Oral history of British science

Perutz, Max (Part 11 of 19). National Life Stories Collection: General

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  • Subjects

    Molecular Biology

  • Recording date

    2001-06-30, 2001-08-18, 2001-09-15, 2001-10-06, 2001-10-27, 2001-11-29, 2001-12-08

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Cambridge, UK

  • Interviewees

    Perutz, Max, 1914-2001 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Thompson, Katherine, (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 11: MP explains loan for mortgage which fully repaid only after Nobel Prize. Moved to house before son was born. MP got I.C.I. research fellowship for 3 years which replaced Rockefeller grant. But he now had family and no definite future.MP' mentors were Bragg and David Kalin(??), the latter was Prof. of Biology and offered him bench space in his lab. More about Kalin and his history. Kalin advised Bragg to apply to Medical Research Council for finance for MP. MP wrote programme and research money from MRC was approved after October meeting. Kendrew joined MP in 1945 - more about Kendrew, his work and how he came to join MP.t was the start fo the Molecular Biology Laboratory. More about Kendrew's work on foetal haemoglobin of sheep. Interval in interview. MP now talks about his important discovery during last two weeks. He discovered structure of protein aggregates as in deseases like Alzheimer, Parkinson Huntington etc. He started work in yeasts on fibres in these aggregates (amyloids) which are proteins. Nobody was able to find atomic arrangements in those fibres. Looking at electronmicrographs of those fibres he thought that protein chains are wrapped around in whorls - suddenly all fell into place - he is confident to be right on structure of these proteins. All this work in last 2 weeks!

  • Description

    Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist and author Max Perutz is interviewed about his life and work. Mentor to James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA, Perutz died before this interview could be completed.

  • Related links

    Visit this interviewee's page on the 'Voices of Science' web resource

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