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Howard B. Andervont

Margaret K. Deringer

Registry of Experimental Cancers
National Cancer Institute
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, Maryland

It was with great pleasure that I accepted Dr. Morse's invitation to receive the award to be given to Dr. Andervont at this Workshop on the Origins of Inbred Mice. I know of no one for whom I'd rather accept such an honor. It has been my privilege to know Dr. Andervont since August of 1942 when I joined the staff of the National Cancer Institute in Dr. Heston's laboratory. Ever since that time, Dr. Andervont has been my advisor, colleague, and friend.

Howard Bancroft Andervont, known affectionately as Andy by his family, colleagues, and friends, was born in Canton, Ohio, on March 8, 1898. He graduated in 1923 from Mt. Union College in Alliance, Ohio, with the degree of Bachelor of Science. His alma mater, Mt. Union, also conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Science on him in 1942. Dr. Andervont did graduate work under the direction of Dr. Charles Simon at the School of Hygiene and Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University where he received the Doctor of Science degree in 1926. He was a fellow of the Carnegie Institution of Washington at Hopkins in 1926-1927 and following that was faculty instructor under Dr. Milton J. Rosenau in Preventative Medicine at Harvard University School of Medicine from 1927 to 1930. He became the first professional member of Dr. J.W. Schereschewsky's Office at Harvard and moved with that group in 1939 to the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda. In 1947, he became Chief of the Laboratory of Biology, a position he held until 1961. At the time he relinquished that post he became Editor of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Andervont retired from the Institute in 1968.

Dr. Andervont's bibliography includes a total of 165 publications. This list attests to his many accomplishments. I shall mention only a few for I know that modest as he is, he would prefer it that way. His curriculum vitae states his "major contribution has been to determine the relative importance of genetic and environmental factors in the development of spontaneous tumors in experimental animals." His recognition of the importance of genetic factors led to the inbreeding and maintaining of large colonies of mice which he used in his research. Among these were strains C3H, BALB/c, I and RIII and, in addition, he was successful in producing a colony of wild mice.

Research on viruses was one of Dr. Andervont's earliest interests and he published extensively on the mammary tumor virus of mice. He was the first to demonstrate that this virus could be transmitted by the male parent. Many of his studies demonstrated the induction of cancer by chemical agents, in particular by polycyclic hydrocarbons.

I am grateful to Dr. Andervont for having supplied me with a nucleus of several of his inbred strains from which I established colonies. These strains were employed in various experiments, for example, in studies of the development of various types of tumors in substrain BALB/c and in studies of the development of mammary tumors in substrain RIIIeB, produced by the transfer of fertilized ova from strain RIII to strain C57BL. A number of other strains in my colony came originally from Dr. Andervont by way of Dr. Heston's laboratory.

Dr. Andervont's curriculum vitae also states that "exceptional contribution has been made in counseling investigators in cancer research." I am just one of the many individuals who has had the good fortune to be associated with Andy. I am sure that all who have received his wise counsel would share my pleasure in the award to him of this well deserved honor.

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