The Minnesota, Iowa, and Dakotas Regional Node held a virtual meeting on September 30, 2022. The meeting began with introductions, laughs, and updates. Dr. Andy Arsham was the highlighted speaker from Bemidji State University. He gave an engaging research seminar on his current work with the Zas-Znf gene family in the Drosophila lineage. The second part of the Node workshop was an open work time and space for questions around advanced gene annotations in the Pathway Project. Two awesome GEP Virtual TAs joined to answer questions while participants worked through the problematic gene Shaggy in Drosophila willistoni. There were many isoforms and the group wanted to know the best way to approach all of the isoforms. This was a great success, and everyone took something new from the knowledgeable TAs. Finally, Node members discussed and planned the student research event for the spring. Save the Date – April 21st, 2023 at Saint Catherine University! The plan is for this event to be an all-day in person event with student presentations, guest speakers, and lots of food.
Update: The in-person RNM was held on April 21, 2023 and went incredibly well. There were a total of 80 participants (including admin, staff, and STEM faculty from St. Catherine University).
What worked well for your event that might help others plan similar events?
The Node decided to focus on the Pathways Project. Some of the main objectives of the event was to perform hands-on GEP curriculum training for current GEP members. In particular, members wanted to work on and ask questions about a really difficult gene in the project. The Node Leader sent out information on the gene that would be discussed a day before the workshop. Participants ended up talking through the process and then going through questions.