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group photo at dinner of GEP members in attendance

MN/IA/Dakotas Regional Node Meeting – April 21, 2023

The Minnesota, Iowa, and Dakotas Regional Node held the GEP’s first, and largest, NIH-funded Regional Node Genomics Research Symposium in Saint Paul, MN, at Saint Catherine University, on April 21st, 2023. This was completely an in person event. The meeting was organized by Dr. Kellie Agrimson with support from Dr. Paula Croonquist and Dr. Andy Arsham.

The 80 attendees included 20 faculty, 1 postdoc, 1 postbac, 1 graduate student and 55 undergraduates from 10 institutions (Anoka Ramsey Community College, Bemidji State University, Crown College, Macalester College, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Normandale Community College, North Hennepin Community College, Saint Catherine University, University of Minnesota, and Wartburg College).

The Genomics Research Symposium Included:

Adapting GEP Tools to Study Gene Family Evolution Across Insecta” guest speaker: Dr. Andy Arsham, Assistant Professor of Biology, Bemidji State University

Student Workshop - Research Experience Search

Genomics of a Partnership: Exploring the Lichen Symbiosis” guest speaker: Dr. Tami McDonald, Associate Professor of Biology, Saint Catherine University

Searching for a Genetic Basis to Feeding & Sleeping Behaviors in Cavefish” guest speaker: Dr. Emilie Richards, NIH IRACDA Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Minnesota

Student Poster Presentations

Computational Techniques and Tools to Improve Genetic Testing in the Clinic” guest speaker: Dr. Getiria Onsongo, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Macalester College

Student Workshop – CV Design

Transcriptional Regulation by the Polycomb Repressive Complex 1.1 in Placental Development” guest speaker: Dr. Micah Gearhart, Research Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota

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

Having short (20-30 min) research talks throughout the day seemed to be a highlight.

GEP Regional Node Meeting Virtual

MN/IA/Dakotas Regional Node Meeting – September 30, 2022

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.

MN/IA/Dakotas Regional Node Meeting – December 11, 2020

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