Abstracts for human genetics meeting due next month

The American Society of Human Genetics, one of the ASBMB’s sister societies, is holding its annual meeting in this editor’s hometown of Houston in October. Abstracts are due June 6. Here we offer a quick look at the programming and some advice about visiting the fourth-largest U.S. city.

ASHG already has a preliminary at-a-glance schedule for the five-day event available as a PDF. Highlights follow.

Tuesday, Oct. 15

  • Workshops
  • Welcome address
  • Awards and plenary session
  • Poster presentations
  • More workshops
  • Networking and trivia reception

Wednesday & Thursday, Oct. 16 & 17

  • Workshops
  • Education sessions
  • Scientific sessions
  • Poster presentations
  • Awards and plenary sessions
  • Networking

Friday, Oct. 18

  • Workshops
  • Education sessions
  • Scientific sessions
  • Business meeting
  • Poster presentations
  • Awards and plenary sessions
  • Career paths reception

Saturday, Oct. 19

  • Scientific sessions
  • Plenary session
  • Closing celebration

Never been to Houston? Here are tips from a native.

1. Even though this event is October, you should not assume the weather will be brisk. It’s almost never brisk. In my experience, the first meaningful cool front doesn’t happen until right around Halloween. That is to say that, as a youngster, I put together many wonderful costumes and ended up having to wear a jacket over them. ASHG notes on its website that the average high temperature in October is 82°F. Bring a sweater, but you might not need it.

2. Eat the Tex-Mex. All of it. Go to the big chains. Go to the regional chains. Go to the hole-in-the-wall taquerias. Heck, I’ve known folks who’ve bought tamales off random strangers in Wal-Mart parking lots. Relish the handmade tortillas. Try horchata if you haven’t already.

3. Also eat the barbecue. This should require no explanation.

4. And the Vietnamese food. In case you didn’t know, during and after the Vietnam War great numbers of refugees settled in the Gulf Coast region. In some parts of Houston, street signs are written in Vietnamese.

5. If you like classic country music (think: Willie, Dolly and the entire “Urban Cowboy” soundtrack), there’s a local radio station for that (97.1 FM), and you can stream it on iHeartRadio.

6. Go to the beach. If I were back home, that’s what I’d do. Galveston Island is less than an hour away. Roll the windows down once you get to the bridge to get a taste of that ocean (OK, bay) air.

7. Houston has a vibrant LGBTQ community. Here’s a travel guide by MyGayHouston.com.

Photo credit: Melwin Thambi on Unsplash

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