The new high school should be named in honor of Thomas Hunt Morgan, the only recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine born in our fine city as well as an alumnus of the University of Kentucky, as we celebrate this native son’s 150th birthday of this year.
Morgan, born in Lexington in 1866, was a nephew of the locally more famous John Hunt Morgan. Thomas Hunt Morgan received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in science from UK before receiving a doctorate at Johns Hopkins University.
He is most famous for his research in genetics, discovering that genes can be located on particular pieces of DNA on our chromosomes. These studies were the basis of the modern study of genetics, and it was for this work he received the Nobel Prize in 1933.
However, Morgan’s impact far exceeded his scientific accomplishments through the training of a large cadre of excellent scientists. Through generations of students, many, if not most, modern geneticists and other scientists can trace their academic ancestry directly to this great educator.
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Morgan is without a doubt the most impactful scientist and educator our city has produced, and it would be a great statement to recognize this important historical figure this year.