In Memoriam: Barbara Ruben Migeon, 1931-2023

Barbara Migeon, professor emerita in genetic medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, died on Janaury 14. She was 91 years old.

Dr. Migeon graduated from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1952. She went on to earn her medical degree at the the University at Buffao and completed an internship and residency in the pediatrics department at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

In 1963, Dr. Migeon became an instructor in the pediatrics department at Johns Hopkins University. In 1978, she became the sixth woman to hold the rank of full professor at the medical school. She was the founding director of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s human genetics graduate program.

Dr. Migeon was known for pioneering genetics work in sex determination. Specifically, she focused on the molecular basis of X-inactivation — the process in which one of a female’s two X chromosomes is inactivated. Dr. Migeon also studied the health and disease consequences of X inactivation — including mosaicism, in which the active X chromosome varies among cells in a female’s body — and in 1980, she successfully cloned fragments of the human X chromosome. She was the author of Females Are Mosaics: X Inactivation and Sex Differences in Disease (Oxford University Press, 2013, 2nd Edition).

Dr. Migeon retired from the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 2020, after serving on the faculty for 57 years.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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