GSA News

August 15, 2012   

Registration closes today, Wednesday, August 15, 2012 for the Mouse Molecular Genetics Conference, sponsored by the Genetics Society of America.  This is the FINAL date to register for this conference to be held October 2-6, 2012 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA.  The Mouse Molecular Genetics Conference is the leading venue for researchers who apply the methods of genetics and genomics to fundamental problems in mammalian biology, including those related to stem cell biology, early development, and models of human disease. In particular, the meeting showcases the latest technical developments in genetics and engineering of the mouse genome, and this year will feature a session devoted to imaging.  For more information and to register, visit the website.

This is the last call for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers who want to develop leadership skills and professional contacts in genetics by applying for early-career leadership opportunities with GSA. Help advise and inform the GSA Board of Directors by serving as an advisory representative to the GSA Board or as a member of one of the Society’s committees. Selected grad students and postdocs will be directly engaged in working with the GSA leadership to develop the Society’s future goals, objectives and activitiesApply online by August 17, 2012.

Congratulations to the four graduate students who received GSA poster awards at the Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology Meeting, held earlier this month at Princeton University: Birgit Ploier (Graz Univ of Technology, Austria), Zhihao Tan (Inst for Systems Biology and Univ of Washington), Deborah Thurtle (Univ of California, Berkeley), and Xin Wang (Princeton Univ).

The GSA Journals

The August 2012 issue of G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics is now online. New articles feature investigations in Arabidopsis, C. elegans, cotton, Drosophila, fungi, insects, yeast, tomato, and more!

The August issue of GENETICS features a new educational resource for genetics instructors called a “Primer.” The first Primer, written by new Primer Editor Beth De Stasio, is a companion to a research article also published in the same issue, “A Network of Genes Antagonistic to the LIN-35 Retinoblastoma Protein of Caenorhabditis elegans,” by S. R. G. Polley and D. S. Fay.  Each Primer provides guidelines for genetics instructors who want to use contemporary research to teach their students; for example, the first Primer provides background about concepts of reverse genetics and RNA interference (RNAi), suppressor screens, synthetic phenotypes and phenocopy.  For more information and context, please see the editorial on the new Primer section in the August 2012 GENETICS.

Job Opportunity

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has resumed its search for a new Director to provide leadership and administrative guidance to the NIGMS.  The search committee is co-chaired by Story Landis, Ph.D., Director, National Institute of Neurological Disorders (NINDS) and Eric Green, M.D., Ph.D., Director, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). Applications will be reviewed starting October 1, 2012 and will continue until the position is filled.


NIH has issued the 2013 requests for applications (RFAs) for two NIH-wide opportunities: 

  • The 2013 NIH Director's Pioneer Award Program, which supports "individual scientists of exceptional creativity who propose pioneering and possibly transforming approaches to addressing major biomedical or behavioral challenges that have the potential to produce an unusually high impact on a broad area of biomedical or behavioral research." Application deadline: October 9, 2012.
  • The 2013 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award Program, which "supports a small number of early stage investigators of exceptional creativity who propose bold and highly innovative new research approaches that have the potential to produce a major impact on broad, important problems in biomedical and behavioral research." Application deadline: October 17, 2012.


Congressional leaders from both parties have come to an agreement on a continuing resolution (CR) that would keep the federal government operating after the beginning of fiscal year (FY) 2013 on October 1, 2012, even though FY 2013 funding bills have yet to be passed. If approved by the House and Senate and signed by President Obama, the CR would enable continued federal spending through March 30, 2013. This potential agreement applies only to FY 2013 appropriations and would not affect sequestration, which is scheduled to take effect on January 2, 2013, potentially leading to drastic cuts to many federal programs (for example, an anticipated 8-10% cut for NIH extramural funding).

In an editorial earlier this month in Science, NIH Director Francis Collins reiterated NIH’s support of basic science research.  Since 2003, basic science research has received from 53 to 57% of NIH funding annually, and even in fiscally constrained 2012, received 54% of NIH funds.  He wrote, “In this time of severe budget constraints, Americans need to know that today’s basic research is the engine that powers tomorrow’s therapeutic discoveries.” Collins also wrote, “The NIH will most assuredly continue its strong tradition of supporting basic research, which it defines as systematic study directed toward fuller knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific applications in mind.”

Resource Available

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) last month issued the latest article in its Breakthroughs in Bioscience series, “Conquering Pain and Infection with Drugs from Nature’s Medicine Cabinet.”  This article describes the basic research foundations of the development of natural product-derived medicinal compounds used in the treatment of pain and infection.  The article is available online. Print copies also are available for free for educational or advocacy purposes and can be ordered online.

The GSA e-News will be taking a short summer break and will return on Wednesday, September 5.  See you then!



August Issue



August 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: August 31, 2012.  Send items to Phyllis Edelman, 


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