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Indiana University Bloomington

Department of Biology

Faculty & Research

Faculty Profile

John, Jr. Preer

Photo of John, Jr. Preer
Professor Emeritus of Biology (deceased 2016)
Contact Information
By telephone: 812-855-3200
JH 337

B.S. University of Florida, 1939
Ph.D. Indiana University, 1947


1976 Elected to the National Academy of Sciences
1976 Guggenheim Fellow
1993 Honorary doctorate in Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Wesfalische Wilhelms-Universitat Munster, Germany
1998 Bloomington Distinguished Faculty Research Lecturer
2011 awarded President\'s Medal by IU President McRobbie 

Research Description

John’s graduate work involved an analysis of the killer character in Paramecium, a trait appearing to show a cytoplasmic form of inheritance that seemed to challenge accepted ideas about genetics.  He worked on this problem for the next 30 years, ultimately showing that the killer trait was due to unusual bacterial endosymbionts that lived in the cytoplasm of Paramecium.  In 1985 he, his wife and life-long lab partner Bertie (Brandau) Preer, and their associates Bertina Rudman and Audrey Barnett found that the genetic code, universal for all previously described nuclear genes, was unexcpectedly different in Paramecium.  More recently he and co-workers have developed a new method of introducing genes in Paramecium, a method which promised to accelerate greatly the rate at which basic molecular questions can be studies in this organism. (adapted from 1988 retirement tribute)

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