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For Immediate Release

February 1, 2016



Genetics Society of America awards Detlef Weigel the 2016 GSA Medal
Award recognizes outstanding recent contributions to the field of genetics

BETHESDA, MD – The Genetics Society of America (GSA) is pleased to announce that Detlef Weigel (Max Plank Institute for Developmental Biology, Tuebingen) has been awarded the GSA Medal for his outstanding contributions to the field of genetics in the last 15 years.

Detlef Weigel, PhD

Max Plank Institute for Developmental Biology, Tuebingen

“Detlef's blend of biology, genetics, and genomics technology has been key to the development of the field of modern plant developmental biology, said Joanne Chory, Professor and Director of Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology at the Salk institute for Biological Studies, who was one of those nominating Weigel for this honor. “In addition to his tireless service to our community, Detlef is a wonderful colleague whose presence makes everyone’s science excel.”

Using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, Dr. Weigel has contributed to three major areas related to flowering: the identification of early events in flower development; dissections of the molecular basis for floral patterns; and the determination of mechanisms for natural flowering time. Notably his group identified florigen, a compound made in leaves that induces flowering.  Throughout these investigations, Weigel developed multiple resources for the plant genomics community including activation tagging to create gain of function mutants; gathering data and creating a web interface for AtGenExpress, a gene expression atlas for Arabidopsis; and creating a multiple single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) query tool, which allows researchers to develop SNP assays. Dr. Weigel continues to integrate electronic resources with expression profiles to study the genes that regulate a suite of adaptive plant traits.  The genomic tools his research group has created have facilitated biological breakthroughs in the plant science community and beyond.


 Weigel has received an NSF Young Investigator Award (1994), the Charles Albert Shull Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists (2001), the Otto Bayer Award from the Bayer Foundation (2010), and the State Research Prize from Baden-Württemberg (2011). He is a fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science and a member of the Heidelberg Academy of Science and Humanities, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, European Molecular Biology Organization, Royal Society of London, and the US National Academy of Sciences.

Jeff Dangl, HHMI-GBMF Plant Science Investigator at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill noted that, “his deep rooted understanding of Genetics and his technological creativity both drives and serves an exceptionally broad and fearless palette of interesting and important biology.”

The Genetics Society of America Medal is awarded to an individual member of the Society for outstanding contributions to the field of genetics in the last 15 years. Recipients of the GSA Medal are recognized for elegant and highly meaningful contributions to modern genetics within the recent history of the field; awardees exemplify the ingenuity of the GSA membership.

To learn more about the GSA awards, and to view a list of previous recipients, please see

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About the Genetics Society of America (GSA)

Founded in 1931, the Genetics Society of America (GSA) is the professional scientific society for genetics researchers and educators. The Society’s more than 5,000 members worldwide work to deepen our understanding of the living world by advancing the field of genetics, from the molecular to the population level. GSA promotes research and fosters communication through a number of GSA-sponsored conferences including regular meetings that focus on particular model organisms. GSA publishes two peer-reviewed, peer-edited scholarly journals: GENETICS, which has published high quality original research across the breadth of the field since 1916, and G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics, an open-access journal launched in 2011 to disseminate high quality foundational research in genetics and genomics. The Society also has a deep commitment to education and fostering the next generation of scholars in the field. For more information about GSA, please visit


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