Joshua Lederberg

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Dr. Joshua Lederberg was "born in Montclair, New Jersey on May 23, 1925, the son of a rabbi. Lederberg's interest in a scientific career began quite early. His family moved to New York City when Lederberg was a child, and Lederberg was able to attend Stuyvesant High School, which concentrated in the sciences. In New York, Lederberg was also able to take advantage of facilities such as the American Institute, which made laboratory space and equipment available to talented high school science students.

"Upon graduating from high school at 16, Lederberg took advantage of a local scholarship to attend Columbia University. He did not see combat service during World War II, but, from July 1943, he was enrolled in the US Navy's V-12 training program, which combined an accelerated premedical and medical curriculum, with active service as a hospital corpsman in a US Naval Hospital.

"After his experiments with Edward L. Tatum that demonstrated sexual recombination in bacteria, Lederberg decided to leave medical school to pursue a Ph.D., which he received from Yale in 1948. He then joined the Genetics Department at the University of Wisconsin, which at the time was part of the University's School of Agriculture. He eventually helped form and served as chair of the Department of Medical Genetics.

"Lederberg received the Nobel Prize in 1958. Shortly afterward he joined the new Department of Genetics at Stanford University's School of Medicine. In 1978, he was appointed President of Rockefeller University. He became a professor emeritus in 1990, and he continues to research, lecture, and serve on a number of advisory panels."

Most recently, Lederberg served on the Defense Science Board 2002 Summer Study.

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  1. GDAE Advisory Boards, Global Development and the Environment Institute, accessed December 28, 2007.
  2. Nobel Prize in Medicine, Nobel Prize, accessed June 18, 2008.