GSA is pleased to announce the recipients of the DeLill Nasser Award for Professional Development in Genetics for Spring 2020! Given twice a year to graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, DeLill Nasser Awards support attendance at meetings and laboratory courses. The Committee received a large number of applications this cycle and was very impressed by all.

The award is named in honor of DeLill Nasser, a long-time GSA supporter and National Science Foundation Program Director in Eukaryotic Genetics. Nasser was regarded by some as the “patron saint of real genetics,” shaping the field through more than two decades of leadership. She was especially supportive of young scientists, people who were beginning their careers, and those trying to open new areas of genetic inquiry. For more about Nasser, please see the tribute from Scott Hawley, published in the August 2001 issue of GENETICS.

Katie Billmyre: Postdoc, Stowers Institute for Medical Research

“I am interested in the molecular and cellular mechanisms behind chromosome-specific behaviors during meiosis.”

Ching-Ho Chang: Graduate student, University of Rochester

“I study the impact of intragenomic conflicts on chromosome evolution using three complementary systems: Segregation Distorter, centromere, and Y chromosome in Drosophila.”

Jae Young Choi: Postdoc, New York University

“I study the evolution of genome organization and structure in plants.”

Andrea Cuentas-Condori: Graduate Student, Vanderbilt University

“I try to understand how neurons, or brain cells, communicate with each other.”

Troy McDiarmid: PhD Candidate, The University of British Columbia

“I investigate the effects of Autism Spectrum Disorder risk variants on nervous system function and behavior using the microscopic round worm Caenorhabditis elegans in order to understand what effects the variants have and how they might contribute to the disorder.”

Summer Morrill: Graduate Student, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“I study how gene copy number affects the fitness of organisms.”

Juan D. Rodriguez: PhD Candidate, Emory University

“I am using a microscopic worm to investigate how changes to the packaging of the DNA that is inherited from the parents causes defects in the development of offspring.”

Sophia Tintori: Postdoctoral Fellow, New York University

“In my research I use worms collected from the wild (including highly radioactive areas of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone) to study how animals cope with DNA damage due to environmental radiation.”

Patricka Williams-Simon: Graduate student, University of Missouri

“Dissecting the genetic basis of learning, memory, and thermal tolerance in a multiparental population of fruit flies.”

Celja Uebel: Graduate Student, University of Southern California

“I use the nematode C. elegans to study how phase separation organizes small RNA silencing in a chaotic intracellular space.”

Interested in applying for a Fall 2020 DeLill Nasser Award? Learn more about the award on the Genetics Society of America website.