Evelyn Witkin - Biography

Evelyn Witkin was born in New York City, March 9, 1921. She was awarded her B.A. from New York University, majoring in zoology, in 1941 and began graduate studies with Theodosius Dobzhansky at Columbia University. Her interest changed from Drosophila genetics to bacterial genetics, and she spent the summer of 1944 at Cold Spring Harbor, where she isolated a radiation-resistant mutant of E. coli. Witkin was awarded her Ph.D. in 1947 and remained at the Carnegie Institution Department of Genetics at Cold Spring Harbor until 1955. She then moved to the State University of New York's Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. In 1971, she was appointed Professor of Biological Sciences at Douglass College, Rutgers University, where she was named Barbara McClintock Professor of Genetics in 1979. Witkin moved to the Wakeman Institute at Rutgers University in 1983, becoming Barbara McClintock Professor Emerita in 1991. Among her many awards are membership in the National Academy of Sciences (1977); Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1980); American Women of Science Award for Outstanding Research; and Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology.