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ASHG Honors Leonid Krugylak with 2015 Curt Stern Early-Career Geneticist Award

The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) has named Leonid Kruglyak (photo), Ph.D., Professor of Human Genetics and Professor of Biological Chemistry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), as the 2015 recipient of the Curt Stern Award (http://www.ashg.org/pages/awards_overview.shtml#stern). This annual award, named for the late pioneering geneticist Curt Stern, Ph.D., recognizes genetics and genomics researchers who have made significant scientific contributions during the past decade. ASHG will present the award, which will include a crystal plaque and cash prize, on Friday, October 9, during the organization’s 65th Annual Meeting (http://www.ashg.org/2015meeting/) in Baltimore, Maryland. Throughout his career, Dr. Kruglyak has focused on understanding how a person’s genes interact with each other and the environment to influence his or her traits, such as appearance, behavior, and disease susceptibility. As a postdoctoral researcher in the mid-1990s, he developed algorithms for the computer program GENEHUNTER, which allowed complex calculations of genetic linkage to be carried out on personal computers and quickly became a standard tool for mapping complex disease genes. Over the next decade, he authored key papers predicting the number of genetic markers required for genome-wide association studies in humans, and pioneered the field of genetics of global gene expression (now known as eQTL analysis). In recent years, Dr. Kruglyak’s laboratory has focused on using genomic technology to establish the yeast species Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans as powerful model organisms for the study of complex genetic variation. A member of ASHG since 1999 and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 2007, Dr. Kruglyak has received many awards, including a James S. McDonnell Centennial Fellowship in Human Genetics and a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Innovation Award in Functional Genomics. In 2007, ISI Thomson Scientific named Dr. Kruglyak a Highly Cited Researcher in Molecular Biology and Genetics, and, as of 2015, his work has been cited over 40,000 times.

Founded in 1948, the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) is the primary professional membership organization for human genetics specialists worldwide. Its nearly 8,000 members include researchers, academicians, clinicians, laboratory practice professionals, genetic counselors, nurses, and others with an interest in human genetics. The Society serves scientists, health professionals, and the public by providing forums to: (1) share research results through the ASHG Annual Meeting and in The American Journal of Human Genetics; (2) advance genetic research by advocating for research support; (3) educate current and future genetics professionals, health care providers, advocates, policymakers, educators, students, and the public about all aspects of human genetics; and (4) promote genetic services and support responsible social and scientific policies. For more information, visit: http://www.ashg.org.

[ASHG press release] [Krugylak Laboratory]