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Mary Logan Reddick (31 December 1914 - 1 October 1966)

The second of our featured women for Black History Month 2023 is  Mary Logan Reddick whose work has inspired Professor Clive Wilson (Wilson Research Group).  

Key aspects of our early understanding of the mechanisms by which the brain develops emerged from studies in the chick embryo. Mary Logan Reddick was a pioneer in this area, assessing the fundamental events linked to neuronal differentiation and the roles of cell-cell interactions, and ultimately leading to her appointment as chair of the biology departments at Morehouse College and the University of Atlanta.  

Professor Clive Wilson, Wilson Group


Image of woman with dark hair wearing glasses and a laboratory coat sitting with a microscope in front of her.  There is a display case behind her.



 Mary Logan Reddick (31 December 1914 - 1 October 1966) was a pioneering neuroembryologist whose ground-breaking work in chick embryogenesis and neurodevelopment significantly advanced our understanding of tissue transplantation and cell differentiation. Utilizing early time-lapse microscopy techniques, her research provided invaluable insights into the profound impact of environmental factors on developing brain tissues.

Reddick's academic journey was marked by remarkable achievements. She earned her doctoral dissertation from Radcliffe College, an institution affiliated with Harvard University, showcasing her exceptional academic prowess. Breaking barriers, she blazed a trail as Morehouse College's first female biology instructor, serving as a beacon of inspiration for future generations. Her ground-breaking journey didn't stop there; she returned to Morehouse, breaking yet another glass ceiling by becoming the first woman to chair the biology department and achieving the prestigious status of a full-time professor.

Her remarkable journey continued as she became the first Black woman to be awarded a prestigious Ford Foundation science fellowship. This prestigious recognition enabled her to pursue advanced studies at Cambridge University, further cementing her status as a trailblazer in the field of neuroembryology.

Mary Logan Reddick's dedication and passion for her work led to her eventual appointment as a full professor and the chair of the Biology Department at the University of Atlanta. Her outstanding contributions to science, along with her resilience in the face of societal barriers, remain an enduring testament to her legacy.