At any career stage, the GSA membership is an amazing investment for any genetics professional!”

Julio Molina Pineda is a PhD Candidate in Cell and Molecular Biology and a Research Assistant at the University of Arkansas, and a Doctoral Academy Fellow at the Lewis Lab. In 2023, Julio was awarded the DeLill Nasser Award for Professional Development in Genetics in recognition of his genetics research and work leveraging natural variation in yeast to understand why certain individuals are more susceptible to stress and disease, as well as his service and leadership in his community.

“GSA is one of the premier scientific organizations and being honored by receiving one of their most prestigious awards has not only helped me with starting to establish my record as a scientist, but it has also inspired me to keep working hard and reproducing more great science!” shares Julio, stressing how receiving this award marked an important event in his academic journey. This recognition is more than a financial award intended to support attending a conference or completing lab work—it signifies to Julio that he’s on the right path in his career. 

To apply for this award, you must be a GSA member. While many scientists may join for a discount on conference or abstract fees or to apply for a funding opportunity like the DeLill Nasser Award, Julio shares how maintaining a GSA membership has been essential for his professional growth. As a GSA member, he has enjoyed countless professional development opportunities, access to publish in the GSA Journals, GENETICS and G3, at a reduced fee, and one or two conference discounts. From being a member of the Early Career Leadership Program to participating in seminars, networking events, and GSA Conferences like The Allied Genetics Conference 2024, Julio says, “GSA has allowed me to broaden my horizons and learn much more about other careers and parts of the field I was not aware of.” 

At TAGC 2024, Julio had the opportunity to present his research, an impactful experience due to the feedback and encouragement he received from both senior scientists and fellow early career scientists. “When you are doing research, it can sometimes get lonely or obfuscating, but receiving clear feedback and learning that others appreciate your work and agree with your results and conclusions make all the hard work worth it!” He even met PIs and senior scientists who inspired him to keep working towards a career in academia. Julio also found that professional development activities at TAGC 2024 allowed him to grow his professional skills and create an amazing network of colleagues with similar goals. “Thanks to TAGC, I was able to learn and apply to a science policy fellowship as well as apply and get accepted to a scientific writing/preprint review program—so, I was able to broaden my horizons and take advantage of new opportunities that can transform into career options in the near future!” he shares. 

When it comes to his career trajectory and what the future holds, Julio recognizes that a GSA membership will always be a key piece. He emphasizes its value for all career stages, explaining that while it allows early career scientists to create amazing networks with great colleagues and grow professionally, you can continue to learn from others throughout your career and even teach or become a mentor. From receiving the DeLill Nasser Award, to participating at TAGC 2024, to being an ECLP member, who knows what the future holds for Julio? We’re certain of one thing: it looks bright! We might see him serve on a GSA committee or perhaps run in one of our elections and even join our Board! 

If you’re a graduate student or postdoc interested in applying for the DeLill Nasser Award for Professional Development in Genetics for $1,000 to support your attendance at a conference or laboratory courses, learn more online and apply by May 9, 2024.

If you’re interested in exploring all the benefits of a GSA membership, and joining, find additional details on our website