Styles and Patterns in Biomedical Research
(This information was taken from the Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series Program 1981-1982).
Dr. Lederberg, Nobel laureate and president of The Rockefeller University, was born in Montclair, New Jersey. He received his BA degree from Columbia College in 7944, then entered Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. After two years he transferred to Yale University, where he received his Ph.D. degree in microbiology in 7947. In 7958, at the age of 33, he was named a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine along with Dr. E.L. Tatum and Dr. George Beadle. From 1947 to 1959, Dr. Lederberg was professor of genetics at the University of Wisconsin where he served as chairman of the department of medical genetics from 7957-59. In 1959 he joined the faculty of the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he was the Joseph D. Grant Professor of genetics and chairman of the department of genetics. He was concurrently professor of biology and professor of computer science at Stanford. He was named president of The Rockefeller University in 1978.
His Work: Dr. Lederberg pioneered in the field of bacterial genetics. Prior to his discovery that bacterial strains could be crossed to produce an offspring containing a new combination of genetic factors, scientists had known little about the bacterial genetic mechanism and many even doubted that bacteria possessed a genetic mechanism similar to that of higher organisms. Later, at the University of Wisconsin, he showed that bacterial genetic material was exchanged not only by conjugation (when the entire complement of chromosomes is transferred from one bacterial cell to another) but also by transduction (when only fragments are transferred). This was among the first demonstrations of the manipulation of any organism's genetic material, and it opened prospects of far-reaching genetic experimentation.
His Lecture: "Styles and Patterns in Biomedical Research"
October 10, 1981
Lederberg, Joshua, "Styles and Patterns in Biomedical Research" (1981). DSLS 1981-1982. 4.