Name and location of repository
Level of description
Department of Genetics Records
53.25 Linear Feet
Name of creator
The Division of Medical Genetics was established as a result of a $1.4 million donation from James S. McDonnell in 1967. This followed a 1964 grant to Dr. William Sly, the head of the genetics program, which was used to study genetic mechanisms. The department was considered part of the Department of Internal Medicine and housed within the McDonnell Medical Science Building, also named for the McDonnell family as a result of a $4.7 million donation. The establishment of the department was celebrated by a lecture series titled “Genetics and the Space Age,” and Drs. William Sly and David L. Rimoin were directors.
Washington University School of Medicine became the eighth university in the country to have a genetics department. In addition to the academic program within the Department of Internal Medicine, a Genetics Counseling clinic was founded in conjunction with Children’s Hospital in 1967 using funding from a United States Public Health Service grant. When the grant funding ended in 1970, the Ranken Jordan Trust Fund began supporting the clinic and department on a smaller scale. In 1975, a four-year research grant was awarded to Dr. Sly, now promoted to professor, for continuing his research on enzymes and genetics.
Name of creator
David Schlessinger was born in Toronto, Canada. After receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago in 1956, Schlessinger received his doctoral degree from Harvard University in 1960, where he worked for DNA co-discoverer and Nobel laureate James Watson.
Following two years of postdoctoral training at the Pasteur Institute with another laureate, Jacques Monod, Schlessinger joined Washington University, where he served as professor of molecular microbiology, genetics and microbiology in medicine.
In 1997 he moved to the National Institutes of Health where he is an NIH Distinguished Investigator at the Laboratory of Genetics at the National Institute on Aging (NIA). In 2017 he received the Washington University Medical Center Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award.
Scope and content
RG016 (Center for Genetics and Medicine records): Records of the Center and its predecessors under the direction of David Schlessinger, 1962-present. Includes correspondence, publications, and other documents of the Human Genome Center (1987-) and currently also documentation from Schlessinger's personal files at WUSM (1962-1997). 43 linear ft.
System of arrangement
Conditions governing access
The collection is open and accessible for research.
Conditions governing reproduction
Users of the collection should read and abide by the Rights and Permissions guidelines at the Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives.
Users of the collection who wish to cite items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication must request, sign, and return a Statement of Use form to the Archives.
For detailed information regarding use of this collection, contact the Archives and Rare Book Department of the Becker Library (email@example.com).
Item description, Reference Code, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.
Languages of the material
Scripts of the material
Language and script notes
Immediate source of acquisition
Part of Transfer, Center for Genetics in Medicine, Washington University School of Medcine, September 10 1997, Accession, 1998-012
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related archival materials
Rules or conventions
"Describing Archives: A Content Standard, Second Edition (DACS), 2013."
© Copyright 2019 Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives. All rights reserved.
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
- Schlessinger, David (Subject)
- Department of Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine (Subject)
- National Center for Human Genome Research (U.S.) (Subject)
- Human Genome Project (Subject)