August 28, 2013


Society News

Be a part of GSA’s future! Vote in the GSA election, which is currently underway.  Thank you to those members who have already voted.  Those members who have not yet voted for 2014 officers and members of the Board of Directors will continue to receive e-mail reminders with their registered voter code.  Please vote before the deadline, Monday, September 30, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Attention trainees!  This is your LAST CHANCE to apply to serve the Society as an advisory representative directly to the GSA Board of Directors or to contribute to one of the Society’s committees. Selected graduate student or postdoc applicants will be directly engaged in helping set GSA priorities and guide its activities. If you are interested in this leadership opportunity, complete the online application by August 30, 2013. In addition to answering a few questions and providing a CV, applicants will be asked for two references who can speak to your abilities related to professional and/or volunteer service. Advisory representative appointment terms are typically two years.

Time is running out to 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 deserving individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented in science.  Thank you for helping us increase the number of nominees for the 2014 awards, and please pass this information on!


Attention Drosophila researchers: we are now accepting applications for the Victoria Finnerty Undergraduate Travel Award, which covers transportation costs for undergraduates attending the 55th Annual Drosophila Research Conference in San Diego from March 26-30, 2014.  Applicants must be GSA members and must be presenting their research at the conference.  The application deadline is September 28.

GSA has two exciting job opportunities for enthusiastic, self-motivated members of the genetics community:

  • We are seeking a forward-looking scientist to develop and implement the Society’s communications strategies as Communications and Engagement Manager.
  • We are also seeking Journals’ Assistant Editor to work with the Editors-in-Chief (EiCs), Senior Editors and the Executive Editor of GENETICS and G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics to fulfill our mission to identify and communicate significant discoveries and advances in genetics.

See detailed job descriptions by clicking the links above; to apply, visit the FASEB Human Resources website and upload the requested materials using the “Apply” link next to the job title. Equal Opportunity Employer.  

The GSA Journals

This month, be sure to read three thoughtful Perspectives in G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics written by bioethicists and scientists well-versed in the ethical, legal, and societal implications of genome sequencing and privacy, and related issues we’re facing in modern genomics: “From Tissues to Genomes” by Bartha M. Knoppers; “Policy Uncertainty, Sequencing, and Cell Lines” by Timothy Caulfield and Amy McGuire; and “Building Trust in 21st Century Genomics” by Michael J. Szego, Janet A. Buchanan, and Stephen W. Schere.

The sister journals of the Genetics Society of America, GENETICS and G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics, will be publishing a special focus/collection on the topic of sex (abbreviated sx for the purposes of this mailing) determination, among the most interesting areas of study in modern genetics.  Modern tools provide opportunities to combine genetic and molecular approaches to study such processes in model and non-model systems. This will be part of a rolling “special interest collection” of papers and reviews on the larger theme of sx, including the meiotic process and recombination, sx chromosomes, mating and incompatibility systems; the collection will have similar features to the recent Genomic Selection collectionAuthors are invited to submit abstracts by September 30, 2013, and complete manuscripts by November 30, 2013.  Manuscripts will be reviewed according to the usual high standards of the journals.  To provide the collection as an ongoing and growing resource for the community, we welcome continued submissions past these dates. Please submit abstracts via email with the subject heading: 'abstract sx determination'. Questions welcome!

Members in the News

Congratulations to the three GSA members who are among 42 predoctoral students named by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) as International Student Research Fellows. Each will receive a fellowship that will support them as they complete graduate study in the United States:

  • Yusuff Abdu (Nigeria), working with Jeremy Nance at New York University
  • Ayse Sena Ozseker (Turkey), working with Meng Wang at Baylor College of Medicine
  • Meetu Seth (India), working with HHMI Investigator Craig Mello at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester

HHMI's International Student Research Fellows program was established in 2011 because international students often have difficulty getting funding to support their studies, in part because international students are often not eligible for federal fellowships or training grants. The 42 fellows in the current cohort were selected from 372 applicants nominated by 61 eligible PhD-granting institutions.

Awards and Fellowships

In a Dear Colleague Letter, the National Science Foundation indicates that it is looking for proposals from the basic science communities (including education researchers) that pose and test hypotheses in fundamental research that can also inform research in forensic science. This could include various topics relevant to basic genetics including linking genotype and phenotype, analysis of large data sets, and much more.   NSF recognizes that forensics can be an effective vehicle for basic research in science education as well as an effective outreach tool, and that a well-educated forensics workforce and a science-literate public are also vitally important.


Help the USA Science and Engineering Festival (USASEF) urge Congress to pass H.R. 276 and recognize “National Science Week” at the end of April!  As mentioned in their petition, “Outreach and education are the sparks that create the flames of innovation and we need Congress to recognize this. Twenty years ago the US led the world in high school graduates and now we are a mere 20th.”  This resolution calls on state and local governments to recognize the last week in April as National Science Week, and would serve as an ideal platform for many STEM outreach activities.  GSA will again be hosting our “America’s Next Top Model Organism” booth at the USASEF in 2014.

Before their recess on August 2, Congress made no substantive progress on the Farm bill or the fiscal year (FY) 2014 appropriations bills (which contain the budgets for government research agencies), nor on any other business related to scientific research.  However, it is encouraging to note that there seems to be growing bipartisan recognition that living with the austerity policies required by sequestration is impossible. Before Congress returns to Washington on September 9, consider letting them know of your priorities. Many Members of Congress are holding public events in their districts during the current recess; events are usually announced on your Members’ Facebook pages or Twitter feed, and many are compiled at this website.

A plethora of excellent articles about the negative impact of sequestration on scientific researchers, and the positive impact that government-funded research can have on the economy:

And finally…

Some recent highlights from the GSA social networking platforms.  Join 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: September 6, 2013.  Send items to Beth Ruedi,