Brain Byte

Black History Is: Mary Logan Reddick

  • Published23 Feb 2024
  • Author Cyrenna Cooper
  • Source BrainFacts/SfN

Mary Logan Reddick was a neuroembryologist and the first female biology professor at Morehouse College.

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Mary Logan Reddick
Design A. Tong

Neuroembryologist Mary Logan Reddick enrolled at Spellman College in 1929 at the age of fifteen  and later became the first female biology professor at Morehouse College. As an undergrad at Spellman she worked as a laboratory assistant studying embryogenesis, graduating with a B.S. in Biology in 1935. In 1937, Reddick received a Rockefeller Foundation General Education Board Fellowship, earned a Master of Science degree from Atlanta University, and began teaching biology at Spellman. Two years later, she became the first female biology professor at Morehouse College, a historically Black men’s institution. Reddick’s research on embryonic development in chickens helped scientists understand human fetal development.

Over her career, she studied nerve cell differentiation in chick embryos and tissue transplant techniques. Many of her experiments aimed to understand how many brain regions were already determined in development and how much was dependent on interactions with surrounding tissues. She later obtained a second master’s degree in biology in 1943 and her Ph.D. in 1944 from Radcliffe College. In 1952, she became the first woman to receive a Ford Foundation Science Fellowship to study embryology at Cambridge University’s School of Anatomy. She later returned to the U.S. and was offered the position of Chair of the Biology Department at Atlanta University. She held a biology professor position at the university until her passing in 1966.

Design by Adrienne Tong.

Image from the Schlesinger Library at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute.



Dr. Mary Logan Reddick, PhD. (2021, April 19). AWIS. 

Nielsen, E. A. (2020, May 1). Mary Logan Reddick (1914-1966).

Portrait of Mary Logan Reddick. (1956). 

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