Thomas F. Anderson

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Thomas Foxen Anderson (February 7, 1911 – August 11, 1991) was a biophysical chemist and geneticist who developed techniques for using electron microscopes.[1][2] Dr. Anderson pioneered use of the electron microscope to study viruses. His research produced insights of how viruses infect cells, methods of their reproduction and how they alter the cells they infect.[1] He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1964.[2] Anderson was president of the International Federation of Electron Microscope Societies, president of the Biophysical Society, chairman of the United States National Committee of the International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics, and chairman of the Genetics Section of the National Academy of Sciences.[1]


  • Distinguished Award of the Electron Microscope Society of America in 1978[2]
  • The Pasteur Institute’s Silver Medal in 1957[2]

Life and Career[edit]

Anderson was born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. He received B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the California Institute of Technology in 1932 and 1936, respectively. He married Wilma Fay Ecton on December 28, 1937. He was named a professor of biology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1958.[2] He retired in 1983. Anderson died on August 11, 1991 following a series of strokes. He was survived by Wilma, his wife of 53 years. He is interred in Oak Grove Cemetery in Amherst, Wisconsin.


  • "Nature is trying to tell us something, the investigator’s goal is to get the message.”


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