Department of Genetics

Scope and Content

  • Correspondence 1959-1967
  • Student records 1948-1970
  • Teaching aids 1940s

Administrative / Biographical History

A lectureship in Genetics was instituted in 1945  and the Chair of Genetics was founded in 1955  . Before 1945  , Genetics had been taught as part of the Botany and Zoology classes, and in 1947  it became an independent degree subject. Guido Pontecorvo was the guiding force of the department in the early years, being the first lecturer in Genetics ( 1945-1955  ) and the first holder of the Chair ( 1955-1968  ). A full list of the University's professors from 1451  to 2001  can be found at  . It was in 1966  , under Professor Pontecorvo, that the department moved into its purpose-built home at Glasgow University .

The subject of Genetics has expanded enormously in recent times as scientists exploited modern genetic methods to investigate a wide variety of biological and practical problems. Medical Genetics had been taught at Glasgow University since 1961  , but in 1973  the Chair of Medical Genetics was founded and established as a separate department from Genetics. Its first Professor was Malcolm Andrew Ferguson-Smith . The Institute of Medical Genetics was established in 1980  , housed in a purpose-built building located on the Yorkhill Hospitals campus, Glasgow.

In 1988  the Robertson Trust , Glasgow Department Agency and the University endowed a new Chair in Biotechnology and funded the construction of the Robertson Institute of Biotechnology building. This was supported by a grant from the Wellcome Trust towards new laboratories for the Wellcome Unit for Molecular Parasitology and to provide the Department of Genetics with further facilities. The first Professor of Biotechnology was Roger Wayne Davies .

In 1994  , the Department of Genetics and Biotechnology was merged along with ten other former departments, Botany, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Anatomy, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Physical Education and Sports Science, Physiology, Virology, and Zoology, to form the Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences. This in turn became the Faculty of Biomedical and Life Sciences in 2000  . Genetics is part of the Molecular Genetics division of the Faculty.

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Additional Information

University of Glasgow

Subfonds level description compiled by Natalie Milne, archives assistant, January 2002  and John O'Brien, archives assistant, October 2002  .