The 96th Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science


News and Updates

96th Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science

Please join us for the 96th Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science

hosted virtually by York College of Pennsylvania

On April 10, 2021

The conference content and schedule can be accessed through the PAS website here:

All participants are welcome to attend the Welcoming Address at 8:20 AM.

Access to all sessions will require a completed and paid meeting registration: Register here

All sessions will be administered through Zoom so participants should download the Zoom app before attending.

The meeting will consist of oral and poster presentations, and a Keynote presentation entitled Spiderman Syndrome: Bacterial DNA in Animal Genomes by Dr. Julie Dunning Hotopp of the University of Maryland Baltimore.

Presenters should review important information on the website for oral presentations.  Posters must be uploaded by Thursday April 8 at 11:50 PM (See poster presentations for other important poster presentation details).

Finally, if you are willing to volunteer as a judge for the Spychala presentation awards (posters and orals), please contact Christopher R. Dolanc (cdolanc@mercyhurst.eduas soon as possible. Thank you for your consideration!

96th Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science Keynote Address

Spiderman Syndrome: Bacterial DNA in Animal Genomes

Dr. Julie Dunning Hotopp Professor, University of Maryland, Institute for Genome Science

Dr. HotoppJulie is a genome biologist who studies the movement of bacterial DNA into animal genomes through a process called lateral/horizontal gene transfer. Before we even knew the structure or role of DNA, scientists studied what is now known to be lateral gene transfer (LGT) in bacteria. LGT is behind the spread of antibiotic resistance as well as pathways for remediation. When Julie began her work, it was still largely thought that foreign DNA couldn’t move into eukaryotic genomes, and particularly not animal genomes or the human genome. Through her work, and the work other others, we now know that there is a plethora of bacterial DNA in animal genomes, and possible pieces of DNA in the human genome. Her research has been featured in two books, “I Contain Multitudes” by Ed Yong and “The Tangled Tree” by David Quammen as well as being named by Discover Magazine to be one of the top 100 science discoveries in 2007. 

In 1997, Julie graduated with a BS with distinction in research in Microbiology & Immunology from the University of Rochester. She obtained her PhD in Microbiology & Molecular Genetics in 2002 from Michigan State University. After doing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Genome Research, in 2007, she joined the faculty at the University of Maryland Baltimore where she is now a full professor. 

2021 Annual PAS Meeting Update

The deadline to submit abstracts for this year’s virtual PAS meeting has closed.


Additional information about the 2021 Virtual PAS meeting:

1. Oral presentations will be delivered in concurrent sessions using Zoom, where presenters will remotely deliver PowerPoint presentations using the share-screen feature.  Presentations will be 10-12 minutes with ~3 minutes of Q&A.

2. Poster presentations will also be delivered using Zoom, using the Breakout rooms feature.  Presenters will give mini-presentations (3-5 slides developed from their poster) of their uploaded poster in their assigned breakout room.

3. We are currently planning a one-day meeting on Saturday, April 10th, but this may change to include Sunday, depending on the number of abstracts submitted.

4. Registration will be $50 for PAS faculty members and $25 for student presenters, and this price will include a free 2021 membership to PAS.  Individuals with previously paid membership will be granted free access, but should still register for the meeting.

Additional details will be forthcoming!

Please encourage your students and colleagues to attend and participate in this year’s virtual PAS meeting.

For questions about the process please contact program co-chairs Andre Walther or Rachael Zhu

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