GSA News

November 14, 2012   


GSA is keeping those who have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy and other storms in our thoughts. The Society has established a genetics community bulletin board to connect our members whose research labs and homes were affected with those who can offer help.  Those who were impacted by the storm and need assistance with resources-lab space or housing, research equipment, stocks or strains, reagents or constructs, etc.-can make requests for their needs.  Those who have resources can offer assistance.  We encourage our members to not be shy about offering-or asking for-assistance, especially as you discover the impact of the storm in the coming weeks.

Beth Ruedi speaks with a visitor at the GSA booth in FASEB Row at ABRCMS

GSA has been busy this month. We exhibited at both the 62nd Annual Meeting of our sister society, the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), and the 12th Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS). Thanks to the GSA members who stopped by to say hello.


Speakers at the ASHG session on Model Organism Genetics (L to R): Hal Dietz, Randy Schekman, Phil Hieter, Mark Krasnow, Didier Stainier (Cynthia Kenyon, not pictured)


At the ASHG meeting, GSA president Phil Hieter (Univ of BC) and Hal Dietz (Johns Hopkins Univ Sch of Med) organized an invited session on “Model Organism Genetics, Human Biology and Human Disease” which featured speakers Randy Schekman (UC-Berkeley), GSA member Cynthia Kenyon (UCSF), Didier Stainier (Max Planck), and Mark Krasnow (Stanford).

2013 GSA Meetings and Membership

The deadline for abstract submission for the 27th Fungal Genetics Conference, March 12-17, 2013 in Pacific Grove, CA is Wednesday, December 12, 2012.  The early registration and housing deadline is also December 12. Sign up now as space is limited.  Don’t miss any of the exciting and interesting program planned by meeting chairs Katherine Borkovich (UC-Riverside) and Francis Martin (INRA, Nancy, France) including the Perkins/Metzenberg Lecture presented by Regine Kahmann (Max Planck Inst for Terrestrial Microbiology).

Renew your membership to GSA for 2013 to receive uninterrupted member benefitsPass along this information to your nonmember colleagues, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students, including those who may have joined your lab or department in the past year or two.

The GSA Journals

The November issues of the GSA journals GENETICS and G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics are now online. 

GENETICS highlights articles on gene expression, genetics of complex traits, and population and evolutionary genetics in a variety of model organisms including, yeast, mice and tef, an Ethiopian grain.

G3 articles cover a range of topics and organisms including genetic screening, mapping and analysis in bacteria, bread mold, Drosophila, fish, fungi, maize and many more.

Both journals are inviting immediate submissions for a special focus on “The Genetics of Immunity” to be published as an article block in 2013. For more information, visit the website.

GSA Members in the News

Congratulations to GSA member Yoshinori Ohsumi (Tokyo Inst of Tech) for receiving the 2012 Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences for his genetic study of autophagy in yeast.  The Kyoto Prize, presented by the Inamori Foundation, is an annual “international award to honor those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of mankind.” The prize includes a gold medal and 50 million yen-about $630,000.

GSA member Mohamed Noor (Duke Univ) and graduate student Caiti Heil are featured in the November/December issue of American Scientist in an article about finding and being a good graduate student advisor.  The article highlights that a student’s relationship with their advisor may extend through the rest of their career.  They encourage students to choose wisely when looking at graduate school programs and advisors. Mohamed is a member of the GSA Board of Directors and the Society’s Education and Conferences Committees.

GSA member Aravinda Chakravarti (Johns Hopkins Univ Sch of Med) is profiled in the November issue of The Scientist. Read about his varied and distinguished career including his recent refocus on his research from “making tools or being involved in large projects” to concentrating on the genetics of complex inheritance including Hirschsprung disease, rare forms of autism and sudden cardiac death.

GSA Awards Programs

Contributions to the DeLill Nasser Fund, the GSA General Fund (which supports programs including the GSA Undergraduate Travel Awards) and the Victoria Finnerty Memorial Fund for Undergraduate Travel Awards (Drosophila conference attendees only) are being accepted for 2013.  Help support early career researchers—undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers—to attend conferences that further their educational and career goals.  Your charitable donation is essential to continue these programs that support the next generation of genetics researchers.  Please give generously in support of these travel awards.

Other Awards and Opportunities

Undergraduates interested in pursuing science journalism have an opportunity to receive travel fellowships sponsored by the National Association of Science Writers (NASW) to the upcoming AAAS meeting in Boston, February 14-18, 2013.  As many as 10 students will receive $500–1,000 in travel expenses.  NASW’s education committee will select students to receive the fellowship and will pair each one with a veteran writer for mentoring at the conference.  For more information, visit the NASW website.

ResearchSaves, the magazine of the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR), is looking for previously published and cleared stories, written for a general audience, with high resolution photos that deal with basic or applied research featuring animal models.  These can be new or “evergreen” articles published within the last few years.  Stories are not edited, and FBR provides full attribution including bylines and photo credits to your institution.  Press releases and scientific journal articles are not suitable.  Stories showing how animal research has helped children, wildlife, or pets are especially valuable.  For more information, contact Michael Stebbins at or call 202-457-0654.


There is still time to contact your Senators and House representative to advocate against sequestration, the automatic, devastating budget cuts to federal agencies that will take effect unless Congress acts before the end of the year.  Join your colleagues who have already sent more than 5,800 e-mails to Congress as a result of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Action AlertUnder sequestration, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) could lose $2.8 billion (2,300 fewer grants would be funded – one quarter of the total grants the agency would award for the year). NSF could be reduced by nearly $600 millionUrge your colleagues—whether or not they are GSA members—to go to the Action Alert website to contact their Senators and Representatives.


NIH Director Francis Collins has a new blog, the NIH Director’s Blog, which was started “to highlight new discoveries in biology and medicine that I think are game changers, noteworthy, or just plain cool."   Posts so far have been on sugary drinks, the rise of obesity in the U.S., childhood asthma, and the brain connectome.  Dr. Collins is also on Twitter at @NIHDirector.



November Issue



November Issue


Like and Follow GSA!

Facebook Twitter

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: November 23, 2012. Send items to Phyllis Edelman,