American Philosophical Society
Member History

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207. Genetics[X]
1Name:  Dr. Victor A. McKusick
 Institution:  Johns Hopkins University
 Year Elected:  1975
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  207. Genetics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1921
 Death Date:  July 22, 2008
Victor A. McKusick, M.D. was a physician-scientist who is widely acknowledged as the father of genetic medicine. He was University Professor of Medical Genetics at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine until his death July 22, 2008. He received his M.D. from Johns Hopkins in 1946 and began his career by studying heart defects but rapidly developed an interest in the inherited components of disease. In 1957 he founded the Division of Medical Genetics at Johns Hopkins, and in 1966 he created the first edition of the genetic reference "Mendelian Inheritance in Man," a compilation of inherited disease genes that continues to grow. Both a scientist and a prominent clinician, Dr. McKusick was the William Osler Professor of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief of The Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1973-85. Over the course of his career, Dr. McKusick has led the world in searching for, identifying and mapping genes responsible for inherited conditions such as Marfan syndrome and dwarfism. His studies of genetic disorders in the Amish uncovered previously unrecognized inherited conditions and served as a model for studies in similar populations in other parts of the world. As early as 1969, he proposed mapping the human genome, a feat accomplished by two research teams. In 2002 Dr. McKusick was awarded the National Medal of Science, and he has received numerous other honors including the 2008 Japan Prize, the John Phillips Award of the American College of Physicians and membership in the National Academy of Sciences. In 1996 he was awarded the American Philosophical Society's Benjamin Franklin Medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Sciences. The citation read "in recognition of a great pioneer in the study of genetic diseases and in the development of human genetics as a clinical specialty, the author of many influential books and founding coeditor-in-chief of Genomics, and a distinguished leader of the human genome project." He had been elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1975 and served as the Society’s Vice President 1996 to 2002.
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