Newswise — BETHESDA, MD – The Genetics Society of America (GSA) and the yeast genetics research community are pleased to announce the winners of the GSA poster awards at the 2014 Yeast Genetics Meeting, which took place in Seattle, WA, July 29–August 3, 2014. These awards were made to undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral scientists in recognition of the research they presented at the conference. Their projects examined the molecular basis of several processes governing the inheritance of traits using yeast as a model organism.

"The breadth and depth of the science presented at this meeting was impressive and inspiring," remarked Adam Fagen, PhD, GSA's executive director. "We are very proud to see these significant contributions to genetics research from these early career scientists and look forward to following their continued success throughout their careers."

Nearly 400 research posters were presented at the meeting, and the winning posters were selected by a panel of leading yeast genetics researchers. The winners of the 2014 Yeast Genetics Meeting GSA Poster Awards are as follows:

First Place: Joseph Sanchez (PhD student, University of Washington)Advisor: Dr. Bonny BrewerTitle:: “The human Meier-Gorlin Syndrome mutation in ORC4 reduces replication initiation and rDNA copy number in Saccharomyces cerevisiae”

Second Place: Jinglin Xie (PhD student, University of Toronto)Advisor: Dr. Leah Cowen Title: “Dissecting the role of calcineurin and protein kinase C signalling in Hsp90-dependent caspofungin tolerance”

Third Place: Mark Rutledge (PhD student, Princeton University)Advisor: Dr. Jim BroachTitle: “Chromatin organization in quiescent yeast”

Fourth Place: Erica Hildebrand (PhD student, Fred Hutchinson Research Center)Advisor: Dr. Susan BigginsTitle: “Regulation of centromeric nucleosome localization by the E3 ubiquitin ligase Psh1”

In addition, three honorable mentions were selected:

Ann Aindow (Undergraduate student, University of California, Berkeley)Advisor: Dr. Jeremy ThornerTitle: “Specific β-arrestins negatively regulate Saccharomyces cerevisiae pheromone response by down-modulating the G-protein coupled receptor Ste2”

Alina Chan (PhD student, University of British Columbia)Advisor: Dr. Phillip HieterTitle: “DNA replication and kinetochore mutants exhibit increased DNA:RNA hybrid formation”

Pui Shan Hung (Undergraduate student, University of Toronto) Advisor: Dr. Grant BrownTitle: “Identification of novel pathways involved in ploidy maintenance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae”

Each awardee received a cash prize, a complimentary extension to their GSA membership, and a copy of Conversations in Genetics, a series of interviews with leading geneticists. GSA typically awards such poster prizes at each of its conferences focused on genetics research in model organisms. For more information on the 2014 Yeast Genetics Meeting, please see the conference website at and the press advisory at

* * *About the Yeast Genetics Meeting:The biennial Yeast Genetics Meeting, organized by GSA, is the premier meeting for students, postdoctoral scholars, educators, research staff, and principal investigators studying various aspects of eukaryotic biology in yeast, a major experimental model for understanding molecular biology and genetics. This international meeting has a 40-year history and is held every two years in North America. The next meeting will take place as part of The Allied Genetic Conference, July 13–17, 2016, in Orlando, FL, which will co-locate several genetics and model organism meetings.

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