Geneticists

Geneticists study genes, heredity, and hereditary transmission. They conduct research on inheritance of genes and how certain characteristics are passed on from one generation to another. They study the origin and transmission of specific inherited traits such as colour of eyes, colour and texture of hair, height, diseases resistance, hereditary diseases, etc. Geneticists need to posses a solid background in sciences like biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. Their work has application in a variety of fields like academics, medicine, research, agriculture, crime, and industries. Geneticists working in the medical field diagnose hereditary conditions in patients and help them in disease management. They calculate the genetic risk of faulty genes being passed on to potential offsprings, study congenital malformations and conduct mutation analysis. Genetic counselors provide information and advice to families that struggle with hereditary diseases. Agricultural geneticists help in the development of newer varieties of crops that have certain desired characteristics like bigger size of fruits, more nutritive value, seedless fruits, etc. and are more disease resistant than traditional crops. Genetics also has applications in the field of research and development, and university teaching. Read on to discover the life and works of famous geneticists from all over the world through a splendid collection of biographies, timelines and trivia.
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 1 Gregor Mendel

Gregor Mendel.
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Birthdate: July 22, 1822
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Heinzendorf bei Odrau, Austrian Empire
Died: January 6, 1884

A scientist, meteorologist, mathematician, and biologist, Gregor Mendel is considered the founder of the modern science of genetics. He conducted a series of experiments on pea plants between 1856 and 1863, establishing many rules of heredity. Besides his work on pea plants, he also described novel plant species and conducted experiments with hawkweed and honeybees.

 2 James Watson

James Watson.
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Famous As: Molecular Biologist
Birthdate: April 6, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

 3 Norman Borlaug

Norman Borlaug.
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Famous As: Father of the Green Revolution
Birthdate: March 25, 1914
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cresco, Iowa
Died: September 12, 2009

 4 Nettie Stevens

Nettie Stevens.
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Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: July 7, 1861
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cavendish, Vermont, United States
Died: May 4, 1912
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 5 Francis Collins

Francis Collins.
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Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: April 14, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Staunton, Virginia, U.S.

 6 M. S. Swaminathan

M. S. Swaminathan.
8
Famous As: Agricultural Scientist
Birthdate: August 7, 1925
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kumbakonam

Ramon Magsaysay Award-winning geneticist M. S. Swaminathan is best known for his contribution to the Indian Green Revolution. Featured on Time, he introduced high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice seedlings to Indian farmers. He is also known for his administrative work as part of the Indian civil services.

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 7 Barbara McClintock

Barbara McClintock.
4
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: June 16, 1902
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hartford
Died: September 2, 1992
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 8 J.B.S. Haldane

J.B.S. Haldane.
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Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: November 5, 1892
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Oxford, United Kingdom
Died: December 1, 1964
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 9 Thomas Hunt Morgan

Thomas Hunt Morgan.
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Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: September 25, 1866
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lexington
Died: December 4, 1945

 10 Luther Burbank

Luther Burbank
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Famous As: Horticulturist, Geneticist, Botanist, Gardener, Academic, Non-fiction writer
Birthdate: March 7, 1849
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Santa Rosa
Died: April 11, 1926
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 11 Anne McLaren

Anne McLaren
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Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: April 26, 1927
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 7, 2007

 12 Oswald Avery

Oswald Avery
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Famous As: Biologist, Physician, Geneticist
Birthdate: October 21, 1877
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Halifax
Died: February 20, 1955

A pioneer of molecular biology, Oswald Avery revolutionized science with his research on the chemical processes involved in immunology. The Canadian-American bacteriologist initially aspired to be a musician. He later proved that DNA was the basis of heredity. Though nominated for the Nobel Prize multiple times, he never won it.

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 13 George R. Price

George R. Price
0
Famous As: Mathematician, Geneticist
Birthdate: October 6, 1922
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: United States of America
Died: January 6, 1975

 14 John Maynard Smith

John Maynard Smith
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: February 6, 1920
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 19, 2004
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 15 Theodosius Dobzhansky

Theodosius Dobzhansky
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Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: January 24, 1900
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nemyriv, Ukraine
Died: December 18, 1975

 16 Joshua Lederberg

Joshua Lederberg.
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Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: May 23, 1925
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Montclair, New Jersey, United States
Died: February 2, 2008

 17 Hugo de Vries

Hugo de Vries
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Famous As: Botanist, Biologist, Geneticist, University teacher
Birthdate: February 16, 1848
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Haarlem
Died: May 21, 1935

 18 Massimo Pigliucci

Massimo Pigliucci
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Famous As: Biologist, Philosopher, Geneticist, Writer, University teacher
Birthdate: January 16, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Monrovia
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 19 Hermann Joseph Muller

Hermann Joseph Muller.
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Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: December 21, 1890
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: April 4, 1967

 20 Jeffrey C. Hall

Jeffrey C. Hall
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Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: May 3, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

 21 Teresa Lambe

Teresa Lambe
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Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Unknown

 22 Carol W. Greider

Carol W. Greider
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Famous As: Biologist, Molecular biologist, Geneticist, Physician
Birthdate: April 15, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Davis
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 23 August Weismann

August Weismann
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Famous As: Biologist, Zoologist, Geneticist
Birthdate: January 17, 1834
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Frankfurt
Died: November 5, 1914

 24 Mario Capecchi

Mario Capecchi
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Famous As: Molecular Geneticist
Birthdate: October 6, 1937
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Verona, Italy
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 25 Harold E. Varmus

Harold E. Varmus.
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Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: December 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Oceanside, New York, US

 26 Michael Rosbash

Michael Rosbash
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Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: March 7, 1944
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri

 27 Michael W. Young

Michael W. Young
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Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: March 28, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States

 28 Jack W. Szostak

Jack W. Szostak
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Famous As: Biologist, Molecular biologist, Geneticist, Physician, Professor
Birthdate: November 9, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London

Nobel Prize-winning Canadian-American biochemist and geneticist Jack W. Szostak revolutionized medical science with his research on the manipulation of genes. The Cornell alumnus is credited with creating the first yeast artificial chromosome. He has also taught at the Harvard Medical School. In spite of being Polish, he doesn’t speak the language.

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 29 Sewall Wright

Sewall Wright
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Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: December 21, 1889
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Melrose, Massachusetts, United States
Died: March 3, 1988

 30 Ian Wilmut

Ian Wilmut
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Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: July 7, 1944
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hampton Lucy, England
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 31 Cyril Burt

Cyril Burt
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Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: March 3, 1883
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Westminster, London, England
Died: October 10, 1971

 32 Eugen Fischer

Eugen Fischer
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Famous As: Anthropologist, Physician, Racial hygienist, Geneticist, University teacher
Birthdate: July 5, 1874
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Karlsruhe
Died: July 9, 1967

Nazi leader Eugen Fischer co-wrote Human Hereditary Teaching and Racial Hygiene, which became one of the definitive texts of the Nazi policies. Hitler also made him the rector of the University of Berlin. His memoir diluted his role in the mass extermination of the Jews in the Holocaust.

 33 Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard.
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Famous As: Researcher
Birthdate: October 20, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Magdeburg

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard is a German developmental biologist. She studied at the University of Tübingen where she earned a Ph.D. for her research on protein–DNA interactions. Together with biologist Eric Wieschaus and geneticist Edward B. Lewis, she received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1995. She is also a recipient of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize. 

 34 Marshall W. Nirenberg

Marshall W. Nirenberg.
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Famous As: Biochemist and Geneticist
Birthdate: April 10, 1927
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States
Died: January 15, 2010

American biochemist and Nobel laureate Marshall W. Nirenberg is best known for his research on solving the genetic code. The son of a Jewish shirtmaker father, Nirenberg showed an early interest in biology. He led the National Heart Institute’s genetics department and was associated with the National Institutes of Health.

 35 Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer

Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer
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Famous As: Human biologist
Birthdate: July 16, 1896
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wildeck, Germany
Died: August 8, 1969

German biologist and eugenicist Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer was an advocate of racial hygiene and the mandatory sterilization of the physically and mentally disabled. He also led the Nazi experiments on twins based on body parts made available to him from the inmates of various concentration camps.

 36 Francisco J. Ayala

Francisco J. Ayala
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Famous As: Biologist, Geneticist, Philosopher, University teacher
Birthdate: March 12, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Madrid

Francisco J. Ayala is a Spanish-born American evolutionary geneticist and molecular biologist, best known for his investigation on the process of genetic variation and natural selection at molecular level. He also undertook research on public health, providing new ideas on the prevention and treatment of diseases and expounded how Darwin’s theory of evolution is well-matched to religious theory of creation.  

 37 Philip Allen Sharp

Philip Allen Sharp.
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Famous As: Geneticist, Molecular Biologist
Birthdate: June 6, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Falmouth, Kentucky

 38 Reginald Punnett

Reginald Punnett
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Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: June 20, 1875
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tonbridge, England
Died: January 3, 1967

 39 Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza

Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza
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Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: January 25, 1922
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Genoa, Italy
Died: August 31, 2018

 40 Spencer Wells

Spencer Wells
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Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: April 6, 1969
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Marietta

 41 Alfred Day Hershey

Alfred Day Hershey.
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Famous As: Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine
Birthdate: December 4, 1908
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Owosso, Michigan
Died: May 22, 1997

 42 Howard Martin Temin

Howard Martin Temin.
0
Famous As: Geneticist and Virologist
Birthdate: December 10, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 9, 1994

 43 Andrew Fire

Andrew Fire
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Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: April 27, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Palo Alto, California, United States

 44 C.H. Waddington

C.H. Waddington
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Famous As: Developmental Biologist
Birthdate: November 8, 1905
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Evesham, England
Died: September 26, 1975

 45 Seymour Benzer

Seymour Benzer
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: October 15, 1921
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bensonhurst, New York, United States
Died: November 30, 2007

 46 Bruce Beutler

Bruce Beutler
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Famous As: Immunologist
Birthdate: December 29, 1957
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

 47 Susan Lindquist

Susan Lindquist
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Famous As: Professor
Birthdate: June 5, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: October 27, 2016

 48 Baruch Samuel Blumberg

Baruch Samuel Blumberg.
0
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: July 28, 1925
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: April 5, 2011

 49 Joseph L. Goldstein

Joseph L. Goldstein.
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Famous As: Molecular Geneticist
Birthdate: April 18, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingstree, South Carolina, United States

American molecular geneticist Joseph L. Goldstein was born to clothing store owner parents in South Carolina. He ended up winning a Nobel Prize for his research on cholesterol metabolism, which later helped researchers develop statin drugs. He currently chairs the molecular genetics department of the University of Texas.

 50 Mathilde Krim

Mathilde Krim
0
Famous As: Geneticist, Physician
Birthdate: July 9, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Como
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