BETHESDA, MD - The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) has named Leonid Kruglyak, PhD, 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, as the 2015 recipient of the Curt Stern Award.
This annual award, named for the late pioneering geneticist Curt Stern, PhD, 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 in Baltimore.
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.