History of Hope: Susumu Ohno

October 23, 2017 | by Katie Neith

In 1952, a young researcher named Susumu Ohno came to City of Hope. Though he was only a research associate at the time, his research would soon make waves in the scientific community. At the time of his recruitment to City of Hope, Ohno held a doctor of veterinary medicine degree and later earned his Ph.D. in 1956 from Hokkaido University. 
Ohno had a brilliant career at City of Hope, highlighted by numerous fundamental findings in genetics, epigenetics and molecular evolution. However, he is probably most famous for having written “the book” on evolution by gene duplication. He also discovered the phenomenon of X chromosome inactivation where, in females, one of the two X chromosomes becomes condensed and nonfunctional. As a result, the cells of both males and females have only one functioning X chromosome. 
In recognition of these and many other discoveries, Ohno was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and received the Amory Prize for Reproductive Biology from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He retired from City of Hope in 1996.
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