The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation proudly presents the 2008 Genetics Prize to Allan C. Spradling, Ph.D. a leader in developmental genetics and stem cell biology.
Allan C. Spradling played a pivotal role in creating a method to systematically delete from or add genes to the genome of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. He thus helped create the foundation for functional genomic studies of Drosophila.
By studying the development and differentiation of Drosophila eggs, he made fundamental discoveries about the earliest stages of reproduction. He extended these insights from the fly to the mouse. Germ cells are the ultimate stem cells, and Spradling’s discoveries of their intracellular reorganization and specific cellular microenvironment (the stem cell “niche”) within the ovary have had enormous impact on the field of stem cell biology.