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Memorandum from Douglas Whitaker to Donald B. Tresidder

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  • Agricultural Science
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine


FOR INTER-DEPARTMEXTAL USE STANFORD UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF S.c.hrz~ll....sf...B~olo~ical Sciences January 12, l9k8 President Donald B. Tresidder Stanford University Stanford, California Dear President Tresidder: On the accompanying forms I am reco-ending the appointment of Dr. Edward Lawrie Tatum as professor of Biology begtilng Septem- ber 1, 1948 Dr. Tatum was born in Boulder, Colorado in 1909, the son of an e&eat biochemist now on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin. Edward Tatum received the A, B. degree from 77isconsin jll 1931 and in 1935 the Ph.D. in biochemical bacteriology under the direction of E. B. Fred, now the President of -the University of Wisconsin. Tatum was an assistant in agricultural chemistry and bacteriology at Wisconsin 1931-36; General Education Board Fellow in bacteriological chemistry, Utrecht 1936-37; Research Associate- in Biology, Stanford 1937-41; Assistant Professor of Biology, Stan- ford lV'-tl-4sj on leave winter 44-45 in cancer research, Department of Anatomy, Washington University, St. Louis (with honorary appoint- ment as Assistant Professor)* Associate Professor of Botany, Yale, 19b5-46; Professor of Microb$ology, Yale 1946 -0.. A few years ago in Jordan Hall, G. W. Beadle as a geneticist and E. L. Tatum as a biochemist combined forces to create a new departure. in Biology, establishing a new field now comcnly called Biochemical Genetics. It was already known that penetrating radiation greatly increases the incidence of mutations i-?1 living organisms. By ingenious biochemical methods, Beadle and Tatum devised a means of identifying- - and selecting mutants with almost any desired biochemical properities from amongst myriads of radiated individuals, so that, in effect, organisms could be produced at will with almost any predetermined biochemiqal specifications. They used a pink bread mold (Meurospora) at first, but the method is widely applicable, -During the war, fs examp_le. thev auicklv pr

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