Barry Ganetzky receives Hilldale Award for biological sciences

Barry Ganetzky, professor of genetics, is one of four UW-Madison faculty members to receive Hilldale Awards, which honor contributions to teaching, research and service each year. One award is given for each of the UW-Madison’s four divisions:  physical sciences, social studies, arts and humanities, and biological sciences—the award received by Ganetzky.

The awards are sponsored by the Hilldale Fund, which supports the advancement of scholarly activity at UW-Madison. The recipients will be honored at the April 8 meeting of the university’s Faculty Senate.

Ganetzky has been a mainstay at the front of the classroom for Genetics 466, General Genetics, working with thousands of students in the more than 30 years he’s taught the course.

It’s a core course for genetics majors, and in the years he’s been teaching it, class sizes have swelled to 275 students. He also developed and teaches a highly ranked, advanced course for students in the doctoral program, and is an active member of the department, mentoring graduate and postdoctoral students.

“He is known for precision in his lecturing, and for his contagious enthusiasm for the subject,” writes nominator Michael R. Culbertson, professor and chair of the Laboratory of Genetics. “His contributions to such courses have helped jump-start the budding careers of many young scientists.”

Ganetzky also has had a distinguished research career as a pioneer in the field of neurogenetics, with contributions that are internationally recognized by both neuroscientists and geneticists. They have led to his election to the National Academy of Sciences, among other honors.

His discoveries have contributed to potential improvements in medical practice and drug development for addressing a number of diseases and medical conditions.

“Dr. Ganetzky’s unbiased genetic strategy serves as a model for how to go about finding the needles (relevant genes) within the haystack (the entire genome),” Culbertson writes.

Stacy Forster
University Communications