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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 12, 2010
Contact: Diana Kenney, MBL, 508-289-7139; firstname.lastname@example.org
Pioneer of Modern Genetics, Thomas Hunt Morgan, to be Honored at Marine Biological Laboratory Symposium
WOODS HOLE, MAOne century ago this year, Thomas Hunt Morgan carried out experiments that would revolutionize biology and set off the century of the gene, which triumphed with the mapping of the human genome in 2000.
Morgan, a longtime investigator and trustee at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and a professor at Columbia University and later CalTech, was the first scientist to prove that the hereditary material was located on the chromosomes. Working both in Woods Hole and New York, Morgan and his colleagues constructed the first maps of gene location on fruit-fly chromosomes in the 1910s. For this groundbreaking work, Morgan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1933.
Yet Morgans accomplishments go far beyond this justly famous work. To commemorate his outstanding contributions to science and to the MBL, and to get a rare glimpse of the personal side of a scientific pioneer, the Thomas Hunt Morgan Commemorative Symposium will be held on Wednesday, July 21, 2:00-4:30 PM, in the MBLs Rowe Laboratory (Speck Auditorium), 10 MBL Street, Woods Hole. The event is free and open to the public.
The event will celebrate not only Morgans triumphs in experimental genetics, but also his significant impact on the fields of embryology and regenerative biology; and his legacy to the MBL as a student, and later a researcher and trustee, for more than 50 years (1890-1942). It will also offer a unique perspective on the personalities of T.H. and Lilian Morgan through the attendance of three of the couples grandchildren.
Speakers at the commemoration, which is hosted by MBL Director and CEO Gary Borisy, include:
- Garland Allen, T.H. Morgans biographer and historian of biology (Washington University)
- Barbara Morgan Roberts, granddaughter of T.H. Morgan and his wife Lilian Vaughan Morgan (who co-founded the Childrens School of Science in Woods Hole)
- Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, expert in regenerative biology (Howard Hughes Medical Institute/University of Utah)
- Jane Maienschein, historian of biology and of the MBL (Arizona State University)
The MBL is a leading international, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to discovery and to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888 as the Marine Biological Laboratory, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Americas.