EMGS conference features NIEHS scientists in key roles
As DNA damage and repair experts from around the world travelled to North Carolina, NIEHS researchers prepared to talk science with their colleagues.
They all met at the 48th annual Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society (EMGS) meeting Sept. 9-13 at the Raleigh, N.C., Convention Center. NIEHS scientists and postdocs contributed to the conference as organizers, session chairs, and presenters.
"EMGS continued a long tradition of presenting top-notch science and demonstrating support for early career scientists," remarked Stephanie Smith-Roe, Ph.D., National Toxicology Program (NTP) genetic toxicologist. She said the rich variety of topics at the conference kept attendees interested and engaged in discussions.
Smith-Roe was highly involved in the meeting. She presented a research poster, co-chaired several committees, led special interest groups and platforms sessions, and collaborated with NIEHS librarians on a bibliometric assessment of the EMGS.
Spotlight on NIEHS research
The goal of EMGS is to promote research into the causes and consequences of DNA damage, so it was fitting that Samuel Wilson, M.D., head of the NIEHS DNA Repair and Nucleic Acid Enzymology Group, gave one of the meeting’s four keynote speeches. Wilson’s lecture on the "Ins and Outs of Base Excision Repair" featured some of the work his group has done on enzymes that repair damaged DNA.
Other NIEHS scientists also gave oral presentations during the meeting. Janine Santos, Ph.D., staff scientist in the Mammalian Genome Group, talked about what happens to the epigenome of an organism if it has dysfunctional mitochondria.
Sreenivasa Ramaiahgari, Ph.D., an Intramural Research and Training Award (IRTA) fellow in the Molecular Toxicology and Genomics Group, discussed use of in vitro models and high-throughput technologies in genetic toxicology.
A seminar from the head of the Mechanisms of Genome Dynamics Group, Dmitry Gordenin, Ph.D., focused on the prevalence of APOBEC cytidine deaminases in certain human cancers.
Gordenin was not the only one from his research group to be featured at the EMGS meeting. IRTA fellow Cynthia Sakofsky, Ph.D., won first place in the New Investigator Poster competition, and visiting fellow Natalie Saini, Ph.D., won the Young Scientist Award. For more about the video Saini created that won the award, see the article in the Environmental Factor.