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Keeler, Clyde Edgar (11 April 1900–22 April 1994), biologist, educator, and cultural historian, was born in Marion, Ohio, the son of Anthony Sylvester Keeler, a watchmaker and teacher, and Amanda Jane Dumm Keeler, a teacher. Growing up in Marion, with nearby farmlands, Keeler had early opportunities—on his milk and paper routes—to observe nature, and he attributed the launching of his biomedical career to childhood observations of field mice. Keeler graduated from Denison University (Granville, Ohio) in 1923 with a zoology major and enough credits for a master’s degree; he lacked only the research component, which he completed in 1925 at Harvard. Cited as “the school artist” in the yearbook, he was Phi Beta Kappa, president of the Zoology Club, and captain of the cross country team. He was also a member of the Student Army Training Corps (for World War I) and, after the war, the Reserve Officers Training Corps; he eventually rose to the rank of major in the U.S. Army Officers Reserve Corps....

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Miles, Manly (20 July 1826–15 February 1898), physician, biologist, and professor of agriculture, was born in Homer, New York, the son of Manly Miles and Mary Cushman, farmers. When he was eleven, his family moved to a farm in eastern Michigan, near Flint. Trained in farm labor and deeply interested in science, especially chemistry and biology, in which he was ambitiously self-educated, he earned an M.D. from Chicago’s Rush Medical College in 1850. He married Mary E. Dodge in 1851. After practicing medicine in Flint for nine years, he became zoologist for Michigan’s new state geological survey. As its physician and zoologist he gathered collections of mollusca, birds, reptiles, and other animals, some of which he shared with scholars, including ...

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Morris, John McLean (01 September 1914–08 April 1993), reproductive biologist and physician, was born in Kuling, China, the son of DuBois Morris, a Presbyterian missionary and pastor of Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, and Alice Buell. The suffering and cruelty Morris witnessed in China as a child had a lasting influence on his life. He later spoke of seeing people stepping over the bodies of the dead and dying in the streets. His interest in women’s health and reproductive issues stemmed from the widespread infanticide of baby girls he saw in China....

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Robertson, Oswald Hope (02 June 1886–23 March 1966), physician and biologist, was born in Woolwich, England, the son of Theodore Robertson, a former artillery officer, and Kathleen Conlan. In early 1888 the family moved to the San Joaquin Valley in California, but Robertson would not become a naturalized U.S. citizen until 1920. He completed high school in San Francisco and had planned to study biology, but a visit with an American medical student studying in Germany caused him to change his mind. He enrolled in premedical studies at the University of California, where he completed both a B.S. and an M.S. before transferring into the penultimate year of the medical program at Harvard University. He graduated with an M.D. in 1913, winning a Dalton scholarship for postgraduate study of pernicious anemia as part of his internship at Massachusetts General Hospital. There he was influenced by hematologist Roger I. Lee, who had studied transfusion and blood-clotting. He stayed a second year as a trainee in pathology, before accepting a position in 1915 as assistant bacteriologist and pathologist at the Rockefeller Institute in New York City. With the future Nobel laureate ...

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Scharrer, Berta Vogel (01 December 1906–23 July 1995), cell biologist and pioneering neuroendocrinologist, was born Berta Vogel in Munich, Germany, the daughter of Karl Phillip Vogel, a prominent judge in the Bavarian state court, and Johanna Weiss. Berta grew up in happy circumstances at home and in school, and she showed an early interest in biology and in becoming a scientist. But after 1914 her life was shadowed by World War I, by Germany's defeat and economic chaos, and ultimately by the rise of Nazism, which gained an early foothold in Munich. Scharrer entered the University of Munich in the swale of Adolf Hitler's conspiracy to overthrow of the Bavarian government, and she graduated with a Ph.D. in 1930, as the Nazis came to national prominence....

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Sedgwick, William Thompson (29 December 1855–21 January 1921), biologist and educator, was born in West Hartford, Connecticut, the son of William Sedgwick and Anne Thompson. His father died when Sedgwick was eight, but despite attendant obstacles he completed his schooling. He graduated from Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School in 1877 and immediately enrolled in the Yale School of Medicine. Two years later he accepted a fellowship to study physiology at Johns Hopkins University under ...

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Stockard, Charles Rupert (27 February 1879–07 April 1939), biologist and anatomist, was born in Stoneville, Mississippi, the son of Richard Rupert Stockard, a physician, and Ella Hyde Fowlkes. Stockard received a B.S. in 1899 from the Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College, at which he had served as a commandant and acting professor of military science and tactics for the last two years of his undergraduate education. In 1901 he received a medical degree from the same institution. Following graduation, Stockard taught military science at Jefferson Military College in Natchez, Mississippi, until 1903, after which he began graduate work in zoology at Columbia University under ...

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Thomas, Lewis (25 November 1913–03 December 1993), physician, biologist, administrator, and writer, was born in Flushing, New York, the son of Joseph Simon Thomas, M.D., and Grace Peck, a nurse. In his memoir, The Youngest Science: Notes of a Medicine Watcher (1983), Thomas describes accompanying his father on house calls as a boy, a habit that proved decisive in his choice of career. After going to school in Flushing and completing his preparatory education at the McBurney School in Manhattan (1927–1929), Thomas attended Princeton University (1929–1933) and Harvard Medical School, graduating cum laude in 1937. He held a variety of posts before his commission as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. On 1 January 1941 he married Beryl Dawson in New York; the couple had three daughters. During World War II Thomas was assigned to a Naval Medical Research Unit at the Rockefeller Institute in New York; he was also stationed in Guam and Okinawa (1944–1945), where he conducted research in virology....

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Weiss, Paul Alfred (21 March 1898–08 September 1989), biologist, was born in Vienna, Austria, the son of Carl S. Weiss, a successful businessman, and Rosalie Kohn. An uncle who was a lawyer stimulated young Paul’s interest in science, literature, and the arts. In 1918, after three years of army service, Weiss entered the University of Vienna to study law and engineering. He soon shifted his interest from law to biology but continued the study of engineering. He was awarded a Ph.D. in biology in 1922 for his dissertation “Animal Behavior as System Reaction.” His training in engineering strongly influenced his attitudes as a and throughout his career both his laboratory work and his thought were characterized by elegance and precision....