62nd Annual Drosophila Research Conference

Late March, 2021 | Anywhere and Everywhere


Harmit Malik

HHMI/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Harmit Malik


Conference dates: Late March 2021
Abstract submission deadline: Mid November 2020
Larry Sandler Award nomination deadline: Late November 2020


Dear colleagues,

Due to the ongoing safety and logistical uncertainties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the 62nd Annual Drosophila Research Conference will be held in a virtual format in 2021.
Although we are all disappointed to miss each other in person next year, we are planning new approaches to enhance interactivity, enrich the conference experience, and make this a fly meeting to remember!
We apologize for any inconvenience in the change in format, but we are excited to see what the fly community spirit can achieve in 2021!


Mariana Wolfner
President, Drosophila Board

Nasser Rusan, Co-Chair
Amy Kiger, Co-Chair
Michelle Arbeitman
Karen G. Hales
Nadia Singh
Guy Tanentzapf
62nd Annual Drosophila Research Conference Organizing Committee

Denise Montell, President
President, Genetics Society of America
Tracey DePellegrin, Executive Director
Executive Director, Genetics Society of America

The Annual Drosophila Research Conference is the premier meeting for Drosophila researchers. As many as 1,000 presentations cover the full diversity of Drosophila investigations, from genetics to molecular biology, cell biology, development, immunology, physiology, neuroscience, evolution, and more.

Past Conferences

2020: The Allied Genetics Conference (TAGC) | Watch Highlight Videos | Abstract Book
2019: Dallas, TX
2018: Philadelphia, PA

2017: San Diego, CA
2016: Orlando, FL
2015: Chicago, IL
2014: San Diego, CA
2013: Washington, DC
2012: Chicago, IL
2011: San Diego, CA
2010: Washington, DC
2009: Chicago, IL
2008: San Diego, CA
2007: Philadelphia, PA
2006: Houston, TX
2005: San Diego, CA
2004: Washington, DC
2003: Chicago, IL
2002: San Diego, CA
2001: Washington, DC
2000: Pittsburgh, PA


Larry Sandler Award

The Larry Sandler Memorial Lecture is presented by an outstanding recent PhD graduate on the opening night of the Conference. We invite you to nominate candidates for the lecture, which was established in 1988 by the colleagues, friends, and students of Dr. Larry Sandler after his untimely death in 1987. The award serves to honor Dr. Sandler for his many contributions to Drosophila genetics and his exceptional dedication to the training of Drosophila biologists. The winner receives complimentary registration for the 62nd Annual Drosophila Research Conference as well as a lifetime membership in GSA.


Any student completing a PhD in an area of Drosophila research between July 2019 and December 2020 is eligible and must be nominated by his/her thesis advisor.


All nominations must be submitted by the student’s thesis advisor and should include the following:

  • Nominee’s Curriculum Vitae
  • Nominee’s thesis abstract of 1-2 pages
  • A nomination letter directly answering the following questions:
    • What are the main discoveries in the nominee’s thesis?
    • What are the intellectual and experimental contributions of the nominee to the project?
    • How does the thesis work advance what was previously known in the field and to previous work from your lab?

Nominations should be sent as .doc or .pdf files by December 21, 2020, to Guy Tanentzapf.


Nominations must be received by December 21, 2020.

Past Recipients

Bruce Edgar, 1988

Kate Harding, 1989

Michael Dickinson, 1990

Maurice Kernan, 1991

Doug Kellogg, 1992

David Schneider, 1993

Kendal Broadie, 1994

David Begun, 1995

Chaoyong Ma, 1996

Abby Dernburg, 1997

Nir Hacohen, 1998

Terence Murphy, 1999

Bin Chen, 2000

James Wilhelm, 2001

Matthew C. Gibson, 2002

Sinisa Urban, 2003

Sean McGuire, 2004

Elissa Hallem, 2005

Daniel Ortiz-Barrientos, 2006

Yu-Chiun Wang, 2007

Adam A. L. Friedman, 2008

Timothy T. Weil, 2009

Leonardo Koerich, 2010

Daniel Babcock, 2011

Stephanie Turner Chen, 2012

Weizhe Hong, 2013

Ruei-Jiun Hung, 2014

Zhao Zhang, 2015

Alejandra Figueroa-Clarevega, 2016

Danny E. Miller, 2017

Lucy Liu, 2018

Laura Fairbanks Seeholzer, 2019

Balint Kacsoh, 2020

Victoria Finnerty Undergraduate Travel Awards


Named to honor the memory of Victoria Finnerty, this award helps support travel costs for undergraduates presenting their Drosophila research at the Annual Drosophila Research Conference.

Finnerty was a long-time member of the Genetics Society of America and served the Drosophila community and the genetics community at large in many capacities. Her ground-breaking work as a graduate student used high-resolution recombination analysis to dissect gene structure. This set the stage for a 35-year career in which she excelled as a gifted teacher as well as a research scientist.

Finnerty was known for her creativity and dedication to training undergraduates in Drosophila genetics; her passion for the field of genetics was contagious. Vickie was a wise, compassionate mentor and teacher for whom interactions with her students was a constant joy. She constantly sought new ways to engage undergraduates in their genetics courses and in research; the Victoria Finnerty Undergraduate Award continues her stellar example.

Application Process

When the application period is open, there will be a link to the application form on this page. In their applications, applicants must include a letter of recommendation. The letter must be from the principal investigator of the laboratory in which they are conducting research or another professor or supervisor familiar with the applicant’s research.


Applicants must be GSA members who are undergraduate students. Recipients may only use the award to fund their travel to present Drosophila research at the Annual Drosophila Research Conference or The Allied Genetics Conference.

Important Dates

The application cycle for applicants who wish to present their Drosophila research at TAGC 2020 will open on October 30. The deadline for applications is November 27, 2019. UPDATE: The deadline for applications is January 15, 2019.

Support Undergraduate Drosophila Research

The Victoria Finnerty Undergraduate Travel Awards are made possible by generous contributions from our donors. Please consider contributing to support our community’s early career members.

Donate Now

Past Recipients

Year Name Institution
2019 Katherine Fisher Indiana University Bloomington
2019 Esther Kwon University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
2019 Kathy Le Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
2019 Carolyn McGrail Baruch College (CUNY)
2019 Caroline Miller Davidson College
2019 Taylar Mouton University of Rochester
2019 Amanda Petersen University of St. Thomas
2019 Caroline Phan Davidson College
2019 Nicco Ruggiero State University of New York at Buffalo
2019 Francesco Satriale Bucknell University
2019 Helen Stone University of Virginia
2019 Rebecca Tarnopol University of Michigan
2019 Brandon Turner University of North Carolina – Charlotte
2019 Isaac Wong University of Rochester
2017 James Cevallos UCLA
2017 Liesl Strand Univ of Washington
2017 Madison Hupp Kennsaw State
2017 Courtney Willet Kennsaw State
2017 Ryan Salemme John Carroll Univ
2017 Jenna Harris Georgia State
2017 Matthew Riccetti Univ of Dayton
2016 Andrew Blake Delaware State University
2016 Taylor Hinnant East Carolina University
2016 Diana Luong Loyola University Chicago
2016 Katherine Nichols Muhlenberg College
2016 Abigail O’Conner University of Arizona
2016 Nilang Shah Emory University
2016 Jarrod Shilts Vanderbilt University
2016 Samantha St. Clair Indiana University
2015 Jonathan Cohen Swarthmore College
2015 Alexander Kneubehl Ohio Northern University
2015 Kiu Ming April Kong York University
2015 Meera Namireddy Rice University
2015 Irina Pushel Michigan State University
2015 Anna Zeidman Brown University
2014 Daniel A. Friedman University of California, Davis
2014 Nancy J. Levansailor SUNY Fredonia
2014 Katharine Majeski Kennesaw State University
2014 Aidan L. McParland University of New England
2014 Marvin Nayan University of Washington
2014 Trung T. Phan University of Washington
2014 AnnJosette Ramirez Arcadia University
2014 Zachary L. Sebo University of Missouri, Kansas City
2014 Letitia Thompson The College of New Jersey
2014 Daniel M. Wong University of California, Los Angeles
2014 Chenling Xu University of California, Davis
2013 Susanna E. Brantley Emory University
2013 Gina D. Castelvecchi University of Wisconsin, Madison
2013 Robert W. Fernandez York College, City University of New York
2013 Michelle A. Frazer University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
2013 Samuel Hutton Friedman Vanderbilt University
2013 Robert A. Gingras Hofstra University
2013 Gary Iacobucci State University of New York at Buffalo
2013 Jihyun Irizarry California State University, Los Angeles
2013 Sierra Mosticone-Wangansteen Randolph-Macon College
2012 Selma Avdagic Saint Louis University School of Medicine
2012 Samantha Galindo University of Wisconsin, Madison
2012 Kenneth B. Hoehn Duke University
2012 Emily Hsieh University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
2012 Megan Phifer-Rixey University of Arizona
2012 Jacqueline McDermott Hofstra University
2012 Mohammad Siddiq Indiana University

Drosophila Image Award

The Drosophila Image Award recognizes compelling images that communicate important findings in Drosophila research. Any image from a paper that has been accepted for publication in the calendar year preceding the Annual Drosophila Research Conference is eligible and can be submitted by the researcher who generated it. The award is given to the most striking image and video that clearly convey an important biological result. Learn more about the Image Awards ≫

Poster Awards

Awards will be given for the best poster presentations by GSA undergraduate and graduate student members. Judges take both scientific merit and clarity of presentation into account. You must be the first AND presenting author on the abstract to be eligible for an award. You must also be a GSA student member at the time you submit your abstract and must check the option during abstract submission to enter your poster in the competition.

The following prizes will be awarded: 

  • 1st place – $300
  • 2nd place – $200 
  • 3rd place – $100 

Winners will be announced during the conference. All candidates must participate in the live Q&A for their poster to be eligible for an award. PIs and postdocs who are GSA members can indicate during registration if they would like to help with judging. See past Poster Award recipients ≫

Registration Fee Waiver for Scientists from Low-Income Economies

Registration fees for full-time residents of any country listed on the World Bank Low-income Economies or United Nations Least Developed Country list will have their registration fee waived. Please contact sbrown@genetics-gsa.org by January 10 for registration instructions.