2021 GSA Award Seminars

Learn more about the 2021 awardees ≫

headshots of the 2021 awardees

Past Events

2021 Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal: Ruth Lehmann

Wednesday, April 28, 1-2 p.m. EDT

Germ cells are forever

Germ cells are the only cells in our body destined to generate a completely new organism. I will be discussing how primordial germ cells are set aside from other cells in the body to fulfill their unique function in reproduction and how we have started to probe the quality control mechanisms that regulate the faithful transmission of cytoplasmic structures including mitochondria from the egg to the embryo.

2021 George W. Beadle Award: Chao-ting Wu

Thursday, April 29, 1-2 p.m. EDT

From Transvection and Pairing to Ultraconservation and Amazon Prime

More than ever before, the implications of our work in genetics are felt in the communities we serve. This presentation will trace one such journey from transvection and pairing to ultraconservation and then Amazon Prime.

Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Education: Edward J. Smith

Wednesday, May 5, 1-2 p.m. EDT

Culturally Aware Research Education: Pay Attention to the Differences.

What if we bring our hypothesis-testing, resource-development approach as scientists to our research-training efforts? 87 PhDs to-date help us provide some answers at Virginia Tech to this important question. They also provide a community-based approach to diversifying the biomedical workforce beyond the boundaries of one’s lab, department, interdisciplinary program, college, and university.

GSA Medal: Douglas Koshland

Tuesday, May 11, 2–3 p.m. EDT

Genetics of chromosome biology: to null or not to null

A holy grail of genetic studies of biological processes is to isolate and characterize null alleles of relevant genes. In this lecture I will provide past and present examples of the critical importance of alternative alleles in elucidating important features of chromosome biology and to inform on the future of genetics in the CRISPR-dominated world.

Edward Novitski Prize: Feng Zhang

Wednesday, May 26, 12-1 p.m. EDT

RNA-Guided DNA Insertion with CRISPR-Associated Transposases

Over the past few years, there has been a growing appreciation for the natural diversity of CRISPR-Cas systems, adaptive immune systems microbes use to defend against invading foreign genetic elements. Components of CRISPR-Cas systems have also been found to be associated with transposable elements, creating programmable jumping genes. We have been working to characterize CRISPR-associated transposon (CAST) systems and understand the mechanism of these fascinating molecular machines.