TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The National Science Foundation has bestowed a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award on Assistant Professor Karen M. McGinnis, a molecular biologist and geneticist whose work since she joined The Florida State University faculty in 2008 reflects both her passion for research and her commitment to training the next generation of scientists.
"The CAREER Award is an exceptional recognition of exceptional qualities in a young scientist," said biologist Joseph Travis, dean of Florida State's College of Arts and Sciences. "The NSF reserves this honor for high-potential researchers dedicated to the integration of research and education and capable of becoming the academic leaders of the 21st century."
McGinnis will receive $1,056,978 from the NSF over the next five years to delve deeper into the big questions of how gene expression is controlled and how the controls are themselves inherited.
She will seek the answers in corn specifically, maize. Besides advancing the field of genetics in crucial ways, knowledge gained from the study could help to improve various traits and yield better harvests of the plant, an agriculturally vital U.S. crop.
Above all, the funding will enable McGinnis to further involve Florida State students in cutting-edge science research at the undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels.
"Every experiment in this project will be conducted by postdoctoral, graduate, and undergraduate trainees," wrote McGinnis in her proposal to the NSF. "Emphasis will be placed on excellence in preparation for scientific careers and in mentoring young scientists for success."
"For Karen this award supports a more ambitious project than a typical research award would, and the recognition that comes with it will make scientists far and wide notice and look for her work," Travis said.
"For Florida State, the award draws attention to the young faculty members in
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Florida State University