May 15, 2014

Society News

Calling all Zebrafish researchers: Last few hours to meet the early registration deadline and save $100 on the 11th International Conference on Zebrafish Development and Genetics! GSA members receive additional discounts.

GSA member Mary Gehring (Whitehead Inst and MIT) represented us all on Capitol Hill last week by making a case to Members of Congress for funding basic genetics research. The annual exhibition, sponsored by the Coalition for National Science Funding, showcased National Science Foundation (NSF) investments in research and education. Gehring explained the importance of basic research and model systems to many, including those who set the NSF budget, at a time when new legislation on NSF funding programs is being hotly debated. (read more...)

GSA has asked NSF to broaden the eligibility for Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology. NSF has excluded applicants who wish to remain at the same institution where they obtained their PhD. GSA, however, believes this exclusion is overly restrictive and a particular hardship to those who are geographically constrained. We have thus requested that NSF enable individuals to remain at their doctoral institution, provided that the postdoctoral setting offers adequately diversified training. (read more...)

Registration is now open for the 27th Annual Mouse Molecular Genetics Conference. This GSA-sponsored conference will be held in Pacific Grove, CA, September 29October 3, 2014, and boasts a great speaker lineup. Submit your abstract today!

The GSA Journals

A new moon for Platynereis dumerilii biology: The bristle-worm referred to as a “living fossil” is now transitioning into a tractable molecular genetic model that can shed more light on its fascinating biology. Platynereis has a long history as a model for circalunar biology and has proven important for evolution and development studies because it has retained many ancestral features from the last common ancestor of bilaterians (a group that includes vertebrates). Now, a pair of articles in the May issue of GENETICS details a novel genetic tool, technical resources, and a streamlined workflow for establishing targeted genome editing technology relevant to other non-conventional model species, marking a new phase for the bristle-worm. (read more...)

More bang for your GWAS buck: The more data you have, the more statistical power you wield to find genetic associations. But are there ways to get more from the data you already have? In the May issue of GENETICS, Kaufman and Rosset describe a testing framework that substantially boosts the power of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) without the need to collect more samples. (read more...)

GENETICS and G3 want you to save your energy for doing research, not reformatting manuscripts:

  • Flexible manuscript submission formats: submit your manuscript in any format! Save time and get your work sent for review faster.
  • One-touch manuscript transfer: Because GENETICS and G3 are sister journals, submissions to GENETICS that report high-quality and useful findings—but lack the broad appeal, significance, or novelty of a published GENETICS article—may be offered a transfer to G3. This seamless process either guarantees review at G3, or G3 editors will use GENETICS reviews to offer decisions at G3 within days.

Members in the News

Congratulations to GSA members Peter D. Keightley (Univ of Edinburgh) and Joan A. Steitz (HHMI, Yale) for their election to the Royal Society! As the national academy of science in the United Kingdom, the Fellowship has included some of the most distinguished scientists in the world since its establishment in 1660: past Fellows and Foreign Members have included Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein. (read more...)

Congratulations are also due to GSA members Denise J. Montell (UC Santa Barbara) and Samara L. Reck-Peterson (Harvard Med School), who were elected to the ASCB Council, the governing body of The American Society for Cell Biology. They join several other GSA members on the ASCB Council. (read more...)

2013 GSA President Michael Lynch (Indiana Univ) will lead a group of four Indiana University scientists who were awarded a $6.2 million Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research to study the molecular causes and consequences of bacterial evolution in response to internal and external environmental shifts.

Finally, congratulations to GSA member Joachim Messing (Rutgers) for receiving the Promega Biotechnology Research Award! The prestigious award from the American Society of Microbiology honors outstanding contributions to biotechnology through fundamental microbiological research and development; Dr. Messing was recognized for his research in recombinant DNA and shotgun sequencing that helped to stimulate the genomic revolution. (read more...)

Education and Professional Development

Have you developed something useful for your classroom that covers at least one of the core competencies in genetics?  We want to review it! GSA PREP seeks useful resources of all sizes, from a single case-study to a full course. In addition, we seek high-quality images and animations and useful laboratory protocols. Our current call for resources covers the core category “Nature of genetic material.” Submit your resources to GSA PREP today, and reap the benefits of published resources (with DOIs) seen by thousands of visitors to GSA PREP and the LifeSciTRC library!

Are you a postdoc or graduate student planning to attend the 11th International Conference on Zebrafish Development and Genetics?  Then complete this brief survey if you’d like to take part in our exciting volunteer opportunities for GSA career development activities. We are particularly interested in finding someone to help organize the last two sessions of the GSA Trainee Bootcamp on careers in and beyond academia —this is your chance to do something for your community and beef up your CV!

In his weekly update, The Genomics Landscape, NHGRI Director Eric Green discusses four new funding calls for institutional training and mentorship initiatives in genomics. The initiatives are designed to include genomic medicine in institutional-level training and mentored career development programs for individuals.

Included in this Issue:

April Issue

May Issue


Research Associate, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC

Lab manager/research associate, Indiana University at Bloomington, Bloomington, IN

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Maryland, College Park, Rockville, MD

Chief, Genomic Healthcare Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

Postdoctoral Associate in Somatic Mutation and Neurological Disease, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Epigenetics of Neural Development, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

PhD student in Cell Death Research, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

Principal Research Scientist / Center Director, Center for Applied Clinical Genomics, Nemours, Wilmington, DE

Postdoc position in Developmental and Cancer Genetics, CECAD Cologne, Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany

Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Richmond, Department of Biology, Richmond, VA

Research Associate, Next Generation Sequencing, Good Start Genetics, Inc., Cambridge, MA

Postdoc Statistical Genetics and Genomics, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

Senior Faculty Position in Human and Cancer Genetics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA

Visiting Assistant Professor, Stetson University Biology Department, DeLand, FL

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

Funding, Fellowships, and Awards

“The world needs science, and science needs women”: Don't miss the deadline for the L’Oreal USA For Women in Science Fellowship program on May 19! This national awards program provides up to $60,000 to support postdoctoral research for five exceptional women. You are eligible if you have completed your PhD, are an American citizen or permanent resident based in the U.S., and are starting a postdoc before September 1, 2014.

Concerned about your next NIH grant application? The NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration in Baltimore, MD, June 26–27, 2014, aims to demystify grants processes and highlight areas of special interest by connecting investigators in-person with NIH policy officials, grants management, program and review staff, and eRA Commons experts. Those not in the area can follow along virtually at #NIHSEM.


The National Science Board (NSB) has released a new report: Reducing Investigators' Administrative Workload for Federally Funded Research draws upon input from thousands of federally-funded scientists who responded to NSB’s request to identify requirements that unnecessarily increase researchers’ administrative burden. The report makes recommendations in four areas: Focus on the Science; Eliminate or Modify Ineffective Regulations; Harmonize and Streamline Requirements; and Increase University Efficiency and Effectiveness. (read more...)

Hot New 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:

  • USA Today’s Editorial Board speaks out against slashed budgets at NIH: “Lawmakers don’t openly advocate shortchanging potentially life-saving research, but that’s exactly what they’re doing – one departing researcher and one delayed cure at a time”
  • The University of Nevada, Reno, reports on Kurtresha Worden's research on taste memory after she receives the GSA Poster Award for best undergraduate poster at the 55th Annual Drosophila Research Conference
  • NIH’s Sally Rockey talks about NIH programs targeting new and early-stage investigators to help reduce the time from PhD to independent research awards
  • A report from the recent Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on “Driving Innovation through Federal Investment” includes input from the heads of NIH, NSF, DOE, and DARPA
  • No, you may not patent Dolly: the US Court of Appeals rules that, “Dolly's genetic identity to her donor parent renders her unpatentable”, which one patent attorney proclaims to signal the death of personalized medicine
  • The worldwide spread of antibiotic resistance and its serious threat to our health is highlighted in the first global report on antimicrobial resistance by the World Health Organization (WHO), kickstarting a global effort to address this growing challenge

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: May 23, 2014. Send items to GSA's Communications and Engagement Manager, Raeka Aiyar,