Harrison, Ross Granville

Harrison, Ross Granville,

1870–1959, American biologist and anatomist, b. Germantown, Pa., Ph.D. Johns Hopkins, 1894. He went to Yale as professor of comparative anatomy in 1907 and held various honorary positions there until his death. He is known for his work on nerve development in the embryo and on nerve regeneration as well as for his discovery of a method of tissue culture that permits study of isolated living cells in a controlled environment.

Harrison, Ross Granville


Born Jan. 13, 1870, in Germantown, Pennsylvania; died Sept. 30, 1959, in New Haven, Connecticut. American biologist. Graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1899. Professor of anatomy at Johns Hopkins (1899-1907) and at Yale University (1907-38).

Harrison’s major work was in the field of experimental embryology, specifically, on the development of the extremities, the eye, and the central nervous system. His best-known work involved transplanting portions of vertebrate embryos. The use of methods of heteroplastic (interspecific) transplants made it possible to study the laws of growth and development of separate parts and organs in animals and their reciprocal influences. Harrison was one of the first to propose a method for culturing isolated tissue and was the first to observe the growth of a nerve fiber in vitro.


“The Outgrowth of the Nerve Fibers as a Mode of Protoplasmic Movement.” Journal of Experimental Zoology, 1910, vol. 9.
In Russian translation:
“Nekotorye trudnosti problemy determinatsii.” Uspekhi sovremennoi biologii, 1934, vol. 3, issue 6.
Geteroplasticheskie peresadki v embriologii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936.


Bliakher, L. Ia. “Garrison: K 100-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia.” Ontogenez, 1970, vol. 1, no. 3.
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