GSA News

December 12, 2012   

This is the last e-News for 2012.  The GSA Board of Directors and staff wish all our members Happy Holidays!  See you in 2013!

Before the end of the year, be sure to renew your membership for 2013 to continue to receive uninterrupted GSA benefits including: discounts on 2013 GSA meetings — Fungal Genetics, Drosophila, and C. elegans; your personal subscription to the journal GENETICS; eligibility for GSA awards and travel grants; education and career support; advocacy representation; and more.

The 27th Fungal Genetics Conference abstract deadline and early registration and housing deadlines are today, Wednesday, December 12. Don't miss the opportunity to submit an abstract and present your scientific research as a talk or poster presentation at the meeting. The meeting will be held at the Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, California, March 12-17, 2013.

The deadline for nominations for the Larry Sandler Memorial Lecture, to be presented at the 54th Annual Drosophila Research Conference on April 3, 2013 is fast approaching.  Any student completing a PhD in an area of Drosophila research between July 2011 and December 2012 is eligible for this honor and may be nominated by his/her thesis advisor.  For more information, visit the websiteDeadline for nominations:  December 21, 2012.

Drosophila researchers can still submit photos and short videos in the annual Drosophila Image Award competitionDeadline for submissions:  February 4, 2013. Awards will be presented at the 54th Annual Drosophila Research Conference, April 3-7, 2013 in Washington, DC. For more information, visit the website.

The GSA Journals

December's GENETICS includes a Perspectives on “Mammalian Developmental Genetics in the Twentieth Century” by Karen Artz, along with articles on the epigenetic regulation of sleep, evolution of pleiotropy, predicting disease susceptibility, a cloud-based pipeline which simplifies the analysis of mutant genome sequences, a genetic approach for improving prediction of skin cancer risk in humans, and much more.  The Saccharomyces Genome Database blog includes a post, “As Good as the Original,” featuring one of this month’s GENETICS articles, “Sister Chromatids Segregate at Mitosis Without Mother-Daughter Bias in Saccharomyces cerevisiae," by Keyes et al

December’s G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics includes 20 articles on a broad range of topics.  Read about a discovery resource of rare copy number variations in those with autism spectrum disorder, nuclear gene variation in wild brown rats, mapping new susceptibility to colon cancer loci using a mouse interspecific backcross, population-specific positive selection on immune genes of Anopheles gambiae, and more.

G3 welcomes two new associate editors: Justin D. Faris (USDA-ARS Cereal Crops Research Unit) and Nevin D. Young (Univ of Minnesota).

GSA Members in the News

Congratulations to the 29 GSA members who were recently elected as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Among the members of the GSA community receiving this honor are newly elected GSA Board member Lynn Cooley (Yale), 2013 GSA Medal recipient Elaine A. Ostrander (NHGRI/NIH), and 2013 GSA Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Education recipient A. Malcolm Campbell (Davidson Coll).

GSA member Susan T. Harbison (National Heart, Lung & Blood Inst, NIH) was identified by Genome Technology as one of 23 up and coming leaders in the field of genomics.  Her current research on sleep gene networks is an extension of work she did in the lab of former GSA Treasurer (2006-2010) Trudy F. Mackay (NCSU).

GSA member and 2009 Nobel Laureate Carol Greider (Johns Hopkins Univ Sch of Med) was interviewed in the December 10 issue of The Washington Post about her work with telomeres and how our understanding of telomeres may lead to treatments of age-related diseases.


Applications are now being accepted for two seminar programs, “Write Winning Grant Proposals” for faculty members, March 7, 2013, and “Getting Started as a Successful Grant Writer and Academician” for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and new assistant professors, March 8, 2013.  Both are at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA and are sponsored by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) program with funding from NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS).  Deadline for application:  Friday, February 1, 2013, 5:00 PM ET.  To learn more, visit the website.

The National Postdoctoral Association has issued a call for nominations for its 2013 Mentor Award, which recognizes a faculty member who has engaged in exceptional mentoring of and advocacy for postdoctoral scholars. Nominations are due January 2; the award will be presented at the NPA Annual Meeting in March.

In celebrating the 60th anniversary of its Graduate Research Fellowship Program, the National Science Foundation has announced that fellows will be offered the opportunity to extend their fellowships for up to one year by working at a lab in one of eight European and Asian countries.


The Coalition for the Life Sciences (CLS), an alliance of GSA and five other nonprofit organizations that fosters public policies to advance basic biological research and its applications, is coordinating a letter a day from a Nobel Laureate warning Congressional leaders and President Obama about the dangers to research and innovation if the country goes over the fiscal cliff. GSA members H. Robert Horvitz and Martin Chalfie helped coordinate the letters from their fellow Nobel Laureates for CLS.

GSA members should continue to contact your Congressional representatives through the FASEB Action Alert. The closer the fiscal cliff approaches, the more important it is to let your elected officials know how dangerous dramatic budget cuts will be to the research enterprise—including your lab. Unless Congress acts before the end of the year, the impact on science will be severe.   

GSA has joined more than 125 other organizations in writing to President Obama and Congressional leaders from both parties urging them to work together to achieve a bipartisan compromise that avoids the fiscal cliff without sacrificing the nation’s investments in science and technology.

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology has issued a report to the President on Agricultural Preparedness & the Agricultural Research Enterprise in the U.S. Among its recommendations is to significantly enhance federal investment in agriculture-related research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation.

NIH has released the details of its implementation plan to sustain the future of biomedical research. The plan includes: a grants program to support training innovation; encouragement to adopt individual development plans for all trainees; enhanced data collection and assessment of workforce and training needs; a new National Research Mentoring Network; and pilot testing the anonymous review of grant applications.

Funding News

Earlier this month, Acting Director Richard Nakamura, PhD, was named as the director of NIH’s Center for Scientific Review (CSR). As director, Dr. Nakamura leads 450 scientists and staff in overseeing the management of 80,000 incoming NIH grant applications annually and NIH’s peer review system.

NIH will continue its policy of allowing grant applicants only one resubmission if their initial proposal is rejected.  The decision is based on data NIH has been collecting on grant applications since implementation of this policy began on January 25, 2009.  Dr. Sally Rockey’s blog, “Rock Talk,” takes a closer look at the data collected and the effect of this policy.

NIGMS has released a funding opportunity announcement for projects that use experimental and computational approaches to determine the functional relevance of human DNA sequence variants. Proposed research may link human studies to complementary high-throughput or other biological studies in model organisms. Optional letters of intent may be submitted by January 21, proposals by February 21.



December Issue



December Issue


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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: December 28, 2012.  Send items to Phyllis Edelman, 


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