American embryologist and cell biologist. Lillie's social status, connections, wealth (by marriage), and academic power at Chicago and Woods Hole made him a scientific power broker in the first quarter of the 20th century. Disciple of Whitman and mentor of Just. Lillie challenged Loeb's theory of chemically induced fertilization in echinoderms, which led to a bitter scientific dispute between Just and Loeb in the 1920s. Recruited Sewall Wright into the University of Chicago in 1926 and kept him from leaving for Harvard in 1935, although Lillie personally had little interest in genetics. Lillie's brother Ralph also was a prominent biologist between the world wars.
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