March 21, 2001, Washington, DC

Maryland Suite C, Marriott Wardman Park Hotel


2:00 - 2:10


2:10 - 2:50

         2001 PROGRAM COMMITTEE (Mariana W., Mike G.)

2:10 - 2:30

            SANDLER LECTURER COMMITTEE (Lynn Cooley)

2:30 - 2:35

            2002 PROGRAM COMMITTEE ( Ken B., Chuck L. )

2:35 - 2:40

         Meeting Format & Workshop Discussion

2:40 - 2:50


2:50 - 3:15

            GSA COORDINATOR (Marsha Ryan)

2:50 - 3:05


3:05 - 3:15


3:15 - 3:50

            TREASURER (Steve Mount)

3:15 - 3:25


3:25 - 3:50


4:00 - 4:15


4:00 - 4:15


4:15 - 5:00

            STOCK CENTER ADVISORY COM.      (Hugo Bellen)

4:15 - 4:20

            BLOOMINGTON STOCK CENTER (Kevin Cook)

4:20 - 4:30


4:30 - 4:50

            DIS (Jim Thompson)

4:50 - 4:55

            FLYBASE (Bill Gelbart)

4:55 - 5:00


5:00 - 5:30


5:30 - 5:45


5:45 - 6:00



1. REPORT OF THE 2001 PROGRAM COMMITTEE (Mariana Wolfner, Mike Goldberg)


Registration - Preregistration for the meeting has been stronger than anticipated.  To date (as of 3/12/01), 1430 people (a record high!) have registered for the meeting; the breakdown is provided below.  An additional 100 participants are expected to register at the meeting itself.  This represents a strong increase in attendance relative to the prior year (994 preregistered plus 189 on-site registrants, for a total of 1183).  We believe the increase is mostly the result of a more popular venue (Washington, DC as opposed to Pittsburgh, PA), although it is possible that the completion of the Drosophila genomic sequence may have attracted new scientists into the field.  The increase in attendance has occurred in spite of several complaints about the price of rooms at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.  Though the attractiveness of the venue seems to be more critical in the formulation of decisions to come to the meeting than is the cost of the hotel rooms, every effort should be made to keep lodging costs affordable.


Regular/Advance = 907 (GSA members = 563 Non-members = 344) + onsite 25 =  932

Students/Advance = 477 (GSA members = 233 Non-members = 244)+ onsite 11 = 488

Complimentary =  10

Total to date = 1430

(onsite : registrations received after the preregistration deadline)


Plenary Speakers - Eleven plenary speakers were invited; this is the same number as in previous years, and allows time for the business meeting after the first plenary session. Plenary speakers were chosen for their excellent science and for their ability to communicate in talks.  We made efforts to cover a broad range of current topic areas, and to have junior as well as senior investigators as plenary speakers. We also aimed for gender and geographical balance, to the extent possible.  Gerry Rubin was invited to be the keynote speaker for the opening night, and will give an overview of fly genomics past, present and future.  An updated List of Speakers is appended to this report that includes the year 2001 invited speakers.


Abstract Submission- Abstracts were solicited under twelve areas of primary research interest.  This is a smaller list than that employed during the 2000 meeting.  The list of 2001 topics is appended to the end of this report, including the number of abstracts submitted in each area.  In total, 966 requests were made (versus 802 in 2000).  There were 377 requests for slide presentations for 144 available slots, allowing accommodation of approximately 38% of the requests.  In contrast with previous years, we organized the descriptive keywords hierarchically, so that the keywords matched the session categories.  This hierarchy allowed us to achieve a certain degree of internal organization for each session, and also allowed us to apportion the number of speakers for each sub-topic roughly in proportion to the number of abstracts submitted in each sub-field (see below).

            We believe that the choice of session topics worked generally quite well.  The most popular submission topics were Pattern Formation and Signal Transduction, but some other subjects such as Cell Division and the Cytoskeleton, Gene Regulation, and Neural Development were not far behind.  We were able to deal with the higher numbers of submissions in these areas simply by offering two slide presentation sessions for these topics as opposed to one session for the less heavily enrolled subject areas.   Two areas - Immune System and Apoptosis, and Techniques and Genomics - had a disproportionately small percentage of the total abstracts.  This reflects to a large extent the fact that workshops with strong overlaps for these subjects were independently organized, a matter we discuss in more detail below.  With the exception of these last two topic areas (which were particular favorable to submitters), it appears that abstracts competing for space in the various slide sessions had a roughly equal chance to be selected.


Slide Sessions - We selected abstracts for slide sessions from among the pool of abstracts requesting such consideration using the primary criterion of scientific interest.  However, we felt strongly that two secondary criteria were also of importance.  First, we tried to spread out the selected presentations among labs.  We were averse to having more than one slide presentations chosen from any one laboratory, although in a few cases two selections from the same group were unavoidable.  Second, we attempted to eliminate abstracts for which essentially the same subject from the same laboratory had been selected for a slide presentation in the previous year.       

            Employment of these secondary criteria was in our experience quite successful.  This spread the benefits of speaking to as many laboratories as possible, and we did not encounter any situation in which a laboratory selected for one slide presentation expressed anger at not being selected for another presentation.   We recommend that in future years, abstract submissions should have a field indicating the identity of the principal investigator so that abstracts could be sorted according to laboratory.  This step would simplify the utilization of these secondary criteria.

            Two other innovations concerning the slide sessions bear brief mention.  First, for session chairs we chose, as much as possible, junior faculty, particularly those we knew to be entering the time of their tenure decisions.  In some cases, the abstracts of these junior faculty had not been chosen for a slide presentation.  This innovation appeared to be much appreciated by the session chair appointees.  Second, at the time we selected abstracts for the slide sessions, we also chose runner-ups who could be rapidly appointed as replacements if a previously chosen speaker was unable to attend.  This approach saved us considerable time because there were three cases in which replacements were required.


Workshops - There were 10 workshops organized.  For the Techniques Workshop, we identified an ideal coordinator (Ken Burtis) and asked him in advance if he would be the organizer.  The other 9 workshops were proposed by the individuals listed as organizer in the appendix.  It should be noted that, for the first time to our knowledge, the Ecdysone Workshop was linked to the meeting and included in the Program.  Issues related to the workshops were by far the most time-consuming and vexing problems we encountered. 


(1)  The workshops have something of a split personality, due to the fact that the workshops were independently organized.  In particular, some workshops are unrelated to the material in any of the regular sessions (such as the Genetics of Non-Drosophilid Insects, or Drosophila Research at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions), while other workshops are essentially carbon copies of regular sessions (examples include the workshops on Techniques, DNA Microarrays, RNA processing, Hematapoeisis/Cellular Immunity, and Fate Changes and Asymmetric Cell Divisions).  The latter group of workshops presents many difficulties.  Should abstracts be submitted to the regular session or to the workshop or both?  How are speakers apportioned between sessions and the corresponding workshops?  (In many cases, this was settled by some time-consuming haggling between ourselves and the workshop organizers.)  How should abstracts for workshops be treated in the meeting program, given that abstracts selected for slide sessions were removed from the part of the program listing abstracts for poster presentations?

The organizers of the 2000 Drosophila Conference strongly recommended that the Conference maintain a highly visible techniques workshop which will allow selection of critical development for Drosophila research.  We agree that Techniques are in many ways now the most essential component of the meeting, and hence we scheduled the Techniques Workshop as a standalone, with no other concurrent workshops.  However, we encountered problems because we also arranged for a Techniques slide session and permitted an independent Microarrays Workshop to be organized as well.  This trio caused the greatest coordination difficulties.  Future organizers should consider whether a slide session is warranted in addition to a Workshop.  Perhaps the Workshop could be limited only to the talks of most general interest, while the slide session could address more detailed issues.  In any event, better early planning should minimize such problems.


(2)                Following the recommendations of last year's committee, we attempted to organize the workshops early so to allow publication of the schedule of speakers (with accompanying abstracts) in the program book.  This strategy was intended to increase the visibility of the workshops among participants.  Unfortunately, only a few proposals were received as the deadline neared; one was for a workshop on Non-Drosophilid Insects, which was to be coupled to an independent companion meeting on Nasonia.  We sent a reminder through Flybase requesting Workshop proposals.  Eventually 12 proposals (including that for Ecdysone) were received but three were rejected: two were not fully formulated or novel and one arrived late and overlapped with an accepted proposal.  

Workshop moderators had very different ideas of how "pre-packaged" their workshops should be.  In some cases, the moderators took pains to choose their speakers and solicit abstracts from them at an early stage.  In other cases, the moderators wanted to choose their speakers at the last minute, or from the "platform rejects", so in several cases we do not as yet know who will be speaking at such workshops. We emphasized to the organizers that Workshops are to be informal discussions, not "platform substitutes" but we are not certain how well this will be enforced.


(3)                The combination of situations (1) and (2) above created an administrative nightmare.  In some cases, the organizers of the workshops did not know that their speakers had submitted abstracts for the slide sessions.  Often, we had no knowledge about whether speakers we were considering for slide sessions were delivering essentially the same talk at a workshop.  Some workshops will appear in the meeting Program in a format complete with abstracts, others will be announced only in a very sketchy manner.  The negotiations between ourselves and the workshop organizers were in some cases very protracted, truncating the time available to react to decisions.  As a result, some abstracts ended up appearing in two places in the Program (under the workshop and the poster session), though this was not a problem for abstracts chosen for slide presentations since we eliminated all overlaps prior to selection.

These problems can be dealt with in several possible ways.  (a) Workshops could be restricted to topics that do not obviously overlap with slide sessions.  This would be the easiest solution administratively.  (b) Workshops should be organized - even to the extent of selecting speakers - at a very early stage, prior to the submission of abstracts for platform sessions, so that the participants in the workshops can be easily identified and tracked.  This would facilitate preparation of the Program.  (c) Strict rules could be instituted so that workshop participants do not submit abstracts on the same topic to the general meeting.  (d) Potentially, a separate area of the Abstract submission Website should be made for Workshop submissions.   (e) Other than choosing the Workshops and listing the times and rooms, the meeting organizers should play no role in this matter.  This would simplify the lives of the organizers, but would prevent efforts to integrate the Workshops into the meeting and could foster abuses (such as having the same talk delivered in a slide session and Workshop).


Programmatic Changes -  Several changes were made to the general format of the program.


A.  The organizing committee for the 2000 meeting complained that, because the abstract submission date (set by the GSA) was originally November 8, the Drosophila community was not prepared and there was a poor response.  The deadline for abstract submission for the 2000 meeting was then extended by one week, which substantially improved submission numbers.  For the 2001 meeting, the submission deadline was considerably later (November 27).  We encountered problems in that the FASEB Website crashed over the Thanksgiving weekend, and there was no way for us to access or fix the site because this was FASEB's property.  GSA immediately contacted FASEB for help and also extended the abstract deadline to compensate.  In any event, the later submission deadline caused no major problems.  The committee's time for choosing slide presentations was shortened, but we were able to complete the selection process within a week.  We thus believe later deadlines are advantageous in terms of allowing sufficient time for community response, although future organizers should be aware that they will spend Christmas week sorting abstracts.


B.  In 2000, authors were asked to choose between slide only, slide or poster, poster only for the presentation of their abstracts.  Because that system was reported to introduce some confusion, we went back to the simpler, older system in which authors could indicate slide or poster.  Those abstracts that were self-nominated for slide presentation but that were not chosen were automatically put into poster sessions.  We believe this system worked well, except for some difficulties introduced by the workshops that were described above.  We anticipate that the large majority of the abstracts that were not selected for talks will appear as posters at the meeting, but this remains to be seen.


C.  In contrast with previous years, we made efforts to obtain abstracts for the plenary talks and workshops and to include these in the meeting's Program.  These efforts worked very well for the plenary talks, and we believe the inclusion of plenary abstracts helps advertise the plenary talks and makes the Program more complete.  However, as described above, our attempts to include workshop abstracts engendered some problems.


D.  At the urging of Laurie Tompkins, the program director in Genetics and Developmental Biology at NIH/GM, we initiated a lunch meeting that would bring together Drosophila investigators and several program directors at the NSF and at NIH institutes who are interested in funding fly grants.  Dr. Tompkins assumed most of the responsibility for organizing this session.  The session could not be made into a workshop because the NSF/NIH program directors wanted to meet with us during the day. 

Although we have strong hopes that this lunch will be a high point of the meeting, it remains to be seen how useful or well-attended the session will prove in reality.  One worry is logistical: we could find no simple way to make sure that participants in this "lunch" will actually find something to eat.  The hotel does not allow external caterers to bring food into the meeting venue, and the hotel was unable to come up with an inexpensive lunch menu themselves.  As a result, participants will have to leave the hotel and personally bring bag lunches back; we allotted insufficient time to allow people to do so.  In the future, if participants find this lunch to be of utility, it may be advantageous to make this meeting with NSF/NIH program directors into a workshop.  The issue may in any case be moot because involvement of the NSF/NIH people was predicated on a meeting venue of Washington DC.


E.  In this meeting, complimentary hotel rooms were reserved -- as traditionally -- for GSA personnel, the two major organizers (who have traditionally been felt to deserve something for their efforts, and we agree!), and foreign scientists (mostly from Russia) who could not afford the rooms.  We regret that, in contrast to previous years, we were unable to give complimentary rooms for distinguished figures from the Old Guard (like Mel Green or Dan Lindsley).  We felt that needy foreign scientists were a higher priority, and that the Old Guard would be more able to afford rooms.  Several of the needy cases had been selected for slide presentations (unbeknownst in terms of need), so the comp rooms were essential for the meeting program.  We did not encounter any complaints as a result of this policy, and offers of comp rooms were much appreciated by the foreign Drosophilists.  Insofar as we know, registration fees were waived for all participants who asked on the basis of serious financial need.  We recommend that this policy be continued.


Future Considerations and Organization of the Meeting -


A.  A major problem this year, and one that will continue to increase in severity over time, is the necessity for arranging computer-assisted A/V equipment (for movies and PowerPoint presentations).  It is extremely expensive to rent such equipment; these costs are even higher because rental companies make rules that maximize our costs (like not allowing movement of projection equipment from one room to another).  Another aspect of this problem is the issue of compatibility between various kinds of computers and projectors.  We hope such difficulties will be solved in the speaker ready rooms, but this remains to be seen.   We see only two possible solutions.  The meeting either needs to raise funds to cover these expenses (see below), or the fly board should purchase A/V and computer equipment that could be used on site.  The advantages of the latter solution are the savings in the long run, and the possibility to ask authors to forward CDs, Zip disks, or electronic files prior to the meeting to avoid last-minute compatibility hassles.  The disadvantages are the high up-front capital costs, and the possibility that the equipment purchased will soon go out of date.


B.  We understood that at last year's Fly Board meeting it was decided that outside corporate (or NIH/NSF?) sponsorship was worth soliciting, but that this was the responsibility of the Fly Board.  We understand that there may have been concern about favoritism shown to one particular company.  To our knowledge, no corporate sponsorship was solicited for this year's meeting, though we understand that one pharmaceutical company inquired about possible support and may be providing meeting participants with briefcases. [In addition, the organizers of the Ecdysone Workshop may have obtained sponsorship from NE Biolabs (where both are employed) for the Ecdysone Workshop's coffee break.  This was out of our purview so we don't know the details.]  It is recommended that the Board establish a procedure so that the next organizing committee can pursue company or government sponsorship.  These moneys would go a long way to paying the cost of renting the projection equipment and perhaps perhaps even provide some coffee breaks.  Outside support would also allow the possibility of providing some funds to help indigent applicants, to pay speakers' expenses, or to defray cost overruns.


C.  We believe that there are some issues concerning the interactions between the organizers and the GSA that could be improved.  First, we found out only after most of our work was completed that the meeting is billed for everything we asked the GSA to do.  Many of our requests for help from GSA thus added to the meeting costs, unbeknownst to us and in some cases unnecessarily.  Future organizers should be aware of this fact from the outset.  Second, many inefficiencies of time were introduced by a constant flow of communication between ourselves, GSA, the Fly Board, and individual participants.  Not all of this communication was strictly necessary, and could have been avoided by some guidelines.  Third, the deadlines we were given by GSA were not always observed by them in reality.  These unnecessarily early deadlines caused us some serious time crunches when a few days leeway was in fact possible and would have been greatly appreciated.  Future organizers need to be aware that GSA arranges many meetings in addition to the fly meeting, so that some items are scheduled around their calendar.  These points are not in any way meant to denigrate the high degree of professionalism from Marsha Ryan and others at GSA, who did an excellent job overall and whose job is made difficult by having to work with new, novice organizers each year.  We do however wish to suggest that certain steps could be taken to streamline the communication:


(1) Complimentary rooms - Participants wishing complimentary rooms or a waiver of the registration costs should be directed to send these requests by a certain date (say two months before the meeting) to a specific e-mail address set aside for this purpose either by one of the organizers or by GSA (or alternatively with a common subject heading).  Then all of these requests could be considered at the same time, rather than piecemeal as has been done to date.


(2) Communications with authors - Many times, we had to forward e-mail messages to GSA so that they could be resent to authors.  This was simply because we did not have the e-mail addresses of the authors available to us.  Such communications would be made more efficient if each abstract indicated the senior author/PI and the corresponding e-mail address.  As discussed above, it would be advantageous if abstracts were also sorted by senior author/PI so that determinations could more easily be made about the number of abstracts accepted for slide presentations from each lab.


D.  The situation relative to T-shirts for the meeting should be clarified.  It did not become clear until a late stage of the process that the organizer in charge of the T-shirts (M.L. Goldberg) was expected by GSA to be responsible for all aspects of this project, including personally fronting all the money to buy the T-shirts and personally selling these shirts at the meeting.  This makes little sense, particularly given that T-shirt sales could be a substantial source of income for the meeting.  A small amount of help from the Fly Board (making the original purchases and obtaining people to sell the shirts) could create a profit center that would help the meeting in the future. 


E.  Given that hotel expenses are likely to be high in most of the venues selected in future years, we believe the meeting Website should have a central location to facilitate the finding of roommates willing to split costs.  In past years, people have been able to find roommates through postings on Dros.Bionet, but you have to know where to look; some people also emailed the organizers for help in finding roommates.  We did what we could, which was limited.  Posting a site, or at least a link, as part of the official meeting page would help many people handle the high prices of hotel rooms.  GSA or the organizers do not have to put people together themselves, just make it easy to access a location that participants can use themselves.


F.  In the future, we recommend that the registration form note that undergraduates should sign up in the "graduate student" category (unless the organizers wish to make a separate category; we think this is fine but unnecessary).  This would avoid the several calls to the organizers either asking how one's undergrads should sign up, or informing the organizers that it was wrong to exclude undergraduates.


G.  Although organizers of the previous two flymeetings were generous with their time and suggestions, the learning process for us was somewhat painful.  There are many things that one just does not know or anticipate in organizing such a meeting, so the "wheel" has to be reinvented annually.  To remedy this, we (the organizers of the 2001 meeting) are compiling a "how-to" manual, which we will give to the next organizers within the next few months.  It will be helpful if the FlyBoard could include updated information about decisions reached in response to this Report.


H.  Additional details raised by the y2k organizers:

(a)  Mailing abstract books.  We stayed with last year's practice.

(b)  The schedule of opening night events. We kept the shorter Sandler and Keynote talk times, as initiated last year in response to requests to allow enough time for a mixer.

(c)  We notified all plenary speakers and session Chairs that the conference does not have funds to defray any of their costs.  We did not receive any complaints about this, but we recommend that future organizers retain this practice to avoid potential problems. We offered the Keynote Speaker (Gerry Rubin) travel and a comp room, but he graciously and generously declined both. The NIH/NSF program directors who will be coming only for an hour will be issued comp. badges.



I. Updated Plenary Speaker list


Susan Abmayr                         1995

Kathryn Anderson                   1999

Deborah Andrew                     1997

Chip Aquadro                          1994

Spyros Artavanis                     1994

Bruce Baker                            1996

Utpal Banerjee                         1997

Amy Bejsovec                         2000

Phil Beachy                             1998

Hugo Bellen                            1997

Celeste Berg                            1994

Marianne Bienz                       1996

Seth Blair                                1997

Nancy Bonini                          2000

Juan Botas                               1999

Andrea Brand                       2001

Vivian Budnik                         2000

Ross Cagan                             1998

John Carlson                           1999

Sean Carroll                            1995

Tom Cline                               2000

Claire Cronmiller                     1995

Ilan Davis                              2001

Rob Denell                              1999

Michael Dickinson                  1995

Chris Doe                                1996

Ian Duncan                            2001

Bruce Edgar                            1997

Anne Ephrussi                      2001

Martin Feder                           1998

Janice Fischer                          1998

Bill Gelbart                              1994

Pam Geyer                              1996

David Glover                           2000

Kent Golic                             2001

Iswar Hariharan                       1998

Dan Hartl                              2001

Scott Hawley             2001

Tom Hayes                              1995

Ulrike Heberlein                      1996

Ulrike Heberlein                      1998

Martin Heisenberb                  1998

Dave Hogness                         1999

Joan Hooper                            1995

Wayne Johnson                      2000

Thom Kaufman                    2001

Rebecca Kellum                      1999

Christian Klambt                     1998

Mitzi Kuroda                           1997

Paul Lasko                              1999

Cathy Laurie                            1997

Maria Leptin                            1994

Bob Levis                                1997

Haifan Lin                               1995

Susan Lindquist                      2000

John Lis                                 2001

Dennis McKearin                    1996

Mike McKeown                      1996

Jon Minden                             1999

Roel Nusse                              1997

David O'Brochta                     1997

Terry Orr-Weaver                   1996

Mark Peifer                             1997

Trudy MacKay                        2000

Nipam Patel                             2000

Norbert Perrimon                    1999

Leslie Pick                               1994

M. Ramaswami                     2001

Pernille Rorth                          1995

Gerry Rubin                            1998

Gerry Rubin                          2001

Hannele Ruohola-Baker          1999

Helen Salz                               1994

Babis Savakis                          1995

Paul Schedl                             1998

Gerold Schubiger                    1996

John Sedat                               2000

Amita Sehgal                           1996

Allen Shearn                            1994

Marla Sokolowski                   1998

Ruth Steward                           1996

Bill Sullivan                             1996

John Sved                                1997

John Tamkun                          2000

Barbara Taylor                        1996

Bill Theurkauf                         1994

Tim Tully                                1995

Barbara Wakimoto              2001

Steve Wasserman                    1996

Kristi Wharton                                    1994

Eric Wieschaus                       1996

Ting Wu                                  1997

Tian Xu                                   1997

Susan Zusman                         1998



II.  Areas of Primary Research Interest



Slide Request




Cell Division and Cytoskeleton




Chromosome Structure and Function




Gene Regulation




Signal Transduction




Pattern Formation












Neural Development




Neural Physiology and Behavior








Immune System and Apoptosis




Techniques and Genomics






III.  Keywords


01 Cell Division and cytoskeleton

a. mitosis, b. meiosis, c. checkpoint, d. kinase/phosphatase/cyclin, e. developmental modulation, f. centrosome, g. kinetochores and cohesion, h. spindles and motors, i. cytokinesis, j. cytoskeleton, k. other


02 Chromosome Structure and Function, a. chromatin and remodeling complexes, b. insulators/boundary elements, c. polycomb/trithorax complexes, d. position effect variegation, e. dosage compensation, f. telomere, g. centromere, h. other


03 Gene regulation, core promoters and general transcription factors, enhancers, activators/coactivators, repressors/corepressors, transcription elongation, splicing, and its regulation, RNA modification and editing, translational control, RNA localization, other


04 Signal transduction, kinase/phosphatase, cell-cell communication, G protein, receptor-ligand, tumorigenesis, protease, secondary messenger, downstream cascades and targets, other


05 Pattern formation, segmentation, homeotics, axes, compartments and boundaries, cell migration and motility, cell polarity, commitment, imaginal disk derivatives, non-Drosophila, other


06 Reproduction, oogenesis (germ line), oogenesis (soma), spermatogenesis, pre-gametogenic germ cell development, sex determination (germ line), sex determination (soma), sex-specific traits and molecules, fertilization, other


07 Organogenesis, endodermal derivatives, mesodermal derivatives (muscle), mesodermal derivatives (non-muscle), ectodermal derivatives (non-neural), extracellular matrix/cell adhesion, non-Drosophila, other 


08 Neural Development, axon guidance, synaptogenesis, neuronal specification, programmed cell death, glia, hormonal control, CNS, Sensory, Postembryonic, other


09 Neural Physiology and Behavior, sensory, synapse, neurotransmitter/neuropeptides, ion channels, homeostasis , learning/memory, courtship and mating, rhythms , hormones, other


10 Evolution, a. genome evolution, b. population variation, c. evolution and development, d. quantitative traits, e. speciation, f. phylogenetics


11 Immune system and Apoptosis, cellular immunity, humoral immunity, caspases, death mutants/genes, iaps, transcriptional regulation, other


12 Techniques and genomics, microarrays, transformation, RNAi, microscopy, gene disruption and targeting, computational analyses, mutational screens, molecular interactions, other


IV. Workshops.


Workshop Title




Ecdysone Workshop

Maina, Claude

Tzertzinis, George


Drosophila Research at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions


Hales, Karen

McLean, Janna

Pokrywka, Nancy

Reynolds, Elaine


Signaling Through Heterotrimeric G Proteins


Forte, Michael

Distribution, Structure and Function of Cytonemes and Filopodia in Drosophila Tissue


Kornberg, Thomas

Chiba, Akira



Burtis, Ken

Genetics of Non-Drosophilid Insects



Pultz, Mary Anne

Werren, John

DNA Microarrays

Michelson, Alan


Fate Choices and Asymmetric Cell Divisions

Giangrande, Angela


Hematopoiesis/Cellular Immunity

Govind, Shubha

Meister, Marie


RNA Processing


Salz, Helen






Committee members:

Lynn Cooley (chair), Haig Keshishian, Susan Parkhurst, Laurel Raftery, Bill Saxton (2000 chair)


Applications (thesis abstract, student's CV, Letter of support from Advisor):

Applicant (advisor)

Aaron Bowman (Larry Goldstein), Russell Collins (Jessica Treisman), Michael Palladino (Rob Reenan)

Sergei Prokopenko (Hugo Bellen), James Wilhelm (Ron Vale), Yihong Ye (Mark Fortini)


Initial round of selection:

Each member of the committee ranked the applicants from 1 to 6 based on the quality and impact of the research and the independence of the applicant.  Three of the six applicants were ranked high on everyone's list.  Those three (Wilhelm, Palladino and Ye) were asked to send me five copies of their completed thesis, which I distributed to the committee.  One of the theses arrived on CD ROMs with printouts of the figures.  All but one committee member liked that format.


Final round of selection:

Each member of the committee read the theses and ranked the three finalists.  James Wilhelm was everyone's first choice.  Because there were no major disagreements during both phases of the selection process, the committee was able to correspond by email with no conference calls necessary.


The Award:

Opening talk of the Drosophila Research Conference March 21, 2001.

Publication of thesis as a monograph by Kluwer Academic Publishers (Joann.Tracy@wkap.com was the contact)

Sandler Award Plaque

Lifetime membership in the GSA

All expenses to attend the meeting



I arranged for 10 plaques to be made by Brinks Trophy Shop in Santa Cruz, CA (831-426-2505; staff@brinkstrophies.com).  Bill Sullivan laid the groundwork for this last year. Marsha Ryan at the GSA paid for the plaques ($690.00 total) and she has all the information on how to contact them.  For the next nine years, the selection committee simply needs to contact Brinks Trophy so that the name of the winner and the date of the award can be silk-screened on one of the plaques.  This has already been paid for.  The only additional cost will be shipping of the completed plaque to the committee chair.


Outstanding expenses:

$16.00 - Shipping of plaque to Lynn Cooley

$122.25 - Shipping to committee members (Lynn Cooley)





Advance registrations for the 2001are a record high at 1430, compared to lowest attendance in 8 years in Pittsburgh 2000 with only 1183 registrants. It is expected that another 50-100 people will register on-site in 2001. Hotel room rates for singles and doubles in 2001 ($191 single, $214 double) were significantly higher than in 2000 ($115 single, $127 double). This would indicate that room cost is less important to attendance than having the meeting located in a major city, though the US Air worker strike before and during the Pittsburgh meeting did have some impact, but it is impossible to know just how much. Room pickup on peak night in Washington is 620 at the Marriott and 94 at the Omni, totaling 714. Basically, this equals pick-up peak night in Pittsburgh, which indicates that more people purchased single rooms at the lower rates in Pittsburgh and more people doubled or tripled-up in Washington to keep their room cost down.


The number of exhibits sold this year is two more than last year. Represented are 13 commercial companies and one not-for-profit organization in a total of 14 spaces.


Geographic distribution statistics for pre-registrants follow:



ARGENTINA                 1

AUSTRALIA                 10

AUSTRIA                      4

BRAZIL            5

CANADA                      61

DENMARK                   2

FRANCE                       37

GERMANY                   37

INDIA                           1

ISRAEL                        8

ITALY              3

JAPAN              28

KOREA                         3

MEXICO                       7

NETHERLANDS            3

PORTUGAL                  2


RUSSIA                        6

SLOVAKIA                   1

SPAIN              4

SWEDEN                      8

SWITZERLAND             24

TAIWAN                       8

UK                               67

TOTAL FOREIGN    335 from 25 countries





ALABAMA                    12

ARIZONA                     11


COLORADO                  6

CONNECTICUT             33


FLORIDA                      2

GEORGIA                     18

HAWAII                        2

IDAHO              1

ILLINOIS                      33

INDIANA                      25

IOWA                           17

KANSAS                       7

KENTUCKY                  10

LOUISIANA                  2

MARYLAND                 89


MICHIGAN                   20

MINNESOTA                 14

MISSOURI                    29

MONTANA                   2

NEBRASKA                  3

NEVADA                      2




NEW YORK                  100


NORTH DAKOTA          1

OHIO                            24

OKLAHOMA                 2

OREGON                      13

PENNSYLVANIA           63


RHODE ISLAND            9


TENNESSEE                 4

TEXAS             59

UTAH                           18

VERMONT                    2

VIRGINIA                     15


WISCONSIN                  15

TOTAL USA           1,095 from 44 states




The Board selected the Town & Country Hotel in San Diego, as the venue for the 2002 conference. Room rates guaranteed in the contract range from $135-155 single/double per night. The Board should note that the Town & Country conference facilities have undergone a multi-million dollar renovation, so many of the less attractive features some may remember from 1996 have been updated. Significant improvements and upgrades of the grounds surrounding the conference facilities and hotel room buildings also have been made. Sleeping rooms have been updated with new paint, carpeting and cosmetic fixtures. Additionally, to add to the improvements, the San Diego Trolley has been up and running successfully for several years now, making outings to restaurants such as in Old Town San Diego an easy and inexpensive trip.


The Board, and program chairs, should note that because the meeting dates are approximately 2 weeks earlier, all major deadlines will need to be moved ahead. GSA meetings, computer and publications staff had barely enough time to complete the Program book to final stage and get it printed in time to mail it only 2 weeks in advance in 2001. Three weeks advance time to guarantee that it is freighted and delivered to the Town & Country in time will be required. Therefore, the whole timeline schedule that will be presented to the incoming program chairs will reflect a total of 3 weeks difference from the 2001 timeline. This will require the deadline for abstracts to be moved from Monday, November 27, in 2000, to Monday, November 5 in 2001. This change and the reasons for it should be promoted to registrants during the 2001 meeting.



In 2000, the Board agreed upon Chicago and the Sheraton for the 2003 site. Rates will be finalized one year in advance, but will fall in the same range as the 2001 rates in Washington, D.C.



The Board requested proposals for 2004 from Washington, DC, Philadelphia, PA and Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Much information has been presented, but some details of each proposal are still outstanding, mainly exact contract terms and for Montreal, see asterisked note.



Omni Shoreham Hotel (site of 1998 Drosophila Conference)

Space:              All space needed is available in hotel and can accommodate all posters at once. Posters set up in parking garage w/unstated charge for use.  Note, however, that we did not pay for use of space in 1998 and could no doubt negotiate same deal for 2004.

Dates:              March 31-April 4 (no holidays, regular Wed-Sunday pattern)

Room Rates:    Approx. $240 sgl/dbl

2001 Coffee Cost per Gal: $50++ (10% tax + 18% gratuity)

2001 Soda each: $3++ (10% tax + 18% gratuity)


Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

Space:              Same as we're using in 2001 - All in hotel can accommodate all posters at once. Posters go in exhibit space with a charge this year of $2000 for use of space. Hopefully could negotiate the same deal for 2004.

Dates:              March 31-April 4 (no holidays, regular Wed-Sun pattern)

Rates:              $240 sgl $250 dbl

2001 Coffee Cost per Gal: $50++ (10% tax + 18% gratuity)
2001 Soda each: $3++ (10% tax + 18% gratuity)



Philadelphia Marriott Hotel  (Located downtown, connected to convention center and Market Place)

Space:              Space needed is available in hotel, but third room for slide breakouts is not well proportioned and may not be adequate too small.  Poster area will be tight and some posters may have to be placed in pre-function area, or posters would need to be split in half with 1st half up Thurs-Fri Afternoon, and 2nd half up Fri night-Saturday.

Dates:              March 10-14 (no holidays, regular Wed-Sun pattern)

Rates:              $170 sgl $185 dbl

2001 Coffee Cost per Gal: $42++ (7% tax + 20% gratuity)

2001 Soda each: $2.75++ (7% tax + 20% gratuity)



Requires 2 hotels:

Delta Centre Hotel (Primary hotel - located downtown, 2 blocks from convention center)

*Rates:                        $115 sgl/dbl (IN USD)

Holiday Inn (Overflow hotel - located downtown, across the street from convention center)

Rates in USD:             $100* sgl/dbl (IN USD)

Dates:              March 27-30 (different arrival/departure--Sat-Tues)

2001 Coffee Cost per Gal: $25++ (14% tax + 18% gratuity)

2001 Soda each: $1.65++ (14% tax + 18% gratuity)

Space:              Palais des Congres de Montreal - All meeting, poster, and exhibit space in convention center. Rooms are all adequate and poster area is spacious.


*NOTE: There is a $46,000-48,000 USD rental charge for use of space at the center. I told The Montreal Convention and Visitors Bureau that we do not/cannot pay rent charges. They are currently trying to work out a deal between hotels and center for rent to be paid by adding $20 per night per room to the above rates. This additional "collection" then would be paid back to the Center by the hotels. This means actual rates including Center rent would be about $120-$135 per night, plus $2/night lodging tax, GST @ 7% plus 7.5% provincial tax, or a total of about $140-$157 USD.




                                                                                         2001                                                                                                                         ACTUAL

                                                                                PROJECTIONS                                      2000                                                                                                     


Registration                                                                         $250,145                                          $167,005

Exhibit Fees (8 @ $700)                                                         13,300                                                8,350

Mailing Fees                                                                             4,443                                                1,850

Miscellaneous                                                                              100                                                4,995 1


Total Income                                                                     $267,988                                          $182,200



Fixed Expenses:

Hotel and Travel-Staff and others                                              2,250                                            $  5,239

Printing (call and program)                                                     30,000                                              25,205

Mailing, addressing, shipping, freight                                        9,500                                                8,902

Telephone - FlyBase room computer lines                                2,700                                                2,542

Telephone and fax - other                                                            600                                                   429

Office Supplies (badges, signs, misc.)                                         900                                                   577

Projection/audio-visuals/electrical                                            32,800                                              28,153 4

Sound                                                                                        2,000                                 

Space rental (poster and exhibit hall space)                               4,000                                 

Equipment, carpeting, masking, poster boards                         37,500                                              36,206 5

Contracted Services (reg. desk, security, nurse)                         4,000                                                3,507

Computer Services                                                                  10,900 2                                             9,571 2

Insurance Expense                                                                       750                                                   740

Legal fees                                                                                                                                             320

Salaries/Wages/taxes/benefits                                                71,431 3                                           68,030


Variable Expenses:

Catering - Reception and coffee breaks                                   61,300                                              45,705

Catering - Fly Board and Fly Base                                            3,700                                                3,221

Credit card/bank fees                                                                 5,800                                                4,453

Miscellaneous Expense                                                                350                                                   300


Total Expenditures                                                          $280,481                                          $243,100


NET REVENUE(EXPENSE)                         ($ 12,493)                            ($60,900)


1. From Bellevue, WA carpet expense.

2. Web design, maintenance, online abstract submission and registration.

3. Based on actual 2000 costs. This reflects Publications Manager work on collection, follow-up, organization and layout of plenary and workshop abstracts, formerly not included in the Program

4. Year 2000 number includes sound.

5. Year 2000 number includes space rental.





Pre-registration 2001:                                     1,430               $250,145


Pre-registration 2000:                                     1,083               $131,075


Total registration 2000:                                  1,183               $167,005


Pre-registration 1999:                                     1,142               $156,350


Total registration 1999:                                  1,366               $191,425




Drosophila Main Fund







Net Income



Excess Over Reserve

# Meeting




$ 25,146

$      146











































Note:  GSA has granted our request to raise the fund cap to $200,000.



Sandler Lecture Fund


Net Income


Excess to Reserve










































5. Election Report


The Elections Committee consists of Gary Karpen (Chair), Ulrike Heberlein, Deborah Andrew, and Steve DiNardo.  We met virtually and chose the nominees listed below.  People were nominated by the committee as a whole, based on previous involvement in the fly community, our perception of their ability to perform the job.  We also tried to choose people that have not served on the Board for awhile, or ever, in order to infuse new blood into the organization.  Furthermore, based on our discussion last year about female participation, we made sure that there was significant female representation on the ballot; 15 out of 25 original nominees were female, and 7 out of 9 final nominees were female. 


The original nominees were




Larry Marsh, Judith Lengyel, Tom Kornberg, Ken Burtis  

Ralph Greenspan, Ulrike Heberlein, Mark Krasnow 




Susan Parkhurst, Sara Smolik, Barbara Wakimoto

Chris Doe, Hannele Rouhola-Baker 


Mid Atlantic


Denise Montell, Kim McKim, Mary Lilly  

Brian Oliver, Steve DiNardo, Liz Gavis  

Allen Shearn, Paul Adler  


President Elect


Ruth Lehmann, Marianna Wolfner, Trudi Schupbach   

Minx Fuller, Pam Geyer 


Based on this slate, the committee voted and chose the top 3 for the President Elect, the top 2 for each regional representative.


The following letter was emailed to all flypeople in the FlyBase rolls.


Dear Flyperson,


Enclosed you will find a ballot on which to cast your vote for a representative from your region and/or the president-elect for the national Drosophila Board.  The Board administers the finances for the annual North American Drosophila Research Conference and the Sandler Lecture Award, chooses the meeting organizers, provides oversight for the community resource centers, and addresses issues affecting the entire fly community.  There are nine regional representatives on the Board, eight from the United States and one from Canada.  The Board also has a President and Treasurer, as well as individuals representing Drosophila community resource centers, including the BDGP, Flybase and the Bloomington Stock Center. The Board has a business meeting once a year, just before the start of the annual meeting; during the year business is regularly addressed with e-mail discussions and voting.  Further information about the Board can be found at




Historically, the Board representatives have been appointed by previous members. This year the Board voted to democratize the process and instituted community elections, commencing with this ballot.  We also decided to vote for a President-Elect, to ensure that the next President would be trained in advance of assuming the position.


Please participate in this election, it is your opportunity to choose the people that will determine the scope and organization of the national meetings, as well as help set priorities and garner support for community resources.


Please vote for one of the following people in each category.






The nominees and results for the general election were:


President Elect


Trudi Schupbach*

Ruth Lehmann   

Mariana Wolfner


Mid Atlantic Representative


Denise Montell*

Kim McKim  


California Representative


Judith Lengyl *

Larry Marsh


Northwest Representative


Susan Parkhurst*

Sarah Smolik



The number of votes received was low (~190 total), and we need to do more this year to entice more people to vote.  Perhaps it was low because it was the first year.  The elections and the need for participation should be stressed at the business meeting, and people need to be told that this is their opportunity to participate in choosing leaders in the fly community.  Second and third mailings spaced one week apart would also be helpful.  Any other ideas the Board has are welcome.


This year we have to nominate and elect another President Elect, as well as regional representatives for the Great Lakes, the Southeast, and New England.   We plan on doing this much earlier in the year in order to allow the President Elect to be exposed to the workings of the Board.  Ballots will be mailed by the end of April 2001.


Last year it was proposed that redistricting occur such that the regional representatives, where possible, be affiliated with regional fly meetings.  This matter needs to be addressed, as does an updating of the charter on the FlyBase web site. 


We have also changed from having a large number of individuals with indefinite terms to very few, as reflected in the list on the next page.  


Drosophila Board Master List:                 




Steven Wasserman               President                  2002         stevenw@ucsd.edu

Gary Karpen                        Past-President          2001         karpen@salk.edu

Trudi Schüpbach                  President-Elect         2003                                                gschupbach@molbiol.princeton.edu

Steve Mount                         Treasurer                  2002         sm193@umail.umd.edu


Regional Representatives:


Paul Lasko                           Canada                     2002          Paul_Lasko@maclan.mcgill.ca

John Belote                          Great Lakes              2001         jbelote@mailbox.syr.edu

Susan Parkhurst                   Northwest                 2003         susanp@fred.fhcrc.org

Rick Fehon                           Southeast                  2001         rfehon@acpub.duke.edu

Judith Lengyel                      California                 2003         jlengyel@ucla.edu

Bob Boswell                         Heartland                  2002         boswell@beagle.colorado.edu

Claude Desplan                    New England            2001                                                desplan@rockvax.rockefeller.edu

Denise Montell                     Mid-Atlantic             2003         dmontell@jhmi.edu

Jeff Simon                            Midwest                   2002         simon@molbio.cbs.umn.edu


Ex Officio:


Bill Gelbart                           FlyBase                    ----           gelbart@morgan.harvard.edu

Gerry Rubin                         BDGP                      ----           gerry@fruitfly.berkeley.edu

Thom Kaufman                    Bloomington SC      ----                                                kaufman@sunflower.bio.indiana.edu

Kathy Matthews                   Bloomington SC      ----           matthewk@indiana.edu

Jim Thompson                     DIS                          ----           jthompson@ou.edu

Michael Ashburner               Europe                      ----           ma11@gen.cam.ac.uk

Hugo Bellen                         SC adv. comm.         2003         hbellen@bcm.tmc.edu

John Lucchesi                      at-large                     2001         lucchesi@biology.emory.edu

Chuck Langley                     at-large                     ----           chlangley@ucdavis.edu

Allan Spradling                    at-large                     2003         spradling@mail1.ciwemb.edu

Larry Goldstein                    at-large                     2002         lgoldstein@ucsd.edu

Lynn Cooley                        Sandler Lect.            2001         lynn.cooley@yale.edu


2002 Meeting Organizers:


Scott Hawley                        ---                             2003         rshawley@ucdavis.edu

Ken Burtis                            ---                             2003         kcburtis@ucdavis.edu


2001 Meeting Organizers


Mariana Wolfner                  ---                             2002         mfw5@cornell.edu

Mike Goldberg                     ---                             2002         mlg11@cornell.edu


Past Meeting Organizers:


Pam Geyer, chair                  ---                             2001         pamela-geyer@uiowa.edu

Lori Wollrath                       ---                             2001         lori-wallrath@uiowa.edu


GSA Representatives:


Elaine Strass                         Exec. Dir.                 ----           estrass@genetics.faseb.org

Marsha Ryan                        Mtg. Coord.              ----          mryan@genetics.faseb.org




Report from the Bloomington Stock Center Advisory Board (March 10, 2001) As usual, we are quite happy with the performance of the Bloomington Stock Center. Most of the details of the performance of the Stock Center are found in its annual report. The collection is slowly expanding and the use is higher than ever.


The major issues that will be discussed in this years annual meeting are:

1.     A fair cost recovery system to build an endowment for the lean years.

2.     Deciding type and number of mutations that need to be kept for each gene: EP, GT, PGAL4 and EMS induced mutations. Should we try to keep more than one mutation per gene?

3.     The closing of the Umea stock center and its impact on Bloomington.

4.     Status of the Hungarian collections and their funding.

5.     The status of P-element genome disruption project (Rubin, Spradling, Bellen).

6.     The status of the deletion project (Cook).


7. BLOOMINGTON STOCK CENTER REPORT (Kevin Cook, Kathy Matthews, Thom Kaufman)


Report from the Bloomington Stock Center


Total stocks as of 3/8/01                           7,906


Added during 2000                                         482

            Lethal, sterile or visible alleles             318 (55 are P insertion lethal alleles)

            GAL4/GAL80/UAS                              37

            GFP                                                      14

            FRT/FLP                                               38

            Cre                                                          4

            lacZ                                                         8

            Deficiencies                                           35

            Duplications                                          14

            Balancers                                                 4

            Marker chromosomes                             5

            Other                                                       5


Use during 2000 ‑‑ increase compared to 1999 is shown in parentheses

                 861 (7%) groups received stocks

              7,791 (19%) shipments were made

            85,650 (21%) subcultures were sent

            36% of shipments and 38% of stocks went to groups outside the U.S.

            96% of stocks went to researchers in academic institutions


Cost recovery

            Fee structure for 2000


            Category    Stocks/Shipments                                      Base fee + additional shipping

            100+         1‑20 stocks in up to 6 shipments $100 + $8 per shipment over 6

            200+         21‑100 stocks in up to 12 shipments $200 + $8 per shipment over 12

            400+         101‑250 stocks in up to 12 shipments $400 + $8 per shipment over 12

            500+         251‑500 stocks in up to 12 shipments $500 + $8 per shipment over 12

            600+         >500 stocks in up to 12 shipments            $600 + $8 per shipment over 12


            Number and percent of groups in each use category and amount invoiced*

            100+   364      42%     $ 30,180

            200+   282      33%     $ 53,888

            400+   127      15%     $ 52,781

            500+   62          7%     $ 37,472

            600+   26          3%     $ 19,576

            Total                            $193,897*


* $15,483 in fees were waived prior to invoicing; for 1999 use, 4% of the amount invoiced was never paid


A new fee structure is expected for 2001 but the specifics are still being discussed with advisors.


Funding for FY 00/01

            NSF    $326,872

            NIH     $100,000

            IU        $  39,338

            Fees     $186,454 (estimated ‑‑ $193,897 ‑ 4%)


            Total    $652,664


We are currently in year 2 of a 5‑year funding period. A request for supplemental funds to allow us to add 5,000 additional P-insertions in or near genes not currently represented by mutations in the collection was granted by NIH. The collection is now funded to expand to 15,000 lines over the next 3 years.


We were notified on February 6 that the Umea stock center would be closed to the public as of March 1. They will continue to maintain their stocks and make them available to other stock centers at least through the spring. Bloomington will take ~475 lines from the Umea collection. It is expected that most of the others will be added to the developing Japanese Stock Center collection.



The value of our endowment as of 3/8/01 is $442,114. If you would like to make a bequest to the center please contact us. Various items in the center are available for naming in your honor, depending on the size of the bequest. For $5M we will name the center after you:).


Deficiency project

Kevin Cook and Thom Kaufman's grant to improve deletion coverage of the fly genome and to provide duplication coverage of the X chromosome runs from May 1999 to April 2003. Substantial effort was made the first year to generate deletions by irradiating P-element insertion-bearing chromosomes, but this met with limited success. During the past year, the project has refocused its efforts on creating deletions using transposase-induced rearrangements between P- elements. This approach has proven very efficient and, after investing the time to mark P-element insertions spanning gaps in deletion coverage with visible markers, the project has entered a phase of intensive screening. Currently, deletion coverage of the autosomes is the primary focus, but pilot work for X chromosome deletion and duplication screens has been done.


Advisory Committee - current members

      Hugo Bellen (Chair),   Michael Ashburner, Ulrike Heberlein, Norbert Perrimon, Amanda Simcox



8. DIS REPORT (Jim Thompson)


Volume 83 of Drosophila Information Service has been published and distributed, with technique and research articles, reports of new mutants, teaching notes, and conference reports.  This is the 10th year of publication from the University of Oklahoma, and at 248 pages it is the largest issue since 1994.  No price change has been implemented since volume 71 (1992), and we will continue distributing the books at $12.00 plus shipping and handling for the foreseeable future, especially as a benefit to those in foreign countries with funding limitations.   This issue was distributed several months later than normal, because at the traditional submission deadline in May we actually had only a handful of submissions.  For many years, large elements like stock lists tended to fill a volume so that the cut-off for individual contributions was not a major consideration.  But with electronic access to information of that kind, the pattern of individual technique and research note submission has become more significant.  Most are received during the late summer or early fall, presumably as a function of freed time from academic schedules over the summer.  For that reason, we have decided to shift the annual publication date to January each year with a recommended submission deadline of September, and DIS 84 will be dated "January 2002".  In the interim, however, we plan to begin posting on the Drosophila Information Service web site the texts of selected categories (and eventually all categories) of articles as they are received, with initial emphasis on technique and teaching articles.  A web site has been established and will be publicized more broadly when we have completed testing some elements and adding key files.  As an on-going project, we will eventually have full text access to all back issues (1934-present) and a key word search capability.  With continued low printing costs and no charges for personnel time, the journal can remain self-supporting for many years even if most researchers and students begin to depend on no-cost electronic access once the web site is fully active. 



9. FLYBASE (Bill Gelbart)


The FlyBase Project is continuing along the same paths outlined in previous

reports to the Board.  Our main preoccupation over the last year has been

to evaluate and represent all of the genomic and gene model sequence

information, and to integrate it with community-derived information.  This

is very much a work-in-progress.  The regular reannotation ofthe Drosophila

melanogaster genome is planned for a 6-month cycle time, with the necessary

tools and datasets being in place for the first cycle to begin September 2001.

This reannotation will be based on the finished sequence that is currently being

produced by the BDGP (Susan Celniker's group) and their subcontractor at

Baylor (Richard Gibbs' group).  We are currently evaluating how to integrate all

of the molecular, phenotypic and bibliographic information into individual Gene

Reports.  Suggestions from the Board and the community concerning the layout

and content of Gene Reports (or any other aspect of FlyBase) would be most

welcome.  Finally, there is the recurring issue of how to get information from

the community, including but not restricted to sequence level annotation

information.  This is as much a sociological issue as a technical one, and

insights from the Board on this topic would be gratefully received.


Respectfully submitted,


Bill Gelbart  (PI - FlyBase)


10. International Congress of Genetics (Phil Batterham)

Genomes - The Linkage to Life

Melbourne Australia

July 6-12, 2003



The International Congress of Genetics (ICG) has a rather proud history dating back to the year 1899 (see Haynes - Genetics 148: 1419-1431).  Held once every five years under the auspices of the International Genetics Federation, it serves to reflect on progress made in Genetics, to celebrate the best of contemporary research and to anticipate future developments in the discipline.  The Congress has been held in many major centres around the world, but never in the southern hemisphere and, hence, never in Australia.  In 1998 a bid to hold the 2003 Congress in Melbourne succeeded over a competing bid from Hamburg, Germany.


The Melbourne Congress - July 6-12, 2003


ICG 2003 in Melbourne will be a huge event.  Over 3000 delegates will gather at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre, half of these coming from countries other than Australia.


2003 highlights a critical landmark in Genetics - the fiftieth year since the publication of the Watson and Crick paper on the structure of the DNA molecule.  The work of Watson and Crick and all that has stemmed from it will be discussed and celebrated.  James D. Watson will attend the celebrations.


The Congress theme is Genomes - the Linkage to Life.  With complete genome sequences now in hand, the discipline of genetics is free to powerfully address the broadest range of biological questions.  The Congress will cover Genetics in all of its contemporary depth and breadth. There will be 10 plenary addresses and 54 symposia with a total of 280 invited speakers (over 220 of these from overseas), considering basic research themes as diverse as mutation, development and evolution and a broad raft of applied themes with relevance to agriculture and medicine using organisms ranging from viruses to humans. Ethical and legal issues will also be on the agenda.  Given the importance of genetics research for wealth generation, issues relating to commercialisation, patents, IP and the availability of data in the public domain will be discussed in detail.  A number of satellite meetings and workshops are being planned.  This will provide added value for Congress delegates, allowing them to discuss specific areas of interest in greater detail than would be possible within the main program.


Congress Management


Our Congress President is Dr. Jim Peacock, Chief of the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry and recent winner of the inaugural Australian Prime Ministers Science Prize.  The Secretary General, Dr. Philip Batterham, in leading the Congress organization committees has the support of the best local and international scientific expertise.  Colleen Wenn and her team at 'The Meeting Planners' are providing outstanding professional conference management skills to ensure that the Congress is a huge success.


The head of our National Program Committee is Professor David Smyth.  David has a breadth of experience in genetics research on organisms from fungi to humans.  His research on floral development, initiated in collaboration with Professor Elliott Meyerowitz, has gained much international recognition.  The International Program Advisory Committee is Chaired by Professor Chuck Langley (U. C. Davis), winner of the 1999 Genetics Society of America Medal.




The Congress web site (www.geneticscongress2003.com) will soon be launched.  This site will provide regularly updated, detailed information on all aspects of the Congress.  Registration, accommodation bookings and the submission of abstracts will also be managed via this site. 




Given the importance of the Drosophila research in the discipline of Genetics, we aim to ensure that Drosophila geneticists are appropriately represented among the Congress speakers and delegates.  The promotional opportunity provided by the Drosophila Board at the 2001 Fly Meeting is therefore greatly appreciated.  I would now ask the Board to consider the following two issues:-


Promotion of the Congress at the 2002 Fly Meeting


ICG2003 would serve as a major sponsor of the 2002 Fly Meeting.  This would be done in partnership with a major sponsor for ICG2003.  In particular a significant financial contribution would be made to the Fly Meeting Mixer.  In return ICG2003 and their partner sponsor would be entitled to:-


  1. a link to the Congress web site on the Fly Meeting web site
  2. the inclusion of advertisements in the Fly Meeting Abstract volume
  3. two display booths in the poster area
  4. 'theme' the Mixer to promote the Congress.  We envisage this to mean:-
    1. decoration of the venue including signs
    2. printed information and giveaways made available to Fly Meeting registrants
    3. provision of Australian food and drinks
    4. project digital images (without sound) on a wall during the Mixer
    5. subject to availability - a brief cultural display (didgeridoo or native dance)


As I attend the Fly Meeting every year, I realize that this proposal would generate a major change in the Mixer.  However, I believe that it would enhance the event, not detract from it.


Satellite Fly Meeting in Cairns (Australia) in July 2003


Cairns is on the Great Barrier Reef.  Aside from being situated in tropical paradise, Cairns offers excellent meeting venues easily reached from around the Pacific rim.

While such a meeting could be organized by locals, a cooperative venture drawing upon the experience of the Drosophila board would be preferable.  We seek support with promotion of this meeting and in development of an attractive program.  The professional conference organizer for the Congress can fully handle administration of the meeting.


Final Comments


I look forward to meeting with you in Washington D.C. to discuss the details of this proposal.


Dr. Philip Batterham

Secretary General

International Congress of Genetics 2003