Newswise — The Genetics Society of America today announced new additions to the editorial board of its peer-reviewed, peer-edited journal G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics. Since the journal’s launch in June 2011, its editorial board of academic experts has been instrumental in shaping G3 into an important forum for the publication of useful genetics findings and resources.

As the breadth of research published in the journal continues to grow, Editor-in-Chief Brenda Andrews, PhD, has appointed two new Deputy Editors-in-Chief, who will contribute to the oversight of key sections:

  • Stephen W. Scherer, PhD, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, will serve as Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Human Genetics
  • Dirk-Jan de Koning, PhD, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden, will serve as Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Complex Traits

Also, Stephen Wright, PhD, University of Toronto, has been appointed as a new Senior Editor for Population and Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics and will spearhead the journal’s efforts to strengthen coverage of in this area. The new Deputy Editors-in-Chief and Senior Editor are joined by several new Associate Editor appointments to the editorial board this year:

  • Eduard Akhunov, PhD, Kansas State University
  • James A. Birchler, PhD, University of Missouri
  • Timothy J. Close, PhD, University of California, Riverside
  • William S. Davidson, PhD, Simon Fraser University
  • Erich Grotewold, PhD, The Ohio State University
  • Jianxin Ma, PhD, Purdue University
  • Kevin R. Thornton, PhD, University of California, Irvine

“Genetics is a fast-paced field. The expanded editorial board will help us keep up with the growing volume and diversity of research being submitted to G3,” said Brenda Andrews, G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics Editor-in-Chief and Professor and Chair of the Banting & Best Department of Medical Research, University of Toronto.

G3 was created by the Genetics Society of America to meet the critical and growing need of the genetics community for rapid review and publication. The journal offers an opportunity to publish the puzzling finding, useful dataset, or highly focused research that may not have been submitted for publication due to a lack of perceived impact.

New Editor Details:

Eduard AkhunovKansas State UniversityG3 Associate Editor

Eduard Akhunov received his PhD from the Institute of Genetics in Moscow, Russia, where he focused on regulation of gene transcription in wheat. He came to the University of California, Davis as a visiting scientist and now is an associate professor at Kansas State University in the Department of Plant Pathology. His interests lie in understanding the genomic architecture and biology of modern wheat. This includes the development and applications of next-generation genotyping and sequencing tools, comparative genomics, population genetics, and bioinformatics to ultimately improve wheat production. He has helped develop many community resources including high-throughput SNP genotyping assays, the 110 Mb whole exome capture assay, and was part of the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium. In addition to developing community resources, Akhunov's lab uses genome-wide association studies to map agronomically important traits, including disease resistance, stress response, and yield genes. His lab did much of the work in cloning the Sr35 gene, which confers resistance to the devastating stem rust race Ug99 (Saintenac et al, Science, 2013). Building on this work, his lab is interested in characterizing the functional genomics of the rust-wheat interaction.

James A. BirchlerUniversity of MissouriG3 Associate Editor & GENETICS Associate Editor, Gene Expression

The Birchler laboratory has made experimental and theoretical contributions to an understanding of the effects of genomic imbalance using maize and Drosophila as model organisms. These studies have provided insight into various aspects of gene expression, quantitative traits, dosage compensation, aneuploid syndromes, and the differential evolutionary fate of gene duplication via whole genome versus copy number variation. The lab has developed techniques to distinguish all chromosomes in somatic karyotypes in plants, and to visualize single genes, individual transposons, and transgenes on chromosomes, and has applied these techniques in a variety of studies. Contributions have also been made to an understanding of plant centromere structure and their epigenetic aspects of function. They discovered the first cases of cosuppression of transgenes in animals and demonstrated an involvement of small RNAs and chromatin modifications in the silencing process. The lab developed the first method to produce synthetic chromosome platforms in plants and has been exploring procedures for their further manipulation. Birchler is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an Einstein Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

Timothy J. CloseUniversity of California, RiversideG3 Associate Editor

Timothy Close works on the genetics and genomics of crop plants, currently focusing on cowpea, barley and citrus. His group develops genomic resources, including SNP marker assays, coupled genetic and physical maps, genome sequence assemblies, and genomics software (HarvEST). The group has in the past conducted transcriptome analyses of abiotic stresses in rice and barley, and several traits relevant to citrus, such as easy-peeling, the effect of storage on flavor, and citrus tristeza virus (CTV) response. They have developed high-throughput SNP genotyping resources for barley and cowpea and applied them to the localization of a number of trait determinants, and in cowpea to support marker-assisted breeding activities with partners in West Africa. They also study resistance to environmental stress and the role of stress proteins like dehydrins.

Close earned a PhD in Genetics from the University of California, Davis (UCD) in 1982. After studying Agrobacterium tumefaciens from 1982-1987 at UCD, then cereal plant genetics at the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry in Australia from 1987-1990, he joined the Department of Botany & Plant Sciences at the University of California, Riverside in 1990, where he now is a Professor and Geneticist in the Agricultural Experiment Station.

William S. DavidsonSimon Fraser UniversityG3 Associate Editor

Willie Davidson’s lab uses genomics to understand the basic biology of salmonid fishes and applies this information to the production and conservation of salmon and char. Some of their current projects include identifying QTL for commercially important traits, investigating how olfactory cues are used by anadromous salmon to return to their natal streams, examining how sex is determined, and analyzing the fate of duplicated genes after whole genome duplication. For the past decade the group has developed genomic resources for Atlantic salmon and now plays a major role in the the assembly and annotation of the Atlantic salmon genome.

Davidson completed his BSc (hons) in Biochemistry at Edinburgh University in his native Scotland and then earned his PhD (Biochemistry) from Queen’s University, Canada, in 1978. After postdoctoral training at the University of California at Berkeley as an MRC Scholar and the University of Connecticut Health Center as an MRC Centennial Fellow, he joined the Biochemistry Department at Memorial University in St. John’s. After 18 years at Memorial, he became Dean of Science at Simon Fraser University, where he is now a Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry.

Dirk-Jan de KoningSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesG3 Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Complex Traits

Dirk-Jan de Koning is professor in Animal Breeding and head of the Section on Quantitative Genetics at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. His interests include the dissection of the genetic basis of variation in complex traits and use of this information in breeding programs. His research focuses on linking DNA variation to functional variation in livestock and beyond. He is interested in experimental design, as well as data analysis and bioinformatics. His research covers traditional livestock species, as well as fish, mice, and even plants. One of his recent research projects focuses on the development of novel tools for molecular breeding in CP2 of Mistra Biotech ( His lab also has an exciting collaboration with Leif Andersson (University of Uppsala) and the group of Paul Siegel (Virginia Tech) focusing on RNA sequencing in chickens. Another large projects focuses on the improvement of bone strength in laying hens through selective breeding while taking account of different housing systems and diets. They are in the process of establishing more research in the area of aquaculture. In addition to his role as Deputy Editor-in-Chief for G3, de Koning is an editor for Heredity, and executive committee member of the Genetics Society (UK).

Erich GrotewoldThe Ohio State UniversityG3 Associate Editor

Erich Grotewold uses several plant systems to elucidate the architecture of gene regulatory networks, to determine how plant metabolic pathways are controlled, and to manipulate them using metabolic engineering approaches. The lab also investigates human and plant cellular targets of bioactive compounds, as well as the mechanisms by which plant specialized metabolites move within plant cells. Grotewold got his BSc in Chemistry and PhD in Molecular Biology/Biochemistry at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Following a 3-year postdoc at Cold Spring Harbor Labs, he became a Staff Investigator at the Labs. In 1998, he moved to The Ohio State University, and is currently a professor in the Dept. of Molecular Genetics (College of Arts & Sciences) as well as in the Dept. of Horticulture & Crop Sciences (College of Food, Agriculture & Environmental Sciences). Dr. Grotewold, elected AAAS Fellow in 2009, is the Director of the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center (ABRC) as well as the Director of the OSU Center for Applied Plant Sciences (CAPS).

Jianxin MaPurdue UniversityG3 Associate Editor

Jianxin Ma uses a combination of comparative, computational, and experimental genomics approaches to address the mechanistic basis that underlies structural and functional genomic changes in flowering plants, with an emphasis on duplication-driven and transposon-mediated gene and genome evolution. Ma and colleagues have made substantial contributions to annotations and analyses of several plant genomes, including those of Brachypodium distachyon, Brassica napus, Brassica oleracea, rice, soybean, and Theobroma cacao, which provided fundamental insights into evolutionary dynamics of the plant genomes. More recently, Ma has expanded his research focus to include soybean translational genomics study and has identified/isolated several soybean genes of agronomic importance. Ma earned his PhD in plant genetics and breeding from Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and was trained in comparative genomics as a postdoctoral associate at Purdue University and the University of Georgia. Ma is currently an Associate Professor and University Faculty Scholar at Purdue University.

Stephen W. SchererThe Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), TorontoG3 Senior Editor

Stephen 'Steve' Scherer, PhD, DSc, FRSC, is an award-winning Canadian scientist whose research has transformed the understanding of human genetic variation and its role in disorders such as autism. He obtained his PhD at the University of Toronto under Professor Lap-chee Tsui, discoverer of the cystic fibrosis gene. Together they founded Canada's first human genome centre, The Centre for Applied Genomics (TCAG) at the Hospital for Sick Children. He continues to serve as Director of the multi-million dollar TCAG, and is also Director of the McLaughlin Centre, a $50M initiative in genomic medicine at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine. His group has 400 publications and patents cited more than 30,000 times, placing him on the recently released Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Scientist list. He also founded the Database of Genomic Variants, which facilitates hundreds of thousands of clinical diagnoses each year.

Kevin R. ThorntonUniversity of California, IrvineG3 Associate

Kevin Thornton's research involves computationally-intensive methods to study population genetics in several contexts. A major area of interest is detecting structural variation in Drosophila using whole-genome sequencing and understanding its effects on phenotypic variation. Thornton is also very interested in the role of simulation in understanding evolutionary processes. He earned his PhD in Genetics at the University of Chicago in Manyuan Long's lab and was then a postdoc in Andrew Clark's lab at Cornell University. He has been a professor at University of California, Irvine since 2007.

Stephen I. WrightUniversity of TorontoG3 Senior Editor & GENETICS Associate Editor, Empirical Population Genetics

Stephen Wright's research focuses on studying plant evolution at the genome level, using population genomic diversity and comparative genomics to understand both genome evolution and the strength and nature of positive and negative selection. His work includes a focus on using genomic approaches to investigate the causes and consequences of mating system evolution. Wright’s’s lab also investigates the population genetics and evolution of transposable elements, in particular investigating whether changes in ploidy and mating system drive TE evolution. Wright has held an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship and an NSERC Accelerator Award. He got his PhD at the University of Edinburgh, working with Deborah Charlesworth, and was a postdoctoral fellow with Brandon Gaut at the University of California, Irvine.

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About the Genetics Society of America (GSA)Founded in 1931, the Genetics Society of America (GSA) is the professional scientific society for genetics researchers and educators. The Society’s more than 5,000 members worldwide work to deepen our understanding of the living world by advancing the field of genetics, from the molecular to the population level. GSA promotes research and fosters communication through a number of GSA-sponsored conferences including regular meetings that focus on particular model organisms. GSA publishes two peer-reviewed, peer-edited scholarly journals: GENETICS, which has published high quality original research across the breadth of the field since 1916, and G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics, an open-access journal launched in 2011 to disseminate high quality foundational research in genetics and genomics. The Society also has a deep commitment to education and fostering the next generation of scholars in the field. For more information about GSA, please visit

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