Eric Francis Wieschaus
Eric F. Wieschaus in 2011
|Alma mater||University of Notre Dame (B.S.)|
Yale University (Ph.D.)
|Awards||Genetics Society of America Medal (1995)|
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1995)
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Born in South Bend, Indiana, he attended John Carroll Catholic High School in Birmingham, Alabama before attending the University of Notre Dame for his undergraduate studies (B.S., biology), and Yale University (Ph.D., biology) for his graduate work.
In 1978, he moved to his first independent job, at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany and moved from Heidelberg to Princeton University in the United States in 1981.
Much of his research has focused on embryogenesis in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, specifically in the patterning that occurs in the early Drosophila embryo. Most of the gene products used by the embryo at these stages are already present in the unfertilized egg and were produced by maternal transcription during oogenesis. A small number of gene products, however, are supplied by transcription in the embryo itself. He has focused on these "zygotically" active genes because he believes the temporal and spatial pattern of their transcription may provide the triggers controlling the normal sequence of embryonic development. Saturation of all the possible mutations on each chromosome by random events to test embryonic lethality was done by Eric Wieschaus. This body of science eventually was termed the Heidelberg screen.
In 1995, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Edward B. Lewis and Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard as co-recipients, for their work revealing the genetic control of embryonic development.
As of 2018, Wieschaus is the Squibb Professor in Molecular Biology at Princeton. He was formerly Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Limitations of Drosophila genetics
The genetic science of the Drosophila form has been complete for many years. The evolutionary characteristics can be said to be thoroughly mapped, in that the pathways from one mutagen to another have been exhaustively searched. This begs the question of macroevolution, to explain the absence of pathways between Drosophila and, say, its phylogenetic cousin Lordiphosa. Wieschaus has answered this question as follows:
|“||[W]e think we’ve hit all the genes required to specify the body plan of Drosophila... Not one is promising as raw materials for macroevolution... What are—or what would be—the right mutations for major evolutionary change? And we don’t know the answer to that.||”|
- Nobel Autobiography 1995
- Wieschaus, E.; Nüsslein-Volhard, C. (2016). "The Heidelberg Screen for Pattern Mutants of Drosophila: A Personal Account". Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology. 32: 1–46. doi:10.1146/annurev-cellbio-113015-023138. PMID 27501451.
- Connor, S. (1995), "Nobel prize given for work on fruit flies", BMJ (published October 21, 1995), 311 (7012), p. 1044, doi:10.1136/bmj.311.7012.1044, PMC 2551360, PMID 7580653
- St Johnston, D. (2002). "The art and design of genetic screens: Drosophila melanogaster". Nature Reviews. Genetics. 3 (3): 176–88. doi:10.1038/nrg751. PMID 11972155.
- Gruenbaum, J. (1996), "[Nobel prize winners in medicine--1995]", Harefuah (published June 2, 1996), 130 (11), pp. 746–748, PMID 8794677
- Blum, H. E. (1995), "[The 1995 Nobel Prize for medicine]", Dtsch. Med. Wochenschr. (published December 22, 1995), 120 (51–52), pp. 1797–800, doi:10.1055/s-0029-1234219, PMID 8549267
- Molven, A. (1995), "1995 Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine. The mystery of fetal development", Tidsskr. Nor. Laegeforen. (published December 10, 1995), 115 (30), pp. 3712–3, PMID 8539733
- Cohen, B. (1995), "Nobel committee rewards pioneers of development studies in fruitflies", Nature (published October 12, 1995), 377 (6549), p. 465, Bibcode:1995Natur.377..465C, doi:10.1038/377465a0, PMID 7566128
- "Eric Wieschaus | Squibb Professor in Molecular Biology". Princeton University. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
- Gelernter, David (1 May 2019). "Giving Up Darwin". The Claremont Review of Books.
- http://dailyprincetonian.com/news/2007/04/nobel-winning-professor-tells-story-of-his-own-life-in-religion-science/[permanent dead link]
- http://www.repealcreationism.com/397/nobellaureateletter/[dead link]
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