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Virologica Sinica, 27 (6) : 325, 2012
Entomology Department, Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
 Correspondence: karlmaramorosch@yahoo.com
It was my good fortune to meet personally the three invertebrate cell culture pioneers, Richard Goldschmidt, Zan-Yin Gaw, and Thomas D. C. Grace (Fig. 1). In 1951 I met Goldschmidt at a symposium in Cold Spring Harbor, but I only knew that he was a prominent geneticist. I had no idea about his insect cell culture work at Yale University and daily contacts with Ross G. Harrison. In 1959 Zan Yin Gaw in Wuhan successfully cultured monolayers of silkworm cells for more than one year. I reported his breakthrough achievement at the 11th International Congress of Entomology in Vienna in 1960, but his work was completely ignored outside China. In 1982 Gaw invited me to Wuhan where he told me that he studied in the United States in the 1930s, working as postdoctoral scientist at the Rockefeller Institute, where he was daily meeting William Trager, and later at Yale University in the Osborn Laboratory, where he was inspired by Harrison. T. D. C. Grace worked in my laboratory at Rockefeller University during 1957 and 1958, then returned to CSIRO in Canberra, Australia. In 1962 he successfully established a cell line from the ovarian tissues of Antherea eucalypti pupae. The subsequent expansion of invertebrate cell culture involved the Nobel laureate Rita Levi Montalcini. I met her at a Growth Symposium, where I saw Harrison the last time. In 1969 she published the first of a dozen papers on in vitro studies of the embryonic nerve system of Periplaneta americana that led to her milestone discovery of the nerve growth factors. The “3 G-s” insect cell culture pioneers were directly or indirectly influenced and inspired by Harrison. Gaw was the only one who created a large following of insect cell culture researchers, who continued and expanded the work started by him in China.
Received: 22 Nov 2012  Accepted: 14 Nov 2012  Published online: 1 Dec 2012
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