Title and Description Page
Family Background and Early Education in Argentina 1
Parents' Italian and immigrant backgrounds. Father's work as craftsman and night watchman in Buenos Aires. Early Argentinean education in vocational school for bookkeeping/accounting. Early accounting work and night school to prepare for university education in chemistry.
University Education 3
Supporting self through accounting work at Argentina's Department of Energy. Interests in biology and chemistry. Curriculum and broad scientific training at the University of Buenos Aires. Ph.D. scholarship through The Squibb Institute. Political and social climate in Argentina and its effects on educational system and Squibb. Research with V. Deulofeu on carbohydrates. Relationship with Deulofeu.
Early Career at The Squibb Institute for Medical Research, Argentina 6
Accepting job in 1957. Work 1957 to 1960, looking for new alkaloids. Offer to work for Squibb, New Jersey, United States. Social factors influencing decision to decline British Council scholarship in favor of U.S. job.
Early Work at The Squibb Institute for Medical Research, New Jersey 8
Salary and social and language adjustments in the U.S. Peptide chemistry group. Differences in lab work in Argentina vs. U.S. and peptides vs. other chemistry. Interactions with biologists. Relations with group head M. Bodanszky and co-authoring Peptide Synthesis. Advancing in peptide synthesis field. Promotion to group head as Bodanszky departs for academic career. Adjusting to U.S. and decision to reject 1969 offer to teach at University of Buenos Aires. Changes in pharmaceutical industry, work environment, and peptide field across career. Contributions of S. Lande and B. Merrifield to peptide field and solid phase synthesis. First work synthesizing a nonapeptide. Company support for publishing.
Later Work at Squibb 18
Origins of mid-1960s position in gastrointestinal hormone group and association with E. F. Sabo. Work on secretin synthesis with Sabo and Bodanszky. Step-wise and fragment condensation approaches. E. Sabo's background and importance. Work to synthesize and develop synthetic cholecystokinin hormone that induces the gallbladder to contract, and problems developing formulation. Importance of Z. Horovitz and internal support for ideas.
Work on Captopril 26
Changes in Squibb research agenda, 1967, as A. D. Welch becomes president. Origins of interest in peptidase inhibitors and natural products research. Acquiring venom for isolation of enzyme inhibitors. Isolating phospholipase inhibitor. Learning to isolate and sequence peptides in competition with L. Greene and S. Ferreira at Brookhaven National Laboratories. Reasons for official end and unofficial continuation of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) work. Interactions with D. Cushman, paper by L. D. Byers and R. Wolfenden, and work to make new type of ACE inhibitor. Problems with oral absorption. Synthesis of sulfhydryl compound and increase in activity. Internal conflicts regarding publication of captopril discovery. Human studies in Lausanne, Switzerland, and related publications. Reaction and competition from Merck. Follow-up research. Formation of captopril task force and captopril analog work. Clinical study problems, FDA restrictive use approval in 1982. New human studies and FDA unrestricted use approval, 1984. Phosphorous-containing ACE inhibitor approval.
Reflections on Chemistry Research and Career 39
Promotions through research management. Discussion of successful researchers vs. successful managers, and related financial rewards. Promotion to associate director and end of in-lab work. U.S. vs. German patent system. Need for collaboration between biologists and chemists, and influence of organizational structures. Interactions between industrial and academic research. Academics as sources of new ideas. Rational drug design. Role of computational chemistry in drug design. Industry-wide changes in R&D and emphasis on cellular and molecular targets. Meaning of winning Perkin Medal and of being a chemist. Dedication of Squibb's M. A. Ondetti Laboratories, and feelings about leadership.