Dr. Mia Levine, a postdoctoral fellow in the Basic Sciences Division’s Malik Lab, recently won a 2011 DeLill Nasser Award for Professional Development in Genetics from the Genetics Society of America. Her $1,000 prize, one of six awarded, will support her travel to the International Conference on Drosophila Heterochromatin in Gubbio, Italy, in June 2011.
Levine researches the causes and consequences of evolution at heterochromatin, the gene-poor but functionally important compartment of the genome. She conducts evolutionary, cytological and genetic analyses of several germline-restricted members of the Heterochromatin Protein 1 gene family to characterize new and evolutionarily dynamic cellular roles of heterochromatin sequence and architecture.
The GSA established the award in 2001 to support travel costs for young geneticists to attend national and international meetings and enroll in laboratory courses. The honor is named for longtime GSA member and former National Science Foundation program director in eukaryotic genetics, Dr. DeLill Nasser.
Nasser, who died in 2000, was at NSF for more than 22 years and was considered the “patron saint” of genetics and friend of many geneticists. She championed the funding of the genomic sequencing of Arabidopsis and research in Drosophila.
Founded in 1931, the GSA is a professional membership organization for geneticists and science educators. Its more than 4,000 members work to advance knowledge in the basic mechanisms of inheritance, from the molecular to the population level.