Joe Heitman was awarded the Edward Novitski prize of the Genetics Society of America.
Heitman is honored for his work on human fungal pathogens and for identifying the molecular targets of widely-used immunosuppressive drugs. The latter work proved to be a seminal contribution to the discovery of the TOR pathway, which regulates cell growth and activity in response to nutrients.
The Novitski Prize recognizes a single experimental accomplishment or a body of work in which an exceptional level of creativity and intellectual ingenuity has been used to design and execute scientific experiments to solve a difficult problem in genetics. It recognizes the beautiful and ingenious experimental design and execution involved in genetics research. The Prize, established by the Novitski family and GSA, honors the memory of Edward Novitski (1918–2006), a Drosophila geneticist and lifelong GSA member who specialized in chromosome mechanics and meiosis through the construction of modified chromosomes.