Gerald C. Mueller, M.D., Ph.D.
B.S., 1943, Medical Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.D., 1946, Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Internship, Medicine, Medical College of Virginia
Ph.D., 1950, Oncology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Postdoctoral research: Max Planck Institut, Germany
Gerald C. Mueller 1920-2010
Dr. Gerald C. Mueller passed away on Sunday, November 7, 2010. Dr. Mueller, along with his early faculty colleagues, helped to establish the international reputation of the McArdle Laboratory and to build the strong foundation of basic cancer research on the University of Wisconsin campus.
Raised in St. Croix, Wisconsin, Gerald C. Mueller attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an undergraduate. As a pre-medical student, Dr. Mueller worked part-time in the laboratory with Dr. Harold P. Rusch studying the biochemical actions of chemical carcinogens and ultraviolet radiation. Working with Dr. Rusch he first developed his fascination with and love of research. He attended Medical School at the University of Wisconsin, received an M.D. degree in 1946, and carried out his internship at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. Still drawn to research, he returned to Wisconsin in 1947 to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry and Oncology. Upon graduation in 1950, Dr. Mueller accepted a position as Assistant Professor in Oncology, joining Harold P. Rusch, Van R. Potter, James and Elizabeth Miller, Charles Heidelberger, and Roswell Boutwell. Those founding faculty members established the collegial atmosphere in McArdle and set the standard for excellence in research.
For the next 40 years, Dr. Mueller pursued his varied scientific interests from the molecular processes regulating animal cell replication and differentiation to the role of phosphatidylethanol synthesis in the problems of alcoholism. Dr. Mueller was a pioneer in the development of a practical method for the synchronization of mammalian cell populations and one of the first investigators to show that in each cell cycle the units of DNA replicate in the same time sequence. In his studies with the inhibitors actinomycin and puromycin, Dr. Mueller was the first to provide evidence in whole animals for the importance of transcriptional events in mediating the actions of steroid hormones (e.g., estrogen). He published close to 200 scientific articles.
Dr. Mueller also significantly affected cancer policy in this country, participating on numerous study sections, advisory committees, and editorial and review boards throughout his career. He served on the Board of Scientific Counselors for both the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, as President and member of the Board of Directors for the American Association for Cancer Research, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society. In the middle of his career Dr. Mueller served as the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dr. Mueller trained over 100 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, including three who became faculty members at UW-Madison, and others who held positions at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), at NIH, in industry, and at several other academic institutions throughout the world.
Dr. Mueller became Professor Emeritus of Oncology at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research in 1991, but remained active in the department for more than a decade after that. In 2007 Dr. Mueller received the Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association Emeritus Faculty Award with his long-time colleague and friend Roswell K. Boutwell. A Symposium honoring the research accomplishments of Drs. Boutwell and Mueller was held in Madison in 2008.