November 03, 2006

Summary of 2006 Fall Meeting

by Gloria D. Jahnke, GEMS Secretary

The 24th Fall Meeting of the Genetics and Environmental Mutagenesis Society was held at the Friday Center of the University of North Carolina October 26, 2006. The topic for this meeting was “Oxidative Stress and Damage”. There were approximately 150 registered attendees and 18 corporate sponsors.

President Dr. Les Recio welcomed everyone and thanked CIIT for providing nametags for the meeting, ILS for providing the meeting programs, and NIEHS for meeting support. He also welcomed the meeting attendees and thanked the corporate sponsors for their support. President-Elect Dr. Greg Stuart introduced the speakers. In the morning session, Dr. Susan P. LeDoux from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine spoke on “Mitochondrial DNA Repair: A Critical Player in the Cellular Response to Oxidative Damage”. This was followed by a presentation by Dr. James A. Swenberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who presented data and opened a discussion of “Do Chemicals That Form DNA Adducts and Induce Mutations Always Have Linear Low Dose Risks?” 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 attendees. The morning session was completed with two student talks. Dana Dolinoy presented “Environmental Influences on the Fetal Epigenome” and Stephanie Dance presented “ Mouse Lung Tumor Model Dose response Analysis of the Conditional Expression of the Mutant Ki-RasG12C Allele”.

During lunch, Susan Ross and RoseAnne McGee, on behalf of GEMS, held a drawing for a corporate gift basket. Susan Barbee accepted the gift basket on behalf of Roche Applied Science. The corporate sponsors also had a drawing. Meeting attendees could enter this contest by visiting 10 sponsor booths during the course of the meeting. Ten gifts were provided for the drawing.

After lunch, a short business meeting was held. Twenty-two new members registered at the meeting. The election results for the GEMS board were announced. RoseAnne McGee is President-Elect and newly elected councilors are: Kristine Witt, Stephen Little, Daniel Shaughnessy, and Mac Law. Mac Law will serve a 2-year term replacing RoseAnne McGee as councilor. GEMS coffee mugs were presented to outgoing officers: Les Recio (president); Alan Townsend, Mary Smith, and Karin Scarpinato (councilors). In appreciation of his service, an inscribed plaque was presented to the outgoing GEMS president, Les Recio. All invited speakers received inscribed GEMS coffee mugs and all competing speakers received GEMS coffee mugs.

The afternoon session began with a student presentation by D.W. Lehmann entitled “Aroclor Derived Oxidative Damage in the Bivalve Corbicula Flumenea”. This presentation was followed by presentations by postdoctoral fellows. Brooke Heidenfelder presented “Biomonitoring of Reactive Oxygen Species in Biological Fluids: Antonia Chen presented “Proinflammatory Cytokines Induce NO-Mediated DNA Damage in Articular Chondrocytes” and Dario Ramirez spoke on “Immuno-Spin Trapping of Oxidatively Generated Damage to the Genome”. Following these talks, Dr. James A. Imlay from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign spoke on “Molecular Explanations for the Toxicity of Sub-Micromolar H2O2”.

Two travel awards were presented. One to the best presentation by a student and one to the best presentation by a post-doctoral fellow. Three speakers were in each division. Dana Dolinoy (Duke University) and Dr. Dario Ramirez (NIEHS), were judged best talks, respectively. Each received a $1000 travel award and a plaque that will be engraved with their name. Both awardees will have a one-year appointment on the GEMS board of directors. The poster awards were divided between the student and postdoctoral fellow categories. The winners of $250 in each category were: student poster: Mikyoung Lee Ji (NCSU) for “Recombinant Expression of Glutathione Reductase from Cowellia Psychreythreaea in Escherichia Coli” and post-doc poster: Mercedes E. Arana for “A Unique Error Signature for Human DNA Polymerase v”.

A reception with hot hors d’oeuvres, ice tea, and lemonade followed the meeting and afforded everyone the opportunity for further discussions.