GSA Logo Media Contact:
Raeka Aiyar, Ph.D.
GSA Communications and Engagement Manager
C: 202.412.1120 | O: 301.634.7302


For Immediate Release

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Four early career researchers awarded for work presented at frog genetics conference


Xenopus Genetics Conference

BETHESDA, MD – The Genetics Society of America (GSA) and the Xenopus research community are pleased to announce the winners of the GSA poster awards at the 15th International Xenopus Conference, which took place in Pacific Grove, CA, August 24–28, 2014. The awards were made to graduate and postdoctoral scientists in recognition of the research they presented at the conference. The species of clawed frogs in the Xenopus genus are model organisms that have yielded major advances in our understanding of vertebrate development, cell biology, signal transduction, and neurobiology.


"These young researchers have distinguished themselves in a challenging and important area of genetics," said Adam Fagen, PhD, GSA's executive director. "This was GSA's first time working with the community on the International Xenopus Conference. We look forward to continuing to engage Xenopus researchers in the years to come."


Over 200 researchers presented their work at the meeting, and the winning posters were selected by a panel of leading Xenopus researchers. The winners of the 15th International Xenopus Conference GSA Poster Awards are:


Nicholas Davenport, Graduate Student, University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA
Poster title: "Investigating Rho GTPase Pattern Formation During Wound Repair: The Role of RhoGAP1/8"

Advisor: William Bement

Romain Gibeaux, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California, Berkeley, USA
Poster title: "Investigating biological size control using Xenopus hybrids"

Advisor: Rebecca Heald

Katherine Pfister, Graduate Student, University of Virginia, USA
Poster title: "Role of Myosin Regulatory Light Chain during Convergence and Extension"

Advisor: Ray Keller

Erin Turk, Graduate Student, Stanford University, USA
Poster title: "A New Member of the Tubulin Superfamily Orients Cilia in Multiciliated Epithelial Cells"

Advisor: Tim Stearns



Each awardee received a cash prize, a complimentary extension to their GSA membership, and a copy of Conversations in Genetics, a series of interviews with leading geneticists. GSA typically awards such poster prizes at each of its conferences focused on genetics research in model organisms.


* * *


About the International Xenopus Conference:

The International Xenopus Conference has been held biennially since 1984, and is the premier forum for information exchange and interaction amongst researchers using this model organism for biomedical research. The meeting provides outstanding opportunities for interaction, with nearly 300 platform and poster talks by students, postdocs, and faculty, plus roundtable career development forums. This meeting also provides an ideal opportunity to learn about the latest advances in genomics and new methodologies that are accelerating research with the Xenopus system. For more information about the conference, please see


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


9650 Rockville Pike | Bethesda, MD 20814 | 301.634.7300 | |

Connect with GSA on Twitter (@GeneticsGSA) | Facebook | LinkedIn | Google+