Francis Hugh Ruddle

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Ruddle, Francis Hugh Frank H. Ruddle, of New Haven, CT and Block Island, RI, beloved husband of Nancy H. Ruddle, died Sunday, March 10 at Yale New Haven Hospital. Frank was born August 19, 1929 in West New York, New Jersey, son of Thomas H. Ruddle and Mary Henley Rodda Ruddle. He served in the United States Air Force and then attended Wayne State University receiving a BS degree in 1953 and then MS degree jointly from the Children's Hospital of Detroit in 1955. He received his PhD in Zoology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1960 and did postdoctoral work at Glasgow University. In 1961 he joined the Yale Zoology Department (later Biology, and then Molecular Cellular, and Developmental Biology) where he was an active member, along with a joint appointment in the Department of Human Genetics, until his retirement in 2007. At Yale, Professor Ruddle served as Chairman of the Biology Department several times and held endowed Chairs as the Ross G. Harrison Professor and as the Sterling Professor of Biology. He was noted for his seminal studies on human gene mapping, his development of the transgenic mouse, and his work on homeobox genes, important regulators of development. His outstanding achievements were recognized by his election to the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was the recipient of many prizes and awards including the Dickson Prize in Medicine, the William Allan Award of the American Society of Human Genetics, and the 2000 Connecticut Innovations Special Achievement Award. Professor Ruddle was a leader in the scientific community serving as a member of numerous NIH review boards, President of the American Society for Cell Biology, and editor of several scientific journals, including the Journal of Experimental Zoology and Genomics. His research was continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health and many other agencies. In the early 1960s he developed methods for chromosome analysis and organized the first conference on that topic in New Haven in 1966. In 1973, he co-organized the 10th International Workshop on Human Gene Mapping also held in New Haven. He served 10 years on the board of Science Park, New Haven and several companies including Genaissance Pharmaceuticals, and CuraGen Corp. Companies he co-founded included both Molecular Diagnostics Inc. and Molecular Therapeutics Inc. that became the basis for Research and Development at Miles (later Bayer) in West Haven, CT, and Asilas Genomics Services. Among his many other contributions to New Haven was his service as a member of the founding board of East Rock Village. Ruddle was a member of the National Research Council Committee that encouraged the Human Genome Project, the government initiative to determine the entire human genetic blueprint. His many trainees and students constitute an important legacy and were a great source of pride for him. Frank is survived by his wife of 48 years, his daughters Kathlyn Ruddle (Micah Ball) and Amy Ruddle Shohet (Howard), grandchildren, Alexis Shohet, Calista Shohet, and Leo Shohet, sister, Mary Haenschke (Richard), sisters in law Josephine Chaplin and Kirsten Hartman (Ed Meek) and several nieces and nephews. Calling hours will be held at Hawley Lincoln Memorial, 493 Whitney Avenue, New Haven on Friday, March 22 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. A mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 11:00 am at St. Thomas More Chapel, 268 Park Street, New Haven, CT. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The University of Michigan Biological Station at Douglas Lake, 2541 Chemistry Building, 930 N. University, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1055, The Block Island Conservancy, Block Island, Rhode Island, or the Nature Conservancy.

Published in The New Haven Register on Mar. 13, 2013
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