Fonds 1989 - Arthur M. Zimmerman fonds

Identity area

Reference code

UTA 1989


Arthur M. Zimmerman fonds


  • 1956–1997 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

3.3 m of textual and graphic records (18 boxes)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Dr. Arthur Zimmerman, a renown cell biologist, first came to the University of Toronto’s Department of Zoology in 1964 where he accepted an appointment of Professor. Previous to this, he had received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from New York University and had held an Associate Professorship in the Department of Pharmacology at the State University of New York. Dr. Zimmerman retired in 1999 and throughout his lengthy service to the University held many administrative positions including Graduate Secretary (1970-1975) and Associate Chairman (1975-1978) in the Department of Zoology, Associate Director of the School of Graduate Studies (1978-1981) and Acting Director of the Institute of Immunology (1980-81).

Dr. Zimmerman has also shown leadership within his profession holding several appointments in professional associations and as editor of several journals. From early in his career, he has been an active member of the Bermuda Biological Station and the Marine Biological Laboratories at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. He was president or director of several associations including Ontario Society of Biologist (1968), Canadian Society for Cell Biology (1970-71, 1976-77), International Cell Cycle Society (1986-88) and International Federation for Cell Biology (1996-2000). He also acted as Treasurer for the American Society of Cell Biology (1974-1980) and was Chair of their Publications Committee for their Methods in Cell Biology Series. He was co-president and founding member of the International Group on High Pressure Biology. His editorial activities include: consulting editor for Cytobios (1969 –), Microbios (1971 - ), Senior Editor for Marcell Decker Inc. (1974-1978), Academic Press Cell Biology Series (1978 – 1996), Associate Editor for Canadian Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology (1980-84), Editor for Experimental Cell Research (1983-1992), Biochemistry and Cell Biology (1984-1993) and Western Hemisphere, Cell Biology International Reports (1985- present).

By far, Dr. Zimmerman’s most important contribution has been his research in the field of cellular biology and physiology for which he is internationally recognized. He has contributed much to the understanding of the cell cycle, the mechanism of cell division and has done pioneering work on the effects of hydrostatic pressure and drugs on various cellular processes. He has authored over 100 research and review articles and chapters in books. He has been editor of eight books and presented over 150 papers and lectures at meetings of professional associations and seminar groups. His research has been supported by numerous grants from the National Research Council of Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Medical Research Council. As a teacher and mentor, he has supervised 21 doctorate students, many of whom are themselves holding influential positions in academic institutions and industry. His role as consultant to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (1975-1987) and as a witness to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Internal Security (1974, 1980) recognizes that his expertise transcends his own scientific community.

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Scope and content

The records that make up the Arthur M. Zimmerman fonds document his professional activities and research endeavours from the 1960s to the present. They are rich in correspondence and manuscript drafts of articles and seminars that document the collaborative research efforts among Zimmerman and his colleagues. The correspondence files are especially insightful on Zimmerman’s relationship with his students both while they were under his supervision and later in their careers. Series of professional correspondence, recommendations, reviews and editorial positions give evidence to Zimmerman’s role as an expert whose knowledge and opinions were sought by his peers. Finally, records that reflect his teachings of courses within in the Department of Zoology are contained more or less in one series, Teaching Files.

Finally as one might expect in personal records, there is very little evidence of his role in University administrative positions. Neither is there any significant amount of records documenting his personal life. The Personal Correspondence series, for example, contains mainly correspondence regarding professional appointments and remuneration.

These records will be of general interest to researchers studying the history of science and particularly of cellular biology, the history of the teaching of science, and the history of any of the associations to which Dr. Zimmerman was active. It may also be useful to those researching the role of scientists in society in general, especially with respect to their influence on issues surrounding drug abuse.

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Finding aids

File list for series 2 only.

Uploaded finding aid

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Dates of creation revision deletion

-Original finding aid by Marnee Gamble, December 2000
-Added to AtoM by Karen Suurtamm, April 2016




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