Prof. Manyuan Long (Ecology and Evolution, Evolutionary Biology, GGSB) is an evolutionary geneticist who focuses on how new genes originate in organisms. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship this year, selected on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise. His work combines theoretical, computational, and molecular experimental approaches to explore the functions of new genes, the evolution of essential genes in development, gene interactions with new genes, sexual selection and conflict on new genes, and de novo gene origination.
Long is the Edna K. Papazian Distinguished Service Professor of Ecology and Evolution and has been on the faculty at UChicago since 1997. He has trained dozens of young scientists, from undergraduates to graduates to postdoctoral fellows, many of whom have themselves become professors or independent researchers at major universities and research institutions.
Long’s Guggenheim Fellowship will support research and writing for a new book on how genes originate. Over the past three decades, he and other scientists have made meaningful discoveries in the phenomenology and concepts shaping the study of gene origination, and his proposed work seeks to summarize the major discoveries that led to conceptual innovations in the understanding of evolutionarily new genes.
“I feel lucky and honored to win this fellowship, which I think is kind of a seal of approval to the works I have done with the concept of gene origination I proposed and explored since my graduate study,” he said. “With this support, I will be able to focus on writing and doing related research at institutions in the U.S. and a few other countries in the next few years.”
Long has published hundreds of scientific papers, reviews and commentaries, and two books. He was also honored as a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2014.