Dr. Ernest E. Just
(1883-1941) was born in Charleston,
Graduated from the
Industrial School of the State College, Orangeburg,
Kimball Union Academy,
Meriden, New Hampshire,
Bachelor of Arts Degree -
Dartmouth College (Phi Beta Kappa).
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree, University of Chicago.
Awarded the Springarm
Medal by NAACP, 1915
Interred at the Lincoln
Memorial Cemetery 4001 Suitland, Maryland Section 1
plot #226, Site #12
Everett Just was a true scholar. He sought to find "truth"
using scientific methods and inquiry. Although Dr. Just was
bold enough to challenge the theories of leading biologists
of the 19th and 20th centuries, he was humble and
unassuming. Dr. Just was passionately driven to understand
the world of the cell. His tenacity and motivation led him
to add to our understanding of the process of artificial
parthenogenesis and the physiology of cell development. Dr.
Just was born August 14, 1883 in Charleston, South Carolina.
At an early age, he demonstrated a gift for academic
research. For example, in 1907, he was the only person to
graduate magna cum laude from Dartmouth College with a
degree in zoology, special honors in botany and history, and
honors in sociology.
Immediately after graduation, Dr. Just taught at Howard
University where he was appointed head of the Department of
Zoology in 1912. At Howard, he also served as a professor in
the medical school and head of the Department of Physiology
until his death. The first Spingarn Medal was awarded to the
reluctant and modest Just by the NAACP in 1915 for his
accomplishments as a pure scientist. In 1916, Dr. Just
graduated magna cum laude from University of Chicago with a
doctorate in experimental embryology.
Dr. Just received international acclaim for work he
completed during the summers from 1909 to 1930 at the Marine
Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. At
MBL, he conducted thousands of experiments studying the
fertilization of the marine mammal cell. In 1922, he
successfully challenged Jacques Loeb's theory of artificial
parthenogenesis, pushing the envelope. Using his research
conducted at Wood's Hole, he published his first book
entitled, Basic Methods for Experiments on Eggs of Marine
Although Dr. Just was considered a leader and authority for
his work with cell development, as an African American, he
was a victim of racism and prejudice. For this reason, Dr.
Just decided to continue his research in Europe in 1930. It
was in Europe that he published his second book, The Biology
of the Cell Surface. While in Europe in 1938 he published a
number of papers and lectured on the topic of cell
cytoplasm. Dr. Just died October 27, 1941 in Washington D.C.