Sydney Brenner Research Scholarship

Brenner Scholars



Matthew Cobb

University of Manchester

Professor, School of Biological Sciences

Proposal: An article and BBC radio program on the collaboration of Crick and Brenner, 1956-1976



Miriam Rich

Harvard University

Doctoral Candidate, History of Science

Proposal: Ph.D. thesis chapter on the scientific concepts of defects of development



Erika Langer

University of California, San Francisco

Doctoral Candidate, History of Health Sciences

Proposal: An article on the early years of the yeast group at CSHL



Lijing Jiang

Princeton University

Postdoctoral Fellow

Proposal: A book on the history of cell death and aging research



Gregory J. Morgan

Stevens Institute of Technology

Associate Professor, Philosophy

Proposal: A book on the history of tumor virology

Completed Research: “Ludwik Gross, Sarah Stewart, and the 1950s discoveries of Gross murine leukemia virus and polyoma virus,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 48 (2014), 200-209

Dr. Morgan is also working on a book he intends to call “Cancer Virus Hunters.”

Testimonial: “The Brenner Scholarship has been invaluable to my book project on the history of tumor virology. It has allowed me to travel around the US to interview a large number of the central players in the history, including several Nobel Laureates. It has also allowed me to visit a number of archives, including the impressive holdings in the history of molecular biology at CSHL. Without the scholarship I would have been unable to conduct the background research for my book and consequently my project would have been impossible. I thank Mila Pollock, James Watson, and the people in the Genentech Center for their support of the history of biology.”


Judith Cuddihy

Acquisition and Developmental Editor

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

Proposal: An exhibit showcasing the life of scientist Calvin Bridges (1889-1938)

Completed Research: “Calvin Bridges: Unconventional Geneticist,” CSHL Library & Archives Exhibition

Testimonial: “The Sydney Brenner Scholarship enabled me to translate my long-standing interest in the early 20th century geneticist Calvin Blackman Bridges into a physical exhibit as well as an online exhibit and resource featuring this brilliant and unconventional investigator. It also facilitated a partnership with filmmaker and geneticist Alexis Gambis, who had obtained never-before-seen photos and new information from the Bridges family. These new materials coupled with the extensive archival materials concerning Bridges found in the CSHL Archives provided the foundation for the exhibits that resulted, curated by me and Dr. Gambis. Because Bridges had a longstanding relationship with the laboratories at Cold Spring Harbor throughout the years of his relatively short life, it was especially gratifying to find photos of Bridges as well as many of his letters and ephemera related to him during a wonderful week spent exploring the CSHL Archives, all made possible by this scholarship.”


Marsha Richmond

Wayne State University

Associate Professor, History of Science

Proposal: Examination of CSHL’s visual collections for the history of women’s role in early genetics

Completed Research: Ida Stamhuis and Marsha Richmond, “Opportunities for Women in Early Genetics – An International Perspective,” in Elisabeth Schiemann (1881-1972): Vom AufBruch der Genetik und der Frauen in den UmBrüchen des 20. Jahrhunderts (Rangsdorf: Basilisken-Presse im Verlag Natur & Text, 2014).

Marsha Richmond, “A Model Collaborative Couple in Genetics: Anna Rachel Whiting and Phineas Westcott Whiting’s Study of Sex Determination in Habrobracon,” in For Better or For Worse: Collaborative Couples in the Sciences. Ed. Annette Lykknes, Donald Opitz, and Brigitte Van Tiggelen. (Basel: Birkhäuser/Springer, 2012), pp. 149-169.

Marsha Richmond, “Women in Mutation Studies: The Role of Gender in the Methods, Practices, and Results of Early Twentieth-Century Genetics,” in Making Mutations: Objects, Practices, Contexts. Eds. Louis Campos and Alexander von Schwerin. Preprint #393, (Berlin: Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, 2010), pp. 11-48.

Dr. Richmond is also working on a book in collaboration with Ida Stamhuis called "Women’s Work in Science: The Case of Early Genetics."

Testimonial: "The Brenner Scholarship enabled me to do fundamental research in the rich archives at CSHL and was crucial to my project, which investigates the women geneticists who worked at CSHL from its founding in 1904 through the 1940s. I not only discovered essential primary materials, but also had access to its additional collections in the early history of genetics. The staff is incredibly helpful, and the campus a real delight. In short, the time I spent as a Brenner scholar at CSHL was both profitable and highly enjoyable."


James Schwartz

Harvard University

Visiting Scholar in Molecular and Cellular Biology

Proposal: Research on the geneticist Hermann Muller (1890-1967)

Completed Research: In Pursuit of the Gene: From Darwin to DNA (Harvard University Press, 2008)

Testimonial: “I always enjoyed my visit to the Cold Spring Harbor Archives and found much interesting material on Lysenkoism and other topics that were highly relevant to my project.”



Robert Olby

University of Pittsburgh

Department of History and Philosophy of Science

Proposal: Completion of research for a biography of Francis Crick

Completed Research: Francis Crick: Hunter of Life’s Secrets (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2009)

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