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Yeast ConferenceDo you study yeast genetics? Don't miss the early registration and housing deadlines tomorrow (June 26) for the 2014 Yeast Genetics Meeting in Seattle, July 29–August 3! Registration rates increase $75 after tomorrow.

How about mouse genetics? You also have until tomorrow to meet the early registration deadline for the 27th Annual Mouse Molecular Genetics Meeting, September 29–October 3 in Pacific Grove, CA, and save over $100!

Finally, if Xenopus is your model system, don’t miss the registration and housing deadlines for the 15th International Xenopus Conference, August 24–28 also in Pacific Grove, CA. The deadline is July 24 for this meeting, which is new to the GSA conference portfolio.

Zebrafish ConferenceThe 11th International Conference on Zebrafish Development and Genetics has just kicked off in Madison, Wisconsin. You can follow the conference remotely by keeping up with the hashtag #ZFISH2014 on Twitter.

The GSA Journals

Fred Sanger
Two-time Nobel Laureate Fred Sanger. Source: Wikipedia

Stan Fields asks: Would Fred Sanger get funded today?: In a perspective published in the latest issue of GENETICS, Stan Fields examines a recent claim that Sanger would not have been awarded funding in today’s climate because he “published little of import” between his major discoveries. Fields, who was affiliated with Sanger’s lab in Cambridge, outlines the history of Sanger’s research and argues that Sanger would, indeed, be regarded favorably by an NIH review panel, but also that Sanger’s career exemplifies how the funding review process could be improved to ensure room for “the single creative idea that proves to be a game-changer.”

Genetics of Sex: The GSA journals have created an ongoing special-interest collection of papers and reviews focusing on the genetics of sex, including sex determination, sex chromosomes, mating and incompatibility systems, meiosis, and recombination. The first group of articles in the collection are published in a special section of the June issues of GENETICS and G3, accompanied by a Commentary by Michelle Arbeitman, Artyom Kopp, Mark Siegal and Mark Van Doren that places the articles in context. New papers will be added to the collection as they are published to provide a growing resource for the community. See the Call for Papers: Genetics of Sex for more information on submitting your own work! [more...]

Genetics of Immunity: Defense against infection is increasingly recognized to have a complex determination involving multiple mechanisms. In the spirit of greater discourse among researchers spanning various disciplines, approaches, and organisms, GENETICS and G3 invite submissions that address the broad reach and complexity of the genetics of immunity. Several such articles are published in the latest issues of both journals, along with a Commentary by Brian Lazzaro and David Schneider. The call for papers is ongoing, and future articles will be highlighted in the Genetics of Immunity collection. [more...]

Beetles from the collection of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
Beetles from the collection of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Image credit: Pawel Loj, available under a CC-BY-2.0 license.
The Fragile Y: When Heath Blackmon and Jeff Demuth modeled sex chromosome evolution in more than a thousand beetle species, they found the Y chromosome had independently evolved around 65 times in the suborder Adephaga alone. And as fast as this group evolved new Y chromosomes, it lost them at roughly the same pace. But in the other main suborder of beetles, the Polyphaga, Y chromosomes turned out to be unexpectedly stable. In the new Genetics of Sex collection, Blackmon and Demuth propose an explanation for the differential loss of Y chromosomes—the “fragile Y” hypothesis— that implicates the mechanics of meiosis. [more...]

Members in the News

Vicki Chandler
GSA President Vicki Chandler

President Obama has announced that he will nominate GSA President Vicki Chandler as a member of the National Science Board (NSB). The NSB is the policymaking body for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and serves as an independent body of advisors to both the President and the Congress on policy matters related to science and engineering. In addition to her role as GSA President, Chandler is Chief Program Officer for Science at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Our congratulations to Vicki! [more…]

Gruber Foundation AwardGSA members Victor Ambros (Univ of Massachusetts Med Sch) and Gary Ruvkun (Mass General Hosp & Harvard Med Sch) will share the 2014 Gruber Genetics Prize in recognition of their pioneering discoveries of the existence and function of microRNAs and small interfering RNAs. The award honors individuals whose groundbreaking work provides new models that inspire and enable fundamental shifts in knowledge and culture. Ambros, Ruvkun, and plant biologist David Baulcombe will share the $500,000 prize and receive a gold laureate pin. They join seven other members of the GSA community who have received this prestigious prize in past years. [more…]

Included in this Issue:

June Issue

June Issue


Full-Time Assistant Professor, Teaching Track - Biology (Qatar), Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Doha

Senior Scientist, Livestock Improvement Corporation Limited, Hamilton

Postdoctoral Research Trainee - Cancer Molecular/Genetic Epidemiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

Postdoctoral fellow, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD

Postdoctoral Associate in Technologies and Applications for Genome Structural Variation and Evolution, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Medical Officer, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD

Postdoctoral Fellow Cancer Biology, University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, Brisbane, QLD

Deputy Director, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

Post-doctoral Research Fellows in Human Genetics, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

Postdoctoral researcher in stem cell biology and host microbe interactions in Drosophila, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Postdoctoral Associate in Canine Genomics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, CT

Genetic Counselor - Cancer, Sharsheret, Teaneck, NJ

Postdoctoral research associate, Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, CA

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

GSA members Marlene Belfort (Univ at Albany) and Terry Magnuson (Univ of North Carolina) have been appointed to the NIH Council of Councils, which advises the NIH Director on issues that span NIH. This includes making recommendations on research that represents important areas of emerging scientific opportunities, rising public health challenges, or knowledge gaps that deserve special emphasis or would otherwise benefit from strategic planning and coordination. Belfort and Magnuson will serve on the council through October 31, 2016. [more…]

Three GSA members have been named as Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Each will receive flexible funding over four years to seed innovation at the start of their independent research careers. Congratulations to Erik Andersen (Northwestern Univ), Chris Hittinger (Univ of Wisconsin), and Sabine Petry (Princeton Univ)! GSA member Craig Mello, a 1995 Pew scholar and a 2006 Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine, chaired the selection committee.

Education and Professional Development

What are your chances of becoming a PI?  The PI Predictor calculates the probability that you will become a PI based on gender, first authorship, median impact factor, number of publications, school ranking, and other variables; it compares these metrics to PhDs who became PIs at large research universities and to those who did not. The study that inspired this algorithm found that first authorship was one of the biggest predictors of large-research PI positions, and that women always had a lower probability of becoming a PI compared to men with the same credentials. Read more about the PI Predictor in this ScienceCareers article.

Whether or not you decide to pursue the PI path, Dr. Peter Fiske wants you to know that you WILL find a great job. The job market for scientific careers is an ever-changing landscape, and Fiske describes a strategy to help you put your science to work and find the right fit. Among the recommendations that he makes: know yourself; know your worth; know your friends; show your best self; and harness the power of the informational interview.

Funding, Fellowships, and Awards

What do you do when your NIH grant application gets rejected? Don’t worry: NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases outlines your options and provides advice on deciding how to proceed.

The deadline for NSF's CAREER Program applications is approaching on July 21. CAREER, the Faculty Early Career Development Program, awards junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. What’s more, CAREER awardees are eligible for the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), selected by the White House!

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) has just advertised the opening for a new Director of the Division of Training, Workforce Development and Diversity and has asked GSA to share the opportunity with our community. This position is extremely important for U.S. biomedical training and education because NIGMS supports a large fraction of the training supported by NIH. Applications for this senior position will be accepted until July 15, 2014.

The National Science Board is seeking nominations for two awards: the Vannevar Bush Award honors “life-long leaders who have made exceptional contributions toward the welfare of humankind and the nation through public service activities in science, technology, and public policy,” while the Public Service Award “honors individuals and groups that have made substantial contributions to increasing public understanding of science and engineering in the United States.” Nominations are due October 1.

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. Thanks for helping @GeneticsGSA reach 3,000 followers on Twitter!

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: July 3, 2014. Send items to GSA's Communications and Engagement Manager, Raeka Aiyar,