ASHG Honors Molly Przeworski, PhD, with the 2023 ASHG Scientific Achievement Award

Published: Tuesday, July 25, 2023, 12:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time

Media Contact: Kara Flynn, 202.257.8424,

Molly Przeworski, PhD
Molly Przeworski, PhD, Recipient of the 2023 ASHG Scientific Achievement Award

ROCKVILLE, MD – The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) has named Molly Przeworski, PhD as the 2023 recipient of the ASHG Scientific Achievement Award. Dr. Przeworski is a Professor of Biological Sciences and of Systems Biology at Columbia University.

This annual award, which includes a $10,000 award, recognizes genetics and genomics researchers who have made significant scientific contributions during the past decade.

“Dr. Przeworski is an exceptional scientist who has a clear sense of important problems at the intersection of population genetics, evolutionary biology, and genomic data analysis,” said ASHG President Brendan Lee, MD, PhD. “Her research has stood out for its clarity and scope, setting the standard for drawing inferences about selection, recombination, and mutation using genomic data. We are honored to present her with the ASHG Scientific Achievement Award this year for her efforts to conduct this important research.”

In his nomination letter, Andrew G. Clark, PhD, Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Molecular Biology & Genetics at Cornell University, stated: “Molly Przeworski has exceptional quantitative skills and a keen sense of what makes a timely and important problem relating to patterns of genetic variation in human populations. Her consistently strong publication record has placed her in the top-tier of analytical population geneticists, and she is increasingly sought after for major collaborative projects. She is among the most thoughtful and intellectually engaged scientists in her cohort, and I have no doubt that her productivity and influence in the field will continue to rise for some time to come.”

Dr. Przeworski is interested in modeling how genetic and evolutionary mechanisms give rise to and maintain heritable variation, and in inferring properties of the underlying mechanisms from patterns of genetic variation. Her work has revealed the fine-scale recombination landscape to be rapidly evolving in primates and elucidated the causes and consequences of its evolution in vertebrates. Her research has also clarified how natural selection operates in human populations: notably, she has demonstrated that few recent human adaptations involved new, single changes of large effect and characterized the footprints of other forms of adaptation in genetic variation data. Her more recent work seeks to understand sources of variation in mutation rates within and between species.

Dr. Przeworski earned her BA in mathematics from Princeton University, her PhD in evolutionary biology from the University of Chicago and completed a postdoc in the statistics department at the University of Oxford. Prior to joining Columbia in 2014, she was a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and on the faculty at Brown University and the University of Chicago. Her research has contributed to a better understanding of how natural selection operates in humans and in other species and of how and why recombination and mutation processes evolve in vertebrates.

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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 community of 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 and Human Genetics and Genomics Advances; (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:

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