Title and Description Page
Family, Early Education, Chemistry 1
Father's background, education, occupation. Parents' attitude toward Karl going to college. Mother's background. Interest in science: Reading. High school chemistry. Theme on chemistry written in high school. Chemical demonstrations at nearby university. Home laboratory.
University of Illinois 5
Decision to go to college and to the University of Illinois. Jobs at the University: Dishwasher, waiter, librarian. Non-science courses: Economics, ROTC, foreign languages. The chemistry department: Roger Adams, Speed Marvel. Jack Johnson. Decision to go to Wisconsin. Adams and Marvel support of Illinois graduates. Henry Gilman. Advice from Sally Sparks and Speed Marvel.
Graduate School: University of Wisconsin 10
Choosing a mentor: Interviews with McElvain and Adkins. Research with Adkins: High pressure hydrogenation. Ralph Connor. Discovering the copper chromite catalyst. Art Cope. Adkin's attitutde toward biochemistry. Different attitude of Treat Johnson. The search for biologically active compounds. Financial support at Wisconsin. Teaching at Wisconsin.
Postdoctoral Research: Yale, Treat B. Johnson 14
Late application to James Conant at Harvard, who became President of Harvard. Application to Treat B. Johnson. Requirement for personal essay. T. B. Johnson: Personality, chemistry, influence. Offer from Jack Johnson to go to Cornell. Marriage to Selma Johnson, 1932. Children and grandchildren.
Looking for an industrial job. Offers from General Electric and from George Perkins of Merck. Negotiating salary with Randolph Major. Comments of Treat Johnson on two offers. Choosing Merck. First assignments at Merck: Horse sedative, Erythrina seeds, curare. Work on Erythrina alkaloids. Other chemists in pure research: Fernholz, Walti, Stiller. Microanalysis laboratory: Douglas Hayman. Klaus Unna. Development research: William Engels.
Merck: Vitamins 21
Randolph Major's foresight. John Keresztesy. Robert Williams: Thiamine (Vitamin B1). Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6). Stan Harris. Hiring people from Rockefeller. The structure of pyridoxine: UV spectroscopy; microanalysis; molecular formula; color reactions; total synthesis. Competition with Richard Kuhn on structure of B6. Adolph Butenandt. Testing for biological activity: Gladys and Oliver Emerson. Pantothenic acid: Roger Williams. Biotin: Vincent du Vigneaud. Desulfurization: Ralph Mozingo.
Structure of Penicillin 26
Molecular formula. Difference with physical chemists over basicity. The beta-lactam structure. Building up specialties: Microchemistry, microanalysis, hydrogenation. Desulfurization of penicillin. Chemists and research assistants working on biotin. Dorothea Heyl: First woman chemist Folkers hired. Getting involved in the penicillin project. Publication of the penicillin research. Synthesis of penicillin.
Merck, Research 30
Randolph Major: Contributions to Merck. Consultants. Cortisone. Streptomycin: Structure. Changing administrative structure: Response to changing research. Boyd Woodruff. Pure research at Merck in the early 1930s: "Blue Sky" research versus profit-oriented research. Vitamin research. Vitamin therapy.
Vitamin B12 34
Decision to use chromatography. Randolph West, clinician. Supply of liver residue from Henry Dakin. Excitement caused by first sample sent to Dr. West. Competitors in the search for the anti-pernicious anemia factor. Discovering Mary Shorb's assay for a factor in liver. Discovering B12 in a fermentation broth. Searching for a unique physical property for B12: Discovery and utilization of the red color. Excitement at the isolation of B12. Discovery that B12 was the animal growth factor. Threat to stop B12 project.
Merck: Research and Administration 40
Per Frolich. Randolph Major. Providing information to Glaxo on B12. Merger with Sharp & Dohme. James Sprague. Presidents of Merck: James Kerrigan, George Merck. Antibiotics. Vitamins: Lipoic acid, biotin. Mevalonic acid. Using new instruments to solve problems. Arthur Wagner. Writing research papers. Interview for presidency of MSDRL with Vannevar Bush. Response to Tishler heading MSDRL. Adding cyanide to B12 residues.
Coenzyme Q 49
Sample from David Green. Importance. Naming of coenzyme Q10. Goal of Co-Q research. Merck abandons Co-Q.
Presidency of American Chemical Society 51
Leaving Merck; Stanford Research Institute 52
Choice to leave Merck. Temptations of California. Positions at SRI. Accomplishments. Drawbacks.
University of Texas 53
Initial overture from Texas (1963). Negotiating position at Texas (1968). Formation of The Institute for Biomedical Research: Funding. Developing assay for EGOT. Proving a B6 deficiency for the carpal tunnel syndrome.
Peptide Hormones 56
Origin of work. Cy Bowers. Andrew Schally. Receiving first hormone samples. Solving the structure problem. LHRH inhibitors. Inhibitors for tumor growth factors.
Clinical co-workers. Approach to designing new drugs. Faithfulness in research. Co-Q10. Rewards. Presidential Medal: Recognition by Japanese "scientific sons." Difficulty in achieving research success: B6 and the carpal tunnel syndrome. New heart pump monitor. Karl Folkers Foundation for Biomedical and Clinical Research.