About the Award

The Selman A. Waksman Award recognizes a major advance in the field of microbiology and is presented with a $20,000 prize. Nominations are being accepted now for the 2025 Award.

Nancy A. Moran, The University of Texas at Austin, received the 2023 Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology.

Moran’s pioneering research has expanded our understanding of microbial symbiosis and bacterial genome evolution.

Her work has focused on the evolution and biology of intimate symbiosis between insect hosts and bacteria. Combining methods from molecular biology, genomics, experimental biology and evolutionary theory, Moran has demonstrated the evolutionary origins of symbioses, their ubiquity in the organismal world, and the consequences of intimate symbiosis in the evolution and ecology of symbionts and hosts.

2023 Waksman Award, Moran social

Moran and her research group have also characterized the distinctive gut communities in honeybees, providing a new and useful model system for understanding more complex communities of microbes that impact organismal health.

Watch Moran’s acceptance speech.

Award History

The Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology was established by the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology in honor of the Jewish Ukrainian inventor, Nobel Prize laureate, biochemist, and microbiologist whose research into the decomposition of organisms that live in soil enabled the discovery of streptomycin and several other antibiotics. The award was first presented in 1968 to Jack L. Strominger for his elegant studies on the biosynthesis of the bacterial cell wall and the mode of action of antibiotics.

Previous recipients of the Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology continue to achieve outstanding advancements in their fields. Seven recipients have been honored with a National Medal of Science (Stadtman, 1979; Yanofksy, 2003; Wood, 1989; Woese, 2000; Falkow, 2016; Shapiro, 2011; Long, 2011), four recipients have received a Lasker Award (Strominger, 1995; Yanofsky, 1971; Dulbecco, 1964; Falkow, 2008), and one recipient has received a Nobel Prize in Medicine (Dulbecco, 1975).

Most Recent Recipient
Nancy A. Moran, 2023 Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology.
Nancy A. Moran
Call for Nominations

Awards will be presented in a variety of fields including biophysics, astronomy, microbiology, medical sciences, and more.

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Award Types

Previous Award Recipients

Pascale Cossart
Sharon R. Long
Bernard Roizman
Susan Gottesman
Jeffrey I. Gordon
Carol A. Gross