Dr. Thomas H. Morgan, an American biologist and Professor, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in the year 1933 for his discoveries explaining the role of chromosomes in heredity.

Born in Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.A, Morgan had interest in natural history since childhood. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1886 at the University of Kentucky, followed by a Ph.D. in Zoology from Johns Hopkins University in 1890. 

He became an Associate Professor of Biology in 1891 at Bryn Mawr College for Women. After which he was appointed as Professor of Experimental Zoology at Columbia University, New York in 1904. During his 24-years time at Columbia University, he was introduced to the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, by initial work of C. W. Woodworth and W. E. Castle.

In 1908, he began working with the fruit fly, which was cheap and could be reared in limited space. After a year of determined crossbreeding experiments and screening, in his famous Fly Room at Columbia University, he and his students observed a group of heritable mutants. His subsequent studies on multiple mutants led to the idea of genetic linkage.

In 1915, Morgan and his students, Alfred H. Sturtevant, Calvin Bridges, and H. J. Muller put forward their theory of the linear arrangement of the genes in the chromosomes, in the book Mechanism of Mendelian Heredity.

Morgan's achievements with Drosophila sparked many labs throughout the world to practice fruit fly genetics. Drosophila became one of the first and widely used model organisms.

Later, in 1928, he was appointed as Professor of Biology and Director of the G. Kerckhoff Laboratories at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), at Pasadena. Professor Morgan remained here until 1945.


  1. "Thomas Hunt Morgan and His Legacy". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 12 Oct 2017. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1933/morgan-article.html
  2. http://www.columbia.edu/cu/alumni/Magazine/Morgan/morgan.html
  3. "Thomas H. Morgan - Biographical". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 12 Oct 2017. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1933/morgan-bio.html