Myron Gordon (biologist)

Myron Gordon (Biologist)

Myron Gordon (biologist)

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Myron Gordon (1899 – 1959) became an expert on platy fish Xiphophorus while using them for his pioneering cancer research, starting in the late 1920s. Early papers were published while still a graduate student at Cornell University, but he is best known for his research at New York University and the New York Zoological Society.

Herbert Axelrod, of TFH Publications, knowing of Gordon's academic reputation and ability to write clearly on any level, recruited him to write a very popular series of booklets and magazine features aimed at tropical fish hobbyists. In 1939 he established the Xiphophorus Genetic stock center to provide a reliable supply of genetically identical fish to be used in cancer research. The lines he established remain widely used today.

His obituary in the Dec 1959 Copeia noted that “…conclusively demonstrated the heritable nature of melanoma in Xiphophorus and the essential relationship of the macromelanophore to its development…” During his collection trips, he discovered and named several new species, and in 1963, Robert Rush Miller and W. L. Minckley named Xiphophorus gordoni in his honor.


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