Published: May 25, 2018

Keith Porter is regarded as one of the founders of the modern science of cell biology. As a young scientist in 1944, Porter teamed up with Albert Claude and Ernest Fullam to produce the first picture of a whole cell taken with an electron microscope. That achievement led to a lifelong search using electron microscopy to uncover the secrets of cells and their subcellular components. Porter made fundamental contributions to improvements in tissue culture and microscopy. But he is best known for his discoveries relating to cell structures, including the endoplasmic reticulum, cilia, microtubules, autolysosomes, coated vesicles, and the focus of much of his later work—the microtrabecullar lattice.

Porter basically brought the electron microscope to CU and, with Meredith Runner and other cell biologists ,helped create the CU Department of Micro-Cellular Developmental Biology Department, and it’s building is named after him. His collection includes personal and professional correspondence, 1939-1986, discussing in vitro research problems and techniques, inception of the Tissue Culture Association and varied administrative/personnel topics.

Handwritten notes and photos. Photos from the archives. Photos from the archives.

The seal of the CU Archives 100 Stories for 100 Years The University of Colorado Boulder Libraries will celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Archives on June 6, 2018. This is story #87 in our series: 100 Stories for 100 Years from the Archives!