GSA News

April 25, 2012   

Abstract deadline is tomorrow, April 26, for the GSA Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology Meeting. The meeting will be held July 31 – August 5, 2012 at Princeton University, NJ. 

The early (discounted) registration deadline for two GSA meetings is approaching:

  • Register before May 10 for GSA’s Model Organisms to Human Biology – Cancer Genetics Conference, June 17-20, 2012 in Washington, D.C. to receive a discounted registration.  Invite your colleagues to attend this exciting meeting on cancer genetics that will connect researchers studying cancer in model organisms with investigators studying cancer in humans. Keynote speakers are Angelika Amon (MIT), Eric S. Lander (Broad Inst of MIT and Harvard), and Bert Vogelstein (Johns Hopkins Univ).  Among the other invited and contributed speakers, NHGRI Director Eric Green will lead a panel on the modENCODE project.
  • Register before May 15 for the 10th International Conference on Zebrafish Development and Genetics, June 20-24, 2012 at the University of Wisconsin – Madison to receive the early registration discount.  Keynote speakers are Cori Bargmann (Rockefeller Univ) and Rudolf Jaenisch (Whitehead and MIT).

If you’re in Washington, D.C. this weekend, visit the GSA exhibit booth, “America’s Next Top Model Organism” at the 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival (USASEF) at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  The GSA exhibit features:  observing wildtype and mutant model organisms; a “build-a-fly” activity where students can select the eyes, wings, and other characteristics of a fruit fly; and an exhibit that shows how modern-day corn evolved from maize.  The USASEF is a free event, and GSA’s exhibit is one of 3,000 at the Festival, which is open from 10:00 AM-6:00 PM on Saturday, April 28 and from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM April 29.

The application site is now open for the 2013 Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award.  The award, administered by GSA and its sister society, the American Society of Human Genetics, and funded by The Gruber Foundation, provides female geneticists within their first three years as an independent faculty level researcher with $75,000 over three years ($25,000 per year).  Two recipients are selected, one for genetics research in human or non-human mammals and one for genetics research in model organisms.  The application is open to women scientists worldwide and is only offered every three years.  For more information about the award, selection criteria and the application, please see the link above.

The GSA Journals

Call for Papers on Genomic Selection in GENETICS and G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics

The April 2012 issues of GENETICS and G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics introduce a focused effort to encourage and capture scholarly discourse on genomic prediction (GenPred). Genomic selection, or genome-wide prediction, uses genotypic information to predict phenotypes, without specific knowledge of the individual genes contributing to that trait. April's GENETICS features a loblolly pine data set and its corresponding analyses (Resende et al. 2012); G3 presents a pig data set (Cleveland et al. 2012) and a compilation of 10 simulated data sets along with the software to simulate more (Hickey and Gorjanc 2012). Together with an earlier publication, Crossa et al. (2010), these papers provide a rich resource intended to encourage comparisons among methods and simplify presentation of new methodological approaches and novel data. We hope to stimulate discussion in the community and to provide data for the continuation of the discourse. We invite additional articles on this topic and encourage you to read the joint editorial from both GSA journals.

For more information, see the call for papers for papers in genomic selection.

Members in the News

Congratulations to the eight GSA members who were elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  They include GSA President Phil Hieter (Univ of British Columbia), GENETICS Editor-in-Chief Mark Johnston (Univ of Colorado, Denver); GENETICS Associate Editor Jef Boeke (Johns Hopkins Univ School of Medicine); GSA Medal recipient (2011) John Carlson (Yale Univ);  GSA Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Education recipient (2009) Sarah C. R. Elgin (Washington Univ in St. Louis); Past Board Member (2001-2003) Mitzi I. Kuroda (Harvard Medical School); and long-time GSA members, Danny Reinberg (New York Univ School of Medicine) and John H. Werren (Univ of Rochester). They join a diverse class which also includes Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, playwright Neil Simon, and musician Sir Paul McCartney.


The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) plans to fund four new Centers of Excellence in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research (CEER) in 2013, according to an April 16 article in GenomeWeb.  These centers will develop transdisciplinary research teams, from biologists to legal analysts, to study the evolving ethical, legal and social issues regarding genomic medicine and research.  Existing CEERs have studied issues relating to genetic testing, gene patenting, data privacy and whole-genome sequencing.

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) released an analysis of the impact that budget sequestration, which, starting in 2013, would impose automatic cuts in federal funding on biomedical research. The report predicts an 11.1 percent ($2.8 billion) reduction of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) extramural budget, which supports research at institutions nationwide.  Although all states and U.S. territories would lose funding; cuts are expected to exceed $100 million in eight states. These automatic cuts were set in motion by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

The National Science Board recently released its review of the National Science Foundation’s Merit Review Criteria.  According to the report, “the two current Merit Review Criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts remain appropriate for evaluating NSF proposals,” but revisions are needed. The entire report is available at the link above.

Other Resources

A new biography, Always There: The Remarkable Life of Ruth Lillain Kirschstein, M.D., by Alison F. Davis was recently published. The book tells the story of Ruth Kirschstein, a respected researcher and the first female to lead the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at NIH.  Dr. Kirschstein, like many female scientists in the mid-20th century, paved the way for the acceptance of women as professional scientists at research institutions.



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April Issue


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