Aidan McParland wins travel award to present research at fruit fly conference

December 04, 2013

Aidan McParland (’15), a major in medical biology and oceanography, is one of eleven undergraduates who recently received Victoria Finnerty Undergraduate Travel Awards from the Genetics Society of America (GSA). The awards will be used by the students to attend the 55th Annual Drosophila Research Conference in San Diego, March 26–30, 2014. These 11 recipients are college juniors, seniors, or post-baccalaureates conducting academic research using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism.  The award winners will give poster presentations on their research to more than 1,500 undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, university faculty and others.

McParland’s presentation is titled “Steroid signaling modulates nociception in Drosophila melanogaster” and describes his investigation of whether or not decreasing function of steroid hormone prevents pain in the fruit fly.  The principal investigator of the research is Geoffrey Ganter, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Biological Sciences.

The Victoria Finnerty Undergraduate Travel Awards were established in 2011 in memory of its namesake, who was a long-time GSA member, a dedicated undergraduate educator at Emory University for 35 years, and an active member of the Drosophila research community and the genetics community at large. This is the third year the Victoria Finnerty awards have provided funding for undergraduates to attend the annual Drosophila Research Conference.

GSA is the professional scientific society for genetics researchers and educators, working to advance knowledge in the basic mechanisms of inheritance, from the molecular to the population level.