GSA News

August 25, 2010   


Watch your inbox for the 2011 GSA membership renewal invitation, which will arrive in September.

SSRIs may pack more punch at the cellular level than believed.”  Read more about research published in the August issue of GENETICS, which suggests that sertraline targets intracellular membranes of yeast cells that don't express the known therapeutic target, suggesting a secondary drug target or pathway.

Awards Available

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has opened nominations for the 2011 Alan T. Waterman Award, which is given annually “to recognize the talent, creativity, and influence of a singular young researcher.”  To view nomination criteria and to submit nominations, use NSF’s FastLane system.  The nomination deadline is October 30th. For inquiries, contact Mayra Montrose,

Nominations are open for the 2011 Dan David Prize, which is awarded “to individuals and institutions with proven, exceptional excellence and contribution to humanity in the sciences, arts, humanities, public service and business without discrimination of any kind.”  The $1 million (US) award is given in three time dimensions – past, present and future.  Previous recipients include Sydney Brenner, John Sulston and GSA member Robert H. Waterston.  Nomination deadline is November 30th, 2010.  In addition, 20 scholarships of $15,000 (US) each are awarded to outstanding doctoral and postdoctoral studentsApplication deadline is March 15th, 2011.  For more information see the website above.


The fall discussion program for incoming freshman and transfer students on genetic testing and personalized medicine at the University of California, Berkeley will proceed as planned, but the personalized results of DNA tests students voluntarily and with consent provided for three common genetic variants will not be provided, but given in the aggregate instead.   The genes are not related to any diseases, but the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) instructed the University not to give personalized results because its interpretation of state and federal laws “mandate that medical diagnostic laboratories and the genetic tests they use be certified for accuracy and reliability,” according to a UC Berkeley press release issued August 12th.  The University does not agree with CDPH interpretation of the laws -- a campus research lab is interpreting the results, not a medical diagnostic lab, and the tests are being given for research and teaching purposes, not medical or health assessments -- but the University is complying with CDPH requirements not to give students individual results. GSA member and UC Berkeley genetics professor Jasper Rine will deliver the keynote lecture on this discussion topic on September 13th.

Other Meetings

Deadlines for the 60th Annual Meeting of The American Society of Human Genetics, November 2-6, 2010 in Washington, DC are approaching. Don’t miss out on attending this premier annual meeting for human geneticists. Early registration ends September 3rd; housing reservation deadline is September 15th; and, application for the Minority Travel Awards program closes on October 1st.  For more information, see the links above.  For questions: e-mail

The fourth International Biocuration Conference, Biocuration 2010, a meeting of the International Society for Biocuration, will be held in Tokyo on October 11-14, 2010Abstract submission has been extended to August 31st and early bird registration ends September 6th.



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