Migration to the United States - The Move to St. Louis and A New Research Trajectory

After moving to Washington University in 1935, Hamburger advanced from Assistant Professor (1935-1939), to Associate Professor (1939-1941), and full Professor (1941-1966), and then, after retirement from the teaching faculty in 1966, he was appointed Edward Malinckrodt Distinguished University Professor (1968) taking emeritus status in 1969. He also served as department chairman for 25 years (1941-1966).

The vast majority of Hamburger’s research work from 1935 through the 1970s and 1980s focused on four major areas of chick development: (1) The effects of limb bud extirpation or transplantation on the development and outgrowth of motor columns in nearby regions of the spinal cord; (2) Developmental genetics of the creeper fowl; (3) The development of chick behavior, especially before hatching; and (4) Detailed cell counts in hypo- and hyperplasia in the lumbar motor columns in chick embryos in which limb buds were, respectively, extirpated, or grafted onto the embryo, with a focus on determining the role of neuronal cell death during development.