February 2011

Member Update

In memoriam Gerald C. Mueller

Gerald C. Mueller passed away on Nov. 7, 2010. He helped to establish the international reputation of the McArdle Laboratory and build a strong foundation of basic cancer research on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

Mueller was born in 1920 and raised in St. Croix, Wis. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he worked part time in the laboratory of Harold P. Rusch studying the biochemical actions of chemical carcinogens and ultraviolet radiation.

Mueller enrolled in medical school at the University of Wisconsin and received his M.D. in 1946. He then carried out an internship at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond.

In 1947, Mueller returned to Wisconsin to pursue a doctoral degree in biochemistry and oncology. After graduating in 1950, he accepted a position as an assistant professor at the university.

For the next 40 years, Mueller pursued various scientific interests, from the molecular processes regulating animal cell replication and differentiation to the role of phosphatidylethanol synthesis in alcoholism. He was a pioneer in the development of a practical method for the synchronization of mammalian cell populations and one of the first investigators to show that in each cell cycle, the units of DNA replicate in the same time sequence.

Mueller also significantly affected cancer policy in the U.S., participating in numerous study sections, advisory committees, and editorial and review boards throughout his career. He served on the Board of Scientific Counselors for both the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, as president and member of the Board of Directors for the American Association for Cancer Research, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society.

Mueller became professor emeritus of oncology at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research in 1991 but remained active in the department for more than a decade after that.

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