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George O. Gey Collection

Gey, George Otto
by unidentified photographer

Collection Overview

Creator: Gey, George Otto (1899 - 1970)
Collection Date: 1918 - 1974
Extent: 15 linear feet

Finding Aid


George O. Gey was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He received his B.S. in 1921 from the University of Pittsburgh and his M.D. in 1933 from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He served on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and School of Hygiene and Public Health and was the director of the Finney-Howell Cancer Research Laboratory at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Gey’s research produced new developments in organ and cell culture, intracellular and membrane cytology, and in vitro investigations in endocrinology, oncology, and virology. Particular innovations included in vitro maintenance of organ and hormonal tissue, the “roller-tube” technique of cell cultivation, continuous maintenance of cell lines (normal and malignant), and nutrition of cells in tissue extracts and body fluids. With his wife, Margaret Gey, he developed techniques for filming and photographing cell growth within test tubes. Gey was the founder and first president of the Tissue Culture Association.

Scope and Content

The George O. Gey Collection spans his entire career, with the bulk of the material from his tenure as Director of the Finney-Howell Cancer Research Laboratory. Included are correspondence with individuals, industries, granting agencies, foundations, and other organizations; grant records (including proposals, applications, budgets, and reports); laboratory progress reports; and reprints. Other professional materials include records of the Tissue Culture Association and Gey’s notes and reprints. The collection also contains a selection of personal materials, such as photographs, family correspondence, items from World War I, picture postcards, certificates, and memorabilia. In addition there are reels of motion picture film, books, surgical instruments, and laboratory equipment.

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