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For Immediate Release

Thursday, September 18, 2014



New Editors Join GENETICS, the Flagship Journal of the Genetics Society of America

Genomics, human genetics among expanded areas of focus


BETHESDA, MD – The Genetics Society of America today announced new appointments to the editorial board of its flagship journal GENETICS. The recent additions complement the renewed focus of the peer-reviewed, peer-edited journal in the areas of genomics, human genetics, and methods, among other fields.

“The newest members of the board bring cutting-edge expertise and reflect the changing, interdisciplinary landscape of our field, while exemplifying GENETICS’ reputation for rigorous scholarship,” said Mark Johnston, Editor-in-Chief of GENETICS and Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Colorado School of Medicine. “They’re already adding to the momentum of the journal’s transformation over recent years.”

Two former Associate Editors have also taken on Senior Editor roles to lead the journal’s expanded coverage of methods and technology development:

  • Stan Fields, PhD, University of California, Berkeley, is now Senior Editor of the Methods, Technology, and Resources section
  • Gary Churchill, PhD, Jackson Laboratory, is Senior Editor of the newly-created Statistical Genetics and Genomics section
“New methods and technologies often drive important discoveries in genetics, and the journal welcomes papers that describe these new approaches,” said Fields.

The new Statistical Genetics and Genomics section will handle articles describing statistical methods, which were formerly published in the Methods, Technology, and Resources section.

“Statistics is an integral part of our field, so it’s only fitting that it has a dedicated section and its own team of Associate Editors,” said Churchill.

The new Senior Editors are joined by several Associate Editor appointments this year:

  • Hugo J. Bellen, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine and Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • George M. Church, PhD, Harvard Medical School
  • Robert J. Duronio, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Michael Freitag, , PhD, Oregon State University
  • Audrey P. Gasch, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Santiago C. González-Martínez, PhD,Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA)
  • Loeske E.B. Kruuk, PhD, University of Edinburgh & Australian National University
  • James R. Lupski, MD, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Andrew W. Murray, PhD, Harvard University
  • Sohini Ramachandran, PhD, Brown University
  • Kathryn Roeder, PhD, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Shyam K. Sharan, PhD, National Cancer Institute
  • Jay Shendure, PhD, University of Washington
  • Lars M. Steinmetz, PhD, EMBL Heidelberg & Stanford University
  • Jason B. Wolf, PhD, University of Bath
  • Naomi R. Wray, PhD, The University of Queensland

New Editor Details: Hugo J. Bellen
Baylor College of Medicine & Howard Hughes Medical Institute
GENETICS Associate Editor, Developmental and Behavioral Genetics

Hugo Bellen uses Drosophila to address fundamental questions in neuronal development, neurotransmission, and the mechanistic basis for neurological disorders. Bellen and colleagues have developed many widely-used technologies and resources for Drosophila research. These include the P[acman] transgenic strategy, a library of P[acman] clones to rescue almost every mutant in Drosophila, and transposable element insertion stocks that allow mutational analysis of nearly 10,000 genes. Bellen most recently helped develop MiMIC, a transposable element that permits tagging of genes/proteins in vivo. Bellen trained in fruit fly genetics as a graduate student in John Kiger’s lab at the University of California, Davis, and grew interested in technology development during his postdoctoral work in Walter Gehring’s lab at the University of Basel, Switzerland. In 2014, Bellen was awarded GSA’s George W. Beadle Award for outstanding contributions to the genetics community.

George M. Church
Harvard Medical School
GENETICS Associate Editor, Methods, Technology, and Resources

George Church is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of, which provides the world's only open-access information on human Genomic, Environmental & Trait data (GET). His 1984 Harvard PhD included the first methods for direct genome sequencing, molecular multiplexing & barcoding. These led to the first genome sequence (pathogen, Helicobacter pylori) in 1994 . His innovations have contributed to nearly all "next generation" genome sequencing methods and companies (CGI, Life, Illumina, nanopore). This plus chip-based DNA synthesis and stem cell engineering resulted in founding additional application-based companies spanning fields of medical diagnostics ( Knome, Alacris, AbVitro,Pathogenica ) & synthetic biology / therapeutics ( Joule, Gen9, Editas, Egenesis, enEvolv, WarpDrive ).

He has also pioneered new privacy, biosafety , environmental & biosecurity policies. He is director of NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Science. His honors include election to the National Academy of Sciences & National Academy of Engineering & Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science. He has coauthored 330 papers, 60 patents & one book (Regenesis).

Gary Churchill
The Jackson Laboratory
GENETICS Senior Editor, Statistical Genetics and Genomics

Gary Churchill applies a systems approach to study the genetics of health and disease, incorporating new statistical methods for the investigation of complex disease-related traits in the mouse. His lab is developing new methods and software that will improve the power of QTL mapping and microarray analysis, as well as graphical models that aim to intuitively and precisely characterize the genetic architecture of disease. They are also establishing two new mouse resources for complex trait analysis: the Collaborative Cross and the Diversity Outbred. Within the Center for Genome Dynamics, the Churchill group is part of a consortium interested in a holistic approach to understanding genetics from an evolutionary perspective.

Churchill received a PhD in Biostatistics in 1988 from the University of Washington. Following his degree he worked as a Research Associate at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. From 1990-1998 he was employed as Assistant, then Associate Professor at Cornell University. In 1997 Churchill came to The Jackson Laboratory as a Visiting Investigator; in 1998 he joined as a Staff Scientist and was promoted to Senior Staff Scientist in 2003.

Robert J. Duronio
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
GENETICS Associate Editor, Developmental and Behavioral Genetics

Bob Duronio uses Drosophila to study the genetic and epigenetic control of animal development, with a focus on mechanisms of gene expression that regulate progression through the cell cycle. The Duronio lab explores the molecular basis for cell cycle plasticity during development and how histone expression and modification contribute to DNA replication. Duronio was a graduate student at Washington University with Jeffrey Gordon and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at UCSF with Patrick O’Farrell. Duronio is currently Professor of Biology and Genetics, Director of the Integrative Program for Biological and Genome Sciences, and Assistant Dean for Research in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Duronio has a strong interest in graduate training, directing the Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology PhD program at UNC-CH from 2003 to 2012. Duronio was elected as an AAAS fellow in 2012.

Stanley Fields
University of Washington & Howard Hughes Medical Institute
GENETICS Senior Editor, Methods, Technology, and Resources

The lab of Stanley Fields focuses on the development and implementation of new technologies, work that includes the origination of the yeast two-hybrid assay and with Marvin Wickens’ lab the yeast three-hybrid assay. Much of the research of his lab has centered on methods of protein analysis, although other efforts have gone into DNA and RNA methodologies and yeast genome engineering. A recent emphasis has been on a technology, deep mutational scanning, that allows the function of hundreds of thousands of variants of a protein to be quantitatively assessed in a single experiment. Fields was a graduate student at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England with George Brownlee and carried out postdoctoral work in Ira Herskowitz’s lab at the University of California, San Francisco. Fields is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2015, Fields will serve as vice-president of the Genetics Society of America Board of Directors, and the following year will be the GSA president.

Michael Freitag
Oregon State University
GENETICS Associate Editor, Gene Expression

Michael Freitag’s original training was in forestry (Diplom, Universitaet Goettingen) but after studying biological control of fungi (MS, Oregon State University), he turned to more fundamental research on translational control of gene expression (PhD, Oregon Graduate Institute) and the control and function of DNA methylation (post-doc, University of Oregon). His current aim is to understand how chromatin shapes eukaryotic genomes and "epigenomes", the sum of DNA and protein modifications resulting in heritable chromatin states not encoded in the DNA sequence. Posttranslational modifications are important in eukaryotic gene regulation, and he studies them in the genetically tractable fungi. Cytology, biochemistry and genetics of chromatin states show that transcriptionally silent heterochromatin is distinct from active euchromatin. His laboratory investigates centromeres and polycomb proteins of filamentous fungi.

Audrey P. Gasch
University of Wisconsin-Madison
GENETICS Associate Editor, Gene Expression, & G3 Associate Editor

Audrey Gasch earned her PhD from Stanford University and then conducted postdoctoral work at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab/University of California, Berkeley before joining the Genetics Faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Gasch lab uses functional genomics, bioinformatics, and systems-biology approaches in combination with genetics and molecular biology to study the role, regulation, and evolution of eukaryotic stress responses. A particular interest of the lab is natural variation in stress defenses in wild yeast strains. Her lab also does applied research on stress responses and cellular metabolism with application to bioenergy research.

Santiago C. González-Martínez
Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA)
GENETICS Associate Editor, Empirical Population Genetics

Santiago C. González-Martínez addresses fundamental questions in ecological and population genetics and genomics using forest trees as a study system. González-Martínez has produced landmark studies on forest tree molecular evolution and local adaptation, identifying the main evolutionary drivers and ecologically-relevant genes involved in polygenetic responses to drought and wildfire. Most recently, González-Martínez and collaborators provided proof of concept for in situ association genetics in forest trees. Trained as a forest geneticist at INIA, Madrid, González-Martínez grew interested in the interface between ecology, evolution, and genomics during his postdoctoral research in Isabelle Olivieri’s lab at ISEM, Montpellier, and David Neale’s lab at the University of California, Davis. In 2013-2014, he enjoyed a Senior Marie Curie Fellowship at John Pannell’s lab in Switzerland, where he extended his interests to the genomic signatures of range expansions in Mercurialis, an annual model plant with great mating and genetic system variability.

Loeske E.B. Kruuk
University of Edinburgh & Australian National University
GENETICS Associate Editor, Complex Traits

Loeske Kruuk is Professor of Evolutionary Ecology at the University of Edinburgh and the Australian National University. Her research focuses on the evolutionary processes that shape biological diversity in wild animal populations, and in particular the insights that quantitative genetics can shed on evolutionary dynamics. Her work initiated much of the current application of quantitative genetic analytical techniques developed in animal breeding to evolutionary ecology. She has an undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of Oxford and a PhD in population genetics from the University of Edinburgh. Her interest in quantitative genetics began during a postdoc at the University of Cambridge, after which she returned to Edinburgh on a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. She has worked on several long-term pedigree studies of wild animal populations, and used these to investigate the genetic basis of complex traits in natural populations and its interaction with environmental conditions, as well as associated topics of phenotypic plasticity, natural and sexual selection, inbreeding depression, maternal effects, senescence, and effects of climate change. Loeske has received the Zoological Society of London’s Scientific Medal, a Phillip Leverhulme Prize, and been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a member of EMBO; she has also recently co-edited a book ‘Quantitative Genetics in Wild Populations’ (Oxford University Press, 2014). She has three young children and works part-time.

James R. Lupski
Baylor College of Medicine
GENETICS Associate Editor, Genome Integrity and Transmission
Lupski profile at BCM

Jim Lupski’s most significant contributions have been in conceptualization and mechanistic understanding of genomic disorders, “diseases caused by rearrangements of the genome incited by a genomic architecture that conveys instability.” Through studies of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) peripheral neuropathy and Smith-Magenis syndrome, his laboratory established the critical role of copy number variation (CNV) and gene dosage in human disease. His recent collaborations with Richard Gibbs and the Baylor Human Genome Sequencing Center resulted in the first personal genome sequence to identify a "disease gene" by whole genome sequencing (WGS), that of Lupski himself, who is affected with CMT. Some consider Chromosome Microarray Analysis (CMA) for detecting genomic disorders to have been the greatest clinical benefit to arise from the human genome project until clinical exomes became a reality.
Jim Lupski was an Undergraduate Research Participant at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and obtained his undergraduate degree from New York University in 1979, completing the M.D./Ph.D. program in 1985. In 1986 he moved to Houston, Texas for clinical training in pediatrics and medical genetics and then established his own laboratory at Baylor College of Medicine. He is now the Cullen Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics and a Professor of Pediatrics. Lupski completed a sabbatical (2004-2005) at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the laboratory of Allan Bradley, studying mouse genetics and genomics. Lupski was awarded a Doctor of Science degree honoris causa in 2011 from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He assumed the role of Vice Chair at Baylor from 2006-2014 and was elected to the National Academies of Science in 2002 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2013.

Andrew W. Murray
Harvard University
GENETICS Associate Editor, Genome and Systems Biology

Andrew Murray completed his PhD with Jack Szostak on constructing artificial chromosomes, and a postdoc with Mark Kirschner showing that cyclin synthesis and destruction regulates the cell division cycle. His group works on three subjects using the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae: 1) chromosome behavior during mitosis and meiosis, 2) mating, and 3) experimental evolution. They use genetic and physiological perturbations, synthetic biology, and collaborations with theorists to try to understand the “rules of the game” that explain how cells reproduce, respond to their environment, and evolve. In his work in education, he is interested in breaking interdisciplinary barriers without sacrificing discipline.

Sohini Ramachandran
GENETICS Associate Editor, Theoretical Population Genetics

Sohini Ramachandran is a population geneticist, focusing on the inference of ancient human history from extant samples. Her lab uses theoretical population genetics and coalescent theory to develop methods for inferring population size changes over time and identifying loci under selection in the human genome. She joined the faculty of Brown University in July 2010, after 3 years as a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and postdoctoral fellow in Professor John Wakeley’s group at the Harvard University Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. She completed her PhD in 2007 with Professor Marcus Feldman at Stanford University’s Department of Biological Sciences.

Kathryn Roeder
Carnegie Mellon University
GENETICS Associate Editor, Statistical Genetics and Genomics

Kathryn Roeder is Professor of Statistics and Computational Biology at Carnegie Mellon University. Her work focuses on statistical genetics and the genetic basis of complex disease. Her group has published extensively on methods for gene mapping and the genetics of autism. Current data typically involves Next Generation Sequencing and gene expression, including RNAseq, and she has developed statistical methods in a wide spectrum of areas, including high dimensional inference, mixture models, and nonparametric statistics. Roeder’s career began in the biological sciences, including a year living in the wilderness regions of the Pacific Northwest as a research assistant for the Department of Wildlife Resources. In 1988 she received her PhD in Statistics from Pennsylvania State University. She spent 6 years on the Statistics faculty at Yale University where she played a pivotal role developing the foundations of DNA forensic inference. In 1994 Roeder joined the Department of Statistics at Carnegie Mellon. She is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. In 1997 she received the COPSS Presidents award and the Snedecor Award for outstanding work in statistical applications.

Shyam K. Sharan
National Cancer Institute
GENETICS Associate Editor, Genome Integrity and Transmission

Shyam Sharan received his PhD in Genetics from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio under the mentorship of Terry Magnuson. He then joined the laboratory of Allan Bradley at Baylor College of Medicine for his postdoctoral training, where he worked on the functional analysis of Brca1 and Brca2 in mouse. He was the first to show that BRCA2 functions as a tumor suppressor because of its role in maintaining genomic integrity. His work demonstrated that BRCA2 interacts with a key DNA repair protein RAD51 and participates in the repair of damaged DNA by homologous recombination. In 1998, he established the Genetics of Cancer Susceptibility Section as a Group Leader in the ABL-Basic Research Program and later joined the Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute in 1999. The focus of his work has been to understand the mechanism of genomic instability and how it contributes to tumorigenesis. His laboratory has utilized the variants identified in human BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes to generate humanized as well as knock-in mouse models for functional dissection of these genes. More recently his laboratory has pioneered the use of mouse embryonic stem cells to develop a functional assay to evaluate the functional significance of variants identified in human BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. In 2008, Sharan received the NCI Director’s Intramural Innovation Award and in 2009, 2012 and 2013, he received the NIH Award of Merit. In 2009 he received the prestigious Arthur Flemming Award for his work on the functional analysis of BRCA1 and BRCA2.

Jay Shendure
University of Washington
GENETICS Associate Editor, Methods, Technology, and Resources

Jay Shendure is an Associate Professor of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington. Dr. Shendure's 2005 PhD included one of the first successful demonstrations of massively parallel or next generation DNA sequencing. His research group in Seattle has made significant contributions to technologies including exome sequencing and its application to identify the basis of Mendelian disorders and autism spectrum disorders; genome-wide experimental haplotyping and its application to non-invasive whole genome sequencing of a human fetus; massively parallel reporter assays and saturation genome editing; and contact probability maps for de novo genome assembly. He is the recipient of the 2012 Curt Stern Award from the American Society of Human Genetics, the 2013 FEDERAprijs, a 2013 NIH Director's Pioneer Award, and the 2014 HudsonAlpha Life Sciences Prize.

Lars M. Steinmetz
EMBL Heidelberg & Stanford University
GENETICS Associate Editor, Genome and Systems Biology, & G3 Associate Editor

Lars Steinmetz is a Professor of Genetics at Stanford University, Co-Director of the Stanford Genome Technology Center, and the Associate Head of the Genome Biology Unit at EMBL Heidelberg. He is an EMBO member and a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Investigator. His research groups aim at a systematic understanding of how information is encoded in genomes and leads to phenotypic variation; to this end, they have developed several original interdisciplinary, genome-wide technologies. His work has helped to establish yeast as a model for complex trait dissection and revealed significant complexity in the genetic architecture of several phenotypes. He has made fundamental discoveries about yeast transcriptome architecture, including pervasive non-coding transcription, bidirectional promoters, and extensive isoform variation. He is also experienced in mitochondrial biology, having pioneered integrative techniques to define new mitochondrial components. In addition to his academic endeavours, Steinmetz is a consultant and board member for several companies, advising in the areas of genetics and personalized medicine.

Jason B. Wolf
University of Bath
GENETICS Associate Editor, Complex Traits

Jason Wolf is Professor of Evolutionary Genetics at the University of Bath. His work integrates theoretical, computational, and empirical quantitative and population genetic approaches to understand genetic architecture and phenotypic evolution. He has worked on questions related to pleiotropy, epistatic (gene) interactions, maternal effects, genomic imprinting, indirect genetics effects, and social evolution. He is winner of the Dobzhansky Prize from the Society for the Study of Evolution and the Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society of London.

Naomi R. Wray
The University of Queensland
GENETICS Associate Editor, Complex Traits

Naomi Wray is Professor of Complex Trait Genetics at Queensland Brain Institute of the University of Queensland, where she is co-director of the Centre for Neurogenetics and Statistical Genomics. She is an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Principal Research Fellow. Her early training was in quantitative genetics with application in livestock (Cornell and Edinburgh). Her research program focuses on methodology in statistical and quantitative genetics with applications to psychiatric and neurological disorders.

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Since 1916, GENETICS ( has published high quality, original research on a range of topics bearing on inheritance, including population and evolutionary genetics, complex traits, developmental and behavioral genetics, cellular genetics, gene expression, genome integrity and transmission, and genome and systems biology. A peer-reviewed and peer-edited publication of the Genetics Society of America, GENETICS is one of the world’s most cited journals in genetics and heredity.

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


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