From his days in the Spemann lab, through his association with Sewall Wright in Chicago and his work on the creeper fowl, Hamburger maintained an abiding interest in developmental genetics throughout his career. From 1946 to 1969, he taught a course for advanced students that began as “Developmental Physiology and Developmental Genetics” and was eventually shortened to “Developmental Genetics.” Hamburger always began with a review of some fundamentals of genetics. Some topics, such as discussions of the Creeper mutants and transplantation experiments, reflected Hamburger’s own research, while others tracked innovations in the field, such as the introduction of the Neurospora system by George Beadle and Edward Tatum, and Briggs' and King’s nuclear transplantation experiments. From our contemporary perspective, the change in Hamburger’s research interests reflected the growth of developmental genetics in the post-war period from a descriptive to an analytical and molecular approach. Although Hamburger’s continued interest in the area never included molecular biology he was always interested in incorporating this perspective into the course. The table below, prepared by Michael Dietrich from Dartmouth University, summarizes and color codes the topics covered in each lecture for this course from 1946 to 1969.
Allen, Garland, Dletrich, Michael, Huber, Florian. 2016. "Victor Hamburger and Experimental Embryology." MBL History Project digital exhibit. http://history.archives.mbl.edu/exploring/exhibits/viktor-hamburger-and-experimental-embryology