GSA News

February 2, 2011   


The GSA has responded to the NIH proposal to dissolve NCRR in order to develop a new center, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).  In addition, two of the GSA constituent communities, Drosophila and C. elegans have posted their comments to the “straw model.”  GSA encourages members to read and post your comments on the NCRR Task Force Straw Model website if you will be affected by this change.  NIH is limited by law to 27 institutes and centers so cannot develop a new center without dissolving one.

Reminder:  Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows can apply for a DeLill Nasser Award for Professional Development in Genetics to attend a meeting, conference or course taking place from July to December 2011.   Up to 15 $1,000 travel awards will be distributed.  Deadline for application:  March 15, 2011. 

Nominate a media report for the GSA Excellence in Research Journalism Award.  If you’ve read , seen or heard a media report during 2010 that provided a clear explanation of a genetics research finding or otherwise gave insight into the field, especially if studies of model organisms were used, nominate the item for the GSA Journalism Award.  Provide as much information as you can (name of article or broadcast, author/reporter, date, media organization, etc.) to Phyllis Edelman, GSA Public Relations and Communications Manager and she will follow-up on your nomination.  Deadline for nominations:  March 21, 2011. 

GSA membership has its benefits . . . including discounts for a wide assortment of reagents and antibodies from US Biological.  To learn more, register as a GSA member at the US Biological website.

Abstract submission and registration are now open for Mouse Genetics 2011 Conference.  The meeting, June 22-25 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., is a joint conference of the International Mammalian Genome Society (IMGS), the Complex Trait Community (CTC) and the GSA.  Francis Collins, PhD, MD, Director of the National Institutes of Health is scheduled as the keynote speaker.   Deadline for abstract submission:  March 8, 2011; deadline for advance registration:  April 12, 2011.

Funding Available

Do you have a grant from NIH that supports a population-based genomic study?  If so, NHGRI and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) will provide supplemental administrative support for 4 to 8 programs that will work to include “standard phenotypic and environmental exposure measures selected from the PhenX Toolkit in their analysis. This supplemental support is designed to encourage use in genomic studies of the standard phenotypic and exposure measures used in the PhenX Toolkit, and to obtain feedback on its use, including “gaps in measures, ease of use, and overall usefulness.”  In September 2008, GSA members were asked to contribute to the development of standard measures in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for PhenX development (see GENEtics, Sept 2008, p. 18). For more information, see the link above.


We thought only cockroaches were indestructible . . . until the recent surge in the number of bed bugs (Cimex lectularis) who appear to be particularly resistant to insecticides and pesticides.  Thanks to an Ohio State University research team, an EST library of the bed bug has been sequenced, and clues to their resistance to insecticides have been uncovered.  Researchers hope this information will lead to targeted and effective methods of bed bug elimination.  To read more, see the PLoS One article.

Other Meetings of Interest

The Behavior 2011 Conference, the first-ever joint meeting of the International Ethological Conference (IEC) and the Animal Behavior Society (ABS), will be held at Indiana University in Bloomington, July 25-30, 2011.  The program will feature exciting and integrative science that draws on the strengths of IEC and ABS.  For more information, see the conference website.


Thank President Obama for supporting science.  In his State of the Union address on January 25, 2011, President Obama acknowledged the importance of science and technology.  The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) is inviting scientists to send the President and Science Advisor John Holdren messages of appreciation for their continued support of research and development.

Attention Students:  Sign an open letter to Congress and the President and let your voice be heard on the need for sustained federal investment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, development and research.   Originally developed by student members of the Botanical Society of America, the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) joined in support of this effort to make this a nationwide student appeal.  GSA encourages its student members to add their names to the open letter and inform policymakers about the need and utility of having a national commitment to investing in science.

2011 FASEB Capitol Hill Day is scheduled for the evening of March 28th and all day on March 29th.  FASEB is providing an opportunity for members of its member societies to meet with legislators on key committees as well as the newest members of Congress.  This is an excellent opportunity to get to know the key players in Congress and if scheduling can be arranged, to meet with your congressional representative.  To sign up, complete the attached form.  The recommended deadline for registering for Capitol Hill Day and hotel reservations is March 4, 2011.



January Issue




Do you have a brief announcement to submit to GSA e-News?
E-news items include news about GSA members -- new position, 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: February 9, 2011.  Send items to Phyllis Edelman, 


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