College of Agricultural and Life Sciences | School of Medicine and Public Health


Your generous support helps maintain the level of world-class research and education for which the Laboratory of Genetics is known. Gifts of any amount make a difference. Donations to the Laboratory of Genetics funds listed below are administered by the UW Foundation on behalf of our department. Those wishing to donate by mail can fill out a printable form. If you are interested in establishing an endowment that would generate income on an ongoing basis, please contact our Chair, John Doebley, at

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Excellence in Undergraduate Education FundGive Now
Excellence in Graduate Education FundGive Now
Diversity Program FundGive Now
Stone Travel Award Fund – Give Now
Robert and Ann DeMars Lecture Fund – Give Now
J. F. Crow Distinguished Professorship Fund – Give Now

image of immunostained human tissue and blood vessels by Wei-Hua Lee of the Ikeda Lab at the Laboratory of Genetics
Immunohistology or Impressionism? A technique called “immunostaining” produced this image of human tissue and blood vessels from a patient by staining antibodies and proteins involved in immune response. The resemblance to famous works by Monet and Van Gogh is striking. Image by Wei-Hua Lee, a scientist in the Ikeda Lab at the Laboratory of Genetics. Winner of Cool Science Image 2016.

Excellence in Genetics Undergraduate Education Fund – Fund# 12345677

Enhances genetics undergraduate degree program by funding research experience and travel to research conferences for genetics majors, and by subsidizing activities of the Undergraduate Genetics Association(UGA).

Gifts to this fund provided support to a new study abroad program led by Laboratory of Genetics professor, Dr. Francisco Pelegri.  During spring break 2019, Dr. Pelegri took 18  undergraduate students to Costa Rica for the UW Banking Animal Biodiversity field study program. Students applied developmental genetics concepts in projects focusing on global animal bio-preservation efforts at research stations in three diverse locations, including a lowland tropical forest, a cloud forest and a wetland/dry tropical forest.

The purpose of this fund is to support and enhance our genetics undergraduate degree program by funding research experience for our Genetics undergraduate majors, supporting their travel to research conferences, subsidizing the activities of the Undergraduate Genetics Association (UGA), and other activities of our Genetics undergraduates. The Genetics undergraduate program has approximately about 340 majors and awards about 80 Bachelor of Science degrees each year. Our alumni include some of our nations most distinguished geneticists plus many MDs, professionals in the health sciences and agricultural researchers. Awards from this fund will be made by the Genetics Undergraduate Program Committee.

Excellence in Genetics Graduate Education –  Fund #112040083

Supports genetics graduate student excellence by funding student stipends, activities related to graduate education, and student-led events related to research, teaching and outreach.


Colloquium speaker

Gifts to this fund help support external invited speakers to the Laboratory of Genetics Spring/Fall Colloquium Series. The Colloquium Series is very important to our graduate program. It is an integral part of Genetics 707 and 708 courses in which 1st and 2nd year students interact directly with Colloquium speakers. In addition, all graduate students attend Colloquium (whose content is fair game on preliminary examinations!), and many attend lunch with the speakers during a speaker-student luncheon.

Dr. Laura Rusche, an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Buffalo,  will be presenting her talk “Evolution of gene regulation of yeasts” on March 27, 2019.  Dr. Rusche completed her Ph.D. degree in the biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology graduate program at John Hopkins School of Medicine. She then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley; later she accepted a job at Duke as a professor in the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy. Currently an associate professor at University of Buffalo, research in the Rusche lab focuses on chromatin and its impact on gene expression, genome stability, and chromosome function. In particular, they study Sir2 proteins (sirtuins), which deacetylate histones to repress transcription. Because sirtuins require NAD+ for activity, they are proposed to link the processes they regulate with nutrient availability. Dr. Rusche’s lab investigates how the functions of yeast sirtuins have shifted over the course of evolution to enable species to develop distinct responses to nutrient stress. Researchers in the Rusche lab employ yeasts as model organisms, taking advantage of the powerful classical genetic and contemporary comparative genomic approaches available in these species.

The UW-Madison Genetics Doctoral Training Program is considered one of the premiere genetics training programs in the country. The program has trained hundreds of students for diverse careers leveraging exceptional training in genetics, producing lasting impacts in the areas of human genetics, medicine, agriculture, education, and fundamental scientific discovery. The strength of our program is matched by the strength of our students – each year, the program recruits 10-12 of the most promising applicants to join a student body of ~60 students. An important recruiting tool to attract the best students is providing institutional support for students, especially student stipends. The purpose of this fund is to support the excellence of our students. Proceeds will be used to fund student stipends, support activities related to graduate education, and enable student-led events related to research, teaching, and outreach. Awards are granted by vote of the Genetics Training Program steering committee, which includes faculty trainers and a graduate student representative.

Genetics Diversity Program Fund – Fund #112040077

Enhances Genetics undergraduate and graduate degree programs by funding research, programs, and professional development experiences for underrepresented minority students.

Fyler Colon-Ramos talk


Gifts to the Genetics Diversity fund were recently used to help support a scientific talk and reception featuring Daniel Alfonso Colon-Ramos, world-class scientist, founder of Ciencia Puerto Rico, and STEM diversity champion. This event was open to the public and allowed underrepresented students interested in science to meet and talk with this very inspiring scientist who is a 2018 recipient of NIH’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research Grant Award.

Daniel Alfonso Colón-Ramosis is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Cell Biology at Yale University School of Medicine. His research centers on the underlying mechanisms of memory formation using the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system.  In 2006, during his postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University, Colón-Ramos founded Ciencia Puerto Rico (CienciaPR) to connect Puerto Rican scientists across the diaspora to promote scholarly interaction, provide visibility for Puerto Rican scientists, and support research and education in Puerto Rico. In 2011, Colón-Ramos received the American Association for the Advancement of Science Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science in part because of his work with CienciaPR and with promoting culturally relevant science education. In November 2018, Colón-Ramos participated in a Lasker Foundation-sponsored series called Conversations in Science with journalist Dan Rather, in which he described his research, his path to science from his childhood in Puerto Rico, and his approach to mentoring the next generation of scientists.




The purpose of this fund is to enhance the department undergraduate and graduate degree programs by funding research, programs, and professional development experiences for underrepresented minority students (as defined by the University and/or College) consistent with the University and College’s plan to achieve a diverse student body. These experiences include, but are not limited to, travel to research conferences, including national STEM conferences supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) to include the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), and campus mentoring programs. The fund will also support innovative approaches for faculty and staff to engage learners and change behaviors about diversity and inclusion in the department and on campus that can include lectures, symposia, workshops, conferences and assessment activities. Awards from this fund will be made by the Genetics Diversity Committee.

William H. Stone Graduate Student Travel Fund – Fund #12044522

Established by Dr. William H. Stone, this fund supports graduate student travel to conferences and meetings.

Quinn Langdon – 2018 Recipient of Stone Graduate Student Travel Award

Photo of Quinn Langdon

How did you use this award?

For my graduate work, I have been working on a yeast species that is primarily found in Patagonia and more rarely found outside of South America.  The 2018 International Specialized Symposium on Yeast (ISSY) was hosted by our collaborators in Bariloche, Argentina.  This was an excellent opportunity for me to attend a scientific conference at the center of diversity of the species I study, but being an international conference it was expensive to attend. I was very honored to receive the Stone Award to make my travel and attendance at this conference possible.

What does this award mean to you?

ISSY was an amazing experience, I was able to interact with many other scientists who are also passionate about the species I study and are doing interesting research with this species.  In particular this conference attracted many other international attendees, many of whom are in the top yeast diversity and population genetics labs. ISSY was the best conference I have ever attended, it was a great experience for presenting and discussing my work, and I was exposed to great research that is happening outside the US. I would not have been able to attend if not for the Stone Travel and am very grateful that this award exists to provide these opportunities.

William H. Stone, former Professor of Medical Genetics from 1953 to 1979, created the fund for the purpose of supporting graduate students working with Professors in the Laboratory of Genetics. The earnings from this fund are used to provide supplementary scholarships to enhance the training of exceptional graduate students. Annual awards are made on a competitive basis by the Graduate Awards Committee.

Robert and Ann DeMars Lecture in Genetics Fund – Fund #132040072

Honors Dr. DeMars’ legacy as a researcher and teacher by supporting an annual invited lecture.

Thanks to the generosity of many, the Robert and Ann DeMars fund has reached 87% of its $25,000 endowment goal!

Picture of Robert DeMarsRobert DeMars joined the Genetics faculty in 1959 and did pioneering work in developing methods for studying human genetics by using laboratory cultured cells. This work led to important discoveries about genetic disorders, including cancer, and about gene regulation in humans. In 1980, DeMars reported the isolation of deletion mutations affecting the human major histocompatibility locus. These mutations have been used by DeMars and other labs around the world to analyze the workings of the immune system. In the early 1990’s DeMars published a seminal series of papers identifying genes involved in the process of antigen presentation necessary to trigger an immune response. After retiring in 1997, DeMars turned his attention to the genetics of the human pathogen, Chlamydia, illuminating the genetic basis for pathogen evasion of immune surveillance and demonstrating bacterial genetic exchange that contributes to pathogenesis. The Robert and Ann DeMars Lecture in Genetics Fund honors Dr. DeMars’ legacy as a researcher and teacher by supporting an annual invited lecture.

James F. Crow Distinguished Professorship Fund – Fund #12901595

Celebrates the career of Dr. Crow by supporting the research of a world-class scientist on the faculty in Genetics.


Thanks to many generous donors, we are excited to report that the Crow Professorship Fund has met its initial goal of a $1,000,000 endowment!  The department will soon appoint the first James F Crow Distinguished Professor of Genetics and thereby recognize and support the research of a world-class scientist on the faculty in the Laboratory of Genetics.

Jim Crow photo

James F. Crow served as a faculty member in Genetics starting in 1948 and remained active until his death in 2012. He was an icon in genetics having published over 200 papers covering topics in population genetics, fruit fly genetics, human genetics, and the intellectual history of genetics. Students remember him as one of their finest teachers. Professor Crow was a leader and statesman of science. He was also an accomplished musician having been a member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and past President of the Madison Civic Music Society. To honor Professor Crow, we have created an endowed Professorship that bears his name. The Professorship will be made available to support the research of a world-class scientist on the faculty in Genetics. Please join us in celebrating the career of Dr. Crow by contributing to the James F. Crow Professorship Fund.