Welcome to the twenty-fourth installment of You Should Know. Today I am shining a Black History Month spotlight on #BLACKandSTEM historical figure and scientific leader, Dr. Ernest Everett Just.

Dr. EE Just was a cellular biologist who completed his doctoral studies with Professor Frank Lillie at the University of Chicago in 1916. While completing his research studies he also served as a professor of biology and zoology at Howard University in Washington, DC. In 1909, Professor Lillie invited the then Mr. Just to spend the summer at Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and serve as his research assistant. That was the beginning of Just's long affiliation with MBL and his career in laboratory marine biology and cytology research.

Among National Pan-Hellenic Council members he is commonly known as a Founder of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. What many people don't know is how impactful his research in embryology and marine science was. Even among life sciences majors like myself, his name is almost never mentioned in the text books or lecture classes. Yet, one of the most revolutionary developments in current biological sciences was sparked by him nearly three quarters of a century ago: Epigenetics. Dr. Just referred to it as a theory of genetic restriction.

The National Science and News Service will host a Black History Month Twitter Chat about Professor Ernest E. Just’s Influence on Biological Sciences from Embryology to Epigenetics. Please stop by and participate.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

4:00pm EST


Charlie Garnet Benson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology at Georgia State University and W. Malcolm Byrnes, Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Howard University will discuss Professor Ernest E. Just, Epigenetics and STEM diversity. Find their bios and more information about the chat at this link.

Follow the conversation and join in at #NSTNSchat, hosted by @NSTNSorg with @UrbanGKz.


Want to learn more about #BlackandSTEM hero Dr EE Just? Then check out the reading material for tomorrow's #NSTNSChat.

The Forgotten Father of Epigenetics, American Scientist


Black Apollo of Science: The Life of Ernest Everett Just, Oxford University Press