Edward Novitski Prize


The Edward Novitski Prize recognizes creativity and intellectual ingenuity in the solution of problems in genetics research. The prize honors scientific experimental work—either a single experimental accomplishment or a body of work.

The Novitski Prize was established in 2008 to recognize scientific experimental work that solves a difficult problem in genetics. It also recognizes the experimental design and execution involved in genetic scientific discovery.

The Novitski family and GSA established the prize 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.

Nomination Process and Instructions

Full instructions on how to nominate for a GSA Award are available here.

Briefly, a nomination packet includes 

  • Nominee name and contact information
  • Nominator name and contact information (if different from the nominee)
  • Cover Letter (250 words or fewer)
  • NIH-style biosketch (≤5 pages)
  • Lived-experience statement (250 words or fewer)
  • Selection questionnaire (see below)
  • Demographic survey (optional)


To be considered for the Novitski Prize, the nominee(s) must be member(s) of GSA. Up to two individuals of any career stage may jointly receive the prize. 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. The nominee(s) must be the key driver(s) of the creativity leading to the novel insight(s). The work in question must be published in (a) peer-reviewed publication(s).

Selection Questionnaire

  • Was the nominee’s creative effort published in a peer-reviewed journal? If so, please provide the relevant citation(s). If not, please describe the ways in which the work was disseminated. (100 words max)
  • Describe the creative aspects and novelty of the scientific contribution in question. (100 words max)
  • If nominating two individuals, briefly describe the specific contributions of each. (100 words max)

Award Dates

Nominations are due September 5, 2023.

Past Recipients

2023 No award given
2022 Harmit Malik, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
2021 Feng Zhang, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2020 Welcome Bender, Harvard Medical School
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
2009 Kent Golic, University of Utah
2008 Thomas J. Silhavy, Princeton University