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Scott Hawley

B.S., Biology, University of California, Riverside
Ph.D., Genetics, University of Washington

Portrait of Scott Hawley

How do you build an egg that will have the right number of genes and have it function? That has been the sole focus of my career.

Research Areas

Genetics and Genomics, Evolutionary Biology, Molecular and Cell Biology

Courses Taught

Genetics; Laboratory Rotation; Thesis Laboratory



American Cancer Society Excellence in Research Award


Genetics Society of America’s George W. Beadle Award


Member, National Academy of Sciences


Genetics Society of America’s Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Education


Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences


American Cancer Society Research Professor


Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Scott Hawley, Ph.D., joined the Stowers Institute in 2001, and is an Investigator for the Institute and Dean Emeritus for the Graduate School. Hawley is a noted researcher for his groundbreaking work on meiosis and a dedicated teacher, having trained more than 400 undergraduates over his career.

Throughout graduate school at the University of Washington and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Cancer Research in Philadelphia, Hawley continued to define the mechanisms behind what he terms the “meiotic ballet,” the tightly choreographed dance of elements and processes involved in meiosis. Hawley later became a faculty member at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, followed by a faculty position at the University of California, David.

At the Stowers Institute, Hawley became the founding Dean for the Graduate School, building a program that emphasizes hands-on scientific experience and critical thinking skills. Today he teaches undergraduates, graduates students and medical school students at the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Hawley has received several honors and awards throughout his career. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2008, and received American Cancer Society’s Excellence in Research Award in 2015. In recognition of his commitment to undergraduate education, he received the Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in teaching from the Genetics Society of America, which also elected him president in 2010.

Featured Publications

X chromosome and autosomal recombination are differentially sensitive to disruptions in SC maintenance

Billmyre KK, Cahoon CK, Heenan GM, Wesley ER, Yu Z, Unruh JR, Takeo S, Hawley RS. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019;116:21641-21650.

Superresolution expansion microscopy reveals the three-dimensional organization of the Drosophila synaptonemal complex.

Cahoon CK, Yu Z, Wang Y, Guo F, Unruh JR, Slaughter BD, Hawley RS. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017;114:E6857-E6866.

Whole-Genome Analysis of Individual Meiotic Events in Drosophila melanogaster Reveals That Noncrossover Gene Conversions Are Insensitive to Interference and the Centromere Effect

Miller DE, Smith CB, Kazemi NY, Cockrell AJ, Arvanitakas AV, Blumenstiel JP, Jaspersen SL, Hawley RS. Genetics. 2016;203:159-171.

Vilya, a component of the recombination nodule, is required for meiotic double-strand break formation in Drosophila.

Lake CM, Nielsen RJ, Guo F, Unruh JR, Slaughter BD, Hawley RS. eLife. 2015;4:e08287. doi: 08210.07554/eLife.08287.

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