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Tibby Russell Signature Society

1968: The year Tibby Russell conducted the first successful bone marrow transplant in mice to cure a disease (anemia) • 41: Years spent at The Jackson Laboratory • 1955: Year in which Tibby Russell published her discovery of the first mouse model for muscular dystrophy
Named after Elizabeth "Tibby" Russell, who performed the first successful bone marrow transplant in mice.

Your privileges include all Margaret Green Signature Society privileges, plus:

  • Exclusive quarterly update from the Vice President of Research on the latest JAX research and faculty news.
  • An annual written report on the important impact of your gift on JAX research and programs.
  • Preferred seating at Forum for Discovery events, where you hear directly from JAX researchers and leaders how we are shaping the future of precision medicine.
Learn more about Tibby Russell
Tibby Russell Donor Honor Roll View Tibby Russell Donor Honor Roll…
  • Anonymous (2)
  • Robert Alvine
  • Mrs. Lizabeth Becton-Read
  • Carolyn Bennett
  • Richard and Susan Bingham Fund
  • Michael J. Blessing, Esq.
  • Mark and Recia Blumenkranz
  • Frank and Barbara Boyle
  • Nancy Brown
  • Mr. and Mrs. Walter M. Cabot
  • Ronald and Marlene Carpenter
  • Dr. Diane B. Cloud and Sanford Cloud, Jr. Esq.
  • Joseph M. Cohen
  • Kathleen and Randy Corbet
  • J Taylor and Suzanne Crandall
  • Lise DeSimone
  • Ms. Josephine Detmer
  • Rogie Dickey
  • Mr. Ross Dworman
  • Mr. Paul Emple
  • Jacqueline Fawcett, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Donald Feith
  • Stephen Fletcher
  • JoAnne Goodnight
  • Mrs. Francoise M. Haasch-Jones and\ Mr. Rhett L. Jones
  • Anthony '75 and Linda Helstosky
  • Ms. Jean Hoffman
  • GayLynn and Mel Jackson
  • Weslie R. Janeway
  • Samantha Knowlton, M.D.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Robert P. Kogod
  • Fernand and Nicole Lamesch
  • Marion H. Lavy
  • Mr. Sam R. Little
  • Dr. and Mrs. Edison T. Liu
  • Katy Longley
  • Drs. Diane Louie and Paul Rothenberg
  • Barry and Teresa Luke
  • Jane C. MacElree
  • Reginald McManus
  • Lusia Milch
  • Carolyn Hansen Montgomery
  • Ginger More
  • Dorothy Suzi Osher
  • Mr. and Mrs. Robert Peck
  • Lou and Joan Perry
  • Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius B. Prior Jr.
  • Charles M. Rice
  • Mr. and Mrs. John R. Robinson
  • Arthur Rock and Toni Rembe
  • David E. Shaw
  • Irving I. Silverman
  • Janice Stanton
  • Howsie Stewart
  • Mr. Carl W. Stiewe and Ms. Maike Rohde
  • Peter Stogis
  • Miguel Browne and Silvija Strikis
  • The Alexis and Susan Te Charitable Foundation, a Donor Advised Fund
  • of The Renaissance Charitable Foundation
  • Nick and Joan Thorndike
  • Ms. Pamela M. Thye
  • Ms. Hedda W. Von Goeben
  • Paul and Helen Weaver
  • Mr. Caspar Weinberger Jr.
  • Mr. and Mrs. J. Robert S. Wheatley
  • Diana and Bill Wister
  • Mr. Brian F. Wruble
  • Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Yellowlees

Additional Information

  • Your gift may be designated to a particular disease or educational program.
  • The Helix Fund does not include gifts to endowments or capital funds.

About Elizabeth “Tibby” Russell, Ph.D.

When Elizabeth “Tibby” Shull Russell, Ph.D., passed away in 2001 at age 88, she left a legacy of personal strength and determination. She was an outstanding geneticist, who, because she was married to another JAX scientist, could not be on the payroll and worked as an unpaid investigator at the Laboratory until 1947, when they divorced. Her contributions include the first successful bone marrow transplantations in mice to cure anemia.

That same year, 1947, a fire destroyed the Laboratory. Russell was chosen to coordinate the long and laborious retrieval of Jackson Laboratory mice from scientists around the world so that the lost inbred strains could be reestablished. She was then instrumental in creating a completely isolated facility at JAX to protect all the inbred strains represented.

Russell repeatedly demonstrated the usefulness of mouse models for the study and development of therapies for genetic human diseases. The first model for muscular dystrophy was discovered in her mouse colony. The successful bone marrow transplantations she and her colleagues performed in the 1960s on mice preceded the development of similar treatment protocols for humans. The study of the genetics of aging was fostered by her longevity studies in genetically different mice.

Born in Ann Arbor, MI, Russell matriculated at the University of Michigan when she was 16 and graduated, Phi Beta Kappa and first
in her class, with an A.B. in zoology in 1933, at the height of the Depression. She obtained a scholarship to Columbia University, where she received her master’s in 1934. She received her Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1937.

Russell mentored and supported summer students all 41 years she was at the Laboratory. Retirement did not slow her down. She became even more involved in the health and education fields in Maine, where she served on the Governor’s Task Force on Education in the 1980s and, at age 77, taught a genetics course in West Africa.