During the period 1920 to 1925, Timofeev-Resovskij was an instructor and researcher in Moscow. It was in this period that he met and married Elena Aleksandrovana Fidler (1898 – 1973), who was a student of the cytologist and biologist Nikolaj Konstantinovich Kol’tsov in Moscow; Elena became not only Timofeev-Resovskij’s lifelong devoted companion but also his lifelong partner in research. Their eldest son, Dmitrij, was born on 11 September 1923.
From 1920 to 1925, Timofeev-Resovskij was a biology instructor in the pre-Chekist district primary school in Moscow. From 1922 to 1925, he was a zoology instructor on the biotechnical faculty of the Moscow Practical (Applied) Institute. From 1921 to 1925, he did research at the Institute of Experimental Biology, of the Gosudarstvennyj Institut Narodnogo Zdravookhraneniya (GINZ, State Institute of Public Health), under the directorship of N. K. Kol’tsov. Some of his research at the Institute involved Drosophila. It was in a department headed by Sergei Sergeevich Chetverikov, the founder of population genetics and a colleague of Kol’tsov, that Timofeev-Resovskij started his genetics experiments. From 1924 to 1925, he was a research assistant in Kol’tsov’s Department of Zoology at the Medical Pedagogical Institute in Moscow. In 1924, Timofeev-Resovskij began his publications in the field of phenogenetics.
During the period 1923 to 1925, Oskar Vogt, an eminent psychiatrist and neurophysiologist, was a visiting scientist in Moscow; he was director of the Kaiser-Wilhelm Gesellschaft’s Institut für Hirnforschung (KWIH, Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Brain Research) in Berlin. In part, he was looking to recruit researchers for the KWIH, especially in the relatively new field of genetics. In 1924, the Soviet government made an exchange agreement with Germany. The KWIH was invited to establish a laboratory for brain research in Moscow, which it did: Институт Мозга (Institut Mozga, Institute of the Brain). To reciprocate, the Soviets promised to help set up an experimental laboratory for genetics at the KWIH. Vogt had good relations with Nikolaj Aleksandrovich Semashko, People’s Commissioner (Minister) of Health. It was Semashko and Kol’tsov who suggested Timofeev-Resovskij to Vogt. Thus, in the summer of 1925, Timofeev-Resovskij, his wife Elena and his colleague Sergei Romanovich Tsarapkin (Zarapkin), left Russia for an unspecified period of time in Germany, which lasted 20 years.
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