The University of Winnipeg



Student research recognized with Genome Publication Award

Alberto Civetta and Alwyn Go

Dr. Alberto Civetta and Alwyn Go  ©UWinnipeg

Alwyn Go wasn’t expecting his first-ever undergrad research project to be published, so he was even more surprised when it was recognized with a 2019 Genome Publication Award.

The award, which was announced in the January 2020 edition of Genome, recognizes substantial and notable contributions to genetics and genomics research.

“The experience working independently in a research lab and having that work published is rewarding enough,” said Go. “Having it recognized as one of Genome‘s 2019 top ten articles is unbelievable.”

Go’s paper, Altered expression of cell adhesion genes and hybrid male sterility between subspecies of Drosophila pseudoobscura, (by Alwyn Go, Doaa Alhazmi, and Alberto Civetta) provides insight into the genetics behind the formation of the Drosophila pseudoobscura species of fruit fly over the course of evolution.

When Go began this award-winning research during his biochemistry undergrad, he downplayed the results. In fact they didn’t begin drafting the manuscript for Genome until a year after Go’s honours thesis was complete.

His supervisor, Dr. Alberto Civetta encouraged him to submit the research for publication.

“Luckily Dr. Civetta noticed that the results were a lot more significant than I thought,” said Go. “The funny thing about science is that the ‘eureka’ moments aren’t always obvious, especially to an undergrad.”

Go is now working toward his Master of Science in Bioscience, Technology and Public Policy. He is thrilled that the research he undertook during his undergrad is being recognized, and looks forward to publishing future papers as he continues to search for answers behind the genetics leading to speciation.