NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Gruber Genetics Prize for 2008 has been awarded to Allan Spradling, a researcher at the Carnegie Institution for Science and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, for his work in Drosophila genomics and for "fundamental discoveries about the earliest stages of reproduction."
Spradling and his colleague Gerald Rubin, who now directs HHMI's Janelia Farm research campus, carried out the first successful gene therapy in a many-celled organism — the fruit fly Drosophila, said the Gruber Foundation. He also engineered DNA segments to induce mutations in fruit flies, which enabled comparisons of fruit fly function to their human counterparts.
Spradling also has advanced stem cell science and knowledge of egg production in the ovary, said the Foundation. He is credited with discovering how groups of germ cells work together to enable some of them to develop into functional eggs.
The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation’s Genetics Prize is given to distinguished scientists in all areas of genetics and genomics research.