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Credit: Courtesy of Caltech Archives
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Nobel Laureate Thomas Hunt Morgan Builds Up the Biological Sciences

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In 1928, geneticist Thomas Hunt Morgan came to Caltech from Columbia University to create the Institute's Division of Biology (now the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering), which he wanted to be on five main areas of inquiry: genetics and evolution, experimental embryology, biophysics, physiology, and biochemistry. In that same year, what is now the west wing of the William G. Kerckhoff Laboratories of the Biological Sciences was constructed to house Morgan and his faculty recruits. Just five years later, Morgan would receive the 1933 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for fruit fly research done at Columbia University that led to the discovery of the chromosomal mechanism by which character traits are passed on from parent to offspring through the interaction of genes.