Muller , Hermann Joseph
(1890–1967) American geneticist
Born in New York City, Muller was awarded a scholarship to Columbia University in 1907 and specialized in heredity during his undergraduate studies. On graduation he took up a teaching fellowship in physiology at Cornell Medical School, gaining his master's degree in 1912 for research on the transmission of nerve impulses. During this period he continued working at Columbia in his spare time, contributing to the genetic researches onDrosophila fruit flies. He was employed officially at Columbia in 1912 and received his PhD in 1916 for his now classic studies on the crossing over of chromosomes. He was also a coauthor of The Mechanism of Mendelian Heredity (1915), a fundamental contribution to classical genetics.
In 1915, at the request of Julian Huxley, Muller moved to the Rice Institute, Houston, Texas, where he began studying mutation. By 1918 he had found evidence that raising the temperature increases mutation rate. In 1920, after a brief spell back at Columbia, he joined the University of Texas as an associate professor, becoming a professor in 1925. In 1926 he found that x-rays induce mutations, a discovery for which he eventually received the 1946 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine.
In 1933 Muller spent the first of eight years in Europe at the Institute for Brain Research, Berlin. Hitler's rise to power forced him to leave Germany and he moved to the Academy of Sciences, Leningrad, at the invitation of Nikolai Vavilov. Muller believed that in a communist state he would be able to develop his own socialist ideas and apply his research to improve the human condition. However, the advent of Lysenkoism effectively hampered most genetic research in Russia and Muller left, volunteering to serve in the Spanish Civil War. He then worked at the Institute of Animal Genetics, Edinburgh, returning to America in 1940. He held a position at Amherst College, Massachusetts, from 1942 until 1945, when he became professor of zoology at Indiana University, remaining there for the rest of his life.
Muller made important theoretical contributions to genetics. He visualized the gene as the origin of life, because only genes can replicate themselves, and he believed all selection and therefore evolution acted at the level of the gene. He worried about the increasing number of mutations accumulating in human populations, which can survive because of modern medical technology, and proposed a program of eugenics to overcome the problem. He fully realized the harm to human chromosomes that can result from ionizing radiation and campaigned against excessive use of x-rays in medicine, careless handling of nuclear fuels, and testing of atomic bombs.
Muller is seen by many as the most influential geneticist of the 20th century, mainly through his appreciation of genetic mutation as fundamental to future genetic research. He published over 350 works, the most important paper being Artificial Transmutation of the Gene (1927).

Scientists. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Muller,Hermann Joseph — Mul·ler (mŭlʹər), Hermann Joseph. 1890 1967. American geneticist. He won a 1946 Nobel Prize for the study of the hereditary effect of x rays on genes. * * * …   Universalium

  • Muller, Hermann Joseph — born Dec. 21, 1890, New York, N.Y., U.S. died April 5, 1967, Indianapolis, Ind. U.S. geneticist. He attended Columbia University. The possibility of consciously guiding human evolution provided the initial motivation for his research, leading him …   Universalium

  • Muller, Hermann Joseph — (1890–1967)    US biologist and geneticist and Nobel laureate, 1946. Muller, a professor at the University of Indiana, was the first to establish that biological mutations were the result of chemical changes that could be induced artificially.… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Muller, Hermann Joseph — (1890 1967)    American scientist. He was professor at the University of Indiana and established that biological mutations were the result of chemical changes that could be induced artificially. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine and… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Muller, Hermann Joseph — ► (1890 1967) Biólogo estadounidense. Fue premio Nobel de Medicina y Fisiología en 1946, por sus estudios acerca de la acción de los rayos X como productores de mutaciones y de la acción de las radiaciones sobre células. * * * (21 dic. 1890,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Hermann Joseph Muller — Infobox Scientist name = Hermann Joseph Muller image size = 180px caption = birth date = December 21 1890 birth place = New York City, New York, USA death date = April 5 1967 death place = Indianapolis, Indiana, USA nationality = United States… …   Wikipedia

  • Hermann Joseph Muller — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Müller. Hermann Joseph Muller (21 décembre 1890 – 5 avril 1967) est un généticien américain qui a posé les bases de l étude des effets des rayonnements ionisants sur le génome. Il est lauréat du prix Nobel de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hermann Joseph Muller — (* 21. Dezember 1890 in Manhattan, New York, USA; † 5. April 1967 in Indianapolis, USA) war ein US amerikanischer Biologe und Genetiker. Für die Entdeckung, dass Mutationen mit Hilfe von Röntgenstrahlen hervorgerufen werden können, erhielt er… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hermann Joseph Muller — (Nueva York, 21 de diciembre de 1890 – 5 de abril de 1967) fue un biólogo y genetista estadounidense. Renovador de la genética. Autor de notables estudios acerca de la acción de los rayos X como productores de mutación la acción de las… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Hermann Joseph Muller — jose caemro Hermann Joseph Muller (Nueva York 1890 1967. Biólogo y genetista. Renovador de la genética. Autor de notables estudios acerca de la acción de los rayos X como productores de [mutaciónm la acción de las radiaciones sobre células; por… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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