The Caltech Institute Archives

Interview with Ray David Owen

Owen, Ray David (2006) Interview with Ray David Owen. [Oral History]

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Interview with Ray Owen, Professor of Biology at Caltech, conducted by Rachel Prud'homme in 1983. The interview covers Owen's early life growing up in Wisconsin, where he attended the University of Wisconsin, studying cattle genetics with C. Stormont; his early research on chimerism in twin calves and on immunological tolerance. In 1946 he joins the biology division faculty at Caltech in genetics as a Gosney Fellow. Recollections of genetics at Caltech following World War II: concurrent arrivals include G. W. Beadle, N. Horowitz, H. Mitchell, and L. DuBridge. Recalls T. H. Morgan's reputation and his colleagues A. H. Sturtevant and S. Emerson. Other members of the biology division at this time include C. Bridges, H. J. Muller, H. Borsook, A. Haagen-Smit, C. Wiersma, A. van Harrevelt, and F. Went. Recollections of L. Pauling. His book, General Genetics, with A. Srb published in 1952. His work with D. Lindsley on bone marrow transplantation. At Caltech, involvement with freshman admissions. In 1961 becomes biology division chair. Discusses teaching and further work in student affairs, including admission and recruitment of women, the Committee on the Freshman Year, and pass/fail grading. Appointment in 1975 to dean of students and vice-president for student affairs. Involvement with National Cancer Program (1972-1975) and continuing research on immunological tolerance. Concludes with observations on genetic engineering and safety of genetics research.

Item Type:Oral History
Keywords:Biology, genetics
Record Number:CaltechOH:OH_Owen_R
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Owen, Ray David. Interview by Rachel Prud'homme. Pasadena, California, October-November 1983. Oral History Project, California Institute of Technology Archives. Retrieved [supply date of retrieval] from the World Wide Web:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
Subjects:All Records
Subjects > Biology
ID Code:123
Deposited By: Oral Histories Administrator
Deposited On:27 Nov 2006
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 15:23

Repository Staff Only: item control page