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Society Awards

Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal
Genetics Society of America Medal
George W. Beadle Award
Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Education
The Novitski Prize
The Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award

Trainee Awards

Victoria Finnerty Undergraduate Travel Awards
The GSA Undergraduate Travel Awards
DeLill Nasser Award for Professional Development in Genetics
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The Edward Novitski Prize


Nominations now being accepted

Deadline for Nominations: October 3, 2019


    Edward Novitski.


    Courtesy of Charles Novitski.


The Edward Novitski Prize recognizes an extraordinary level of creativity and intellectual ingenuity in the solution of significant problems in genetics research. It honors solid, significant, scientific experimental work, either a single experimental accomplishment or a body of work. The award recognizes scientific achievement that stands out from the body of innovative work, that is deeply impressive to creative masters in the field, and that solves a difficult problem in genetics. It recognizes the beautiful and intellectually ingenious experimental design and execution involved in genetics scientific discovery.


The Prize was established by the Novitski family and GSA to honor the memory of Edward Novitski (1918-2006), a Drosophila geneticist and lifelong GSA member, who specialized in chromosome mechanics and elucidating meiosis through the construction of modified chromosomes. Novitski was a student of Alfred Sturtevant, himself a student of Thomas Hunt Morgan. He was educated at Purdue University and Caltech and was a faculty member at the University of Missouri, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the University of Oregon. He mentored Larry Sandler and Dan Lindsley among other Drosophila geneticists. Novitski led by example, tackling difficult problems using innovative experimental approaches throughout his career.


Criteria for Selection:

The Novitski Prize is intended to recognize a single experimental accomplishment or a body of work in which an exceptional level of creativity and intellectual ingenuity has been used to design and execute scientific experiments to solve a difficult problem in genetics.

  1. The work in question must be published in peer-reviewed publications.

  2. The work should be of a high caliber of creativity that honors the tradition of notable experiments of Novitski and his colleagues.

    For example:


    • The recovery of a lozenge mutation from inside a short inversion (Novitski, 1950),
      that is described in general terms in Crow et al. (2006) and in lay terms in Novitski (2005, pp. 134-137).

    • The construction of all types of compound X chromosomes (Novitski, 1954) and compound X and Y chromosomes (Lindsley and Novitski, 1950, 1959).

    Novitski’s work is briefly summarized by Crow et al. (2006).

  3. The work should exhibit the beauty of intellectual ingenuity in providing scientific understanding (Novitski, 2005, pp. 132-164; 2006).

  4. The recipient must be the originator of the creative content of the experiments.

  5. If two individuals are deeply involved in the creation of an idea, then they may be co-recipients of the prize for that joint work. If there are more than two individuals who were key in the creative process, then only the two individuals most critical to that process are eligible for the Award.

  6. Among qualified candidates, all candidates (faculty, postdocs, students) will be treated as equal peers, evaluated on the same criteria.

  7. Work done at any time in the past may be recognized.


  8. A candidate must be alive at the time the final selection of the winner is made by the selection committee.

  9. The recipient is expected to be a current member of the Society.



  • Crow, J.F., Linsley, D., and Lucchesi, J., 2006. Edward Novitski, Drosophila Virtuoso. GENETICS 174: 549-553.
  • Lindsley, D., and Novitski, E., 1950. Construction of tandemly attached-X chromosomes. Dros. Inf. Serv. 24:90.
  • Lindsley, D., and Novitski, E., 1959. Compound chromosomes involving the X and Y chromosomes of Drosophila melanogaster. GENETICS 44: 187-196.
  • Novitski, E., 1950. The transfer of mutant genes from small inversions. GENETICS 35: 249-252.
  • Novitski, E., 1954. The compound X chromosomes in Drosophila. GENETICS 39: 127-140.
  • Novitski, E., 2005. Sturtevant & Dobzhansky, Two Scientists at Odds, With a Student’s Recollections. With a forward by James F. Crow. Xlibris. ISBN: 1-4134-7083-1.
  • Novitski, E., 2006. Genetics in the early twentieth century – a personal journey. Chromosome Research 14: 339-347.




2019 Joseph Heitman, Duke University
2018 Job Dekker, University of Massachusetts Medical School
2017 Jonathan Hodgkin, University of Oxford
2016 Leonid Kruglyak, HHMI and University of California, Los Angeles
2015 Sue Biggins, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington
2014 Charles Boone, University of Toronto, Canada
2013 Jonathan K. Pritchard, University of Chicago and HHMI
2012 Dana Carroll, University of Utah
2011 Abby F. Dernburg, University of California, Berkeley
2010 Thomas Cline, University of California, Berkeley
2009 Rodney J. Rothstein, Columbia University
  Kent Golic, University of Utah
2008 Thomas J. Silhavy, Princeton University