Scientist. He is considered one of the founders of the field of genetics. His PhD thesis was the formal proof that genes are on chromosomes. Although this is now considered a cornerstone of genetics and biology, it was controversial at the time. Bridges was born in Schuyler Falls, New York. He was raised by his grandparents after being orphaned at the age of three and did not graduate from high school until the age of 20. He nonetheless earned a scholarship to Columbia University in New York City. Bridges later became a graduate student in the laboratory of Thomas Hunt Morgan, which was establishing the fruit fly Drosophila as a model organism to study genetics. Morgan later was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for this work. In addition to his proof that genes are on chromosomes, Bridges also discovered fundamental principles of the structure of the chromosome, how chromosomes behave during meiosis (the specialized cell divisions that give rise to eggs and sperm) and how chromosomes determine the sex of an individual. Bridges also invented many of the techniques for efficient growth and handling of fruit flies, which brought Drosophila to the forefront of genetic research, where it remains today. Bridges remained with Thomas Morgan when the "fly lab" moved to the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California in 1928.
Bio by: Matthew J. Bridges
Gertrude Frances Ives Bridges