The award is part of the Klingler Faculty Development Program, which was initiated when it was announced in May that Helen Way Klingler left $18 million to the university.
Karrer's research has used fruit flies to focus on DNA and the problem of how soma, or cells that make up an organism's body, differ from the germ line, which are cells responsible for inheritance and producing offspring.
"This award will allow us to do experiments that I have been wanting to do for years," she said. "The time has come in terms of both the development of the technology and now the financial support."
Karrer received her bachelor's degree from Marquette in biology and a Ph.D. in biology from Yale University in 1976. She later spent three years at Indiana University as a postdoctoral fellow and came to Marquette in 1989.
Her other achievements include receiving the John P. Raynor, S.J. Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence in 1999.
The Committee on Research chose Karrer, and future selections will be made by the Klingler Selection Committee. The fellowships are awarded to full-time regular faculty members at a senior rank based on nominations from academic deans or self-nominations and a dean endorsement.