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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 Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal


Nominations now being accepted

Deadline for Nominations: October 3, 2019


The Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal is awarded to an individual GSA member for lifetime achievement in the field of genetics. It recognizes the full body of work of an exceptional geneticist. Recipients of the Medal will have made substantial contributions to genetics throughout a full career.

The Medal was established by GSA in 1981 and named in honor of Thomas Hunt Morgan (1866-1945), a 1933 Nobel Prize winner who received this award for his work with Drosophila and his “discoveries concerning the role played by the chromosome in heredity.”  Morgan recognized that Drosophila, which could be bred quickly and inexpensively, had large quantities of offspring and a short life cycle, would make an excellent organism for genetic studies. His studies of the white mutation and discovery of sex-linked inheritance provided the first experimental evidence that chromosomes are the carriers of genetic information.  Subsequent studies in his laboratory led to the discovery of recombination and the first genetic maps.

Born shortly after the Civil War in 1866 and raised in Kentucky, Morgan received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and spent most of his professional life teaching at three institutions: Bryn Mawr College for Women (1891-1904), Columbia University in New York (1904-1928) and the California Institute of Technology (1928-1942). Like flies attracted to honey, Morgan attracted talented graduate students at Columbia, including A. H. Sturtevant (GSA President, 1944), C. B. Bridges (published the first paper in the first volume of GENETICS) and H. J. Muller (Nobel Laureate, 1946; GSA President, 1947), which is part of his legacy to the field of genetics. At Caltech, he became the first Director of the Biology Division and by then moved from studying Drosophila to marine animals, which had been an earlier interest for him. Morgan was not only interested in genetics, but he was also known for his work in experimental embryology and regeneration.


Nominees will be considered for three years without the need to update information.


To be considered for the Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal, both the nominator and the nominee must be members of GSA. Nominees must have made a substantial contribution to the genetics field, and they must have a strong history as a mentor to fellow geneticists.

Selection Criteria

Reviewers consider the following criteria when selecting a recipient:

  • Has the applicant or nominee made significant contributions to the field of genetics throughout a full career?

  • Does the applicant or nominee have a strong history of mentorship?





2019 Daniel Hartl, Harvard University
2018 Barbara Meyer, University of California, Berkeley
2017 Richard C. Lewontin, Harvard University
2016 Nancy Kleckner, Harvard University
2015 Brian Charlesworth, University of Edinburgh, UK
2014 Frederick M. Ausubel, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital
2013 Thomas Petes, Duke University
2012 Kathryn V. Anderson, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
2011 James E. Haber, Brandeis University
2010 Alexander Tzagoloff, Columbia University
2009 John Roth, University of California, Davis
2008 Michael Ashburner, Cambridge University, UK
2007 Oliver Smithies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
2006 Masatoshi Nei, Penn State University
2005 Robert L. Metzenberg, University of California, Los Angeles
2004 Bruce N. Ames, University of California, Berkeley
2003 David S. Hogness, Stanford University School of Medicine
2002 Ira Herskowitz, University of California, San Francisco
2001 Yasuji Oshima, Kansai University, Osaka, Japan
2000 Evelyn M. Witkin, Rutgers University
1999 Salome Waelsch, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
1998 Norman H. Horowitz, California Institute of Technology
1997 Oliver E. Nelson, University of Wisconsin–Madison
1996 Franklin W. Stahl, University of Oregon
1995 Matthew Meselson, Harvard University
1994 David D. Perkins, Stanford University
1993 Ray D. Owen, California Institute of Technology
1992 Edward H. Coe, Jr., University of Missouri
1991 Armin Dale Kaiser, Stanford University
1990 Charles Yanofsky, Stanford University
1989 Dan L. Lindsley, University of California, San Diego
1988 Norman H. Giles, University of Georgia
1987 James F. Crow, University of Wisconsin–Madison
1986 Seymour Benzer, California Institute of Technology
1985 Herschel Roman, University of Washington
1984 George W. Beadle, University of Chicago
  R. Alexander Brink, University of Wisconsin–Madison
1983 Edward B. Lewis, California Institute of Technology
1982 Sewall Wright, University of Wisconsin–Madison
1981 Barbara McClintock, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
  Marcus M. Rhoades, Indiana University