Tatum, Edward L.

Tatum, Edward L. (Lawrie)

(1909–75) geneticist; born in Boulder, Colo. At Stanford (1935–45), he worked with George W. Beadle using the bread mold Neurospora to discover the relationship between genetic mutation and the synthesis of essential cellular chemicals (1941). At Yale (1945–78), Tatum and his graduate student Joshua Lederberg found that similar mutations could be demonstrated after sexual reproduction in the bacterium Escherichia coli (1947). Tatum, Beadle, and Lederberg shared the 1958 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for their pioneering work in microbial genetics. Tatum was a professor and educator at Rockefeller University (1957–75).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.