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Regional Node Meeting

CalNeAr Regional Node Meeting January 12, 2022

CalNeAr Regional Node Meeting

  • January 24, 2022January 19, 2022
The CalNear node, which covers California, Nevada, and Arizona, had a virtual node meeting on January 12, 2022. The meeting was organized by Claudia Uhde-Stone (Node Leader), Chelsey Mckenna (Node Co-Leader), and Alexa Sawa.

The 19 attendees included 16 faculty, 1 undergraduate and 2 graduate students from 11 institutions (California State University, East Bay, College of Southern Nevada, College of the Desert, Chabot College, San Jose State University, Washington University in St Louis, California State University Northridge, California State University Los Angeles, Vanguard University, Central Arizona College, California Northstate University).

Sessions at the Regional Node Meeting included:

  • Introduction to GEP (Alexa Sawa)
  • Graduate student talks presenting GEP CURE data
  • Undergraduate student talk on benefits of being involved in GEP, and becoming a teaching assistant
  • Q&A session
  • GEP implementation in courses (Claudia Uhde-Stone)

The event was geared to inform and raise interest; we hope that some participants may have been inspired to join our GEP community.
Southeast Regional Node Meeting November 12, 2021

Southeast Regional Node Meeting

  • January 20, 2022January 14, 2022

The GEP Southeast Regional Node held a virtual meeting on November 12, 2021, with 43 students and faculty in attendance, representing colleges and universities from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. Keynote speaker Dr. Sarthok Rahman, a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Alabama, discussed how bumblebees got their colors. His address described scales of life ranging from molecular to ecological, including aspects of epigenetics, gene mapping, signal transduction, developmental biology, convergent evolution, Müllerian mimicry, biogeography, and more. Dr. Sarthok’s presentation exemplified how high-quality genome annotations are useful for comparative genomics.

After the keynote address and ensuing discussion, the 30 undergraduates were divided into two breakout rooms, where they presented their research as five-minute talks. Students shared their challenges, progress, and results in reconciling, annotating coding sequences, and annotating promoter regions.

Students reported that the annotation projects have been a valuable introduction to the world of bioinformatics and participating in our Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience has helped them to make order and sense from overwhelming amounts of data. Faculty reported that it was interesting to hear a broad diversity of student talks.

The two-hour event continued a series of community-building Southeast Regional Node events. We look forward to seeing faculty and hearing from more students at the next meeting!

Pacific Northwest Regional Node Meeting November 7, 2021

Pacific Northwest
Regional Node Meeting

  • December 6, 2021January 14, 2022
The Pacific Northwest (PNW) Regional Node, which currently includes members from Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, held a virtual Regional Node Meeting (RNM) on November 7th, 2021. The meeting was organized by Norma Velazquez-Ulloa (Node Leader), with feedback from all current Node members: Catherine Reinke, James Bedard, Jack Vincent, Holly Paquette, and Tealia Slagle. There were five current members, three prospective members, and eight undergraduate students in attendance, from six different institutions (Lewis & Clark College, Linfield University, The University of the Fraser Valley, The University of Washington-Tacoma, The College of Western Idaho, Boise State University, and Portland Community College).

Sessions at the Regional Node Meeting included:

  • Undergraduate talks presenting GEP gene annotations on the F-Element and Pathways Projects
  • Faculty implementation talks
  • Q&A time for attendees

This successful event was the second RNM for the PNW Regional Node.
Texas and Oklahoma Regional Node Meeting November 5, 2021

Texas and Oklahoma
Regional Node Meeting

  • December 3, 2021January 19, 2022

The Oklahoma Universities in the Texas/Oklahoma Regional Node held a node meeting at the Oklahoma Academies of Science Technical Meeting in Ada, OK at East Central University. Fifteen GEP students presented their annotation projects either in poster or oral formats. GEP students and faculty from East Central University and Oklahoma Christian University ate lunch together and shared experiences.

Scientific Talk on Parasitoid Wasps

  • May 26, 2021May 25, 2021

Dr. Nathan “Nate” Mortimer gave a scientific talk on the GEP’s Parasitoid Wasps Project he is the Project Leader for at the Texas/Oklahoma Regional Node Meeting on January 5, 2021.

Southeast Regional Node

  • May 17, 2021August 19, 2021

The GEP’s Southeast Regional Node held its Spring 2021 Regional Node Meeting on Friday, April 23, with over 60 in attendance, including students and faculty from constituent states Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. The keynote speaker Whitley Kelley, MS, Certified Genetic Counselor at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, AL, provided a fascinating overview of how genomics can be practically applied in careers in genetic counseling (see recording below). Faculty were inspired by the talk to include similar professional development training for students at their own institutions.

Following the keynote address, virtual breakout rooms offered a platform to undergraduate and graduate students to present 5-minute poster sessions on their GEP research projects. Again, faculty response was extremely positive; one professor commented, “Seeing the student presentations with the RNA-Seq provided even more weight to the benefits of the GEP Gene Annotation Curriculum in providing hands-on experiences with multiple data-sets and the feasibility of implementing this curriculum with other scientific questions.”

The two-hour online event served as a brief yet effective forum where students and faculty alike were empowered and motivated to continue active engagement in genomic research.

Texas and Oklahoma
Regional Node Meeting

  • May 11, 2021August 19, 2021

The Texas/Oklahoma node held their first virtual Regional Node Meeting (RNM) on January 5, 2021. The meeting was organized by several members of the TX/OK node including Lindsey Long and Alisha Howard. The morning session focused on providing training on the Parasitoid Wasps annotation project for current GEP faculty. This session was led by Dr. Nathan Mortimer and attended by seven GEP faculty members.

The afternoon session was open to faculty, postdocs, and students in the TX/OK region who were either affiliated with, or interested in, the GEP project. This session was hosted on the interactive platform Gather Town and was attended by 13 faculty and students from eight different institutions. Dr. Nathan Mortimer kicked off the afternoon with a presentation on his Parasitoid Wasps research project. This talk was followed by a virtual poster session by current and former GEP students. Finally, the GEP faculty hosted a Q&A session for new and prospective GEP faculty members.

Minnesota, Iowa, and Dakotas
Regional Node Meeting

  • February 24, 2021August 19, 2021
The GEP’s Minnesota, Iowa, and Dakotas Regional Node held a virtual Regional Node Meeting on December 11th, 2020.

The meeting was organized by Andy Arsham (Node Leader) and Paula Croonquist. The 55 attendees included 13 faculty, 1 postdoc, 51 undergraduates, and 1 administrator from 4 community colleges and 2 four-year institutions (St. Paul College, North Hennepin Community College, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Minneapolis College, Wartburg College, and Bemidji State University).

The virtual poster session at the Regional Node Meeting included:

  • Undergraduates presenting their bioinformatics research projects analyzing evolutionary conservation of growth factor signaling pathways in Drosophila species separated by about 40 million years of evolution
  • Capstone classroom research presentations from BSU’s Gene Expression class investigating the role of repetitive DNA in triggering gene silencing by heterochromatin
  • Introduction and lightning talks by Dr. Laura Reed, GEP Program Director and Pathways Project Leader, and Dr. Nathan Mortimer, GEP Wasp Venom Project Leader
  • Q&A and information for prospective faculty

Pacific Northwest
Regional Node Meeting

  • February 18, 2021August 19, 2021
The GEP’s Pacific Northwest (PNW) Node, which currently has members from Oregon and Washington in the U.S. and from British Columbia in Canada, held their first Regional Node Meeting virtually, on November 1st, 2020.
The meeting was organized by Norma Velazquez (Node Leader), with input from the node members, Catherine Rinke, James Bedard, and Tealis Slagle, and Shan Hays, who is a visiting member in the PNW Node.
Attendees to this event included 3 faculty members, 14 undergraduate students, and 3 GEP alumni from 4 different institutions (Linfield College, Lewis & Clark College, the University of Fraser Valley, and Oregon State University (visiting faculty)).
Sessions at the Regional Node Meeting included:
  • Undergraduate talks from beginner and advanced students presenting GEP data
  • Q&A with professors
  • Alumni Panel
This successful event was part of the GEP’s second year of NIH IPERT-supported regional activities and created a template for future events for the PNW Node.

Midwest North Regional Node Meeting

  • September 9, 2019February 18, 2021

The Midwest North Node, which covers Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, held the GEP’s first NIH-funded Regional Node Meeting in Detroit, MI, at the University of Detroit Mercy, on September 7th – 8th, 2019.

The meeting was organized by Martin Burg (Node Leader), Jacob Kagey (Host Site Leader), and Jamie Siders. The 32 attendees included 12 faculty, 2 postdocs, and 18 undergraduates from 9 institutions (Albion College, Grand Valley State University, Illinois State University, Mount Mary University, Oakland University, Ohio Northern University, University of Detroit Mercy, University of Michigan, Wayne State University).

Sessions at the Regional Node Meeting included:

  • undergraduate talks presenting GEP and other CURE data
  • benefits of becoming a Teaching Assistant
  • dos & don’ts of applying to graduate and professional school
  • GEP faculty discussion about future node events
  • faculty breakout sessions on CURE implementation
  • keynote by Nathan Mortimer titled “Invasion of the body snatchers: A functional genomics approach to understanding parasite virulence proteins”

This successful event kicked off the GEP’s first year of NIH IPERT-supported regional activities and created a template for future events as we ramp up activity under the 5-year IPERT grant.