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Program Highlights

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Unifying Themes

The questions that drive biological discovery cut across organisms and unite communities. TAGC’s Thematic Sessions bring together the latest advances from all research communities, with speakers selected from abstract submissions.

Topics include:

  1. Gene/genome editing
  2. Chemical biology
  3. Emerging model organisms
  4. Sequencing technologies
  5. Single-cell genomics and proteomics
  6. Optogenetics
  7. Phenotyping technologies
  1. Genome structure and organization
  2. Gene and protein networks
  3. Gene regulatory networks
  4. Computational biology
  5. Heterochromatin
  6. Transposable elements
  7. Microbiome
  1. Adaptation and natural selection
  2. Speciation
  3. Experimental evolution
  4. Comparative genomics
  5. Phylogenetics and biogeography
  6. Population history
  7. Ecological genetics
  8. Response to climate change
  1. Gene-environment interactions
  2. Gene-gene interaction (epistasis)
  3. Genomic selection/prediction
  4. Complex trait genetics
  5. Statistical genetics methods
  1. Patterning, morphogenesis and organogenesis
  2. Regeneration and wound healing
  3. Stem cells
  4. Meiosis and germline development
  5. Sex determination
  6. Cell death
  1. Cell cycle, cell division, cytokinesis
  2. Signaling (intracellular and intercellular)
  3. Cytoskeleton
  4. Cell motility (cilia, basal bodies)
  5. Cell polarity
  6. Nuclear organization
  7. Stress response
  8. Organelles
  9. Autophagy and proteostasis
  10. Protein trafficking
  11. Metabolism and Physiology
  1. Regulation of gene expression (transcriptional and post-transcriptional)
  2. Gene regulatory networks
  3. Epigenetics
  4. Chromatin structure
  5. RNA splicing
  6. Non-coding RNAs (piRNA, siRNA, lncRNA, etc.)
  1. Aging
  2. Cancer
  3. Mendelian diseases
  4. Neurodegenerative diseases
  5. Infection and immunity
  6. Host-microbe interactions
  1. DNA repair and recombination
  2. DNA replication
  3. Chromosome segregation and centromeres
  4. Telomeres
  5. Meiotic recombination
  6. Mutation
  1. Behavioral genetics
  2. Neurodevelopment
  3. Neurotransmission
  4. Neural circuits
  1. Privacy
  2. Eugenics
  3. Ethical use of technology
  4. GMOs
  1. Diversification of training
  2. Diversity and inclusion in training and outreach
  3. Funding policies—distribution of funding; grant review
  4. Educational practice

Inspiring Keynotes

Get inspired by innovative work that crosses system and disciplinary boundaries! Keynote Speakers include:

  • Sue Biggins, HHMI/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Pat Brown, Impossible Foods/Stanford University
  • Ed Buckler, USDA-ARS/Cornell University
  • Caroline Dean, John Innes Centre
  • Abby Dernburg, HHMI/UC Berkeley
  • Claude Desplan, New York University
  • Cassandra Extavour, Harvard University
  • Elaine Fuchs, HHMI/Rockefeller University
  • Jon Lorsch, National Institute of General Medical Science
  • Sally Otto, University of British Columbia
  • Alex Schier, Harvard University
  • J. Paul Taylor, HHMI/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • John Wallingford, University of Texas at Austin
  • Keith Yamamoto, UC San Francisco
  • Feng Zhang, HHMI/Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Read the Keynote Speaker bios.

Community Building

Catch up with your community or connect with a new one! Community oral presentation sessions are dedicated to the latest research from each participating community, with speakers selected from abstract submissions.

Spending time with friends and colleagues is important; the scientific program will open with mixers dedicated to each of the seven community groups, so you can easily find your people or introduce yourself to a new group. Participating research communities include:

  • C. elegans
  • Drosophila
  • Mammalian
  • Population, Evolutionary, and Quantitative Genetics
  • Xenopus
  • Yeast
  • Zebrafish

All researchers, including plant, agricultural, and human geneticists, are encouraged to present their work in the Thematic and Poster Sessions.

Industry Connections

Find collaborators; gain a new perspective; learn about career options; and get a glimpse into how academic research is translated into products, treatments, and other innovations. TAGC’s Industry Sessions will focus on the intersection of interests between academic and industry researchers, with a dynamic format to encourage discussion and collaboration.

Professional Development

Science is competitive. Want to gain an edge, get ahead, or make a move? Learn new skills and advance your career with GSA professional development programs at the meeting:

  • Industry Careers
  • Recruitment Event
  • Peer Review Training Workshop
  • New Faculty Forum
  • Scientific Writing Workshop
  • Grant Writing Workshop
  • Poster Invitation Program
  • Publishing Q&A
  • Community, Connections & Lunch
  • Science Communication Meetup
  • Job Application Document Review
  • And others to be announced

Advocacy in DC

There’s no better time to communicate the importance of science. Take your message to Congress! Join GSA in a special event on Capitol Hill advocating for science and scientists. Meet policymakers and staffers who directly impact science policy and funding. Learn about the science policy landscape with a panel discussion and Keynote presentation from Keith Yamamoto.

Gruber Genetics Prize

The Gruber Genetics Prize is presented annually to up to three scientists in recognition of groundbreaking contributions to genetics research. In a special session, TAGC will feature the annual Gruber Lecture given by the 2020 Prize recipients.


Start a conversation on your favorite topic! Attendees are invited to propose workshop sessions that encourage interaction and exchange across community boundaries. Whether it’s a workshop to discuss a hot scientific topic or address a societal challenge, your ideas can move the field forward.


With a dedicated Education Session, Undergraduate Research Session, Workshops and ample opportunities to cross-pollinate ideas for the classroom and lab, genetics educators will find much to choose from.