Born June 27, 1870, in Toronto, Canada; died Nov. 5, 1947, in Chicago. American embryologist and cytologist.
Lillie graduated from the University of Chicago in 1894 and was a professor there from 1906 to 1935. From 1908 to 1942 he headed the marine biological laboratory at Woods Hole, Mass. He served as president of the US National Academy of Sciences from 1935 to 1939. His principal works dealt with experimental embryology, the physiology of cell division, and problems of fertilization. He studied the physiology of fertilization in mollusks, annelid worms, and sea urchins. He proposed the “fertilizing theory of fertilization, which presupposes a complex chemotactic interrelation of the processes that occur in the ovum and the sperm during fertilization. Lillie wrote a number of works on artificial parthenogenesis.