Thomas Hunt Morgan Biography

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Thomas Hunt Morgan was a very decorated biologist. He discovered the role that chromosomes play in heredity. Morgan was born on September 25th, 1866 in Lexington, Kentucky (Thomas H. Morgan- Biographical, n.d.). His parents were Charlton Hunt Morgan and Ellen Key Morgan. His extended family was also very successful. His uncle, John Hunt Morgan, was a Confederate General in the Civil War. His great grandfather, Francis Scott Key, wrote the “Star Spangled Banner”. All around, he had very positive influences growing up during his life. His mother’s side of the family and his father’s side of the family produced highly talented and smart people. Thomas Hunt Morgan married Lillian Vaughan Sampson in 1904. They later had 4 children, whom were also …show more content…
He first studied at State University of Kentucky and earned his B.S. degree. Then, he furthered his education at John Hopkins University and graduated with his PhD in 1890. He was a very talented student, excelling in what ever class that he desired to partake in. After graduation, Morgan became a professor at Bryn Mawyr College in 1891 (Thomas Hunt Morgan, n.d.). He then became Professor of Experimental Zoology at Columbia University in 1904. Morgan had a very keen sense towards teaching. He is also known as being a successful teacher. He began to research sex linkage on the fruit fly, or Drosophila, in 1909. Before his discovery, the world had thought that the chromosomes were fully formed adults already present in the egg or sperm. People did not have the knowledge to test that theory, until Thomas Hunt Morgan began to research the chromosomes of the male fruit fly (Thomas Hunt Morgan, American Biologist, n.d.). He was exceptionally interested in the genetics and the role of chromosomes of the flies. He breaded and studied the fruit flies in extreme detail. He worked with a select few of his students, Alfred Sturtevant, Calvin Bridges, and Hermann Muller. These students were extremely smart and Morgan saw all the potential in the world with them. They spent hours upon hours doing countless experiments and tests based on the sex linkage of the male fruit fly. The room they did the labs in was described as …show more content…
He was awarded that Darwin medal in 1924. He continued to teach after winning that award. In 1933, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Also, he still managed to keep teaching. The Copley Medal of the Society was given to Morgan in 1939. He always thanked his students for helping him with the discoveries that he made. Morgan was known as being a very kind and humble man. He was also described as having a sense of humor and making everyone around him laugh. He retired from being a professor in 1941, but he continued to do extensive research in the lab until his death. He will be remembered as an extremely dedicated biologist who made a break through discovery regarding the roles that chromosomes play in genetics. In 1981, the Genetics Society America made an award honoring the works of Thomas Hunt Morgan. The Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal is rewarded to individuals who have fulfilled lifetime achievements in the field of genetics (The Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal, n.d.). He has inspired many biologists to continue to work extremely hard. Morgan worked until the day he died, proving that he was a man who was extremely passionate in the work that he did. With the help of his colleagues, Morgan truly changed the game in science. In modern day technology, we understand chromosomes more and have increased our knowledge of the study from advancements with technology. Thomas Hunt

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