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August 7, 2014
Society News

Yeast Genetics ConferenceThe 2014 Yeast Genetics Meeting last week in Seattle was totally awesome! An impressive breadth and depth of science was presented and enthusiastically discussed, outstanding colleagues past and present were honored, and achievements and reunions were celebrated. Thanks to all the participants, speakers, and organizers for a great meeting! Check out our meeting summary on Storify, which includes plenty of pictures.

Congratulations to the Yeast 2014 Poster Award winners! The winners, who won cash prizes and extensions to their GSA memberships, are (1st to 4th): Joseph Sanchez (Univ of Washington), Jinglin Xie (Univ of Toronto), Mark Rutledge (Princeton Univ), and Erica Hildebrand (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Res Ctr). Honorable mentions also went to undergraduates Ann Aindow (UC Berkeley) and Pui Shan Hung (Univ of Toronto) and PhD student Alina Chan (Univ of British Columbia).

All current GSA members are encouraged to cast their vote for the election of the next GSA Vice-President and three Directors. Candidate biographies and statements are available on the election website. Please check your e-mail for the personalized voting code you will need to submit your choices. Polls close on September 8, 2014.

Early-career geneticists: let your voice be heard! Graduate student and postdoc members of GSA may apply for representative positions on several GSA committees, or to be an advisory representative for the GSA Board. We are currently accepting applications for a two-year term from 2015-2016. Board and committee representatives will also be heavily involved in professional development programming for The Allied Genetics Conference in 2016. Applications are due September 5, 2014.

Have you been inspired by groundbreaking genetics discoveries? Admired revolutionary pedagogical techniques? Received an invaluable resource that helped move your own research forward? Then nominate those outstanding colleagues for one of the five annual GSA Awards! The deadline is September 21, 2014.

Thank you for helping reach more than 1,000 registered users. The website from GSA and the American Society of Human Genetics offers free job listings across the breadth of genetics. If you're looking for a job or have one to offer, please join us.

The GSA Journals

Back to the future evolution

Inferring relative fitness from a sample of genome sequences.
Source: Dayarian and Shraiman

Back  to the Future Evolution: Which genotypes in a population will be inherited by future generations? In the latest issue of GENETICS, Dayarian and Shraiman show that under certain conditions, a tree reconstructed from a population sample of genomes contains enough information to infer their approximate fitness ranking. This makes it possible to predict which branches of the genealogy are likely to give rise to future generations. The authors propose the approach could be used in monitoring viral outbreaks and to infer relative fitness of genomes from single-cell sequencing of tumors.

Silkworm larvae expressing DsRed and GFP. Source: Tsubota et al.

Strong as Silk: In the latest issue of G3, Tsubota et al. identify a strong and ubiquitous promoter / enhancer for use in silkworm transgenic studies. Cell culture experiments also suggest the element might be used as a gene expression tool in other Lepidopteran species.

Members in the News

Ethan Perlstein, founder of Perlstein Lab. Source: Twitter

GSA member and ‘indie scientist’ Ethan Perlstein has received $2 million in venture capital for his startup company Perlstein Lab, which uses model organism research to discover treatments for rare diseases.

The work of GSA member Asher Cutter on how ‘killer sperm’ prevent cross-species worm mating has been picked up by National Geographic.

The Scientist publishes a ‘Metagenomics Mashup’
exploring the newest software and strategies for analyzing microbial and viral communities, including the Hi-C metagenomic assembly method described in this month's issue of G3 published by GSA member Ivan Liachko.

PBS NewsHour visits HHMI's Janelia Farm Research Campus, reporting on research to understand the human brain through research in Drosophila and zebrafish. GSA member Gerry Rubin (Janelia's director) is featured.

GSA member
Larry Goldstein.
GSA member Larry Goldstein (Univ California San Diego) talked about embryonic stem cell research on Capitol Hill (featured in this video by the Coalition for Life Sciences) as part of the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus 2014 Briefing Series.

Included in this Issue:

July Issue

July Issue


Faculty Positions in Cellular and Molecular Biology, MDI Biological Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME

Specialized Care Coordinator, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Postdoctoral Fellow, Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Scientific Assistant, Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Assistant professor biology, University of Delaware, Newark, DE

Assistant Professor, SUNY-Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

Virology / Emerging Diseases tenure-track, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA

Clinical Geneticist Position Available in Central California, Santé Health Foundation, Fresno, CA

Postdoctoral position in meiotic recombination and chromosome dynamics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD

Senior Biocurator, Stanford University, CA

Technician/Research assistant position available, CNRS Institute of Genetics of Development of Rennes, France

Post-doctoral positions available - Complexity and Variability in Cell Proliferation, CNRS Institute of Genetics of Development of Rennes, France

Director, PCH Genomics Laboratory, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ

Education and Professional Development

Attention to depression and anxiety in undergraduate and graduate students has been increasing steadily, but postdocs are also subject to these difficulties. An article in Science Careers notes that “many postdocs find themselves far away from home, profoundly stressed and lonely, with no clue where to go for help.” Sound familiar? You are not alone!  Check out the article for some anecdotal evidence for the “Stressed-Out Postdoc,” as well as suggestions for how departments, advisors, and postdocs can help the situation.

In the current funding and academic climate, what happens when a PhD isn't enough to secure a position? A blog post at NatureJobs tells graduate students to ask themselves the hard questions early on, including whether academia is the right fit. Check out the tips and tricks in this article for enhancing your skills beyond your PhD.

Funding, Fellowships, and Awards

EMBO Long-Term FellowshipsEMBO Long-term Fellowships promote international exchange and support postdoctoral research visits of up to two years to laboratories throughout Europe and the world. Applications are due August 11.

HFSPHuman Frontier Science Program postdoctoral fellowships encourage early career scientists to broaden their research skills by moving into new areas of study while working in a new country. These three-year awards are also available as cross-disciplinary fellowships to those whose PhD training was outside the life sciences. 2014 applications must be initiated by August 13 and submitted by August 28.

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Interdisciplinary Postdocs Initiative (EIPOD) program for postdoctoral positions at EMBL is open to researchers worldwide. These positions involve at least 2 research groups at EMBL; the projects capitalize on synergies emerging at the borders of overlapping yet separate scientific fields and involve transferring techniques to a novel context. 2014 applications are due September 11.

The National Science Foundation's ADVANCE program supports institutional transformation in STEM, by aiming to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers. Institutional letters of intent are due August 11.

FASEB's BioArt competition, which aims to share the beauty and excitement of biological research with the public, is now accepting entries of captivating, high-resolution biological images. FASEB will select ten image and two video winners from the categories: “Fluorescence and Electron Microscopy” and “All Other Life Science Images.” Entries are due August 30, 2014.

Do you love animating data, creating science apps, or taking macrophotographs? In the 2014 Visualization Challenge, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and Popular Science, your handiwork can receive its due glory and win you cash prizes. ‘The Vizzies’ challenge competition closes on September 20, 2014.


NIGMSNIH's National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) has issued a Request for Information on a proposed new funding program: the Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA) is designed to provide more stable funding for investigators' research programs rather than individual projects. The MIRA program would provide a single NIGMS award that would be larger and longer than the average R01. Comments are due to NIGMS by August 15.

Feedback is also being sought on the UK government's new science and innovation strategy to be published later this year. They wish to gather evidence of what works in practice and what people in industry, academia, and elsewhere need to help them innovate. Share your ideas for developing the strategy via e-mail or by filling out a survey.

NIGMS is running a Challenge Contest to make connections between basic research and medical advances. In particular, they are soliciting stories that clearly associate NIGMS-funded research with improvements in health; applications in medicine, industry, or technology; or other tangible benefits to the public and/or economy. Winners will receive $500; submissions are due October 20. These stories will help make the case for the value of supporting basic research.

The UK government is set to approve mitochondrial replacement therapy during in vitro fertilization to prevent diseases caused by mitochondrial DNA mutations, sparking widespread discussion about ‘three-parent babies’.

Hot new research

Visualizing neural activity in the entire zebrafish brain in response to stimulation (YouTube video). Credit: Jeremy Freeman et al., Janelia Farm/HHMI.

And finally…

Recent highlights from the GSA's social networking platforms.  Keep up with the buzz by joining us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+:
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: August 15, 2014. Send items (and feedback) to GSA's Communications and Engagement Manager, Raeka Aiyar,