The Institute for Regenerative Medicine the University of Pennsylvania has awarded C. David Allis, PhD, an American molecular biologist, with the inaugural Elaine Redding Brinster Prize in Science or Medicine. Allis’ research helped spark the field of epigenetics, which is the study of how a person’s behavior and environment can change the way their genes operate. Epigenetics now yield useful insights on everything from what may cause seizures to how bodies age and the way chronic diseases develop and progress.

“We are thrilled to award this honor for the first time to Dr. Allis, whose foundational biochemical discoveries have impacted so many aspects of biology and medicine,” said Ken Zaret, PhD, director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the Joseph Leidy Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology. “It’s a timely way to highlight the importance of science to society.”

The prize, supported by an endowment from the children of Elaine Redding Brinster, will be awarded annually to a researcher whose singular discovery has made a unique impact on biomedicine. Each winner will receive $100,000, a commemorative medal, and an invitation to present a ceremonial lecture to the University of Pennsylvania campus community.

Allis will accept the prize March 16, 2022, as part of the daylong Ralph L. Brinster Symposium.

Read more in Penn Medicine News.