Stahl, Franklin William

Abstract

This article highlights Stahl's role as a leading expert on the central biological process of ‘genetic recombination’ (Stahl, 1987, 1988) during the last six decades as his main research interest, as well as his collaborations in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) replication, mutagenesis and genetic mapping. Starting with Stahl's PhD thesis (Stahl, 1956) on the genetic recombination of phage T4, and continuing with Stahl's seminal collaboration on the ‘Meselson–Stahl experiment’ which established how DNA replicates, a discovery for which both Meselson and Stahl remain best known, the article grounds Stahl's various contributions to molecular biology in his institutional legacies at the University of Rochester (PhD 1955), Caltech in the mid‐ and late 1950s and the University of Oregon at Eugene since 1959. The article further highlights Stahl's role as a foundation member of its Institute of Molecular Biology, his long‐term collaboration with his late spouse Mary Morgan Stahl (1934–1996), his mentorship of two generations of students and his current collaboration, as a professor emeritus, with his former PhD student and partner Henriette (Jette) Foss. Stahl's contributions to the history of molecular biology, as both author and editor, are also mentioned.

Keywords: Stahl; genetic recombination; bacterial culture; DNA replication; semiconservative replication; density gradient; critical (or crucial) experiment; Meselson; the M–S experiment; molecular biology; phage lambda; mutagenesis

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Further Reading

Huxley H (ed.) (2013) Memories and Consequences, Visiting Scientists at the MRC‐LMB in Cambridge. Cambridge, UK: MRC‐LMB Press.

Kornberg A (1974) DNA Replication. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman.

Pycior HM, Slack NG and Abir‐Am PG (eds) (1996) Creative Couples in the Sciences. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Stahl FW (1979) Genetic Recombination; Thinking about It in Phage and Fungi. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman.

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Abir‐Am, Pnina Geraldine(May 2014) Stahl, Franklin William. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0025057]