GSA News

September 8, 2010   


Make you mark on the future of GSA:  vote for officers and members of the GSA Board of Directors and for GSA bylaw revisions.  Online ballots have been sent to all GSA members who have paid their dues for 2010. Voting deadline:  October 29, 2010.  For ballot information, click here.

Please nominate your colleagues for the 2011 GSA Awards.  Nominations for the Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal, the Genetics Society of America Medal, the George W. Beadle Award, the Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Education and the Edward Novitski Prize are due September 30, 2010.  For more information see the GSA Awards website.

Applications are being accepted for the DeLill Nasser Awards for Professional Development in GeneticsTwelve awards of $1,000 each will be made to graduate students or postdoctoral fellows to attend national and international meetings and enroll in laboratory courses occurring between January and June 2011. Applicants must be GSA members. The awards are made in recognition of the critical role DeLill Nasser played for the discipline and for her love of genetics. Deadline:  September 30, 2010.

Coming Soon . . . . Look for your 2011 GSA Membership Activation (renewal) e-mail.
GSA members receive discounts on 2011 GSA Conferences, including the 26th Fungal Genetics Conference, March 15-20; the 52nd Annual Drosophila Research Conference, March 30 – April 3; the 18th International C. elegans Meeting, June 22-26; and, the Mouse Genetics 2011 Meeting, June 22-26.   There are also discounts on subscriptions to more than 14 publications, including all Annual Reviews, Nature Genetics and Nature Reviews Genetics. Take advantage of these member benefits to access important resources for research in genetics.

Members in the News

Past Board member (2007-09) Nancy M. Bonini (Univ of Pennsylvania) was featured in an article in the HHMI News on August 26, about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) research she and collaborators are working on.  Bonini extolled the virtues of working with model organisms in a highlighted quote, “I truly believe that simple experimental systems like yeast and the fly are making a difference to our understanding of ALS and other diseases, and will provide the foundation for new treatments.”

Past President (2001) Marian Carlson (Columbia Univ) has been named deputy director of life sciences for the Simons Foundation, New York City. The Simons Foundation supports research in the basic sciences and mathematics and encourages collaboration between scientists in those communities.

GSA member Alla Grishok (Columbia Univ Med Ctr) was recently highlighted on in a Young Investigator Profile.  Her lab, according to the profile, “is interested in the mechanisms of RNAi-induced transcriptional silencing and its role in regulation of gene expression during development.”

Retired professor and GSA member Bernard Lamb’s more than 40 years experience teaching genetics and molecular biology led him to write the recently published, The Queen's English and How to Use It.  Available on, this book and Lamb’s interest in the English language “were driven by finding that my UK students’ genetics answers were being spoiled by poor English, in word choice, spelling, grammar and punctuation.”  Lamb, whose research was in fungi genetics, is now an Emeritus Reader in Genetics and president of the Queen’s English Society.

Grant Available

What happens to databases and other high-value resources developed by research projects funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the National Institutes of Health after the funding expires?  The answer has resulted in a pilot program “to allow applications for continued support of important ‘legacy’ resources . . .  that are not being renewed under the original initiatives.” Deadline for letters of intent is September 26, 2010.  For more information, see link above.


The genetics community is closely watching a story that began unfolding on August 23rd when U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ruled that the Obama Administration’s interpretation of the Dickey-Wicker amendment, which bans federal funds from being used for “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death” violates this law. The judge’s ruling and the subsequent injunction barring federal funds for human embryonic stem cell research affects dozens of research labs nationwide. The Federation of America Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) expressed its “profound disappointment” in the ruling and is working with congressional staff and others in support of a bill sponsored by Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO) and  Michael N. Castle (R-DE) that would ensure continued federal funding of human stem cell research. A motion to stay Justice Lamberth’s preliminary injunction, filed by the Justice department and supported by FASEB who joined with the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research in an amicus brief, was denied.  NIH Director Francis S. Collins also expressed his disappointment of the ruling, but all NIH intramural researchers studying human embryonic stem cells have since been ordered to shut down their experiments.  The Justice department is planning an appeal.



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