UK event series celebrates Nobel winner Morgan’s work


This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Hunt Morgan, the most famous graduate of the University of Kentucky’s Department of Biology and Lexington’s Nobel Laureate. The UK Department of Biology is celebrating with “A Month of T.H. Morgan,” a series of events dedicated to spreading the word about Morgan’s life and scientific legacy and to exploring the current frontiers in genetics, evolutionary biology, regeneration and genomics.

Events being held through Oct. 24 include numerous academic and general audience lectures by eminent scientists, film screenings, an educational festival and a panel discussion.

Morgan is best known for his discovery of sex-linked inheritance and the identity of the chromosome as the location for our genes. He and his students at Columbia University and California Institute of Technology went on to discover many details of inheritance, establishing the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as the premier model organism for the study of modern genetics. Morgan received the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1933 for this line of research.

Morgan was also a prolific educator of scientists. Many American geneticists, evolutionary and developmental biologists today can trace their education directly to him.