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COLLECTION Identifier: HUM 287

Fotis C. Kafatos personal archive

Fotis C. Kafatos (1940-2017) was professor of Biology at Harvard University (1969-1994) and chair of the Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology (1978-1981). The Fotis C. Kafatos personal archive chiefly contains Kafatos’s class notes taken while he was a student at Cornell University (1958-1961) and Harvard University (1961-1963) primarily in the fields of biology and zoology, and his Harvard University lecture notes from 1965 to 1990 that he used in his biology classes. Also included are files documenting Kafatos’s political and social activism from 1964 to 1981.

Dates

  • 1958 - 1990

Creator

Researcher Access

The Fotis C. Kafatos personal archive is open for research with the following exceptions:

Student and personnel records are closed for 80 years. This restriction covers records that include grades, student papers, questionnaires, and class lists.

Restriction dates are noted at the folder level.

Extent

3.35 cubic feet ((3 document boxes, 2 record cartons) )

This collection chiefly contains Kafatos’s class notes taken while he was a student at Cornell University (1958-1961) and Harvard University (1961-1963) primarily in the fields of biology and zoology, and his Harvard University lecture notes from 1965 to 1990 that he used in his biology classes. Among the class notes are reading lists, syllabi, and examinations. Kafatos’s Harvard University lecture notes illustrate his teaching methods, practices, and laboratory instruction in molecular and cellular biology and the natural sciences. The collection also includes files documenting Kafatos’s political and social activism from 1964 to 1981 on such issues as the Vietnam War, the ecological effects of nuclear power plants, environmental pollution, human-rights, the social status of women and African-Americans, the military junta in Greece, and abortion.

Biographical note

Fotis Constantine Kafatos (1940-2017) received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University (1961) and masters (1962) and PhD (1965) degrees in biology from Harvard University. He became the youngest full Professor at Harvard in 1969, serving until 1994, during which time he chaired the Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology from 1978 to 1981. Under Kafatos’s direction, the Harvard biological laboratory became one of the major training centers for silkworm molecular biology in the world. Simultaneously with his tenure at Harvard, Kafatos promoted training and development of life sciences in Greece, holding adjunct professorships at the University of Athens (1972-1982) and the University of Crete (1982-present). Kafatos founded and directed the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the Foundation for Research and Technology, Research Centre of Crete (1982-1993). Additionally, Kafatos served as Director-General of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory from 1993 to 2005.

A pioneer of developmental biology, genomics, and insect molecular analysis, Kafatos was one of the early leaders in the use of molecular approaches to the study of cellular development and helped establish the cDNA cloning technology that has been fundamental to the understanding of the use of genetic information. Kafatos’s primary research interests include insect biology, the defense mechanisms of arthropods, molecular evolution, the immune system in insects, and the control of malaria. By introducing the development of molecular approaches to the understanding of the relationship between mosquitos, parasites, infection and the immune system, Kafatos made significant contributions to the study of mosquito-borne illnesses.

Arrangement

Records are organized in three series: (1) Kafatos’s class notes as a student, 1958-1963; (2) Harvard University lecture notes, 1961-1990; (3) Social activism files, 1964-1981.

Acquisition information

The Fotis C. Kafatos personal archive was donated to the Harvard University Archives.

Accession number: 12946; 1994 September 8.

Related Material

In the Harvard University Archives
  1. Harvard University. News Office. Harvard University News Office photographs: Gazette photographs, April 2, 1993-June 9, 1994 (UAV 605.295.21 Box 2): contains a photograph of Fotis Kafatos, August 6, 1993.
  2. Kafatos, Fotis C. “The Escape of Moths from the Cocoon: Biochemical, Physiological, Morphological, and Developmental Studies.” Thesis (PhD), Harvard University, 1965.

References

References
  • "Imperial Professor who Founded European Research Council Rewarded by Top Scientific Academy." States News Service, June 24, 2011. Biography in Context (accessed September 13, 2017). http://link.galegroup.com.ezp prod1.hul.harvard.edu/apps/doc/A259759084/BIC1?u=camb55135
  • “Prof Fotis C. Kafatos honored with Lifetime Achievement Award.” EVIMalaR. European Virtual Institute of Malaria Research, 14 October 2011. Web. 6 September 2017 Accessed. http://www.evimalar.org/news-2011/prof-fotis-c-kafatos-honoured-with-lifetime-achievement-award.html
  • Smith, Abigail. “Mosquito mission – hunting for the genetic key to wiping out malaria.” Imperial College, 7 December 2005. Web. 25 September 2017 Accessed. http://www.imperial.ac.uk/college.asp?P=7119
  • Wilde, Anna D. “Kafatos to Leave CDB, Biology Prof. Will Head European Lab.” The Harvard Crimson, 1993 May 12.

Processing Information

The Fotis C. Kafatos personal archive was processed from September 2017 to November 2017 by Dominic P. Grandinetti.

Processing included rehousing materials in the appropriate containers, establishment of series hierarchy, photocopying news clippings, and the creation of this finding aid.

Kafatos’s original folder titles were retained; any folder titles and dates supplied by the archivist appear in brackets.

In all respects, the archivist attempted to retain and preserve the original arrangement and existing relationships of the documents as established by Fotis C. Kafatos. Processing and arrangement details of each series are noted at the series level.
Link to catalog
Title
Kafatos, Fotis C. Fotis C. Kafatos personal archive, 1958-1990: an inventory
Status
completed
Description rules
dacs
EAD ID
hua17017

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository

Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.

Contact:
Pusey Library
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2461