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Eric F. Wieschaus

Born: 8-Jun-1947
Birthplace: South Bend, IN

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Scientist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Embryonic development of fruit flies

At Notre Dame, Eric F. Wieschaus was an activist against the Vietnam war, and the student fly keeper for thousands of Drosophila fruit flies. He came to hate the tiny insects almost as much as the war. In graduate school at Yale he only earned a 'C' in cellular biology. In a different class, though, he was so enraptured by a lecture on genetics he accidentally stabbed himself with his pencil.

In his later collaboration with Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, Wieschaus identified 139 genes necessary for the fruit fly's existence, including genes crucial to forming muscles, eyes, heads, and other vital body parts. For his research into the genetic mechanisms that control embryonic development, showing that three sets of genes (gap genes, pair-rule genes, and segment-polarity genes) are involved, Wieschaus and Nüsslein-Volhard were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1995, sharing the honor was shared with Edward B. Lewis. Wieschaus's wife, Gertrud Schüpbach, is a Swiss-American molecular biologist, and a professor at Princeton.

Wife: Gertrud Schüpbach ("Trudi ", molecular biologist, m. 1983)
Daughter: Ingrid
Daughter: Eleanor
Daughter: Laura

    High School: John Carroll Catholic High School, Birmingham, AL (1965)
    Scholar: Anthropology, University of Kansas (1965)
    University: BS Biology, University of Notre Dame (1969)
    Scholar: University of Basel (1972)
    University: PhD Biology, Yale University (1974)
    Scholar: University of Zurich (1974)
    Scholar: European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg (1978-81)
    Teacher: Molecular Biology, Princeton University (1981-87)
    Professor: Molecular Biology, Princeton University (1987-)

    Nobel Prize for Medicine 1995 (with Edward B. Lewis and Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard)
    American Philosophical Society
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    Federation of American Scientists Board of Sponsors
    National Science Foundation Fellowship (1963)
    National Academy of Sciences


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