We are pleased to announce the election of four new leaders to the GSA Board of Directors:
2024 Vice President/2025 President
Professor, University of Toronto
It’s an honor to continue my association with the Society by serving as Vice President of the Board of Directors. I have broad knowledge of the ongoing activities of the Society and see more opportunities for expanding the GSA profile internationally, including outreach to scientists in geographic regions underserved by major societies. The current International Seminar Series and this year’s International C. Elegans Conference in Glasgow are great examples of international outreach, and these types of activities should be expanded.
I will prioritize support for early- and mid-career researchers, in recognition of the challenges they face. GSA can help scientists by providing mentorship, training, and increased advocacy efforts whether for funding or communicating the value of basic research. It is important that the next generation of scientists see value in the activities supported by the Society, including our journals, which face challenges in light of the rapidly evolving landscape of academic publishing. Here, we must continue to foster relationships with authors, improving the visibility of their work, and helping to raise the profiles of our journals. All of our work must be considered in the context of GSA’s ongoing commitment to inclusivity. Here, the Society may wish to work with other groups to enable access to genetics and genomics research by young people from under-represented groups. I found that a program I started at the Donnelly Centre that supported visits to labs by local high school classes from less privileged parts of Toronto was very impactful.
Times have changed and so must GSA. I hope to learn from and listen to you as we shape GSA together.
Associate Professor, San Diego State University
I am honored to be elected to the GSA Board of Directors. I have served as an Associate Editor at G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics since 2017 and on GSA’s Conference Committee since 2021 as a representative of the population, evolutionary, and quantitative genetics group, and my work includes contributions to a recent training grant submitted to fund early-career and historically excluded geneticists attending TAGC 2024. I look forward to serving the GSA membership in an active Directorial role. As an early-career researcher at a Minority Serving Institution, I see this as an invaluable opportunity for me to be the voice of a largely underrepresented group of researchers in the Society. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to join a dedicated and diverse team of geneticists, editorial board members, and Society staff who are actively working to change the face and representation of our field.
My commitment to serving on GSA’s Board comes with a push to address five key issues that are close to my heart: (1) developing important training resources to actively involve undergraduates in genetics and genomics research as part of GSA’s catalog of activities and conferences; (2) changing how we teach fundamentals of genetics with exclusionary language by organizing a GSA community-wide effort to crowdsource and develop a new teaching paradigm for topics such as transmission, sex determination, polygenic selection, and genome-wide association studies; (3) interfacing with the equity and inclusion and conference committees in continuing to assess GSA’s membership demographic to build actionable items to increase participation of a diverse audience at all GSA conferences and to recruit and train a diverse group of editors, reviewers, and members; (4) actively featuring methods tutorials and blurbs of published work on the Genes to Genomes blog, specifically highlighting the work of early-career researchers, graduate and undergraduate students; and (5) increasing GSA’s representation at undergraduate and minority-focused conferences (e.g. SACNAS meetings, ABRCMS, Beckman Symposia).
Associate Professor, University of Virginia
I bring to this role a strong background in molecular genetics research, having published in reputable journals, and presented my work at national and international conferences. Additionally, my experience as a teacher and mentor has enriched my understanding of the educational needs within our community. I pledge to collaborate with fellow board members and the broader GSA membership to advance our shared goals. I will listen to your feedback, actively seek your input, and work hard to represent your interests. I humbly request your support in this endeavor.
My work will be grounded in three core principles:
- Advancing Genetics Research: I believe that supporting and promoting cutting-edge genetics research is core to our society’s mission. I will actively foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among GSA members. I propose initiatives such as promoting the selection of unpublished work for oral presentation at GSA-organized conferences. Additionally, I will advocate for increased research funding and opportunities, catering to the needs of both early-career and established researchers.
- Education and Outreach: Genetics should transcend the confines of the laboratory. In an era where the public does not trust lifesaving vaccines, I am committed to enhancing the society’s educational initiatives. I will work on programs that promote genetics literacy and support science education at all levels. By bridging the gap between scientific discoveries and public understanding, we can strengthen our society’s impact.
- Diversity and Inclusion: Science works at its best when it reflects the diversity of our broader community. As a first-generation high-school graduate and Latina, I have dedicated the past decade to learn, teach, and champion inclusive research and teaching practices. I have promoted minorities both locally and internationally. I pledge to carry this dedication into GSA, advocating for programs that support underrepresented groups and nations in genetics. I will work diligently to foster an inclusive environment where every voice is not only heard but valued.
Together, we can advance genetics research, education, and inclusivity. Thank you for consideration, and I look forward to the opportunity to serve you.
Professor, University of California, Riverside
I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors of GSA. The Society has enabled many opportunities in my career, and I am eager to contribute back. I first became a GSA member in graduate school and was completely hooked on the community and research after attending my first Fungal Genetics conference. I have served as an Associate Editor at GENETICS since 2018, and previously contributed to conferences by sitting on the Neurospora and Fungal Genetics Policy Committees. I am currently a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology where I have taught in the fields of Genomics, Microbiology, and Bioinformatics for the past 14 years. I currently serve as Vice Chair of my department and previously have served the campus faculty as Chair of the Academic Senate and as chair of the Graduate Council. I am excited to contribute to the Society’s efforts in building training and mentorship for early career scientists, helping shape the advocacy for science and genetics in funding and policy decisions, and providing perspectives on the community’s needs to advance new research systems and questions.
As a member of the Board, I will continue to champion the value and importance of diverse research systems and diverse research communities to address fundamental understandings of genetics and biology. I am an omnivore of biological research systems and believe there are strengths in a collection of computational and experimental approaches across a variety of organisms. My own draw to science was found in the satisfaction of problem solving, and I will contribute my efforts to the Society as we consider different problems such as the public perception of science, retaining and recruiting a broad representation of individuals to work in our field, or the creativity needed in how societies navigate changes in journal publication strategies. The GSA Journals have been a home for my publications and the conferences and members have been a strong and supportive community for my research and development. If elected, I would dedicate the time and energy to help sustain and grow our society.