George Davis Snell


George Davis Snell

George Davis Snell (December 19, 1903 – June 6, 1996) was an American mouse geneticist and basic transplant immunologist.

Work

George Snell shared the 1980 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Baruj Benacerraf and Jean Dausset for their discoveries concerning "genetically determined structures on the cell surface that regulate immunological reactions". Snell specifically "discovered the genetic factors that determine the possibilities of transplanting tissue from one individual to another. It was Snell who introduced the concept of H antigens." [http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1980/press.html] Snell's work in mice led to the discovery of HLA, the major histocompatibility complex, in humans (and all vertebrates) that is analogous to the H-2 complex in mice. Recognition of these key genes was prerequisite to successful tissue and organ transplantation.

Life

George Snell was born in Bradford, Massachusetts, the youngest of three children. His father (who was born in Minnesota), worked as a secretary for the local YMCA; he invented a device for winding induction coils for motorboat engines. Snell was educated in the Brookline, Massachusetts schools and then enrolled at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire where he continued his passion for mathematics and science, focusing on genetics. He received his Bachelor's degree from Dartmouth in 1926.

On the recommendation of John Gerould, his genetics professor at Dartmouth, Snell did graduate work at Harvard University with William E. Castle, the first American biologist to look for Mendelian inheritance in mammals. Snell earned his PhD from Harvard in 1930. His doctoral thesis was on genetic linkage in mice.

Snell then spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas with H.J. Muller, who pioneered radiation genetics (and was also to win a Nobel Prize). Not surprisingly, Snell studied the genetic effects of x-rays on mice with Muller.

This experience "served to convince me that research was my real love," Snell wrote in his autobiography. [http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1980/snell-autobio.html] "If it were to be research, mouse genetics was the clear choice and the Jackson Laboratory, founded in 1929 by Dr. Clarence Cook Little, one of Castle's earlier students, almost the inevitable selection as a place to work." The Jackson Laboratory was (and still is) the world's mecca for mouse genetics.

In 1935 Snell joined the staff of the Jackson Lab in Bar Harbor on beautiful Mt. Desert Island by the coast of Maine and he remained there for the entire balance of his long career. In Bar Harbor, he met and married Rhoda Carson. Together they had three sons, Thomas, Roy, and Peter. In his leisure time, Snell enjoyed skiing, a passion he developed during his years at Dartmouth, as well as tennis.

In 1988, he authored a substantial book, "Search for a Rational Ethic", on the nature of ethics and the rules by which we live. It includes an evolution-based ethic founded on biological realities that he believed to be applicable to all human beings.

Snell died in Bar Harbor, Maine on June 6, 1996.

ee also

*C.C. Little
*Peter Alfred Gorer

External links

* [http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1980/snell-autobio.html Autobiography of George D. Snell]
* [http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1980/snell-lecture.html George D. Snell's Nobel Lecture]


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  • George Davis Snell — (* 19. Dezember 1903 in Bradford, Massachusetts, USA; † 6. Juni 1996 in Bar Harbor, Maine, USA) war ein US amerikanischer Biologe, der sich vorwiegend mit der Immunologie und Transplantationsmedizin beschäftigte. 1980 erhielt er den Nobelpreis… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • George Davis Snell — George Snell George Snell Naissance 19 décembre 1903 Bradford (États Unis) Décès 6 juin 1996 Bar Harbor (États Unis) Nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Medizinnobelpreis 1980: Barju Benacerraf — Jean Dausset — George Davis Snell —   Das französisch amerikanische Wissenschaftlerteam erhielt den Nobelpreis für »die Entdeckungen genetisch bestimmter zellulärer Oberflächenstrukturen, vondenen immunologische Reaktionen gesteuert werden«.    Biografien   Barju Benacerraf, *… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • George D. Snell — George Davis Snell (* 19. Dezember 1903 in Bradford, Massachusetts, USA; † 6. Juni 1996 in Bar Harbor, Maine, USA) war ein US amerikanischer Biologe, der sich vorwiegend mit der Immunologie und Transplantationsmedizin beschäftigte. 1980 erhielt… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • George D. Snell — George Snell George Snell Naissance 19 décembre 1903 Bradford (États Unis) Décès 6 juin 1996 Bar Harbor (États Unis) Nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français

  • George D. Snell — George Davis Snell Nacimiento 19 de diciembre de 1903 …   Wikipedia Español

  • George D. Snell — George Davis Snell (Bradford, Massachusetts, 19 de diciembre de 1903 Bar Harbor, Maine, 6 de junio de 1996), científico norteamericano de genética; co receptor del Premio Nobel de Fisiología y Medicina en el año de 1980, junto a Baruj Benacerraf… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Snell, George Davis — ▪ 1997       U.S. immunogeneticist (b. Dec. 19, 1903, Bradford, Mass. d. June 6, 1996, Bar Harbor, Maine), was a winner (with Baruj Benacerraf and Jean Dausset) of the 1980 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for research into the genes that… …   Universalium

  • Snell , George Davis — (1903–1996) American geneticist Snell was born in Bradford, Massachusetts, and educated at Dartmouth and Harvard, where he obtained his doctorate in 1930. After brief appointments at Texas, Brown, and Washington University, St. Louis, he joined… …   Scientists

  • Snell, George Davis — ► (1903 96) Científico e investigador estadounidense. Fue premio Nobel de Medicina y Fisiología en 1980, compartido con B. Benacerraf y J. Dousset, por sus trabajos sobre inmunología y genética …   Enciclopedia Universal


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