Liliana M. Dávalos, an associate professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution, has been named a recipient of the National Science Foundation Award for “Understanding the Rules of Life.” Dávalos’ award-winning research addresses the “Genomics of exceptions to scaling of longevity to body size.”
Her project is funded through NSF’s Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) program and represents exploratory work in its early stages on untested but potentially transformative research ideas or approaches.
Her award is one of 25, totaling $15 million, intended to demonstrate NSF’s commitment to address some of the greatest challenges in understanding the living world, in all of its complex levels of organization, from the molecular scale through to the biosphere.
“These awards get to the heart of fundamental questions about biological processes that span multiple levels of organization,” said Joanne Tornow, acting assistant director for NSF’s Directorate for Biological Sciences. “We expect the science coming out of these awards to reveal new ‘rules of life’ that will contribute to a predictive understanding of living systems.”
To better identify the “rules” for how life functions, researchers will develop better and newer research tools and infrastructure and establish a collaborative culture to train the next generation of researchers in cross-disciplinary scientific inquiry. NSF expects this research to establish certain “rules of life” that will enable forecasting or prediction of changes in biological systems.