Professor Lydia Contreras has been named as a recipient of a 2011 Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Young Investigator Award for her biomolecular work in radioresistant organisms that could uncover new methods to monitor and remediate radiation-contaminated sites. Each year DTRA makes 10-15 Young Investigator Awards nationally to researchers from various science and engineering fields. DTRA is the U.S. Department of Defense’s official Combat Support Agency for countering weapons of mass destruction. Under DTRA, DoD resources, expertise and capabilities are combined to ensure the United States remains ready and able to address the present and future WMD threat through combat support, technology development, threat control and threat reduction.