GSA News

October 3, 2012   

It’s 2012 Science Advocacy WeekGSA has joined with the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) to challenge our members to take action to highlight the research work you do to elected officials and the public with the "We are Research" campaign. Help GSA and ASCB enhance respect for and increase public appreciation of the vital role scientific research plays in the world.  In just two minutes, you can help demonstrate the value of research:  take a photo of a lab meeting; talk to your neighbor about your research; or make a two-minute video explaining your research to a non-scientist. E-mail us at or post your photos or video to GSA’s Facebook page and while there, see what some of your colleagues have already posted.

There’s still time to vote for the 2013 GSA officers and members of the Board of Directors. Those members who have not yet voted will continue to receive e-mail reminders with your registered voter code until the deadline for voting, Friday, October 19, 2012 at 11:59 p.m.  Thank you to those members who have already voted.  Be a part of GSA’s future. Vote!

The fall newsletter, The GSA Reporter is now online.  Before you receive your print edition in the mail, get a jump on what’s happening at GSA including:

  • Recipients of the Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Awards
  • Summaries of activities at the spring and summer GSA Conferences
  • Updates on the GSA journals, GENETICS and G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics
  • and more. . . .

GSA Meetings

Meeting registration and housing registration for the 27th Fungal Genetics Conference, March 12-17, 2013 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA opens on Friday, October 5, 2012 Abstract submission is also open. Register early to attend this conference!

The abstract submission site is now open for the 54th Annual Drosophila Research Conference, April 3-7, 2013 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. Registration will open the week of October 8, 2012. Visit the website for the preliminary schedule and to view the list of plenary speakers Jules Hoffmann, one of the 2011 Nobel Prize laureates in Physiology or Medicine, will deliver the keynote address.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 is the deadline for abstract submissions for the 5th Strategic Conference of Zebrafish Investigators (SCZI), January 19-23, 2013 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CAPrincipal investigators are encouraged to submit your abstracts, register for the meeting and submit housing reservations to this limited-attendee meeting.

GSA Journals

Take a look at the October issue of the journal GENETICS, online now. Many interesting and important articles, as always, including “Cellular Memory of Acquired Stress Resistance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae,” “Genomic Variation in Natural Populations of Drosophila melanogaster,” “Comparative Oncogenomics Implicates the Neurofibromin 1 gene (NF1) as a Breast Cancer Driver,”  “The Relation of Codon Bias to Tissue-Specific Gene Expression in Arabadopsis thaliana,” and much, much more. 

Outreach Opportunities

Volunteer judges are needed for the GSA-sponsored awards to be presented to students at the 2012 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in San Jose, California, Thursday, November 8 to Saturday, November 10, 2012.  If you live in the area or plan to attend ABRCMS 2012, please complete the online intent form

If you’re attending SACNAS 2012 in Seattle, Washington, Thursday, October 11 to Saturday, October 13, 2012, be sure to stop by the GSA Booth (631) to meet Beth Ruedi, GSA’s Director of Education and Professional Development and learn about GSA and our many activities.

Funding Opportunities

Graduate students and postdocs still have time to apply for the 2013 DeLill Nasser Awards for Professional Development in Genetics to attend any national or international meeting or to enroll in a laboratory course occurring between January 1 and June 30, 2013. You may submit your application until Tuesday, October 16, 2012 for a $1,000 travel award. Applications require two letters of reference, so don’t wait until the last minute to apply! (Note: There will be a second round of applications in early 2013 for travel to meetings or courses that take place July 1–December 31, 2013.)

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) is sponsoring a “Stand Up for Sciencecompetition for the most effective demonstration of how the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), or other federally funded research improves the health, quality of life, or economy in local communities. The competition challenges individuals and groups of FASEB member societies (which includes GSA), to create an exhibit, hold an event or do web-based outreach to highlight to the public the value of federally funded research.  The competition includes monetary prizes of up to $10,000. Deadline for activities or events to take place is November 10, 2012.  For more information and the entry form, see the Stand Up for Science website.

Members in the News

GSA congratulates member Elissa Hallem (UCLA) who is one of 23 newly named MacArthur Fellows for 2012.  Hallem, a neurobiologist, has worked with both Drosophila and C. elegans and is exploring the behavioral consequences of odor detection.  She was a postdoctoral fellow in Past President (2011) Paul Sternberg’s lab at Caltech, and as a graduate student worked with GSA member John Carlson at Yale.  In 2005 she received the Larry Sandler Award from the Drosophila community for the most outstanding PhD dissertation in the area of Drosophila research. 

Congratulations to GSA member Edward Marcotte (Univ of Texas-Austin), who was one of 10  researchers to receive a $2.5 million, five-year NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for 2012 to fund his project, “Next-Generation Proteomics: Massively Parallel Single-Molecule Protein Identification & Quantification.”  The Pioneer awards are designed to challenge “investigators at all career levels to develop highly innovative approaches that have the potential to produce high impact on a broad area of biomedical or behavioral research.”

GSA also congratulates member Charlie Boone (Univ of Toronto, Canada) who was one of 13 to receive a 2012 Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Senior International Research Scholars award, which supports researchers “working outside the United States who have made significant contributions to fundamental research in the biological sciences.” Boone’s research is on genetic cell interaction networks using the model organism yeast.  In 2006 he received the Ira Herskowitz Award at the Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology Meeting.

The Polish Academy of the Arts and Sciences in Krakow honored GSA member Waclaw Szybalski, Professor Emeritus of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, at a meeting on September 28-29, 2012 entitled “50 Years of Gene Therapy: the Contribution of Professor Waclaw Szybalski to Science and Humanity.”   The 91-year-old Szybalski was honored by his fellow geneticists from Poland and across the globe for his contribution to transfection of the HPRT gene into human cells.  GSA joins with Szybalski’s students, friends and colleagues in congratulating him on this achievement.


FedEx and UPS will reportedly stop transporting mammals for laboratory use.  UPS is also planning to further limit the transportation of amphibians, fish, insects, and other non-mammals, including many of the model organisms used by the GSA community. These recent restrictions seem to result from a vigorous campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which has successfully pressured many airlines not to transport mammals. Nature also published an editorial encouraging scientists to be more active and aware of these issues.



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