Newswise — Bethesda, MD (February 27, 2012)-- The Genetics Society of America (GSA) is pleased to announce the 53nd Annual Drosophila Research Conference, March 7-11, 2012 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers in Illinois. This annual meeting brings together basic research scientists, who study genetic models in Drosophila melanogaster, the common fruit fly, whose hereditary traits Thomas Hunt Morgan first studied more than a century ago. Research in Drosophila continues to push the boundaries of our knowledge of genetics and biology, including human biology.

The 53rd annual Drosophila Research Conference will present 12 plenary sessions, 156 talks, and 915 posters that discuss the latest findings in how the fly develops, survives, and reproduces, providing a model system for human health. The presentations cover communications within and among cells; how cells connect and contort to form tissues and organs; and how flies reproduce, fight infection, and heal, all with emphasis on the genetic controls behind these complex processes of multicellular life. Reports at the meeting relate Drosophila research to such human conditions as Alzheimer’s disease, cancers, diabetes, kidney stones, and seizures, as well as rarer diseases.

GENERAL PRESS INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION:The 53rd Annual Drosophila Research Conference is open to print, online and broadcast news media and freelance science, medical and health writers on a verifiable assignment from an established news source. Complimentary meeting registration will be available to members of the media who provide appropriate press credentials and identification.

Representatives of the media are cordially invited to attend the scientific presentations. If you are interested in attending, please contact: Phyllis Edelman, [email protected], 301-634-7302 to register.


Plenary Sessions:Plenary Sessions will cover three major themes of contemporary research being conducted in Drosophila. These are: energy storage/metabolic disease, behavior, and cellular identity, including stem cell research, transcriptional control and aging. Also of interest is a talk on butterfly migration. For more information on the meeting, see the website at

Session I: Thursday, March 8, 8:30 AM – 12:00 PMStephen DiNardo (University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine)Suzanne Eaton (The Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology)Steven Reppert (University of Massachusetts Medical School)Julie Simpson (HHMI/Janelia Farm Research Campus)Carl Thummel (University of Utah School of Medicine)John Tower (University of Southern California)

Session II: Sunday, March 11, 8:30 AM – 12:15 PMJulie Brill (Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada) Chris Doe (University of Oregon)Eileen Furlong (EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany)Thomas Kornberg (University of California – San Francisco)Manyuan Long (University of Chicago)Denise Montell (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine)

Opening Session, Wednesday, March 7, 7:00-9:00 p.m.: Future Advances in Drosophila ResearchHugo Bellen (HHMI/Baylor College of Medicine)Ross Cagan (Mount Sinai School of Medicine)Dan Kiehart (Duke University)Trudy Mackay (North Carolina State University)

ABOUT THE GENETICS SOCIETY OF AMERICAFounded in 1931, the Genetics Society of America (GSA) is the professional membership organization for scientific researchers, educators, bioengineers, bioinformaticians and others interested in the field of genetics. Its nearly 5,000 members work to advance knowledge in the basic mechanisms of inheritance, from the molecular to the population level. The GSA is dedicated to promoting research in genetics and to facilitating communication among geneticists worldwide through its conferences, including the biennial conference on Model Organisms to Human Biology, an interdisciplinary meeting on current and cutting edge topics in genetics research, as well as annual and biennial meetings that focus on the genetics of particular organisms, including C. elegans, Drosophila, fungi, mice, yeast, and zebrafish. GSA publishes GENETICS (, a leading journal in the field and a new online, open-access publication, G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics ( For more information about GSA, please visit