Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal

The nomination site will open in August 2021.


GSA awards the Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal to individual GSA members for lifetime achievement in the field of genetics, recognizing the full body of work of exceptional geneticists. Recipients will have made substantial contributions to genetics throughout their careers and will have a strong history as a mentor to fellow geneticists.

GSA established the Medal in 1981 and named it in honor of Thomas Hunt Morgan (1866-1945). Morgan received the Nobel Prize in 1933 for his work with Drosophila and his “discoveries concerning the role played by the chromosome in heredity.” Morgan’s 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.

Nomination Process

When the nomination period is open, you will find a link to the nomination form at the top of this page. Using the form:

  • Describe the candidate’s research over the course of their career, highlighting the candidate’s major contributions to the field of genetics. Detail why these accomplishments make the candidate deserving of an award for lifetime achievement (word limit for this section: 500).
  • Describe the candidate’s record as a mentor to other accomplished scientists (word limit for this section: 350).
  • List the name of the candidate, their current institution, their email address, and phone number.
  • Upload the candidate’s CV.
  • Provide a secondary nominator’s name and email address. The secondary nominator will receive an email allowing them to log in and upload their letter of support.
  • Once the secondary nominator has successfully uploaded their letter of support, you will receive an email to remind you to submit the completed nomination.

Once GSA receives all the necessary materials, the Awards Committee and the Board of Directors will review the nominations and select a recipient.

All nominations will remain active for three years. That means the nominee will be considered for the Medal in the year you nominate them and also in the following two years.


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?

Important Dates

The nomination site is closed. The next nomination period will be August to October 4, 2021.

Past Recipients

2021 Ruth Lehmann, Whitehead Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2020 Gerald Fink, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
David Botstein, Calico Life Sciences
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
1984 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
1981 Marcus M. Rhoades, Indiana University