chapter  7
31 Pages

Mapping as technology: genes, mutant mice, and biomedical research (1910–65)


In March 1951, William Loomis, who was working as an expert for the Natural Sciences Division of the Rockefeller Foundation, visited the Jackson Memorial Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. The “Jackson” as it was then known was the largest American center for maintaining, studying, and selling genetically controlled, that is, inbred strains of mice. Since the early 1930s it had combined the functions of laboratory, resource center, and production plant. These operations had been supported by numerous grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the total amount of which came to more than half a million dollars. Loomis had been sent to Maine because Clarence Cook Little, the Managing Director of the Jackson, had mailed the Rockefeller Foundation an application for $175,000 to support diverse research projects linking cancer genetics, cytology, biochemistry, and reproductive physiology.