Biopolym. Cell. 2010; 26(2):83-86.
Chronicle and Information
Professor Alexander Zawadzki of Lvov university – Gregor Mendel’s mentor and inspirer
1Szybalski W.
  1. McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin Medical School Madison
    1400, University Ave, WI, USA, 53706


It is generally agreed that Johann Gregor Mendel (1822–1884) is the undisputed father of genetics, the study of heredity that is fundamental to our understanding of all living things. However, as a geneticist and engineer, strongly influenced by my teachers in Lvov and Gdansk, in Copenhagen and in Cold Spring Harbor (NY), I have always wondered how it was possible for Mendel to be such an independent thinker while not having a mentor who could have guided his creative and analytical thinking. Was there anybody in Mendel’s life who could have played this role? At the very least, did he get any opportunity to discuss his experimental designs with some colleague or to receive any help from a mentor or a friend in analyzing his results? The purpose in preparing this essay is to bring to light a long neglected story of how an «obscure Polish Professor from Lvov University», Alexander Zawadzki, played a critical role in helping an «obscure Austrian monk», Gregor Mendel, to create the discipline of genetics.
Keywords: Gregor Mendel, Alexander Zawadzki, genetics


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