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Barry S. Ganetzky ’71 LAS

2012 University of Illinois Alumni Achievement Award
Steenbock Professor of Biological Sciences, Laboratory of Genetics, University of Wisconsin-Madison


For more than 40 years, Dr. Barry S. Ganetzky has doggedly pursued a better understanding of how the nervous system works. His research involving the common fruit fly has produced significant discoveries, with potentially profound implications for conditions ranging from cardiac failure to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. He has been called a giant in the world of science and in 2006 was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors accorded to an American scientist.

A genetics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1979, Ganetzky continues to investigate mutations and is widely known for his studies on how cells generate and propagate electrical impulses in the nervous system. His research has contributed to the understanding of human neurological disorders, drug development and screenings, and insecticide development.

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