GSA News

August 11, 2010   


Planning for the Future:  Help the GSA Board of Directors set priorities for the Society for the next five years by responding to the strategic planning survey e-mailed to you. The GSA Board is working to develop programs and policies that best serve you. Your opinions, needs, and vision of the Society are key to this process.  The deadline for response has been extended to August 13th.  Thank you in advance for your valuable input!

Ever wonder “Why do fad diets work well for some, but not for others? Read in the July 2010 issue of GENETICS how researchers using fruit flies have found that genes interacting with diet, rather than diet alone, are the main cause of variation in metabolic traits, such as body weight.

Grants and Fellowships

The application periods for the 2011 National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award, New Innovator Award, and the Transformative Research Projects Award programs, awarded to exceptionally creative scientists, are about to open:

  • NIH Director's Pioneer Award:  Opens – August 13, 2010; Closes – September 13, 2010
  • New Innovator Award:  Opens – August 20, 2010; Closes – October 20, 2010
  • Transformative Research Projects Award:  Opens – September 27, 2010; Closes – October 27, 2010

For more information, click on the links above.

If you’re looking for a science policy fellowship, check out Discover Magazine’s blog, which lists some of the policy fellowships available for scientists and engineers.

Publication Opportunity

The Foundation for Biomedical Research is looking for previously published stories with high resolution photos that deal with basic or applied research featuring animal models and are written for a general consumer audience to publish in their fourth issue of their magazine, ResearchSaves™.  Articles can be new or “evergreen” and published within the last few years.  Stories are NOT edited, but inserted “as is” with your permission and with full institution attribution including bylines and photo credits.  For more information or to submit articles by September 10, 2010, contact


A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee heard arguments for and against open access to federally funded research on July 29th.  The debate centered on the National Institutes of Health policy to release federally funded research results to the public within 12 months of publication.  For a list of panel members and access to their testimony click the link above.

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved $32 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for Fiscal Year 2011 – approximately $1 billion (3.5%) more than the FY 2010 level and equal to the rate of biomedical inflation.  The funding, part of the FY 2011 Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations bill, still has to be voted on by the entire Senate. The NIH funding level is in line with the President’s request for the agency, but nearly $5 billion less than what FASEB recommended.

Take advantage of the U.S. Congress summer recess (August 9 – September 10) and invite your representative for a tour of your laboratory and stress the importance of genetic research and government funding for it.  For communicating effectively with Congress, peruse the public policy resources provided by the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and contact GSA Executive Director Sherry Marts for advice and support.  With elections coming in November, now is your chance to get off of the sidelines and into the game!


The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has contributed over $360,000 to double the capacity of the Bloomington Drosophila Stock Center (BDSC), an invaluable resource for geneticists around the world.  HHMI vice president and GSA member Gerald Rubin says, “The stock center is a critical resource for the entire fly research community.”  With the HHMI contribution, BDSC’s facilities will expand to house 30,000-40,000 new Drosophila strains.

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) has released “Life Blood:  Angiogenesis in Health and Disease,” its latest article in The Breakthroughs in Bioscience series, a collection of illustrated articles that explain recent developments in basic biomedical research and how they are important to society. "Life Blood" describes the critical importance of angiogenesis in human health and disease, and credits early studies on model organisms as providing the foundation of our understanding of angiogenesis.  



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