The memorial plaque bears the following inscription: "In this building from November 1932 until September 1933, the biologist and geneticist Hermann Joseph Muller (December 21, 1890 - April 5, 1967) explored fundamental questions of genetics while he was visiting scientist at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Brain Research. In 1946 he received the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine." Science historian Professor Hans-JÃ¶rg Rheinberger held the dedication ceremony address, lauding Hermann Joseph Muller as "one of the great pioneers of genetics in the twentieth century". In her remarks at the ceremony, Professor Emerita Helen Juliette Muller recalled memories of her father. Muller's son, the mathematician David Eugene Muller, who as a child was with his parents at that time in Berlin, did not live to experience the unveiling of the memorial plaque for his father. He died of a grave illness a few weeks before the dedication ceremony.
Muller was one of the first to recognize genes as the foundation of life. He was the first scientist to produce mutations in genes in experiments. Moreover, his studies on x-ray-induced genetic alterations advanced quantitative thinking in biology. He was also indefatigable in warning against the perils of ionizing radiation, particularly in the form of nuclear weapons.
Hermann Joseph Muller was born on December 21, 1890 in New York City and studied biology there at Columbia University from 1907 to 1910. After completing his master's degree in 1911, he held a teaching fellowship at Cornell Medical College in Ithaca, New York. In 1915 he received his PhD from Columbia University under the supervision of the geneticist and later Nobel Prize laureate Thomas H. Morgan. Together with Morgan and two other scientists, Muller published The Mechanisms of Mendelian Heredity, a book which was to have great influence on research.
Due to political developments in Germany, Muller broke off his stay in Berlin prematurely. In March 1933 SA units stormed the Institute and arrested several people - including Muller, who was only released after Gustav Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach intervened. Muller left Germany on September 16, 1933 and went to the Soviet Union, although friends had warned him against doing so. He remained in Leningrad and Moscow until 1937. In 1933 he was named corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, but resigned in 1948 out of protest to Lysenko, Stalin's chief biologist. In 1937 he first went to Scotland, returning from there in 1940 to the U.S. Until 1945 he was a faculty member at Amherst College in Massachusetts, after that professor at Indiana University in Bloomington. Muller died at the age of 76 on April 5, 1967 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.
"Genetiker in Berlin-Buch/Geneticists in Berlin-Buch"