Barbara McClintock (1902-1992) spent fifty years in CSH doing research at the CIW Department of Genetics, and later the Genetics Research Department. She arrived in 1941 to study mutations in kernels of maize (corn), which led to her discovery of transposable genetic elements.
The scientific community largely ignored her ideas, but advances in microbial genetics ultimately proved her findings correct. She is credited with discovering transposable or "jumping" genes, which are at the root of genetic engineering.
Dr. McClintock was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1983 for "for her discovery of mobile genetic elements". [Nobelprize.org]