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GGA Contests

GGA Graduate Student and Postdoc Travel Awards

The NC State’s Genetics and Genomics Academy (GGA) is pleased to announce the availability of travel funds to support NC State graduate students and postdoctoral fellows traveling to conferences, workshops, or collaborator institutions. GGA will provide a one-time reimbursement for up to $1000 to help defray the cost of attending conferences and other professional activities in the area of Genetics & Genomics to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and research scholars being trained in GGA-affiliated labs. Up to 10 awards will be given out in 2024. The cost of transportation, housing, and conference registration fees are considered eligible travel expenses.

GGA Travel Funds for 2024 have been awarded! Below are the award recipients:

Amilcar Rodriguez, Doctoral StudentUchechukwu Chimeh, Doctoral Student
Jonathan Zirkel, Doctoral StudentJessica Martinez-Baird, Doctoral Student
Adam Breister, Doctoral StudentCarley Huffstetler, Doctoral Student
Adarsha Devihalli Puttaswamy Gowda, Doctoral StudentQuiana Mosley, Doctoral Student
Ariel Tarrand, Doctoral StudentGabriel De Siqueira Gesteira, Postdoc
GGA Graduate Student and Postdoc Travel Awards (Spring/Summer 2024)

GGA Summer 2023 Teamwork Mini-Grants

The NC State’s Genetics and Genomics Academy (GGA) is inviting undergraduate students interested in or currently involved in Genetics & Genomics-related research to apply for GGA Summer Teamwork Mini-Grants together with their prospective or actual mentors who are current NC State graduate students, postdoctoral fellows or research scholars.

GGA will provide one-time awards of up to $3000 to help support the needs of collaborative research projects lead by undergraduates working in GGA-affiliated laboratories on campus under the direct supervision of NC State postdoctoral fellows or graduate students. Each team of two applying for this competitive award can request up to $1000 in supplies, equipment or software needed for the project, in addition to a $1000 stipend for the student and $1000 for their mentor. Up to 10 mini-grants will be awarded in 2023.

To apply, students and their trainers should complete this Google form, submit a one-page description of their proposed research to be conducted in the summer of 2023 outlining the respective roles of both team members, and a short budget listing the specific needs of the project. A letter of support from a faculty research mentor should be included in the form as an attachment. The mini-grants can be received by undergraduates and their trainers on top of other forms of support (federal work-study, Provost’s professional experience program, REU, private scholarships, fellowships, grant funding, etc.). However, students and mentors are eligible for only one GGA award per year.

Undergraduate trainees receiving this award are invited to present a research poster about their project at the GGA annual retreat in August (the tentative day for this year’s retreat is August 23th, 2024).

GGA Mini-Grants for 2024 have been awarded! Below are the award recipients:

Oliver Rasey, Junior
(Mentor: J. Alejandro Aragon Raygoza, Postdoc)
Lindsey Diaz, Sophomore
(Mentor: Isabella Livingston, Ph.D. Candidate)
Hannah Davis, Sophomore
(Mentor: Anna Yaschenko, Ph.D. Candidate)
Hallie Johnson, Freshman
(Mentor: Aldo Carmona Baez, Postdoc)
Logan Bass, Junior
(Mentor: Ian Birchler De Allende, Ph.D. Candidate)
Broseth Bun, Freshman
(Mentor: Bethany Mostert, Ph.D. Candidate)
Joseph Majual, Senior
(Mentor: Quiana Mosley, Ph.D. Candidate)
Ellen White, Junior
(Mentor: Felicia Shepard, Ph.D. Candidate)

Alexandra Istishin, Junior
(Mentor: Kristen John, Ph.D. Candidate)
GGA Summer 2024 Teamwork Mini-Grants

*NEW* GGA Educational Video Contest

The Genetics and Genomics Academy (GGA) at NC State University (NCSU) is excited to announce a new outreach initiative focused on producing short (2-5 min) educational videos that inform the general public about interesting developments, topics, trends, techniques, or approaches in the area of Genetics and Genomics. We invite high-school, undergraduate, and graduate students to work with NC K-12 science teachers to identify areas in the K-12 Biology curriculum that would benefit from educational videos being made on topics relevant to the fields of Genetics and Genomics. Joint student-teacher proposals are due by March 20th, 2023. NC State’s Genetics and Genomics experts (PhD-level scientists working as postdocs, staff, or faculty) will then review the proposals and select up to 10 student-teacher teams they wish to support by providing funding (up to $1000) and scientific guidance to help with developing the videos over the course of the summer of 2023. Teams will work over the summer of 2023 and submit their videos to GGA by August 14th, 2023. Educational video contest winners will be announced on August 21st, 2023 and awarded prizes.

GGA Paper of the Year

If your group has recently published an exciting research article (publication date of 2022-2023) in a peer-reviewed journal and the study includes genetics and/or genomics content, consider nominating the first author of your publication for the “GGA Paper of the Year” contest. Encourage the leading student/postdoc author to enter the competition by having them submit a brief explanation (150-200 words) of what their contribution to the study was and why they believe their paper is especially impactful, along with a pdf of the article, in July. Self-nominations from students and postdocs are welcome! All submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges. The winner of the contest will be announced at the first fall-semester GGA seminar in August and invited to present a 10-min live talk about the findings of the paper at the GGA Annual Retreat on August 25, 2023.

Below are the 2023 winners:

WINNER: Echo PanRodolphe Barrangou’s LabPaper Title: Genomic and epigenetic landscapes drive CRISPR-based
genome editing in Bifidobacterium
Read their paper here.
WINNER: Amarish K YadavMax Scott’s LabPaper Title: CRISPR/Cas9-based split homing gene drive targeting doublesex for population suppression of the global fruit pest Drosophila suzukii
Read their paper here.
GGA Paper of the Year Winner – 2023

GGA Annual Retreat Research Poster Contest

Trainees are invited to present research posters at the GGA Annual Retreat on August 25, 2023. The best posters are typically chosen by retreat attendees, and the winners are awarded cash prizes from our corporate sponsors

Below are the 2023 winners:

Megan DillonGraduate Student | Breen / Burford Reiskind Lab
Caitlin KestellGraduate Student | Dewey Lab
Katie TraynelisUndergraduate Student
GGA Annual Retreat Poster Contest – 2023

3-Minute In-Person Flash Talks

3-min in-person flash talks showcase graduate trainees’ genetics/genomics-related research and are typically presented at the GGA seminar series in August. This opportunity enables graduate trainees to hone their presentation skills and publicize their work in the GGA community. In 2022, 18 graduate trainees presented at the event, and voting took place at the conclusion of the talks. The winners were announced at the GGA Annual Retreat on August 25, 2023.

Below are the 2023 winners:

1ST PLACE WINNER: Ariel TarrandGraduate Student | Scott LabTalk Title: California Girls: undeniable or unreliable? Exploring gene drive homing rates in diverse genetic backgrounds of Spotted Wing Drosophila
2ND PLACE WINNER: Katie VollenGraduate Student | Alonso-Stepanova LabTalk Title: From enemy to ally: Hacking viruses to engineer plant genomes
(TIE) 3RD PLACE WINNER: Isabella LivingstonGraduate Student | Breen LabTalk Title: Population genetics and dynamics of the North Carolina Black Bear (Ursus americanus)
(TIE) 3RD PLACE WINNER: John BrittGraduate Student | Rao LabTalk Title: Derivation of human trophoblast stem cells (hTSC) from term placenta
3-Minute In-Person Flash Talks Winners – Fall 2023