Newswise — The Genetics Society of America (GSA) welcomes six new members elected by the general membership to the 2013 GSA Board of Directors. The new members include a vice president, secretary and four directors. They are: • Vicki L. Chandler, PhD (Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation). Dr. Chandler will serve as vice president in 2013 and as GSA president in 2014. • Anne M. Villeneuve, PhD (Stanford University School of Medicine). Dr. Villeneuve will serve as secretary beginning 2013.• Lynn Cooley, PhD (Yale University), director.• Anna Di Rienzo, PhD (University of Chicago), director.• Sarah C. R. Elgin, PhD (Washington University in St. Louis), director.• Deborah A. Siegele, PhD (Texas A&M University), director.

“As always, GSA is fortunate to be able to call upon such talented individuals to provide leadership for the Society,” said GSA Executive Director Adam P. Fagen, PhD. “As we welcome these new leaders, we thank the outgoing Board members for their years of dedicated service to GSA,”

These new officers and directors began their tenure on January 1, 2013, and will remain on the GSA Board until December 31, 2015.

New Members of the GSA Board of Directors

Vice President (and President-Elect):Vicki L. Chandler, PhD, Chief Program Officer–Science, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Palo Alto, CA.

Dr. Chandler is a plant geneticist and a long-time GSA member, who has served as an editor of the GSA journal GENETICS and as a member of the GSA Board in the 1990s. Her research on paramutation, an epigenetic process, has implications not only for maize, which she used in her research, but also for animal and human genetics and genetic diseases. For most of the last decade, Dr. Chandler has built bridges between the genetic worlds of plants and animals and developed a number of lasting scientific partnerships. From 2004-2009, she was director of the BIO5 Institute, an interdisciplinary research center at the University of Arizona, while her own lab worked on maize and other plants as models of genetic effects and applied findings to the study of human biology. At the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Dr. Chandler helps foster scientific partnerships and the development of new technologies. In her new role as Vice President of GSA, she says, “GSA has an obligation to communicate through public outreach and education, advances in genetics that offer significant potential improvements in health, energy, food and the environment, but also raise personal and social issues.” Dr. Chandler is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; she is also a Searle Scholar and Presidential Young Investigator and received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Pioneer Award. Dr. Chandler served as president of the American Society of Plant Biologists in 2002.

Secretary: Anne M. Villeneuve, PhD, Professor of Developmental Biology and Genetics, Department of Developmental Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA.

A developmental geneticist, Dr. Villeneuve studies the mechanisms of chromosome inheritance in eukaryotes during meiosis, using the nematode worm C. elegans for much of her work. She has been a member of GSA for many years and has participated in many GSA-sponsored conferences, has served as an associate editor of GENETICS, and has published some of her most influential articles in the Journal. She has “an abiding, vested interest in promoting and sustaining the crucial mission of GSA,” which includes being an advocate “for support of basic science research” and “continued government support for crucial resources such as the genetics stock centers and databases that are essential to sustain ongoing research.” She received a Junior Faculty Scholar Award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and was named a Searle Scholar.

Directors:Lynn Cooley, PhD, C.N.H. Long Professor of Genetics; Professor of Cell Biology and Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT.

Dr. Cooley studies egg development or oogenesis, using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model system. Specifically, her lab focuses on the cellular mechanisms controlling egg growth, which, according to her laboratory website, “are directly relevant to female fertility in other animals, including humans.” She is an associate editor of the GSA journal GENETICS, and has been a member of GSA for many years. She is also an active member of the Drosophila genetics community, including serving as an organizer for the GSA-sponsored Annual Drosophila Research Conference in 2009. As a member of the GSA Board of Directors, Dr. Cooley is looking “forward to supporting GSA’s incredibly important advocacy effort to maintain government support for basic research in these times of tight federal budgets.” She received a Damon Runyon–Walter Winchell Cancer Fund Postdoctoral Fellowship and was named a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences. Anna Di Rienzo, PhD, Professor, Department of Human Genetics, University of Chicago, IL.

Dr. Di Rienzo is a human geneticist, whose research group studies the amount and patterns of genetic variation in human populations including the forces that shape and maintain this variation. Dr. Di Rienzo has ties to GSA as an associate editor of the journal GENETICS. As she assumes her role as a member of the GSA Board of Directors, Dr. Di Rienzo says, her “research and teaching experience at the interface between evolutionary and disease genetics” offers the opportunity “to promote interactions between different communities of geneticists,” including the “human genetics community and the model organism and ecological genetics communities.” Although Dr. Di Rienzo has been in the United States since her postdoctoral training, she is a native of Italy and also has ties to the European genetics community including serving as an organizer for the 2008 International Congress of Genetics in Berlin.

Sarah (Sally) C. R. Elgin, PhD, Viktor Hamburger Professor of Arts and Sciences; Professor of Biology, of Genetics, and of Education, Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

Dr. Elgin, known within the genetics research community for her work in epigenetics, gene regulation and chromatin structure using Drosophila, is equally lauded as a creative and dedicated genetics educator. In 2009 she received GSA’s Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Education for bringing genomics into the undergraduate biology classroom through the Genomics Education Partnership, which allows students to do real-time genome sequencing research that furthers the field of genetics. A long-time member of GSA, Dr. Elgin says she is “looking forward to working with GSA to promote better genetics education at every level. As we move into the era of personal genetics/genomics, this has never been more important, both for scientists and for all citizens.” Dr. Elgin is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Deborah A. Siegele, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.

Dr. Siegele is a prokaryotic biologist, who has worked with the bacterium Escherichia coli and phages, studying how they adapt to environmental changes through changes in gene expression. Dr. Siegele has been a member of GSA for many years, and sees GSA as the organization that “connects scientists working on diverse biology problems, providing a forum for discussion of issues related to research, education and science policy.” As a member of the Board of Directors, she looks forward to furthering GSA’s efforts in the teaching of genetics. She sees “the need for developing teaching methods/tools that will give students opportunities to participate in real-life research activities that are scalable to large student populations.” She is currently working on “an NIH-funded project to develop a virtual model organism database for E. coli” using existing databases and new tools to analyze the high throughput data. She received NIH’s James A. Shannon Director’s Award in 1994.

These new officers and directors replace Past President Paul W. Sternberg, PhD (California Institute of Technology), Secretary Mariana F. Wolfner, PhD (Cornell University) and Directors Utpal Banerjee, PhD (University of California, Los Angeles), Elizabeth A. De Stasio, PhD (Lawrence University), Sue Jinks-Robertson, PhD (Duke University Medical Center) and Thomas J. Silhavy, PhD (Princeton University) whose tenure on the GSA Board ends on December 31, 2012. The new members join the following Board officers and directors who continue to serve the Society until the year noted (in parenthesis).

• President (2014) Michael Lynch, PhD (Indiana University)• Past President (2013) Philip Hieter, PhD (University of British Columbia)• Treasurer (2013) Carol S. Newlon, PhD (UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School)• Editor-in-Chief, GENETICS (2013) Mark Johnston, PhD (University of Colorado Health Science Center, Denver)• Editor-in-Chief, G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics (2014) Brenda J. Andrews, PhD (University of Toronto)• Director (2013) Bonnie Bartel, PhD (Rice University)• Director (2013) Judith G. Berman, PhD (University of Minnesota and Tel Aviv University) • Director (2014) Marnie E. Halpern, PhD (Carnegie Institution for Science)• Director (2013) Jeannie T. Lee, MD, PhD (Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School)• Director (2014) Mohamed A. F. Noor, PhD (Duke University)• Director (2014) John C. Schimenti, PhD (Cornell University)

ABOUT THE GENETICS SOCIETY OF AMERICAFounded in 1931, the Genetics Society of America (GSA) is the professional scientific society for genetics researchers and educators. Its nearly 5,000 members work to advance knowledge in the basic mechanisms of inheritance, from the molecular to the population level. GSA promotes research and fosters communication among geneticists worldwide through a number of GSA-sponsored conferences including the biennial conference on Model Organisms to Human Biology, an interdisciplinary meeting on current and cutting edge topics in genetics research, and annual and biennial meetings that focus on the genetics of particular model organisms. GSA publishes GENETICS, the leading journal for seminal research in the field and a new, online publication, G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics, which publishes high quality foundational research, particularly research that generates useful genetic and genomic information. For more information about GSA, please visit Also follow GSA on Facebook at and on Twitter @GeneticsGSA.

Register for reporter access to contact details