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Media Contacts:
Nalini Padmanabhan, ASHG Communications Manager

301.634.7346 |


Raeka Aiyar, GSA Communications and Engagement Manager
301.634.7302 |


For Immediate Release

Thursday, November 13, 2014

10:00 am U.S. Eastern Time (UTC-05:00)



NABT Recognizes Chemistry Teacher with Genetics Education Award

Robert Gotwals Wins Annual Award Sponsored by ASHG and GSA


BETHESDA, MD – The National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) has named Robert R. Gotwals, Jr., M.S., chemistry and research instructor at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) in Durham, the 2014 recipient of its Genetics Education Award.

Robert R. Gotwals, Jr., M.S., of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (Photo courtesy Mr. Gotwals).

This annual award recognizes innovative, student-centered classroom instruction to promote the understanding of genetics and its impact on inheritance, health, and biological research. Sponsored by the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) and the Genetics Society of America (GSA), the award will be presented to Mr. Gotwals on Saturday, November 15, during NABT’s 2014 Professional Development Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to a recognition plaque and a year of complimentary membership to NABT, GSA, and ASHG, Mr. Gotwals will receive a $1000 cash prize.


Mr. Gotwals, who holds an undergraduate degree in chemistry and master’s degrees in science education and education for the hearing-impaired, has developed resources related to research and computational chemistry for both students and teachers. In particular, he worked with the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, to create and implement a program for high school students to conduct genetics research. Using videoconferencing, students in the program collaborate with Jackson Laboratory scientists to analyze complex genetic and genomic data obtained from disease studies in mice.


“NABT is proud to recognize Mr. Gotwals as its first Genetics Education Award recipient,” said Priya DasSarma, M.S., of the University of Maryland, chair of the NABT Awards Committee. “He has impressive genetics education credentials, including producing a video, ‘DNA: The Secret of Life,’ with Dr. James D. Watson. He is an ideal messenger for high school students, motivating them to analyze data coming down the bioinformatics, genomic, and genetic pipelines along with researchers in a fruitful collaboration,” she said.


In addition, Mr. Gotwals developed the North Carolina High School Computational Chemistry server, which he continues to support; and curricula in general chemistry, research methods, and computational sciences, which he has taught at NCSSM since 2006.


Award Presentation: The 2014 NABT Genetics Education Award will be presented at the NABT Honors Luncheon on Saturday, November 15, 2014, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. in Junior Ballroom A at the Cleveland Convention Center. Tickets are required.


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About the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG)

Founded in 1948, the American Society of Human Genetics is the primary professional membership organization for human genetics specialists worldwide. Its nearly 8,000 members include researchers, academicians, clinicians, laboratory practice professionals, genetic counselors, nurses, and others with an interest in human genetics. The Society serves scientists, health professionals, and the public by providing forums to: (1) share research results through the ASHG Annual Meeting and in The American Journal of Human Genetics; (2) advance genetic research by advocating for research support; (3) educate current and future genetics professionals, health care providers, advocates, policymakers, educators, students, and the public about all aspects of human genetics; and (4) promote genetic services and support responsible social and scientific policies. For more information, visit:


9650 Rockville Pike | Bethesda, MD 20814 | 301.634.7300 | |

Connect with ASHG on Twitter (@GeneticsSociety) | Facebook | LinkedIn


About The Genetics Society of America (GSA)

Founded in 1931, the Genetics Society of America (GSA) is the professional scientific society for genetics researchers and educators. The Society’s more than 5,000 members worldwide work to deepen our understanding of the living world by advancing the field of genetics, from the molecular to the population level. GSA promotes research and fosters communication through a number of GSA-sponsored conferences including regular meetings that focus on particular model organisms. GSA publishes two peer-reviewed, peer-edited scholarly journals: GENETICS, which has published high quality original research across the breadth of the field since 1916, and G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics, an open-access journal launched in 2011 to disseminate high quality foundational research in genetics and genomics. The Society also has a deep commitment to education and fostering the next generation of scholars in the field. For more information about GSA, please visit


9650 Rockville Pike | Bethesda, MD 20814 | 301.634.7300 | |

Connect with GSA on Twitter (@GeneticsGSA) | Facebook | LinkedIn