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Salome Gluecksohn-Waelsch (October 6, 1907, Danzig – November 7, 2007, New York) was a German-born U.S. geneticist and co-founder of developmental genetics.

She studied under Hans Spemann at the University of Freiburg before escaping from Nazi Germany as a Jew. She went on to become a lecturer at Columbia University and a professor of Molecular Genetics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine for 45 years. Gluecksohn-Waelsch became an overseas member of the Royal Society in 1995.

Gluecksohn-Waelsch received her doctorate in Spemann's laboratory, bringing embryological acumen to Leslie Dunn's genetics laboratory. Salome, along with Conrad Hal Waddington, attempted to find mutations that affected early development and discover the processes that these genes affected. Her research showed that mutations in the Brachyury gene of the mouse caused the aberrant development of the posterior portion of the embryo and she traced the effects of this mutant gene to the otochord, which would normally have helped induce the dorsal-ventral axis. She died a month after her 100th birthday.[1]



  • Hyman, P.E./Moore, D.D., eds. 1998. Jewish Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia. New York: Routledge.
  • Gilbert, S.F., 2006. Developmental Biology. Massachusetts: Sinauer.

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