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Eight undergraduate students receive travel awards from the Genetics Society of America

BETHESDA, MD The Genetics Society of America (GSA) is pleased to name the recipients of the GSA Undergraduate Travel Awards for summer/fall 2014. These awards promote excellence in undergraduate research and education by providing financial assistance for undergraduate members to present their research at a GSA conference.

"It's inspiring to see the quality of research conducted by our undergraduate members," noted GSA Executive Director Adam Fagen, PhD. "We look forward to hearing more about their findings at an upcoming GSA conference and to following these talented scientists as they continue in their careers."

The winners of the GSA Undergraduate Travel Awards for summer/fall 2014 are:

Alex Murphy, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA, USA

Research focus: "I am interested in how an extra chromosome in a cell, generated by a common mistake in cell division, affects how that cell can function, and I'm using brewer's yeast as a model organism to pursue this question."
Travel to: 2014 GSA Yeast Genetics Meeting
Mentor: Kirk Anders

Benjamin Walker, Roanoke College, Salem, VA, USA

Research focus: "My research tests the effects of estrogen on the development of facial cartilage in zebrafish (Danio rerio)."
Travel to: GSA 11th International Conference on Zebrafish Development and Genetics
Mentor: Christopher Lassiter

Sarah Cossey, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA

Research focus: "I am interested in cellular signaling and its role in the evolution of multicellularity."
Travel to: GSA 16th International Conference on the Cell and Molecular Biology of Chlamydomonas
Mentor: Bradley Olson

Ann Aindow, University of California, Berkeley, USA

Research focus: "I use biochemical and genetic methods to study the phospho-regulation of the alpha-arrestin Rod1 and its role in the down-regulation of the mating pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae."
Travel to: 2014 GSA Yeast Genetics Meeting
Mentor: Jeremy Thorner

Nicole Delos Santos, University of California, Berkeley, USA

Research focus: "My research demonstrates that treating tadpoles of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, with a common ingredient found in household products results in developmental problems and a reduced ability for tadpoles to heal wounds and regrow tails."
Travel to: GSA 15th International Xenopus Conference
Mentor: Kelly Ai-Sun Tseng

Spencer Keil, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, USA

Research focus: "I study how signaling pathways affect the boundary alignment of prospective central nervous system structures in early stages of development."
Travel to: GSA 11th International Conference on Zebrafish Development and Genetics
Mentor: Isaac Skromne

Pui Shan Hung, University of Toronto, Canada

Research focus: "I am screening for a complete set of genes responsible for ploidy maintenance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae."
Travel to: 2014 GSA Yeast Genetics Meeting
Mentor: Tina Sing; Grant Brown

Mun Hong Yong, University of WisconsinMadison, USA

Research focus: "I am studying the response to abnormal chromosome number in wild yeast isolates."
Travel to: 2014 GSA Yeast Genetics Meeting
Mentor: Kelly Ai-Sun Tseng

The GSA Undergraduate Travel Awards are one of several awards made by the GSA to early-career researchers. Applicants must be GSA members, and successful applicants may use their funds to support travel to one of GSA's conferences on genetics research in a variety of model organisms. For more information on these awards, including criteria and previous winners, please see For the full release including photos of the winners, please see


Contact: Raeka Aiyar
Genetics Society of America

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