|Make a gift to the Billy W. Geer Research Fund, honoring Clara A. Abbott Professor Emeritus of Biology Billy Geer. Established by former students and friends in 1999, the Billy W. Geer Research Fund generates more than $5,000 annually for faculty and students to purchase equipment to further their research endeavors.|
Professor Geer passed away on Friday, February 24. Internationally renowned for his research on the genetics of the fruit fly, Geer taught biology at Knox College from 1963 until his retirement in 2000. Geer's "Fly Lab" at Knox is credited with research that explored metabolism, nutrition, and reproduction in Drosophila melanogaster. His lab was awarded grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. In particular, his study of the dietary and genetic control of alcohol metabolism in fruit flies received research grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
From 1979 to 1984 Geer was coordinator of the Knox-Rush Medical Program and Professor of Pharmacology at Rush Medical College in Chicago. Geer emphasized the importance of research in the liberal arts science curriculum -- half of the students who worked in his lab as Knox undergraduates went on to medical school, and another one-third completed graduate or professional degrees.