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In Remembrance−Dr. William J. Schull

Dr. William Schull, in November 1992

I am forced to make a truly regrettable announcement: Dr. William J. Schull, who was appointed as Chief of the Genetics Department in 1949 upon ABCC’s establishment and who led ABCC and later RERF in numerous positions until 2011, passed away in Houston, Texas, on June 20, 2017, at the age of 95 years.

Mr. Schull’s gracious personality was beloved not only by ABCC and RERF staff but also by many atomic bomb survivors and children of survivors. In addition, his insightful research fascinated many scientists and became powerful guidelines on the research side. On a personal level, I am deeply saddened by Dr. Schull’s passing and hereby pray for the repose of his soul.

Dr. James V. Neel, who made great contributions in the early days of ABCC, died at the age of 84 in 2000. Dr. Schull and Dr. Neel are widely cited together today based on the research they initiated in 1947 into radiation genetic effects on the children of atomic bomb survivors. The two scientists established the field of human genetics in the United States and introduced the discipline to Japan. Today, human genetics continues its rapid development as a state-of-the-art life science, together with genome analysis technology, and ABCC was a leader in the field of human genetics right from the start, something that RERF must acknowledge. Dr. Schull's passing has ended the first chapter of radiation genetics research at ABCC-RERF. RERF must now begin its work on the next chapter.

Ohtsura Niwa
Chairman, Radiation Effects Research Foundation