This year's Bridges and Sturtevant Prize for most outstanding research in Biological Sciences by graduating seniors is being awarded to 3 students. Pictured above:
Luis Valencia Salazar
Each student will be awarded $1000 and the prize will be announced at graduation. This prize results from an anonymous donation in 2011 establishing an endowment for the prize. Bridges and Sturtevant were certainly amazing Columbia undergrads who were true pioneers of modern genetics. Alfred Sturtevant is recounted to have taken time off from studying for classes one weekend to work on understanding some crosses. The result was his figuring out that genes were arranged in a row on a chromosome.
The prize description reads: "Columbia shall .... award an annual prize to be known as the Bridges and Sturtevant Prize in Biological Sciences in honor of Calvin Bridges and Alfred Sturtevant. Their pioneering studies as Columbia College undergraduates - using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster in Thomas Hunt Morgan's laboratory - laid the basis for our understanding of genes and the way they behave. Each year the prize will be awarded to one or more graduating seniors whose experimental or computational research is deemed to have been both highly original and fruitful by a committee of faculty to be selected by the Chair of Biological Sciences."
Congratulations to Luis, Felix, and Sasha!