Title and Description Page
Family and Childhood 1
Parents come to the United States. Early education. Interest in chemistry develops. Early social and home life. Graduates high school at fourteen and enters college despite age and gender.
Hunter College 4
Difficulites of being a young woman in college. Lack of high-caliber chemistry curriculum. Organic chemistry course. Professor Hendel sparks interest in physical chemistry. Encourages development of science courses for non-science majors. Preparing for graduate school. The typical Hunter student of the time. Work during the summers.
Columbia University 10
Catching up in organic chemistry, thermodynamics, and the phase rule. Courses and association with Urey. Unexpected lack of research opportunities. Receives master's degree. Unable to continue education because of lack of funds; teaching assistantships unavailable to women.
National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) 13
Begins as junior scientific aide doing computational work. Becomes chemist in the Fuel Injection Section. Publishes first two articles. Discriminated against because female. Leave of absence to return to school.
Return to Columbia University 16
Attempts to enter all-male chemical engineering program to no avail. Enrolls in chemistry courses to pass qualifying examination for Ph.D. program in chemistry. Chooses Urey as research director. Meets Henry Primakoff (future husband). Works on isotopic separation and exchange. Learns deuterium analysis. Travels to Princeton to use mass spectrometer. Studies isotopic oxygen echange in the liquid state quite successfully. Received Ph.D. Accepts a postdoc with Urey. Anti-Semitism.
George Washington University 38
Begins work in biochemistry using deuterium as a tracer with du Vigneaud, who is reluctant to accept a woman. Marriage. Attitude of Columbia University administration and chemistry department toward students.
Cornell Medical College 41
Continues work with du Vigneaud. Uses Columbia's facilities to make deuteromethyl alcohol.
Atmosphere at Columbia University 42
Exciting intellectual environment. Seminars by professors at the frontiers of their fields.
Research with du Vigneaud 44
Publications with du Vigneaud. Work with transmethylation and amino acid metabolism. Discovery of transmethylation in rats. Studies conversion of methionine into cystine in rats. Du Vigneaud's relationship with his postdocs.
Washington University, St. Louis 51
Works with Carl Cori's department. Interest in phosphorylation begins. Difficulties of working and raising children during the war. Sets up radioactive isotope laboratory. Builds mass spectrometer. Comparison of instrumentation, laboratory organization and milieu, and financial support at Washington University versus Cornell. Family members in science. Husband's physics position and its impact on her research. Studies hydrolysis of glucose-1-phosphate.
Harvard Medical School 61
Reason for accepting temporary position at Harvard. Impetus for paper on oxidative phosphorylation. Learns to prepare active mitochondria. Paul Boyer's work on the 18O phosphate exchange.
Return to Washington University 65
Continues work on oxidative phosphorylation. Interest in enzyme mechanisms of kinases and use of EPR. Works on enzymatic transfer of phosphoryl groups. Earlier magnetochemistry work. Exploratory studies of molybdenum proteins. Turns from EPR to NMR. Becomes established investigator for the American Heart Association.
Oxford University 69
Works in Kreb's laboratory on sabbatical. Conceives of investigating phosphorus in ATP and ADP with NMR.
Varian Associates 71
Interest in looking at 31P in ATP, ADP, and AMP. Very limited access to Varian's NMR instrument.
Return to Washington University 73
Traveling to Urbana to use NMR spectrometer. Collaborated on grant proposal to NIH for Washington University spectrometer. Modification of the spectrometer to include temperature control. pH dependence of the chemical shifts of ADP and ATP. Effects of magnesuim, zinc, and calcuim on the 31P chemical shift. Appointed associate professor. Reason for shift in research emphasis during the 1960s.
University of Pennsylvania (Penn) 78
The Johnson Foundation. Circumstances of first visits to Penn. Full professorship. Studies function and role of ATP in enyzme reactions. Uses relaxation rates to study how manganese is bound. Receives Garvan Award. Jack Leigh. Comparison of Penn with Washington University. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Career investigatorship with the American Heart Association. Research on EPR spectra of protein-bound manganese and on 31P NMR of enzyme-bound substrates. Works with thio analogs of ATP.
Institute for Cancer Research, Fox Chase 95
The Fox Chase Center. Initiates collaboration on study of regulation of kinase activity by calmodulin using proton NMR.
Professional Organizations 96
Involvement in American Society of Biological Chemists (ASBC) and American Chemical Society (ACS). Editorial board of Journal of Biological Chemistry. Agenda, style of leadership, and accomplishments as first woman president of ASBC.
Established and Career Investigatorships with American Heart Association. Suggests Garvan Award be limited to women under forty. Comments on most satisfying research. Election to National Academy of Sciences.
Future of Biochemistry 101
Discussion of past progress and future of techniques and instrumentation. Shift in emphasis in the biochemistry field from pathways and mechanisms to regulation. Advice for young students; hot fields.