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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 81
ELIZABETH S. RUSSELL
May 1, l913–May 28, 2001
BY JANE E. BARKER AND WILLYS K. SILVERS
ELIZABETH (“TIBBY”) BUCKLEY Shull Russell, one of the truly great figures in the field of mammalian developmental genetics, died on May 28, 2001, at her home on Mount Desert Island, Maine, at the age of 88. In a career spanning five decades, spent almost entirely at Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Russell did pioneering work on pigmentation, blood-forming cells, and germ cells. She also, more than anyone else, championed the importance of employing genetically defined laboratory animals in all branches of biomedical research.
Looking at Tibby’s pedigree one could claim she was destined to become an outstanding geneticist. She was born on May 1, 1913, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the eldest child of Margaret Jeffrey Buckley, a former teacher at Grinnell College with a master’s in zoology, and Aaron Franklin Shull, Ph.D., a zoologist and geneticist at the University of Michigan who authored one of the first textbooks on genetics. Her uncle, George H. Shull, also was a prominent geneticist. He pioneered the development of hybrid corn, coining the word “heterosis,” and founded the journal Genetics in 1916. Her pedigree also included a physicist, another geneticist, a plant physiologist, and a botanical artist, leaving little doubt that