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Southeast Regional Node Meeting – April 21, 2023

The Southeast Regional Node held a virtual Regional Node Meeting April 21, 2023.
GEP Southeast Regional Node Meeting virtual via laptop computer
The GEP’s Southeast Regional Node held its Spring 2023 Regional Node Meeting virtually on Friday, April 21st, with 20 participants from Alabama and Georgia, representing the University of Alabama, Clayton State University, Columbus State University, and Agnes Scott College. The keynote speaker Dr. Avery Davis Bell, a postdoc in Dr. Annalise Paaby’s lab at Georgia Tech, gave a fascinating talk on how genetic variation in different wildtype strains of C. elegans nematodes display striking divergence in transcriptomic responses to RNAi-mediated knockdown of par-1, indicating that downstream effects of RNAi knockdowns in the N2 reference strain are not necessarily recapitulated in other wildtype strains. In addition, Dr. Bell gave a wonderful account of her journey in academia, going from wet-lab work to computational biology due to disability, and tips and tricks for undergraduates and graduate students to find the right mentors and labs that will support them. Following the keynote address, Dr. Laura Reed and Dr. Brian Schwartz moderated the breakout rooms for students to give 5-minute presentations on gene annotation of multiple genes in the insulin signaling pathway, with some really surprising results. Students from Dr. Reed’s lab, Dr. Schwartz’s lab, and Dr. Srebrenka Robic’s lab presented their GEP-related research. Overall, this 2-hour event was highly successful in fostering stronger connections within the Southeast Regional Node on behalf of the students and faculty, as well as interacting with such an inspirational talk from Dr. Bell on genomics in C. elegans.

What worked well for your event that might help others plan similar events?

Working closely with Regional Nodes’ leadership via check-in meetings.

What worked well for your event that might help others plan similar events?

The virtual event itself was fine. There were still some issues with low participation from GEP Southeast Node faculty overall that requires more introspection on how to increase engagement in a virtual forum.


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