January 3, 2013


Happy New Year 2013!


Each new year brings a new Board of Directors to GSA. Michael Lynch (Indiana Univ) is the 2013 GSA President, and Phil Hieter (Univ British Columbia) moves to the role of Past President. New to the Board are those elected by the membership this past fall: Vice President Vicki Chandler (Gordon & Betty Moore Fdn); Secretary Anne Villeneuve (Stanford Univ Sch Med); and Directors Lynn Cooley (Yale), Anna Di Rienzo (Univ Chicago), Sally Elgin (Washington Univ), and Deborah A. Siegele (Texas A&M). Also new this year are two advisory representatives to the Board: graduate student Katie Dumas (Univ Michigan) and postdoc Krista Dobi (Memorial Sloan-Kettering). A complete list of the 2013 Board is on the GSA website.


GSA thanks six individuals who completed their service on the Board of Directors at the end of 2012: Past President Paul W. Sternberg (Caltech); Secretary Mariana Wolfner (Cornell Univ); and Directors Utpal Banerjee (UCLA), Beth De Stasio (Lawrence Univ), Sue Jinks-Robertson (Duke Univ), and Tom Silhavy (Princeton Univ). We also extend a special thank you to retiring Publications Committee chair Tim Schedl (Washington Univ) for his service to the Society. The GSA community extends its appreciation to these dedicated individuals for their volunteer service to the Society and for helping to advance the field of genetics.


GSA has just launched a completely new website for 2013! We hope the new website makes it easier to find information that will be valuable to the genetics community and others. Additional new content and features are still to come, but we welcome your feedback and ideas. To offer suggestions or report problems, please click on the “Feedback” link that appears on the right side of every page. Thank you for your ideas on how we can make the new website an even more useful resource.


If you have not already renewed your membership for 2013, please do so now to continue uninterrupted GSA benefits, including discounts on 2013 conferences  (Fungal Genetics, Drosophila and C. elegans); your personal subscription to GENETICS; advocacy representation and more. Also don't forget the wonderful benefits of GSA's educational and career support; encourage your student and postdoc colleagues to join as well!


The annual Drosophila Image Award Competition is still accepting photos and short videos.  Deadline for submissions: February 4, 2013.  Awards will be presented at the 54th Annual Drosophila Research Conference, April 3-7, 2013 in Washington, DC.  For more information, visit the website.


Included in this Issue:

December Issue

January Issue




The GSA Journals


The January issue of GENETICS includes articles highlighting sex chromosome evolution in anther smut fungus; protein functional complexity in bacteria; monoamine roles in Drosophila melanogaster; admixture in North American D. melanogaster;  gene expression variability in humans; and asymmetric cell division in fission yeast Schizosacchararomyces japonicas; and much, much more.



Training Opportunities


The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) is offering graduate students with the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in shaping science policy through its Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award.  Award recipients win a free trip to Washington, DC, to receive policy and communication training and to meet with congressional policymakers to discuss the importance of federal investment in the biological sciences.  The award is open to U.S. citizens enrolled in a graduate degree program in biological sciences, science education, or a closely related allied field. For more information visit the AIBS website.  Application deadline:  Monday, January 28, 2013.


The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) program is accepting applications for two seminar programs, “Writing Winning Grant Proposals” for faculty members and “Getting Started as a Successful Grant Writer and Academician” for graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and new assistant professors.  The seminars, on March 7 and March 8, 2013 respectively, are both at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA.  Deadline for application:  Friday, February 1, 2013, 5:00 PM ET.  Visit the website for more information.



GSA Members in the News


Congratulations to the five graduate students and five postdoctoral researchers who are recipients of 2013 DeLill Nasser Awards for Professional Development in Genetics.  Each of these recipients will receive a $1,000 travel award to attend any national or international meeting, conference or laboratory course the will enhance his or her career:



Graduate Students:



Daniel K. Bricker (Univ of Utah Sch of Med)

Wen Huang (NCSU)


Russ Corbett-Detig (Harvard)

Alysia Mortimer (Emory)


Maria N. Hindt (Dartmouth)

Olga S. Novikova (Univ of Albany, NY)


Kathy Ngo (UCLA)

Jason Slot (Vanderbilt)


Mengshu Xu (Univ of Toronto)

Robert Unckless (Cornell)


GSA members and their work are featured in several recent news articles:

  • A December 1, 2012 article in The Scientist, “Genomics 101,” highlights a course Jef Boeke (Johns Hopkins Univ) developed in bioinformatics where students use basic molecular biology techniques to “Build-a-Genome,” their own 10-kb slice of yeast chromosome 3.

  • The December 10 issue of The Scientist reports on the work of Corey Nislow (Univ of Toronto and G3 Associate Editor) about how archaea package their DNA around histones, suggesting that chromatin may be motivated more by gene regulation than tight packing of DNA.

  • The December 15, 2012, New Scientist, reports on Fernando Casares’ (Spanish National Research Council) work on zebrafish developmental genetics, which informs the evolution of limbs from fins. 




The U.S. Congress has temporarily – for two months – averted the fall over the “fiscal cliff” by reaching a deal that would raise taxes on all but the wealthiest households – those making over $450,000 annually – while holding rates for middle-class taxpayers at 2012 levels.  The bill also pushes the issue of sequestration – automatic cuts to federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Pentagon – down the road for a few months.  Dealing with this unfinished business will be the 113th Congress, which was sworn in today. Keep in touch with GSA and our policy partners as discussions continue.


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 11, 2013. Send items to Phyllis Edelman, pedelman@genetics-gsa.org.