capitol Hill), NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins said that the 6.4 percent budget cut for NIH, if the pending sequestration occurs, would result in a “profound and devastating blow” for medical research at a time of unprecedented scientific discovery.  While all individual centers and institutes will experience cuts, according to the article, these cuts will be particularly devastating for the National Cancer Institute where research on cancer “will go slower.” The Director is also concerned about the availability of research grants, especially for early career researchers.

Other Meetings of Interest

The International Festival of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), called STEMfest 2013, is a four-week festival from September 25, 2013 to October 26, 2013 in Sarawak, Malaysia, which will celebrate everything associated with STEM. The festival will include conferences, exhibitions, field trips, science experiments, space and astronomy events, lectures and orations, gala dinners, parties and celebrations, and expects researchers, educators, industry leaders and economic developers to participate.  For more information, see the website.

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: February 8, 2013.  Send items to Phyllis Edelman, pedelman@genetics-gsa.org.