FacebooktwitterlinkedinYoutubeGoogle +

September 4, 2014
Society News

Last chance to have your say in the future of GSA by casting your vote in the election of the next GSA Vice-President (President-Elect) and three Directors! Candidate biographies and statements are available on the election website. Please check your e-mail for the personalized voting code necessary to submit your choices. All current GSA members are eligible to vote, including Regular, Emeritus, Postdoc, and Student members. Polls close 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 to the GSA Board. We are currently accepting applications for a two-year term beginning January 1, 2015. Applications are due TOMORROW.

Travel Awards

Undergraduate researchers are invited to apply for the Victoria Finnerty Undergraduate Travel Award, which supports travel costs for undergraduate GSA members to present their research at GSA's Annual Drosophila Research Conference. Applications, which must be accompanied by two letters of recommendation, are due October 3, 2014.

Graduate students and postdocs: we are now accepting applications for GSA's DeLill Nasser Award for Professional Development in Genetics, which helps enable graduate students and postdocs to attend national and international conferences and to enroll in laboratory courses. Applications may now be submitted to support travel to conferences and courses held between January 1 and June 30, 2015. These include—but are not limited to—the 56th Annual Drosophila Research Conference, the 28th Fungal Genetics Conference, and the 20th International C. elegans Meeting. 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; the deadline is October 10, 2014.

The GSA Journals

Evolving Polyploids: Tetraploid cotton species yield more fiber than their diploid progenitors and provide a model for understanding the genomic and adaptive consequences of polyploidization. In the latest issue of GENETICS, Guo et al. show that the vast majority of allelic differences between the tetraploid cottons and their progenitors are due to non-reciprocal DNA exchanges between homeologous chromosomes (homeologous gene conversion events).

Transcriptional Diversity: Our understanding of the mouse transcriptome comes mainly from a single strain. In the latest issue of G3, Xiong et al. identify 221,870 transcripts not present in the reference annotation by examining transcriptional responses to infection in the genetically diverse Collaborative Cross founder strains. Many of the new transcripts were differentially expressed upon respiratory virus infection, suggesting potential functional roles.

GENETICS and G3  invite you to submit original images for our first ever Cover Art Contest! One winning image will be selected for each journal and featured on the cover of an upcoming issue. Winners and runners-up will also be featured on postcards, the forthcoming GSA Journals blog, GSA Facebook page, Twitter account, and website.

Members in the News

A number of GSA members have been in the news recently for their work on the modENCODE project, an effort to identify all sequence-based functional elements in C. elegans and Drosophila. This includes a New York Times story that helps explain why research in model organisms is helping to provide insight into human genetic disorders, and quotes GSA member Michael Snyder.

Education and Professional Development

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting applications for its Partnerships for Learning and Adaptation Networks (PLAN) track within the Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers (ADVANCE). Proposals should focus on "adapting, implementing and creating knowledge about the effectiveness of a particular strategy for change" and can be in either a particular STEM discipline or across institutions of higher education. Community colleges, primarily undergraduate institutions, and minority-serving institutions are particularly encouraged to apply. The full proposal deadline is September 22, 2014.

NSF is also accepting nominations for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). This award recognizes excellent mentoring of individuals from underrepresented groups in STEM, women, individuals from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, and more. Nominations for Individual and Organizational PAESMEM Awards are due by October 3, 2014.

Thinking about a career at a primarily undergraduate institution? Drosophila researcher Tim Lebestky (Williams Coll) provides some great advice on Science Careers about what it takes to get hired at a liberal arts college.

Included in this Issue:

August Issue

August Issue


Temporary Consultant in Clinical Genetics, National Centre for Medical genetics, Dublin, Ireland

Assistant Professor - Microbiology, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO

Postdoctoral position available to study Plant Epigenetics, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Tenure-track or Tenured Faculty Position, Duke University Medical Center, Dept. Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, Durham, NC

Postdoctoral Research Associate (Job #10870), Arizona State University School of Life Sciences and Biodesign Institute, Tempe, AZ

Assistant or Associate Scientist, R&D Molecular Biology, Myriant Corporation, Woburn, MA

Postdoc position in computational genomics, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA

Assistant Member - Division of Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA

Open rank tenure-track faculty positions at public health genomics center, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Post-doctoral Research Fellows in Human Genetics, Genome Institute of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

Staff Associate, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Baltimore, MD

Assistant Professor of Molecular or Cellular Biology, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA

Assistant Professor in Computational Biology, Northern State University, Aberdeen, SD

Funding, Fellowships, and Awards

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 magazine, your handiwork can receive its due glory and win you cash prizes. 'The Vizzies' challenge competition closes on September 20, 2014.

NSF has issued the solicitation for its 2015 Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Fellows will receive an annual stipend of $32,000 (anticipated to increase to $34,000) and a $12,000 annual cost of education allowance. The award provides three years of funding over a five-year fellowship period. Application deadlines vary by discipline, with life science applications due November 4, 2014.

Nominations are being accepted through November 30 for the Dan David Prize. Three prizes of $1 million each will be awarded, including one in bioinformatics. The Dan David Prize also offers 20 scholarships each year to outstanding doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers studying related topics. Applications for these scholarships are due March 10, 2015. Several GSA members have received the Dan David Prize in recent years.

The Simons Foundation has launched their Early Career Investigator in Microbial Ecology and Evolution Awards program. These awards aim to help launch and support the careers of outstanding young investigators who use quantitative approaches to study marine microbial ecology and evolution. Applicants must have held a tenure-track, tenured, or equivalent position for between three and eight years and currently hold such a position at a U.S. institution. Applications are due October 15, 2014.


Last week, NIH issued a new Genomic Data Sharing policy to ensure that genomic data is shared in a broad, timely, and responsible manner. The policy will apply to all NIH-funded, large-scale projects that generate genomic data from any organism. According to the policy, non-human genomic data is to be made publicly available in a widely used data repository no later than the date of initial publication; studies involving human genomic data, including de-identified cell lines, are subject to several guidelines regarding data sensitivity, privacy, and future use of the data for research and dissemination. Importantly, investigators applying for NIH funding are expected to provide basic plans for adhering to this policy, starting with applications submitted for a receipt date of January 25, 2015. [more…]

Nearly two dozen non-governmental organizations have written an open letter to the incoming President of the European Commission requesting that the post of EU Chief Scientific Adviser be eliminated. The position, first created in 2012, serves to provide independent expert advice to the President on any aspect of science, technology, or innovation. The letter argues that the position "concentrates too much influence in one person", and joins an ongoing debate on the fate of the position. Other scientists and organizations, including Sense about science, have argued in favor of the position and highlighted its value in ensuring that legislation is informed by solid scientific evidence. The term of the current chief scientific adviser, Anne Glover, will finish later this year along with that of the commission's current President.

The National Institutes of Health has issued a request for information (RFI) seeking "Input on Information Resources for Data-Related Standards Widely Used in Biomedical Science." NIH plans to create a database called the NIH Standards Information Resource (NSIR) as part of its broader Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative. NSIR will serve as a central informational resource for widely used biomedical data standards, and to assist investigators in identifying the data standard(s) most relevant to their work. NIH is seeking information on current efforts and resources regarding data standards, as well as what metadata about the standards should be collected for maximum benefit. Responses are requested by September 30, 2014.

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+:

Genomic sequencing has been used to profile the recent Ebola outbreak and determine that its origin was likely a single patient; sadly, five of the researchers succumbed to the disease before their paper was published.

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 12, 2014. Send items (and feedback) to GSA's Communications and Engagement Manager, Raeka Aiyar, raiyar@genetics-gsa.org.