GSA is pleased to announce the recipients of the DeLill Nasser Award for Professional Development in Genetics for Spring 2017. The award is given twice a year to graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to support attendance at meetings and laboratory courses. 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.

The next round of funding will open late February, with an application deadline of April 4, 2017.

Graduate Student Awardees


Terry J. Felton (University College London)

Research: Understanding the genetic basis of left-right asymmetric neuron formation in the nematode C. elegans.

Advisor: Richard Poole


Abigail Lind (Vanderbilt University)

Research: How diverse toxins are encoded in fungal genomes and how fungi control the production of these toxins.

Advisor: Antonis Rokas


Albert A. Mondragon (Boston University)

Research: Characterizing the molecular machinery controlling acidification during cell death and clearance in fruit flies.

Advisor: Kim McCall


Taehyun Ryu (University of Southern California)

Research: Understanding heterochromatic DNA repair in Drosophila with the goal of developing new approaches for the treatment of human diseases caused by defects in heterochromatin repair.

Advisor: Irene Chiolo


Michele Sammut (University College London)

Research: Using simple nematode worms to discover the ways brain cells may be born in the complex brains of vertebrates and how changes in neural circuits affect behavior.

Advisor: Richard Poole

Postdoctoral Awardees


Igor Iatsenko (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)

Research: Using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to understand mechanistic details of the innate immune system.

Advisor: Bruno Lemaitre


Nikos Konstantinides (New York University)

Research: Studying the development of the Drosophila optic lobe using RNA sequencing approaches with the ultimate goal to understand how neuronal diversity is generated and how it evolves.

Advisor: Claude Desplan


Jyoti R. Misra (Rutgers University)

Research: Understanding how ubiquitylation and palmitoylation coordinately orchestrate the organization of the Fat signaling pathway, which regulates tissue growth and morphogenesis.

Advisor: Kenneth Irvine


Luke M. Noble (New York University)

Research: Understanding the genetic architecture of quantitative traits in Caenorhabditis nematodes.

Advisor: Matt Rockman


Jennifer Wisecaver (Vanderbilt University)

Research: How novel metabolic pathways that make antibiotics and other natural products evolve in fungi and plants.

Advisor: Antonis Rokas