May 1, 2014


Society News

2014's Next Top Model Organism is...the fruit fly!  Visitors to GSA's booth at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C., last weekend were asked to vote on their favorite model organism after exploring examples of wild-type and mutants from five different model systems.  Attendees could also build their own fly, and had a chance to learn about gene homology, evolution, and women in genetics.  Find out more about the booth here, and check out the Facebook photo album!  Special thanks to GSA Outreach Intern Mary Durham for making the booth such a success.  Thanks also to our 2014 donors, listed in detail on the webpage.

GSA is now accepting nominations for the 2015 GSA Awards! Honor your colleagues who have distinguished themselves among the community of geneticists by nominating them for any of the five annual GSA Awards:

To help provide a diverse pool of nominees that represents the excellence in our discipline, GSA encourages the nomination of women and individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented in science.  Thank you for helping us increase the number of nominees for the 2015 awards, and please pass this information on!  The deadline for 2015 award nominations is September 21, 2014.

Don’t miss these important opportunities
at the 11th International Conference on Zebrafish Development and Genetics:

  • The deadline for financial aid applications is TODAY, May 1, 2014.
  • Save $100 on registration by beating the early registration deadline of May 15, 2014.
  • Are you a faculty member, career scientist, postdoc, or graduate student attending the Zebrafish conference?  Explore these exciting volunteer opportunities for GSA career development activities, and complete this survey indicating your interest today!

Last chance to register and secure housing for the GSA-sponsored 16th International Conference on the Cell and Molecular Biology of Chlamydomonas, June 813, 2014, at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California.  Organized by Krishna Niyogi (Univ California Berkeley) and Winfield Sale (Emory Univ), sessions at this conference will be organized to provide the maximum number of opportunities for interdisciplinary group discussionDeadline for housing and registration is May 8, 2014.

Abstract submission and registration
for the 27th Annual Mouse Molecular Genetics Conference will open on Monday, May 5.  This GSA-sponsored conference will be held at Asilomar, Pacific Grove, CA, September 29October 3, 2014, and will feature keynote lectures from Monica Justice (Baylor Coll of Med) and Brigid Hogan (Duke Univ Med Ctr).

The GSA Journals

In a recent issue of GENETICS, Gratz et al. report optimized tools and techniques for complex genome engineering using CRISPR/Cas9-catalyzed homology-directed repair in Drosophila.

Jeremy Yoder blogs about scanning for the genomic signature of local climate adaptation, the topic of his article in the latest issue of GENETICS.

Genome Database creatively uses a basketball metaphor to describe a paper in GENETICS by Frenkel et al. discussing how much disadvantage a population needs to overcome to have a chance at winning.

Got Mutant Screen Reports? G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics wants to publish them! G3 offers a quick way to get your screens out there in the community, where others can find and use them. Check out the latest examples at

Want a decision on your manuscript in a month? Submit to GENETICS and G3. With practicing scientists making the decisions on your manuscripts, the GSA Journals recognize that you don’t have half a year to wait before you hear anything about the fate of your work. And if you’re not certain whether your manuscript fits the scope of GENETICS or of G3, write to us with a presubmission inquiry at or Send an abstract, and within days, an editor will respond.

Included in this Issue:

April Issue

April Issue


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

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

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, Temple University, Wilmington, DE

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

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

Members in the News

GSA extends its congratulations to the members of our community
elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).  Scientists are chosen by their peers for outstanding contributions to research, and election to NAS is seen as one of the highest honors for scientists.  Five members of the GSA community were elected to the Academy in 2014:

  • Edward S. Buckler, USDA Agricultural Research Service and Cornell University
  • Michael N. Hall, Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland
  • Andrew W. Murray, Harvard University
  • R. Scott Poethig, University of Pennsylvania; Associate Editor, GENETICS
  • Montgomery W. Slatkin, University of California, Berkeley

NAS is a private, non-profit organization established by Congress and President Abraham Lincoln to provide independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology.

Congratulations to the GSA members elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies!  The GSA members elected to membership in the Academy are among 204 individuals in the class of 2014:

  • Nancy Bonini, University of Pennsylvania
  • Chris Q. Doe, HHMI and University of Oregon
  • Sabeeha Merchant, University of California, Los Angeles

Other new members include former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, and novelist John Irving.

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,” which includes the concepts: “What is the molecular anatomy and function of genes and genomes?” and “What are the mechanisms by which an organism’s genome is passed on to the next generation?” Submit your resources to GSA PREP today, and join other authors who are reaping the benefits of published resources (with DOIs) that will be seen by thousands of visitors to GSA PREP and the LifeSciTRC library!

The GSA Education Committee has started an initiative to provide a collection of PowerPoint® slides relevant to teaching genetics and genomics at the undergraduate and graduate level.  The Committee envisions collecting donated slides that will be categorized and distributed via GSA PREP.  The slides must not contain copyrighted material, and most elements should remain editable. Presenter notes within PowerPoint are encouraged.  The slides, like all original resources at GSA PREP, will be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 international license.  Please email Education Committee member John Schimenti with your favorite slides or to learn more about potential subject matter.

If you are teaching an undergraduate course in the life sciences and/or physiology, consider the American Physiological Society’s (APS’) 2014 Physiology Education Community of Practice (PECOP) Fellowships. Applicants do not need to be members of APS to apply! This year, 15 undergraduate educators will be selected as PECOP Fellows. The Fellows will increase their knowledge of effective scientific teaching methods and ways to apply the science of teaching and learning in the classroom.  Fellows will attend the APS’ Institute on Teaching and Learning (ITL), June 23–27, 2014 in Bar Harbor, Maine, and participate in ITL PECOP Fellow activities.  Fellows will also engage in online learning activities and become active members in the Life Science Teaching Resource CommunityApplication deadline is this Friday, May 2, 2014.

Funding, Fellowships, and Awards

The L’Oreal USA for Women in Science Fellowship program is now accepting applications.  This national awards program recognizes five women early in their scientific careers and provides up to $60,000 to support postdoctoral research.  Applicants must have completed their PhD and have or will have started a postdoc before September 1, 2014; be based in the U.S.; and be an American citizen or permanent resident. The application deadline is May 19, 2014.


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced a change in policy on submission of applications. Effective immediately, applicants may submit the same idea as a new (A0) application following one unsuccessful resubmission (A1). The agencies recognized that in this time of tightly constrained funding, many meritorious proposals were not receiving funding and would be deemed ineligible for additional submissions.  Please note that the policy remains in effect that duplicate or highly overlapping applications may not be under review at the same time; therefore, a new A0 application may not be submitted before issuance of the summary statement of an overlapping A1 resubmission, and vice versa.  See NIH Notices NOT-OD-14-074 and NOT-OD-14-082 and the FAQ for complete details about the new policy.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee with oversight of the National Science Foundation (NSF) has offered a fiscal year 2015 budget that includes a 3.3% funding boost to NSF.

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: May 9, 2014. Send items to GSA's Communications and Engagement Manager, Raeka Aiyar,