Deborah Bolnick, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, has been awarded the 2012 Norman Hackerman Advanced Research Program grant, sponsored by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The award of $80,000 over two years will support Dr. Bolnick’s research on “Assessing the Impact of European Contact on Native American Genomic Diversity and Disease Prevalence.”
Dr. Bolnick received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis and joined the UT Austin faculty in 2007. As a molecular anthropologist, her work explores the ways that genetics, culture and history intersect. She uses DNA from ancient and contemporary Native Americans to evaluate archaeological, linguistic, and ethnohistorical hypotheses about Native American history and prehistory.
The Norman Hackerman Advanced Research Program was established by the 70th Texas Legislature in 1987 to support basic research at Texas institutions. In 2011, the award re-focused on the disciplines of molecular biology, cellular biology, genetics, and materials science or nanoscience. Dr. Bolnick’s research on genetics has helped her succeed in a competition that has typically been dominated by the hard sciences.