January 9, 2014



Society News

During the holiday season, 14 new jobs were posted to GeneticsCareers.org.  These positions range from visiting professor to PhD scholarship, with many jobs in the nonprofit and private sector.  Check them out and post your resume today!  Please also spread the word about GeneticsCareers.org to anyone with a job opening; GeneticsCareers.org is a joint project of GSA and the American Society of Human Genetics but it is powered by the community!

GSA is pleased to sponsor the 16th International Conference on the Cell and Molecular Biology of Chlamydomonas held June 8–13, 2014, at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California. Founded in 1983, this conference assembles a widely interdisciplinary group of investigators to discuss major scientific problems in topics ranging from eukaryotic flagellum and basal bodies to nuclear/chloroplast genetic interactions.  The conference sessions are organized to allow maximal opportunities for interdisciplinary group discussions—please join us!

Start 2014 off right with a donation to GSA!  The Society depends on your contributions to support many of its important programs.  You may donate to specific funds supporting awards for early career geneticists, or you may choose to donate to the GSA General Fund, where your contribution will be used where it’s most needed.

GSA welcomes our new Board members for 2014, whose terms began on January 1: Vice-President Jasper Rine (Univ of Calif, Berkeley); Treasurer Sue Jinks-Robertson (Duke Univ Med Center); and Directors Angelika Amon (MIT), Lauren McIntyre (Univ of Florida), and Dmitri Petrov (Stanford Univ).  We also welcome Vicki Chandler (Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation) as the 2014 GSA President, and a new trainee representative to the Board, Andrew Adrian (Univ of Iowa).

The GSA Journals

As the 2013 Larry Sandler Award winner, Weizhe Hong was invited to write about the subject of his dissertation, Genetic Control of Wiring Specificity in the Fly Olfactory System—the Review article appears in the January issue of GENETICS, now online. The Larry Sandler Memorial Lecture was established in recognition of Dr. Larry Sandler’s many contributions to Drosophila genetics and his dedication to the training of Drosophila biologists. The recipient of the Larry Sandler Award for the most outstanding PhD dissertation submitted presents the Larry Sandler Memorial Lecture at GSA’s Annual Drosophila Research Conference.

Also in the January issue of GENETICS, Bill Hill discusses Applications of Population Genetics to Animal Breeding, from Wright, Fisher and Lush to Genomic Prediction.

Attending the Plant and Animal Genome conference in San Diego next week? Email Tracey DePellegrin, Executive Editor of GENETICS and G3, to take advantage of the opportunity to meet with a GENETICS or G3 editor to discuss publishing or ask questions about the GSA Journals.

Congratulations to the Steinmetz Lab (EMBL) for their paper detailing the first sequence of a HeLa cell line, published in G3, being named one of Science’s Genomes of the Year!

Education and Professional Development

The Nature Jobs blog has posted advice for going “Off-track” and forging a career path outside of academia.  Five main tips can help those wanting to veer off of the academic career trajectory, according to blogger Carolyn Beans: schedule informational interviews; shadow people; consider volunteering/interning; show off your skills, and use your own department.

GSA PREP rang out 2013 with a new original resource! “DNA Replication: A case discussion of a landmark paper by Meselson and Stahl” (Dasgupta 2013) couples a classic primary literature paper in genetics with a set of questions designed to assist students with thinking in-depth about the experimental process while also delving deeply into the critical concept of replication.  If you have a resource that you’d like to submit to GSA PREP for review, please see the guidelines for authors and reviewers and submit today!

Members in the News

Congratulations to GSA member Susan Harbison (NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute), who was selected by President Obama to receive one of 102 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).  Dr. Harbison investigates genetic networks underlying sleep and their interactions with environmental factors using Drosophila melanogaster as a model. PECASE was established in 1996 to honor researchers working at the frontiers of their field who also demonstrate committed service to their community.  Dr. Harbison will receive her award at a Washington, DC, ceremony later this year.

Funding and Fellowships

Interested in science communication? AAAS is now accepting applications for their Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows Program, which places scientists at media organizations nationwide for ten weeks, “sharpening their abilities to communicate complex scientific issues to the public.”  Apply by January 15, 2014!

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released three funding opportunity announcements through the Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce program.  This includes the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN), Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD), and the Coordination and Evaluation Center (CEC).  NRMN and CEC seek to develop nationwide networks, while BUILD will provide support for “under-resourced institutions with high concentrations of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

The NIH has released six funding opportunity announcements in support of the President’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative.  Awards will likely be announced in September 2014, and NIH expects to invest $40 million toward these funding opportunities.  All application deadlines are in March 2014.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has released a request for applications for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Foundational Program, which plans to award $82 million in support in 2014.  The AFRI Foundational Program features two new programs this year: the Exploratory Research Program, with grants up to $100,000 a year; and The Critical Agriculture Research and Extension program, with grants up to $150,000 per year.


Included in this Issue:

December Issue

January Issue



PhD position in chemotropic sensing of fungal pathogens, Universidad de Cordoba, Cordoba, Spain

Post-doctoral Research Fellows in Human Genetics, Genome Institute of Singapore

Fungal Genomics and Bioinformatics positions at various levels available, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau

Genomics and Bioinformatics postdoc, research assistant, research scientist and post-graduate positions, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau

Bioinformatician/Scientist, Spiral Genetics, Seattle, WA

Genetic Counselor, Central Oregon Clinical Genetic Center, Bend, OR

Genetic Counselor – Maternal Fetal Medicine, St. Luke's Health System, Boise, ID

Nuclear control of chloroplast gene expression (Postdoc), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, France

Staff Associate, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Baltimore, MD

Project Manager for Medical Genetics Resources, Computercraft Corporation, Bethesda, MD

Assistant/Associate Professor, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
PhD student, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY

Postdoc fellow and graduate student positions, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ

Tenure Track Positions in Human Genetics and Computational Biology, Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Analyst, Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO

There are several excellent opportunities for undergraduates to get research experience this summer!  The American Physiological Society (APS) has six summer research fellowships available, all with application deadlines in February 2014.  Additionally, the National Institutes of Health Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP), which offers scholarships for NIH training for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, is accepting applications until March 3, 2014.

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) is accepting applications for its Postdoctoral Research Associate (PRAT) program, which allows a recent PhD graduate to pursue research opportunities in an NIH or FDA laboratory.  The current emphasis for PRAT is on quantitative and systems pharmacology and computational biology, but project themes can fall under a wide variety of subjects.  Applications are due March 7, 2013.


Francis Collins, Director of NIH, published a December 24 op-ed in the Washington Post describing the need for investing in NIH, and discusses some programs now at-risk due to a combination of the cuts from sequestration and budgets not keeping pace with inflation.  “If an investment in hope is not worth supporting, I don’t know what is.” Dr. Collins notes that the budget deal reached at the end of 2013 allows a window of opportunity for appropriations committees to again invest in research.

And finally…

Recent highlights from the GSA’s social networking platforms.  Keep up with the buzz by joining us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn:

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 17, 2014.  Send items to Beth Ruedi, eruedi@genetics-gsa.org.