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Important Dates:

September 24, 2014
Abstract Submission Opens

Conference Registration Opens

November 5, 2014
Deadline for Workshop Requests
November 10, 2014
Abstract Submission Deadline
December 1, 2014
Larry Sandler Award Submission Deadline
January 16, 2015
Deadline for Early (Discounted) Conference Registration
February 6, 2015
Deadline for Hotel Reservations


2015 Meeting Organizers:


Greg Beitel
Michael Eisen
Marc Freeman
Ilaria Rebay

Education and Professional Development


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

10:30 am-4:00 pm: GSA Trainee Bootcamp

Ohio Room

Fee $45 in advance/$55 on site if space allows.

Based on feedback from trainees both in focus groups and individual conversations, GSA will implement a pre-conference “bootcamp” with a series of professional development workshops. To see the preliminary agenda, click here. Open to Grad Students and Postdocs only.


4:00-7:00 pm: Workshop: Preparing your Educational Resources for Online Publication

Ohio Room

Attendees must have submitted application

New for 2015! Educators who have been wondering how to prepare their teaching resources for publication in an online repository should apply for this workshop, which will guide attendees through the submission process for both CourseSource and GSA PREP, and give them a dedicated time to work on their submissions. Robin Wright (Univ of Minnesota), Editor-in-Chief for CourseSource and GSA Education Committee member; Sarah (Sally) Elgin (Washington Univ in St. Louis), GSA Education Committee member and member of the GSA Board of Directors; and Beth Ruedi (GSA) will be on hand to describe the two resource portals, answer questions, and provide guidance to attendees.


5:00-7:00 pm: GSA Education Special Interest Group Mixer

Mississippi Room

Faculty with a passion for genetics education are encouraged to attend this event, where they can mix and mingle with other educators.  Current members of the Education SIG can catch up on actions taken by GSA with regards to the education initiative, and those who are not yet SIG members can learn about the Education SIG.  Information about GSA PREP, the Primers in GENETICS, and other education-related opportunities will also be available. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

7:15-8:30 am: Undergraduate Mixer

(now a continental breakfast!)  

Missouri Room

On the first full day of the conference, undergraduate researchers will network on their own during breakfast, forming a peer-group that will help provide lasting support for the remainder of the meeting.


8:30 am–12:30 pm: “The Genetics Conference Experience”


The GSA Genetics Conference Experience provides students from genetics classes at local undergraduate institutions with the unique opportunity to observe distinguished career scientists present their current research in a conference setting.  The students, accompanied by their professor, will receive a background lecture and participate in an interactive discussion before attending part of a plenary session.  This informative and engaging program is meant to give students a glimpse into the real world of genetic research, and is NOT intended for students who are already involved in scientific research, but rather will provide students with the opportunity to learn about current scientific research outside of a textbook, witness the communication of scientific research first-hand, and ideally will foster an interest in furthering their science education. It is free of cost, and invitation-only.

12:45-2:00 pm: GSA Career Luncheon

Sheraton 2

The GSA Career Luncheon is an excellent opportunity for undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows to have informal conversations with senior career scientists regarding the unique challenges and rewards of a scientific career. The luncheon is organized by topic table. Topics may include things like: transition to independence, work-family balance, teaching at undergraduate institutions, careers outside traditional academia, the job search, the postdoc search, choosing the right graduate advisor, etc.

Friday, March 6, 2015

1:30 – 4:00 pm: Plenary Session and Workshop for Undergraduate Researchers

Missouri Room

Undergraduate conference attendees will attend an “Undergraduate Plenary Session” from 1:30-2:45 pm, with two talks presented at a level appropriate for an undergraduate audience.  From 3:00-4:00 pm, undergraduates will have a chance to talk to a panel of graduate students about applications, interviewing, admission, choosing a lab, and quality of life in graduate school.


1:30 pm Cell Cycle Variations in Development and Cancer Brian Calvi
(Indiana University)
2:10 pm

The Genetic Architecture of Recombination Rate Variation

Nadia Singh
(North Carolina State University)
2:50 pm Break
3:00 pm Graduate school panel discussion Panelists:
George Aranjuez

Alessandro Bailetti

Sonia Marie Hall

Lauren Tyra

Saturday, March 7, 2015

6:45 - 8:45 pm: Drosophila Research and Pedagogy at a Primarily Undergraduate Institution (PUI)

Sheraton 1

This workshop provides a platform for presentation and discussion of Drosophila research and pedagogy at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs). The goals include: 1) promoting undergraduate research by providing a forum for students to make oral presentations; 2) connecting people interested in research and teaching at a PUI with current PUI faculty; 3) establishing a network among current PUI faculty to promote discussion and collaboration, and to provide support on professional issues that differ from those at large institutions; 4) sharing concepts and techniques that encourage the integration of Drosophila as a teaching tool in the classroom and laboratory.


Josefa Steinhauer, Yeshiva University, New York, and

David M Roberts, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA, and

Eric Stoffregen, Lewis-Clark State College, Lewiston, ID, and
Rebbeccah Kurzhals, Southeast Missouri State University


6:45 pm Evolutionary and functional characterization of saturn, a newly evolved testis-expressed protein required for fertility in Drosophila melanogaster Anna Gabula
(College of the Holy Cross)
7:00 pm

Determining the role of FancM, Blm, and HelQ helicases in the repair of double strand breaks

Julie Cox
(Tufts University)
7:15 pm Characterizing a role for the Misshapen kinase in growth of the germline ring canals in the developing egg chamber Ashley Kline

(Butler University)

7:30 pm Repeat-induced chromatin silencing in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) Michael Lee

(Washington University in St. Louis)

7:45 pm Breakout Group Discussion Topics:
Obtaining Funding for a Research Program at a PUI

Preparation Strategies for Graduate Students and Postdocs Considering a Career at a PUI

Undergraduate's Fly "aha" Moments

Drosophila as a Pedagogical Tool in the Undergraduate Curriculum