The Presidential Membership Initiative was launched in 2020 as a way for the Genetics Society of America to invite talented and creative individuals from diverse backgrounds into our community. We are pleased to introduce the inaugural cohort of Presidential Members. Throughout 2021, they will network with one another and with other Society and Board members, participate in GSA Conferences, and be valued additions to our community. Welcome, Presidential Members!

We will be introducing Presidential Members all week, so be sure to check back and meet your new colleagues.

Onyekachi Ewa Ibe
Graduate Student, Chukwurah Lab, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki

I am interested in blood, blood cancers, and related genetic diseases. 

Prateek Jain
Postdoc, Copenhaver Lab, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

I am trying to understand stress-induced gene recombination in Arabidopsis thaliana

Liann Hoang Jimmons
Graduate Student, MS Genetic Counseling, Boise State University

My research has centered around the unique experiences and needs of BIPOC seeking genetics services. In addition, I am investigating how the lack of diversity within the profession negatively impacts BIPOC access to genetics services. 

Xin Jin
Junior Fellow, Society of Fellows, Harvard University

I develop and apply scalable genetic and genomic tools to study neurodevelopment and related disorders. Recently, we used in vivo Perturb-seq to study a panel of Autism spectrum disorder risk genes and identify their effects across diverse cell types and molecular networks, pointing to key cellular phenotypes shared by several risk genes. 

Monica Lannom
Graduate Student, Ceman Lab, University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign

I am interested in understanding the role of RNA binding proteins in the genetic underpinnings of learning and memory. 

Patricia C. Lopes
Assistant Professor, Chapman University

I am interested in understanding the causes and consequences of social behavior, with a special focus on clarifying how disease disrupts social behaviors and how different social environments affect the extent to which animals feel sick. 

Sierra Love
Graduate Student, Hoskins Lab, University of Wisconsin–Madison

I study the molecular mechanisms behind inhibition of pre-mRNA splicing.

Nina Luong

I work on characterizing somatosensory development in mice with a missense mutation in the gene Lunatic Fringe

Aide Macias-Muñoz
Postdoc, Oakley Lab, University of California, Santa Barbara

My research aims to understand the molecular underpinnings of complex trait evolution using vision as a model. In particular, I want to determine the role of gene function conservation or convergence in eye evolution. 

Erica Macke
Postdoc, Klee Lab, Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine

My work utilizes multi-omics approaches and translational research to identify novel genetic causes of rare disease. I am also interested in developing new methods to use RNA-sequencing in tandem with whole exome and genome sequencing to increase diagnostic yield in rare disease cases. 

Alvin Makohon-Moore
Postdoc, Iacobuzio-Donahue Lab, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

I use genome sequencing and evolutionary analysis to study how cancer cells migrate and evolve within the body. 

Gonen Memisoglu
Postdoc, Ruthenburg Lab, The University of Chicago

I’m currently working on elucidating the cross-talk between transcriptional regulation and DNA damage signaling.