HERMANN JOSEPH MULLER
Hermann Joseph Muller, retired professor
of biology and Nobel Laureate, died on April 5, 1967. He was 76.
Professor Muller was born on December
21, 1890, in New York City. He received bachelor's and PhD degrees from
Columbia University in 1910 and 1916, respectively. At Columbia he began
his studies of Drosophila, the sole organism with which he carried
out experiments throughout his career.
Dr. Muller taught at Rice University
from 1915 to 1918 and at Columbia University from 1918 to 1920. He joined
the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in 1920, where he taught
for 12 years.
Professor Muller was then associated
with the K. W. Institute for Hirnfroschung in Berlin, the Institute
of Genetics in Moscow, and later with the Institute of Animal Genetics
in Edinburgh. He returned to the United States in 1940 to teach at Amherst
College. He taught at Indiana University from 1945 until his retirement.
Professor Muller was an authority in
gene mutation. In 1927 he astonished scientists by demonstrating that
X-rays can cause genes to mutate. His discovery led to an important
new field of investigation regarding the biochemical nature of gene
action. Professor Muller was recognized in 1927 with an American Academy
of Science award for his discovery. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in
1946 for his pioneering genetics work.
Professor Muller was a member of the
National Academy of Sciences. He served as president of the American
Society of Naturalists, the Genetics Society of America, the Eighth
International Congress of Genetics, and the American Society of Human
In 1967 a tribute to Professor Muller
was published in the Journal of Heredity, a publication of the
American Genetic Association.
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
Biographical sketch prepared by Teresa Palomo Acosta and posted
on the Faculty Council web site on January 18, 2001. Additional
biographical sources can be found in the Barker Texas History
Center and the UT Office of Public Affairs.