The $40,000 grant will fund Erika Hayasaki's research and reporting on various aspects of epigenetics. Steve Zylius / UCI

Erika Hayasaki, a UCI associate professor of English who teaches literary journalism, has received a 12-month, $40,000 grant from the Alicia Patterson Foundation. The award will help fund Hayasaki’s research, reporting and travel for four magazine-style stories involving epigenetics, including twin studies, the intersection of science and the courts, and the future of gene editing. “I am absolutely honored to be named an Alicia Patterson Fellow, and I can’t wait to dive into this reporting project, which I hope will shed light on how the environment impacts our genes,” Hayasaki said. “My long-term goal is for a book project centered on a set of real-life characters whose incredible lives will teach us about nature, nurture and epigenetics.” Formerly a reporter at the Los Angeles Times, Hayasaki published a book, The Death Class: A True Story About Life, in 2014. Established in 1965, the Alicia Patterson Foundation seeks to foster independent, in-depth reporting on local, national and international affairs.