November 17, 2005

Summary of GEMS Fall Meeting

The Twenty third Fall meeting of the Genetics and Environmental Mutagenesis Society was held at the Friday Center of the University of North Carolina on October 26, 2005. The topic for this meeting was "Genetics of Aging". This meeting had 99 registered attendees and 18 corporate sponsors. President Dr. Barbara Shane welcomed everyone and President-Elect Dr. Les Recio introduced the speakers. In the morning session, Dr. Olga Sedelnikova, from the National Cancer Institute presented "Aging, genomic integrity and H2AX" and Dr. Christopher Corton from the US Environmental Protection Agency presented "Nuclear receptors and longevity".

During the mid-morning break, posters were judged and the registrants visited the corporate sponsor booths. After the judging, the posters were open to viewing by the participants. The morning session was completed with two talks in the student/postdoc/technician competition for a travel award. Stephanie Dance presented "Tumor promotion as a target for chemoprevention of lung cancer" and Wade Lehmann presented "Biomarkers of oxidative damage due to PCVB exposure in Corbicula clams in the lab and the field (Brier Creek, NC)".

During lunch, the Corporate Sponsor Coordinator for GEMS, Rob Blackman of ISC BioExpress, held a drawing for a corporate gift basket. Brad Corbin accepted the gift basket on behalf of Phenix Research Products. After lunch, a short business meeting was held. The election results for the GEMS board were announced. Greg Stuart was elected President-Elect, Susan Ross, Treasurer, and Gloria Jahnke, Secretary. Newly elected councilors are: Jeffrey Ross, RoseAnne McGee, and Cindy Innis. Karin Drotschmann will serve on the board for one year to complete Tasha Smith’s term. GEMS coffee mugs were presented to outgoing officers: Barbara Shane (president); Stephen Little, Greg Stuart, and Witold Winnik (councilors). GEMS coffee mugs and plaques were presented to the invited speakers. Barbara Shane, outgoing president, and Stephen Little, outgoing newsletter editor received framed certificates of appreciation from GEMS. Errol Zeiger reviewed the proposed changes to the GEMS by-laws. The membership will vote on these changes in 2006. Barbara Shane reviewed access to the GEMS website and the new GEMS Blog.

The afternoon session began with 4 student/postdoctoral presentations. Sharon Oxendine presented “Medaka fish as a model for developmental ethanol toxicity: investigation of windows of heightened sensitivity”; Ashley Rivenbark presented “A new model for DNA methylation-dependent epigenetic regulation of gene expression”; Carol Swartz (non-competing) presented “General enhancement of mutagenic potency of various mutagens due to deleted genes in the UVRB strains TA98 and TA100 of Salmonella compared with strains containing only a point mutation in UVRB”; and finally, Dana Upton presented “Mutagenesis by exocyclic alkylamino puring adducts in Escherichia coli and HEK293 cells”.

The $1500 travel award and a plaque were presented to the student travel award winner, Sharon Oxendine. She will be the student representative on the GEMS BOD for 2006. The poster awards were divided among the student, postdoctoral fellow, and technician categories. The winners of $150 in each category were: student poster: Rebecca Clewell, post-doc poster: Sarfaraz Ahmad, and tech poster: Elizabeth Livanos.

A reception with hot hors d’oeuvres and punch followed the meeting and afforded everyone the opportunity for further discussions.

Gloria D. Jahnke, GEMS Secretary

—Photos by Steve McCaw, Image Associates

See more photos of the Fall Meeting at GEMS Flickr Photo Page: .