Carnegie Institution's Department of Genetics

During the period 1925-1950, the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Genetics and the Biological Laboratory were operating as “friendly neighbors.” Milislav Demerec, who began working at Cold Spring Harbor shortly after his arrival in America in 1919, was eventually appointed director of both institutions simultaneously. His first laboratory was located in the Carnegie Building (then known as the Main Building). Demerec initially researched the genetics of maize and later made significant contributions to the field of genetics with his work on Drosophila. In 1934, he founded the Drosophila Information Service (DIS) with Calvin Bridges, a Carnegie Institution scientist, who spent summers at Cold Spring Harbor at that time. From 1941-1960, Demerec was appointed director of both the Department of Genetics (formerly known as the Station for Experimental Evolution) and the Biological Laboratory.


(Learn more about Calvin Bridges at the exhibit, Calvin Bridges, Unconventional Geneticist, which will be on view in the CSHL Library through November 30, 2012.)


Milislav Demerec with Drosophila staff member, 1934

  Calvin Bridges, 1935