Oral history of British science

Klug, Aaron (Part 26 of 31). National Life Stories Collection: General

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  • Subjects

    Biophysics; Chemistry

  • Recording date

    2002-10-29, 2002-11-03, 2002-11-20, 2002-11-27

  • Recording locations

    MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge

  • Interviewees

    Klug, Aaron, 1926-, (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Thompson, Katherine (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    AK explains why individuals should have share in royalties received - this started 'awards to inventors', (used to be ex gratia before). It was decided to have awards also for helping the company. Winter became adviser to the company which was set up in 1989. Company was set up near Cambridge, Winter's patents have brought in a lot of money - which now supports the laboratory. More details of money arrangements that were made. AK talks about the con-focal microscope - explains how it works and it's importance. AK gave priority the laboratory to build one (1985) - against the rule to give the work to industrial companies. AK explains importance of it - both Zeiss and Leica did not want to do it. Biorad commercialised it, made a lot of money out of it but later lost out due to lack of investment in further development and up-dating of instrument. It was overtaken by Zeiss and Leica, Zeiss have just bought the company - including the patents. Patent dispute still ongoing. The 1st spin-off of a company of the MRC was Cambridge Antibody Technology - founded in 1990 - which now has 9 different antibodies on trial. AK is on advisory board. They now developed an antiarthritic rheumatoid arthritis drug "Humira" - best on the market - AK explains. Also explains dispute with Abbot - MRC will go to court about it (British Court). AK explains special qualities of this drug and his involvement in industrial arrangements for MRC. Story about meeting with Keith Joseph. AK's view: we are financed by the public purse so should give something back to the public.

  • Description

    Nobel Prize-winning chemist Aaron Klug in conversation about his life and work. Klug is most famous for his research into crystallographic electron microscopy.

  • Related links

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

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