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Genetics Experiment Station

Genetics Experiment Station The Smith College Genetics Experiment Station was established in the Fall of 1942 when college president Herbert J. Davis requested that Professor Albert F. Blakeslee become a William A. Neilson Professor of Botany. Professor Blakeslee was asked to establish the Genetics Experiment Station. He stayed on well beyond his initial three year term and brought his own research team with him. The station had many functions which included assisting with graduate-level student work, hosting and attending various conferences and conventions, and of course pursuing Professor Blakeslee’s botanic experiments. Research experiments at the time primarily concerned plant embryonic culture, for which the station received numerous prestigious grants. The most important of these experiments, arguably, was a study of ovular tumors in plants, for which the college received grants from the National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Department of Public Health. The station operated for 12 years until Blakeslee died in 1954. He left money for the continuation of the station’s work, but faculty at the time chose not to pursue it.

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