September 11, 2013


Society News

GSA is accepting applications for two trainee awards:

  • The Victoria Finnerty Undergraduate Travel Award (Deadline: September 28, 2013), which honors the memory of Victoria Finnerty, supports travel costs for undergraduate GSA members to present their research at GSA’s Annual Drosophila Research Conference. Applications must be accompanied by two letters of recommendation. Please see the GSA website for additional details and a link to the application.
  • The DeLill Nasser Award for Professional Development in Genetics (Deadline: October 11, 2013) supports travel costs for graduate students and postdocs to attend national and international meetings and to enroll in laboratory courses. GSA is accepting applications for awards for conferences and courses held between January 1 and June 30, 2014. Applicants must be GSA members. See the GSA website for a detailed description of the review criteria as well as a link to the application.

Be a part of GSA’s future! Vote in the GSA election – polls closing soon!  Thank you to those members who have already voted.  Those 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.

You have less than two weeks to honor your distinguished colleagues by nominating them for any of the five annual GSA Awards:

To help provide a diverse pool of nominees representing the excellence in our discipline, GSA encourages the nomination of women and deserving individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented in scienceDeadline for nominations is September 20, 2013.


Included in this Issue:

September Issue

September Issue


The latest issue of The GSA Reporter is now online! This issue of the GSA newsletter spotlights trainee perspectives.  The President’s Message contains information about a special event in 2016 that will bring together many different communities by collocating several different model organism meetings and more. Also read an interview with a science journalist and relive the 2013 Fungal Genetics Conference and Drosophila Research Conference.

The GSA Journals

Sister journals GENETICS and G3 team up again. G3 Associate Editor Rob Kulathinal writes a commentary describing two papers from the Perrimon laboratory, each detailing a new online resource to assist geneticists with the design of their RNAi experiments. Hu et al.’s “UP-TORR: online tool for accurate and up-to-date annotation of RNAi reagents” and “FlyPrimerBank: An online database for Drosophila melanogaster gene expression analysis and knockdown evaluation of RNAi reagents” are published, respectively, in September’s issues of GENETICS and G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics.

Most geneticists will recognize the name Weinberg if it is paired with Hardy, but few geneticists know Weinberg’s solo contributions to the field. In this month’s GENETICS Perspectives, Alan Stark and Eugene Seneta describe one of Weinberg’s key contributions—the demonstration that Mendel’s laws apply to human heredity—and the controversy it stimulated.


Last week, the Genetics Society of America (GSA) and the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) announced a joint editorial partnership for the journal CBE–Life Sciences Education (LSE). This partnership augments GSA’s expanding efforts to offer a wide array of educational resources and research to its members and the public.  LSE is the premier journal for education research in the life sciences and is renowned for its data-driven analysis and evidence-based approach to pedagogical research. By combining forces, the two societies hope to give the journal even more exposure. Writing in a joint editorial published in the current issue of LSE, the executive directors of the two societies, Stefano Bertuzzi (ASCB), and Adam Fagen (GSA), say that “ASCB and GSA believe that there is neither time nor room for flag planting and parochialism. Rather than remaining only in our own silos, we will be more effective together, so we must join forces now.” Many members of GSA are actively involved with LSE already, and with this official partnership the two societies hope that their “collective expertise and energy can have a significant impact on science education across campuses and national boundaries.” Read more about the partnership online!

A University of Nevada, Reno, research study is examining the process by which scientists compose graphics for research articles. The goal is to improve education for science graduate students—particularly international students. Genetics researchers at every level are invited to take a very brief (<10 min.) survey (IRB approval #2013E033).  To compensate participants, the study offers 2 prizes each of 4 hours of professional editing services on a grant or research article—a $200 value. Email the PI at if you have questions.

Awards and Fellowships

The National Science Foundation is accepting nominations for its highest award to an early career scientist. The Alan T. Waterman Award provides $1 million over five years to a researcher within 7 years of receiving the PhD or younger than 36.  Deadline for nominations is October 25, 2013.

The Dan David Prize is accepting nominations for its $1 million award of individuals or institutions who have made a unique, profound contribution to humanity, on a global scale, in one of the selected fields for the year in which the nomination is being made. The fields for 2014 are History & Memory (“Past”), Combatting Memory Loss (“Present”), and Artificial Intelligence and the Digital Mind (“Future”). Several GSA members are among the past recipients of the prize. Nominations are due November 30, 2013.

The Dan David Prize is also offering 20 scholarships of $15,000 each to doctoral students and postdocs in the chosen fields. Ten scholarships will be based at Tel Aviv University, and ten elsewhere in the world. Applications are due February 24, 2014.


Read about a study on the impact of the poor funding climate on scientific research, spearheaded by our colleagues at the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). More than 3,700 scientists (including many GSA members) provided on-the-ground perspective: 80% are spending more time writing grant proposals now than in 2010, while 2/3 are receiving less grant money. And more than half know someone whose job is in jeopardy because of the funding environment. You can download the study, Unlimited Potential, Vanishing Opportunity, from ASBMB. Additional coverage available from The New York Times, CNNMoney, The Scientist, The Washington Times, and Inside Higher Ed.

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) invites GSA members to join in a special webinar tomorrow, Thursday, September 12, on the “Capitol Hill Budget Battle: What’s at stake for the research community?” FASEB will hold sessions at 12 pm, 3 pm, and 6 pm ET. RSVP to get information about how to connect.

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: September 20, 2013.  Send items to Beth Ruedi,