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Matthew George

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Information about Matthew George

Profile image of Matthew George

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Biochemist
Geneticist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pie (Sweet Potato)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Paris, France, Florence, Italy
Favorite Quote:
Be good.

Birthplace

Born:
2/15/1949
Birth Location:
Birmingham, Alabama

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Biochemist
Geneticist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pie (Sweet Potato)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Paris, France, Florence, Italy
Favorite Quote:
Be good.

Birthplace

Born:
2/15/1949
Birth Location:
Birmingham
See how Matthew George is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Biochemist Matthew George was born on February 15, 1949 in Birmingham, Alabama. George was awarded an undergraduate scholarship to attend Wiley College in Marshall, Texas where he received his B.S. degree in chemistry and biology in 1971. George went on to earn his M.S. degree in microbiology and biochemistry in 1974 from Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). In 1982, George graduated with his Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.

From 1981 to 1984, George studied genetics and biochemistry at the San Diego Zoo and the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland. George’s career at Howard University College of Medicine began in 1984 when he became an assistant professor of biochemistry. In 1992, he was promoted to associate professor. George’s research focused on the evolution and interactions of mitochondrial DNA as well as cancer metastasis. He was instrumental in the development of the “mitochondrial Eve hypothesis,” which attempts to explain the origin of humankind. George studies the molecular structure and behavior of mitochondrial DNA which traced humans back to a common ancestor that lived in Africa about 200,000 years ago. Between 1995 and 1997, George served as senior scientist on the African Burial Ground Project where he traced 200 year old remains back to West African locations by analyzing DNA from bones. Since 2001, George has served as chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Howard University College of Medicine.

George has authored numerous scientific research articles, which have appeared in journals such as the Journal of Molecular Biological Evolution. In addition, his research has been funded by prestigious organizations such as the National Institute of Health, the National Cancer Institute and the National Center for Human Genome Research. His research on mitochondrial DNA was featured in the exhibit “Science in American Life,” found in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. In addition to his research, George has mentored research students including several dissertation prize winners.

George lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife Yolanda George, who is an education program director at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

George Matthew was interviewed by The HsitoryMakers on January 17, 2013.

See how Matthew George is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Matthew George's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Matthew George lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about his mother, her growing up and his maternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his father's relationship with his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his father's growing up, his career, and his paternal relatives
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about how his parents met and his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Matthew George talks about his likeness to his parents and his parents' relationship
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Matthew George describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Matthew George describes his childhood home in the Loveman's Village projects
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Matthew George talks about growing up in the projects and his influence on his brothers and sisters
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Matthew George talks about his childhood memories, his upbringing in the church, and the evolution of his religious views
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about his appreciation of the newspaper and the bombing incidents in Birmingham during the Civil Rights Era
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his academic performance and his work ethic
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his elementary school teacher, Annie Mae Mitchell Smith
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about his father's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Matthew George talks about his mother's concerns about the Civil Rights Movement and the origin of the derogatory term, "bama"
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Matthew George talks about his childhood aspirations, his desire to be different, and his world view during his youth
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Matthew George talks about his high school's curricular structure
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about his experience being inducted into the National Honor Society in high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his extracurricular activities and his social status in high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his high school counselor, Ms. Coman, and her influence on his decision to attend Wiley College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about his decision to major in science at Wiley College and preparing for his high school Salutatorian speech
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Matthew George talks about his influence on his brothers and sisters
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Matthew George talks about his jobs during school
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Matthew George talks about segregation in Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about his trip to Marshall, Texas and his first night at Wiley College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his peers and the positive intellectual environment at Wiley College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his decision to major in science and his experience at Wiley College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about his studies, his professors, and his financial aid at Wiley College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Matthew George talks about his professors at Atlanta University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Matthew George talks about the faculty at Atlanta University and meeting his wife
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Matthew George talks about his wife and the birth of his son
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about him and his wife's experiences defending their theses
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about moving to California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his admittance to and his financial aid at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about the difference between covert racism and overt racism
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Matthew George talks about how he matched with his Ph.D. Advisor, Allan C. Wilson
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Matthew George talks about his advisor's research interests
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about mitochondrial DNA and the mitochondrial Eve
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his colleague, Rebecca Cann, and his experiences working with her
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his work with his doctoral advisor and his experience getting his dissertation completed
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about his research with Oliver Ryder at the San Diego Zoo
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Matthew George describes his postdoctoral research at the National Cancer Institute, his appointment to Howard University, and his teaching influences
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Matthew George talks about his student, Daryl Basham, and the use of DNA fingerprinting in criminal investigation
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about the ethics regarding genetic testing and the risks associated with modifying DNA sequencing
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his work on the African Burial Ground Project with Michael Blakey
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about working with his wife
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about the challenges of doing research at an HBCU
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Matthew George reflects on his career
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Matthew George reflects on his legacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his family
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his experience at the Science and American Life exhibit and being recognized
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Matthew George describes his photos