We are pleased to announce the election of six new leaders to the GSA Board of Directors:

2019 Vice-President / 2020 President

Denise Montell

Robert and Patricia Duggan Professor, Distinguished Professor, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Denise Montell’s research aims to uncover the fundamental mechanisms that control how cells build and maintain normal adult tissues so these mechanisms can be harnessed for the benefit of human health. She welcomes the chance to work with the GSA in navigating the current period of exceptional opportunity for genetics. She hopes GSA will foster the dynamic expansion of genetics to new organisms, while ensuring that the classic model organism and human genetics communities continue to expand and thrive. She also welcomes the chance to work with the GSA to inspire our members to provide opportunities for diverse young people to experience the thrill of discovery in genetics.


Secretary (2019–2021)

Erika Matunis

Professor, Department of Cell Biology, and Institute for Cellular Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Head shot of Erika MatunisErika Matunis studies how stem cells cooperate with their natural microenvironments, or niches, to sustain adult tissue regeneration. Matunis served on the GSA Board as a Director (2016–2018) and as an organizer and session chair for the Annual Drosophila Research Conference. She hopes to promote GSA’s ability to support member’s advocacy skills, as well as the highly successful TAGC meetings and the inclusion of all GSA members, particularly those at early stages of their training, who represent the future of this evolving society.


Directors (2019–2021)

Pamela Geyer

Professor of Biochemistry, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Iowa

Headshot of Pam GeyerPamela Geyer studies mechanisms involved in genome organization and gene regulation during development. She has served an Associate Editor for GENETICS since 2011, as an organizer of the Annual Drosophila Research Conference, and in various positions on the Drosophila Board. She is enthusiastic about joining the GSA Board to serve as an advocate for training and building a diverse community of geneticists, the power of model organisms, and scientific communication.


Swathi Arur

Associate Professor, Department of Genetics, Division of Basic Science, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Headshot of Swathi ArurSwathi Arur investigates the role of environmental cues and maternal nutrition in regulating oogenesis and oocyte to embryo transition in C. elegans. She hopes to advocate for encouraging cross model organism collaboration through TAGC and for initiatives that foster increased public engagement of students in community colleges and high school.


Twitter: @sarur2

Rebecca Burdine

Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University

Headshot of Rebecca BurdenRebecca Burdine’s research focuses on left-right patterning and understanding how TGF-beta signaling shapes organ morphogenesis in zebrafish. More recently, her studies have expanded into modeling human diseases and disorders. She serves on the Boards of the International Zebrafish Society and the International Society of Differentiation and was a zebrafish community representative for TAGC 2016. Burdine is honored to have the chance to address the unique challenges of mid-career researchers and advance scientific literacy for everyone through outreach and science communication.


Twitter: @rburdine1

Director (Early Career Faculty, 2019–2021)

Jordan Ward

Assistant Professor of MCD Biology, UC Santa Cruz

Headshot of Jordan WardJordan Ward studies how individual, evolutionarily conserved transcription factors regulate distinct gene expression programs controlling cell division and differentiation and organ development in living animals. He serves on the GSA’s strategic planning working group for advocacy, participated in the recent “Blue Sky” strategic planning meeting, and has co-organized workshops at the International C. elegans Conference. He is keen to advocate for and discuss the interests of early career investigators, improving scientific communication, and career development.


Twitter: @Jordan_D_Ward