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In 1896, philosopher and educator John Dewey opened a small elementary school that later became the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.
In 1901, Monroe Nathan Work, AB 1902, AM 1903, published the first scholarly article by an African American in a major academic journal.
In 1910, pathologist Howard Ricketts discovered the organism that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
In the 1920s, astronomer and UChicago alumnus Edwin Hubble discovered the expansion of the universe, providing the basis for the big bang model.
In the 1930s, gastroenterologist Joseph B. Kirsner pioneered modern understanding and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.
In December 1942, Nobel laureate Enrico Fermi and his colleagues conducted the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction on the UChicago campus.
In the 1950s, law professors Harry Kalven and Hans Zeisel led The Chicago Jury Project, the first large-scale empirical study of the jury system, changing American understanding of the jury’s role.
In 1965, biochemist Donald F. Steiner, SM’56, MD’56, discovered proinsulin, the first “pro-hormone” and precursor to insulin.
In the 1970s, geneticist Janet Davison Rowley, LAB’42, PhB’45, SB’46, MD’48, demonstrated that cancer is a genetic disease.
In the 1980s, UChicago faculty member Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar proposed the existence of black holes and discovered the maximum mass of a white dwarf star.
In the 1990s, economics Nobelist Gary Becker, AM’53, PhD’55, expanded the scope of inquiry in economics to include human capital, the family, crime, discrimination, and other topics.
In 2006, paleontologist Neil Shubin discovered the missing evolutionary link between fish and the first animals.
The year 2011 saw the completion of The Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, a 90-year project collecting a wealth of information about ancient Near Eastern civilization.