The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

Zombie Ant Team Accepts Cozzarelli Prize in the Biomedical Sciences

David Hughes accepts Cozzarelli Prize on behalf of interdisciplinary team at the National Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony in Washington D.C.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) awards the Cozzarelli Prize annually to published papers of outstanding originality and scientific excellence in six areas: Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering and Applied Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Applied Biological, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The 2017 award winners’ ceremony took place on April 28th at the National Academy of Sciences' 155th annual meeting in Washington D.C., where assistant professor of entomology and biology David Hughes accepted the award in the area of Biomedical Sciences on behalf of his team of co-authors. Their paper, Three- dimensional visualization and a deep-learning model reveal complex fungal parasite networks in behaviorally manipulated ants,”characterized how fungal parasites control host behavior in “zombie ants.”

Regarding the experience Hughes remarked, “It was a tremendous honor to have received this award and to accept it on behalf of the co-authors. This work was very interdisciplinary involving microscopy, machine learning and behavioral ecology. It reflects Penn State’s commitment to such research through the Huck Institutes and the excellent microscopy facilities we have.  I would like to give a special shout out to Missy Hazen, who is part of The Huck Institutes Microscopy facilities who did such excellent work and of course Maridel Fredericksen, the lead author on the paper who was a MSc student at Penn State. ”

The Cozzarelli Prize was established in 2005 and later named to honor late PNAS Editor-in-Chief Nicholas R. Cozzarelli. We would like to thank authors; Maridel A. Fredericksen, Yizhe Zhang, Missy L. Hazen, Raquel G. Loreto, Colleen A. Mangold, Danny Z. Chen and David P. Hughes, and the microscopy facility at the Huck Institutes for making these novel discoveries possible.