After receiving his Ph.D. at Cornell in 1923, Dr. Milislav Demerec was recruited as an investigator at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Genetics in Cold Spring Harbor. He initially studied maize genetics in his laboratory in the Main Building (Carnegie Building). He made significant contributions to the fields of drosophila genetics, radiation and chemical mutagenesis, and the genetics of antibiotic resistance. From 1941 to 1960, Dr. Demerec served as Director of both the Department of Genetics and the Long Island Biological Association’s Biological Laboratory, which were operating concurrently at Cold Spring Harbor. For the first Symposium under his direction in 1941, Dr. Demerec chose the topic,
Genes & Chromosomes, which became a landmark in the history of genetics. In a tribute to Dr. Demerec in the CIW 1965-66 Year Book, Alfred Hershey said of his friend that he had,
Three careers, in fact, pursued simultaneously for many years, referring to his directorship of two research institutions and his
lively, successful, and often germinative programs of research.