May 8, 2013


GSA members for 2013 have until Friday, May 17, 2013, 5 p.m. EDT to submit nominations for the GSA Board of Directors for terms beginning January 1, 2014. The following positions will be on this year’s ballot:

  • Vice President (one-year term as Vice President, to become President on Jan. 1, 2015 for a one-year term and Immediate Past President on Jan. 1, 2016 for a one-year term)
  • Treasurer (3-year term, 2014–2016)
  • Three Directors (3-year term, 2014–2016)

Check your e-mail for the “Call for Nominations for GSA Board of Directors,” which contains a personalized link to the nomination form.  You may nominate yourself or colleagues for any or all positions.

Registration is still open for the 19th International C. elegans Meeting, June 26-30, 2013 at the University of California, Los Angeles. Registration deadline:  May 22, 2013. Housing registration will be available until Friday, June 7, 2013.  Check out all of the activities for undergraduate, graduate student, and postdoc conference attendees here!  In addition, there are three workshops for educators and a mixer for members (or potential members!) of the GSA Education Special Interest Group.  If you have any questions about any of the education and career development events, please contact Beth Ruedi.

The GSA Journals

In the May issue of GENETICS are profiles of the 2013 GSA Award winners, including Tom Petes, Elaine Ostrander, Scott Hawley, Malcolm Campbell, and Jonathan Pritchard. These profiles, written by GSA Board members, provide excellent insights about this group of accomplished scientists.

Also in May’s GENETICS, Andrea A. Duina has written our latest educational Primer, which provides tools for students to appreciate, analyze, and critically evaluate primary research literature.  This month's Primer accompanies Gaur et al. (2013), which establishes an exciting new link between proteins with well-established roles in the endomembrane system and the process of transcription elongation. The Primer includes detailed descriptions of assay techniques and a framework  for understanding how a combination of genetic, biochemical, and cell microscopy experimental approaches were used by the authors to converge on a single major conclusion.  


What’s the most read article in G3 right now?  “Involvement of MLPK Pathway in Intraspecies Unilateral Incompatibility Regulated by a Single Locus With Stigma and Pollen Factors” by Takada et al. The authors genetically characterized novel pollen-stigma unilateral incompatibility (UI) in Brassica rapa. Check out this interesting paper in G3.

GSA Undergraduate Travel Award Winners

GSA is pleased to present five undergraduate student members with $500 GSA Undergraduate Travel Awards to present posters at the 19th International C. elegans Conference, June 26-30, 2013 at UCLA.  The students are:

  • Wendy Cao, senior (Univ of Toronto)
  • David Morgens, junior (Pomona Coll)
  • Alina Rashid, sophomore (Rutgers Univ)
  • Haley Willhelm, senior (Texas A&M Univ)
  • Jay Zhang, sophomore (UNC-Chapel Hill)

Honorable mentions go to: 

  • Jennifer Aleman, junior (The Coll of NJ)
  • Cassandra Farnow, senior (Amherst Coll)
  • Jennifer Gilbert, senior (San Francisco State Univ)
  • Michael Hoy, senior (Coll of the Holy Cross)
  • Joseph Robinson, sophomore (Gettsburg Coll)
  • Hung-Jen Shih, senior (Univ of Michigan)
  • Daniel Witvliet, junior (Univ of Toronto)

We encourage meeting attendees to congratulate these talented undergraduates and hear more about their research by visiting their posters.

GSA Members in the News

GSA congratulates its members who were elected by their peers as members or foreign associates of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The NAS is a private, non-profit organization that was established by Congress and President Abraham Lincoln to provide independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. Election to NAS is considered one of the highest honors for scientists and recognizes individuals for outstanding contributions to research.

  • Stephen M. Beverley (Washington Univ, St. Louis)

  • Jef D. Boeke (Johns Hopkins Univ Sch of Med)

  • Marcus W. Feldman (Stanford Univ)

  • Michel A.J. Georges (Univ of Liège, Belgium) [foreign associate]

  • Mitzi I. Kuroda (Harvard Med Sch)

  • Sarah P. Otto (Univ of British Columbia)

  • Norbert Perrimon (HHMI and Harvard Med Sch)

  • Graham C. Walker (MIT)

  • Fred M. Winston (Harvard Med Sch)

Congratulations to past GSA Board member (2009-2011) Susan Wessler (UC-Riverside) who has been elected a member of the American Philosophical Society (APS). The APS is the country’s oldest learned society, founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin for the purpose of “promoting useful knowledge.” Wessler’s research focuses on plant transposable elements (DNA sequences that move in the genome from one location to another) and their role in the evolution of plant genomes.

Congratulations to the eight GSA members who were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Founded in 1780, the Academy is one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies and an independent policy research center. In addition to the GSA members listed below, other members of the class of 2013 include astronaut John Glenn and musician Bruce Springsteen.

  • Bonnie Bartel (Rice Univ)
  • Shelley L. Berger (Univ of Penn)
  • Bruce A. Beutler (Univ of Texas SW Med Ctr)
  • Kenneth J. Kemphues (Cornell Univ)
  • James R. Lupski (Baylor Coll of Med)
  • Jonathan K. Pritchard (Univ of Chicago)
  • Geraldine Seydoux (Johns Hopkins Univ Sch of Med)
  • Michael C. Whitlock (Univ of British Columbia)


The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) has released a new edition of its Breakthroughs in Bioscience series, “Conquering Cancer with Drugs from Nature’s Medicine Cabinet.” This latest article, also available as a downloadable podcast, is the second of a two-part series that discusses the basic research foundations of the development of medicines for cancer treatments that are derived from natural products. 


Members of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology have raised concerns about the National Science Foundation’s merit review process in the wake of questions from committee chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) about five competitively funded NSF proposals. Ranking Member Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) issued a spirited response in which she expressed concern that it may appear that “peer review may always be trumped by political review.” Rep. Smith is also circulating draft legislation that would require the NSF director to declare that any research it supports must be “in the interests of the United States to advance the national health, prosperity, or welfare, and to secure the national defense …[solve] problems that are of utmost importance to society at large…[and] are not duplicative of other research projects….” GSA and our advocacy partners are working to ensure that scientific peer review continues to drive funding decisions.

President Obama addressed the 150th anniversary meeting of the National Academy of Sciences at the end of April. In his remarks, the President noted the need to continue to invest in science, despite the nation’s budgetary challenges: “as long as I’m President, we’re going to continue to be committed to investing in the promising ideas that are generated from you and your institutions, because they lead to innovative products, they help boost our economy, but also because that’s who we are.  I’m committed to it because that’s what makes us special and ultimately what makes life worth living.” This was the second time for the President to participate in an NAS annual meeting.

And finally…

Some recent highlights from the GSA social networking platforms.  Join us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn:

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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: May 17, 2013. Send items to Phyllis Edelman,