Iris Marie Chin, a senior majoring in biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has been awarded the 2019 Ralph S. Quatrano Prize.
Established through a generous donation by Katherine Day Reinleitner, the Quatrano Prize is awarded to the thesis showing greatest evidence of creativity in design, research methodology or broader scientific implications. The award is given in honor of Ralph Quatrano, the Spencer T. Olin Professor Emeritus and former chair of biology.
Chin’s research identifying the genetic networks that regulate complex social decision-making behaviors in insects stood out among this year’s nominees, evaluators said, in part because it yielded unexpected results. Her thesis was titled “The contribution of Williams Syndrome-related genes to Drosophila social behaviors uncovers an evolutionarily conserved genetic toolkit underlying animal sociality.”
Chin is a degree candidate in the neuroscience track of biology, with a minor in psychological and brain sciences. After graduation, Chin plans to continue her research with Yehuda Ben-Shahar, associate professor, while she applies for PhD programs. She will receive her prize during a biology award reception planned for May 15.