The Genetics Society of America’s George W. Beadle Award honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the community of genetics researchers and who exemplify the qualities of its namesake. The 2016 recipient, Susan E. Celniker, played a key role in the sequencing, annotation, and characterization of the Drosophila genome. She participated in early sequencing efforts at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and led the modENCODE Fly Transcriptome Consortium. Her efforts were critical to ensuring that the Drosophila genome was well-annotated, making it one of the best curated animal genomes available. As the Principal Investigator for the BDGP, Celniker has enabled the study of proteomes by creating a collection of over 13,000 clones that match annotated genes for protein expression in cells or transgenic flies, and she has established the most comprehensive spatial gene expression atlas in any organism, with in situ imaging of more than 80% of the Drosophila protein-coding transcriptome through embryogenesis. In addition to providing the research community with these invaluable resources and reagents, she continues to develop new tools and datasets for genetics researchers to explore the spatial and temporal control of gene expression.