March 19, 2014

Society News

Deadlines are fast approaching for the GSA-sponsored 11th International Conference on Zebrafish Development and Genetics, June 24–28, 2014, in Madison, WI: 

  • Abstract submission and registration are now open; don’t miss your chance to present at this renowned conference, featuring keynote speakers John Postlethwait (Univ of Oregon) and Sarah Tishkoff (Univ of Pennsylvania). The abstract submission deadline is March 26, 2014.
  • Take this opportunity to show your artistic sideDesign the meeting logo, which will be featured on the program book and meeting T-shirt.  Please submit your original artwork by March 26, 2014 to
  • Nominations are also being accepted for the Chi-Bin Chien Award. This honor, established by the zebrafish research community and GSA in memory of Dr. Chi-Bin Chien (1965–2011), will be given to an outstanding graduate student, postdoctoral trainee, or recently appointed faculty member from any country who has made significant contributions to the field of zebrafish research and has exhibited the generosity and openness that characterized and motivated Chi-Bin. The awardee will receive a cash award and international recognition as an invited speaker at the upcoming International Conference on Zebrafish Development and Genetics.  Nominations for the Chi-Bin Chien Award should be submitted by the candidate’s PhD or postdoctoral mentor by email by March 26, 2014 to

The winter issue of The GSA Reporter is online and will arrive in mailboxes soon!  The Trainee Representatives to the GSA Board provide insight on how to find a postdoc; get to know the winners of the 2014 GSA Awards as well as the recipients of GSA’s trainee awards; read an in-depth interview with GENETICS Editor-in-Chief Mark Johnston (Univ of Colorado, Denver, School of Medicine); learn about GSA’s evolving scientific communication from the Journals’ Executive Editor Tracey DePellegrin; and delve into the world of nematode pheromones with Fatma Kaplan, the winner of GSA’s article competition.

Congratulations to three FASEB Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) Travel Award winners, who will be joining us at the 55th Annual Drosophila Research Conference in San Diego, California, March 26–30, 2014: Moises Paramo (Univ of California, Irvine), Andrea Ramos (Univ of Michigan), and Laura Youngblood (St. Edward’s Univ).  The FASEB MARC office notes that “these awards are meant to promote the entry of students, postdoctorates and scientists from underrepresented groups into the mainstream of the basic science community and to encourage the participation of young scientists” at GSA’s Drosophila Research Conference.  The three awards total $5,500.

Trainee Awards

Only a few more days to apply for the GSA Undergraduate Travel Awards, to be used to support travel costs for undergraduates presenting their research at a GSA conference. The current round of awards will support travel to the following conferences:

The GSA Undergraduate Travel Awards were established to promote excellence in undergraduate research and education and provide an opportunity for GSA undergraduate members to present their research at a GSA-sponsored meeting. Apply online by March 21, 2014.

Now is the time for graduate student and postdoctoral members of GSA to apply for DeLill Nasser Travel Awards for Professional Development in Genetics. Awards of $1,000 each will be awarded for travel to national and international conferences or laboratory courses. These conferences and courses should take place between July 1, 2014, and December 31, 2014. Please note that this includes—but is not limited to—the following GSA Conferences:

The deadline for applications is April 4, 2014. Don’t miss this chance to receive funding that could make a difference to your research and career!


Included in this Issue:

February Issue

February Issue



Lecturer in Discipline, Biotechnology, Columbia University - Department of Biological Sciences, New York, NY

Clinical Geneticist Position, Shodair Children's Hospital, Helena, MT

Visiting Assistant Professor - Biology, Willamette University, Salem, OR

Research Specialist, Laboratory of Human Genetics, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY

Faculty position in Human Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PA

Scientist, Perlstein Lab, San Francisco, CA

Medical Genetics – Associate or Full Professor, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Content Scientist, Qiagen, Redwood City, CA

Content Selection Scientist, Qiagen, Redwood City, CA
Faculty Biochemistry, Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA

Postdoc research associate, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

Assistant Professor - Tenure Track, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO

The GSA Journals

Heading to GSA’s 2014 Drosophila Research Conference next week? Visit the GSA Journals Booth and let’s talk publishing! Join us at the How to Get Published Breakfast, Thursday, March 27, 7:15–8:30 am, hear from journal editors, ask questions, learn tips and tricks, and understand how you can help your articles to have more impact. GENETICS Editor-in-Chief Mark Johnston, and editorial staff Tracey DePellegrin, Ruth Isaacson, and Cristy Gelling will attend, as well as other senior and associate editors of GENETICS and G3.

For those of you who participated in the GSA Journals Community survey – thank you! We had 1,359 participants, and uncovered a lot of information about what the genetics and genomics community value about our journals and about peer-review and publishing—and what kinds of topics you’re most interested in. Look for highlights in an upcoming e-News.

Members in the News

During the past two weeks, quite a few GSA members were in the spotlight.  Some highlights:

Education and Professional Development

Postdocs who will soon be seeking their first independent position may wish to attend the 2014 Postdoctoral Preparation Institute, June 5–6 in Bethesda, MD.  The institute will have approximately 120 participants, and will cover topics such as making the right career choice, finding the right institution, applying for a position, succeeding in the job interview and seminar, negotiating a start-up package, and more.  Participants will also have the opportunity to learn about other scientific careers outside of academia. All eligible applicants selected to attend will receive travel awards to facilitate their participation. The application deadline is April 18, 2014.

Does the concept of networking cause you to break out in a cold sweat? Melissa Vaught, a self-described introvert, tells how she came out of her shell in an article on the Science Careers blog.  She did so by (unintentionally) practicing networking online, taking stock of her accomplishments, choosing the right networking venue to maximize her comfort level, and engaging more with peer groups.

Funding, Fellowships, and Awards

HHMI’s Janelia Farm Research Campus is now accepting applications for its Janelia Visitor Graduate Fellowship.  PhD students in this fellowship program will spend 1-3 years working with a Janelia mentor on all or part of their thesis research, and will also benefit from the extensive collaborations, resources, and facilities on the Janelia campus.  Students enrolled in a doctoral program in the U.S. or abroad are eligible to apply after completion of required coursework at their home institution.  Areas of study include biology, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, engineering, genetics, mathematics, evolutionary biology, neurobiology, and physics.  Application deadline for the fellowship is July 15, 2014.

The application deadline is April 1 for the new National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) Genetics Education Award, co-sponsored by GSA and the American Society of Human Genetics. The Genetics Education Award recognizes K-16 educators for innovative, student-centered classroom instruction promoting the understanding of genetics and its impact on inheritance, health, and biological research. The award includes a combined $1,000 cash prize ($500 from each sponsor), a recognition plaque to be presented at the NABT Professional Development Conference, and a one-year, complimentary membership to NABT.


Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) unveiled his American Cures Act last week, saying the “faith in scientific progress is part of our national DNA.” The act—which would create a mandatory fund to provide steady, predictable, funding for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense Health Program, and the Veterans Administration Medical & Prosthetics Research Program—would dedicate a total of $150 billion over the next ten years to high-reward medical research.

NSF and the U.K’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have announced a bilateral pilot opportunity that will fund collaborations between U.S. and U.K. bioscience researchers in systems biology, computational biology, bioinformatics and synthetic biology.  It will use a “simplified, flexible review process that will allow U.S./U.K. research teams to submit a single proposal that will undergo a single review process by only one of the partner agencies.”

New data suggest that the number of PIs supported by NIH grants has dropped by more than 500 investigators—and possibly by up to 1,000 investigators—in just the last year.  Though there had been minimal budget growth at NIH from 2003 to 2012, the number of investigators had remained relatively steady.  However, with sequestration in 2013, there seems to be a contraction in the number of labs supported by NIH.

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: March 28, 2014.  Send items to Beth Ruedi,