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How It All Started

Dr. William Jackson "Jack" Schull (1922-2017)


Dr. Schull was a world-renowned geneticist and professor emeritus of Human Genetics at UTHealth. He was a radiation expert, epidemiologist, humanitarian, and international scientist. Dr. Schull died on June 20, 2017, at the age of 95.

He worked for the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) in Japan, was one of the founding members of the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Michigan and was the founding director of the Center for Demographic and Population Genetics at UTHealth—now known as the Human Genetics Center.

His scientific contributions include studies on the effects of ionizing radiation on human health, the role of heredity and the interaction of heredity and environment in the etiology of chronic disease, the effects of inbreeding in human populations, the mechanisms of adaptations to hypoxic conditions, and the genetic epidemiology of populations burdened by chronic diseases.

Dr. Schull authored more than 425 articles and many books, including "Song Among the Ruins," his personal account of living in Japan while working at the ABCC.

In his lifetime, he received numerous honors. He was inducted into the United States National Academy of Sciences in 2001. In affirmation of his genetics work in Japan and, especially, for his work with survivors of the atomic bombings, Dr. Schull received the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Third Class from the Emperor of Japan in 1992. In 1992-1993, Dr. Schull became the inaugural recipient of the President’s Scholar Award from The University of Texas.

His keen mind was guided by a humanitarian philosophy and vision for a better world. Over the decades, Dr. Schull worked to develop hundreds of scientific and medical researchers in the Americas, Asia, and Europe. As a mentor, he guided by example, asking probing questions, listening, and relating his own experiences, strengths, and hopes. His methodology for mentoring is known as The Schullian Way.


Today, The Schullian Way is at the heart of mentoring programs led by the Schull Institute.

Dr. Schull was respected and beloved by colleagues and friends the world over. His living legacy is the Schull Institute.


See Dr. Schull’s list of research contributions to the McGovern Historical Center at


See Dr. Schull’s extensive photo contributions to the McGovern Historical Center at

Dr. William "Jack" Schull
Song Among the Ruins.jpg
Schull-Order Sacred Treasure_Photo-Dr &
Schull in McGovern archive.jpg
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