Whitehead Member Mary Gehring receives prestigious young investigator award

Head and shoulders shot of Mary Gehring in the greenhouse

Whitehead Institute Member Mary Gehring

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Whitehead Member Mary Gehring has been selected as a recipient of the Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award, funded by The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and administered by a joint committee appointed by the Genetics Society of America and the American Society of Human Genetics.

Given every three years to two recipients, the career development research award “is intended to inspire and support new generations of women in the field of genetics.” This year’s second recipient is Valerie Horsley, an assistant professor of biology at Yale University. Candidates for the award are women in the first one to three years of an independent faculty-level position whose work displays “originality and scientific creativity.” The award is named for British scientist Rosalind Franklin, whose work in the early 1950s helped determine the structure of DNA.

In announcing the award today, Mary-Claire King, President of the American Society of Human Genetics, and Chair of the 2013 Rosalind Franklin Award Committee commented: “The Rosalind Franklin Award honors a founder of modern genetics by honoring the achievements of her academic granddaughters. For those of us with the privilege of selecting the Rosalind Franklin Award winners, this is one of our most joyful—and challenging—tasks. The depth and breadth of accomplishments of this year's nominees are extraordinary.”

Patricia Gruber, co-founder and president emeritus of The Gruber Foundation, added: “We congratulate the winners and welcome them as our colleagues and sisters in science.”

The award includes $75,000 in funding over a three-year period in support of Gehring’s research in imprinting and epigenetic regulation in Arabidopsis. Gehring and Horsley will be formally recognized in November at the American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting in San Francisco.



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Mary Gehring stands smiling in front of a window.

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