Beadle, George Wells, 1903-1989

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Chemist, University president.

From the description of Reminiscences of George Wells Beadle : oral history, 1963. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122608221

George Wells Beadle, professor, university administrator.

From the guide to the Beadle, George Wells. Papers, 1908-1981, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

Chancellor, University of Chicago, 1961; President, 1961-1968; professor of biology, 1961-1969; William E. Wrather Professor of Biology, 1969-1973.

From the description of Papers, 1961-1978 (inclusive). (University of Chicago Library). WorldCat record id: 52246108

George Wells Beadle was born on a farm near Wahoo, Nebraska, on 22 October 1903. He was the son of Chauncey Elmer and Hattie (Albro) Beadle. He received his B.S. (1926) and M.S. (1927) from the University of Nebraska. He earned a Ph.D. (1931) in cytogenetics and the origin of corn from Cornell University.

He worked in the Biology Division of the California Institute of Technology as a National Research Council Fellow and Instructor of Biology (1931-1936); he also pursued genetic and biochemical studies in Paris (1935). He was Assistant Professor of Biology (1936-1937) at Harvard University prior to being appointed Professor of Biology (Genetics) (1937-1946) at Stanford University. He then returned to the California Institute of Technology where he was Professor and Chairman (1946-1961) of the Biology Division. He was appointed President (1961-1968) at the University of Chicago; in 1968 he retired as President Emeritus. On retirement, he resumed his early interest in the origin of corn.

Beadle received numerous awards and honors for his work. For his work with Edward L. Tatum on the biochemistry of the genetics of the fungus Neurospora, Beadle was awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine (1958), an award he shared with Tatum and with Tatum's student Joshua Lederberg. His other awards include the Lasker Award of the American Public Health Association (1950), the Dyer Award (1951), the Albert Einstein Commemorative Award in Science (1958), the National Award of the American Cancer Society (1959), and the Kimber Genetics Award of the National Academy of Sciences (1960), and the Thomas Hunt Morgan medal (1984). He was also given honorary doctorates from more than thirty universities.

Beadle married Marion Cecile Hill in 1928; they divorced in 1953. In 1953, he married Muriel Barnett with whom he collaborated on the book The Language of Life: An Introduction to the Science of Genetics. He had one son, David, from his first marriage, and a stepson, Redmond James Barnett.

From the description of Papers, 1903-1982. (Iowa State University). WorldCat record id: 192101296

Max Bergmann (February 12, 1886-November 7, 1944) was a biochemist, whose research proved key for the study of biochemical processes. His work on peptide synthesis and protein splitting provided a starting point for modern protein chemistry and the study of enzyme-substrate interactions. He is most noted for developing the carbobenzoxy protecting group, for the synthesis of oligopeptides, using any amino acid in any sequence. He co-authored with his colleague Joseph S. Fruton (1912-2007, APS 1967) several reviews in protein and enzyme chemistry, notably “Proteolytic Enzymes,” in the Annual Review of Biochemistry 10 (1941): 31-46 and “The Specificity of Proteinases,” in Advances in Enzymology 1 (1941): 63-98.

Bergmann was born in Fürth, Germany, the son of a coal merchant named Solomon Bergmann and his wife Rosalie Stettauer. He entered the University of Munich, initially interested in botany, but shifted to chemistry, after being convinced that biological questions could only be answered by the methods of organic chemistry. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1907, and afterward became a student of Emil Fischer (1838-1914, APS 1909), the foremost protein and carbohydrate chemist of the day at the University of Berlin. In 1911 Bergmann received a Ph.D. with a dissertation on acyl polysulfides and became Fischer’s research assistant. In 1912 Bergmann married Emmy Miriam Grunwald with whom he had two children. The marriage ended in divorce, and he remarried Martha Suter in 1926. During World War I Bergmann was exempted from military service because of his research work with Fischer. While working with Fischer, Bergmann made important contributions to carbohydrate, lipid, tannin and amino acid chemistry, developing new methods for the preparation of α-monoglycerides. In 1920 Bergmann was appointed Privatdozent at the University of Berlin and head of the chemistry department at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Textile Research.

Bergmann left the University of Berlin in 1921 to become the director of the new Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Leather Research and Professor of chemistry at the Dresden Technical University. At Dresden, Bergmann created one of the world’s leading laboratories for the study of protein chemistry. After Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, Bergmann, a Jew, emigrated to the United States. From 1934 until his death Bergmann was affiliated with the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York.

Bergmann represents the tradition of German organic chemistry applied to biological problems. Working with his mentor Fischer, who sought effective methods to separate and identify amino acids, and who identified the peptide bond as the structure that connects amino acids, Bergmann made many basic contributions to protein and amino acid chemistry. In Dresden he extended Fischer’s work of separating and identifying the amino acid constituents of proteins. In order to establish the conjecture of some protein chemists that proteins were, in fact, polypeptides, containing thousands of amino acids, Bergmann developed new methods of peptide synthesis. The most important discovery came in 1932, when he and his colleague Leonidas Zervas created the carbobenzoxy method allowing them to use any amino acid in any sequence to produce peptides and polypeptides that closely resembled naturally occurring proteins.

Bergmann continued this work in New York at the Rockefeller Institute, stressing two new lines of research: (1) expanding the carbobenzoxy method to form peptides that could serve as substrates for protein-splitting enzymes, and (2) unraveling the total structure of proteins. After becoming head of the chemistry laboratory at the Rockefeller Institute in 1937, Bergmann recruited several talented biochemists. Along with his colleague Joseph Fruton, he discovered the first synthetic peptide substrates for which several enzymes were catalysts. When they demonstrated that the enzyme pepsin was able to catalyze the hydrolysis of synthetic peptides, they implicated the peptide bond in protein structure, but also provided the first clear evidence that specific enzymes split peptides at exact linkages in the chain. Their discovery cleared the path for study of how enzymes act as catalysts for every biological function.

Bergmann’s methods of analysis and synthesis proved incapable of solving the riddle of protein structure. He applied methods for separation and quantitative analysis to every amino acid in a protein in an attempt to establish their sequence in the polypeptide chain. In 1938 he proposed a theory of the systematic recurrence in the location of every amino acid residue in the peptide chain of a protein. However, his hypothesis proved an oversimplification. Two biochemists in his working group, Standford Moore and William Stein, showed him that the analytical data did not support his “periodic theory,” and Bergmann was forced to abandon it. Moore and Stein later collaborated in developing novel methods for quantitative analysis of amino acids in protein hydrolysates, methods they perfected after World War II. By 1949 it was possible to determine the order of the links of each amino acid in a protein. The Englishman Frederick Sanger was the first to establish the complete amino acid sequence in a protein, the hormone insulin. Moore and Stein followed by identifying the sequence of a more complex protein, the enzyme ribonuclease.

Bergman died of cancer in New York City on November 7, 1944. His mastery of peptide synthesis and protein splitting constituted the beginnings of modern protein chemistry. Bringing to the United States a background in German organic chemistry, he laid the foundations for the work of others, who would fulfill Bergmann’s goal of understanding and mapping the molecular structure of proteins and enzymes. His research colleagues found him a supportive leader and collaborator. He coauthored a number of publications with other members of his research group.

From the guide to the Max Bergmann papers, [ca. 1930]-1945, 1930-1945, (American Philosophical Society)

Archival Resources
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creatorOf Records of the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture. 1794 - 2003. Public Information and Training Motion Picture and Television Productions. 1990 - 1995. Genetics
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referencedIn University of Chicago. Board of Trustees. Records, 1950-1977. University of Chicago Library
creatorOf Dodge, Bernard Ogilvie, 1872-1960. Bernard Ogilvie Dodge records 1901-1957. New York Botanical Garden, The LuEsther T. Mertz Library
referencedIn Curt Stern Papers, 1907-1981 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Stern, Curt, 1902-1981. Papers, [ca. 1920]-1980. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Hutchinson, William Thomas. Papers, 1912-1976 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn University of Chicago. Office of the President. Beadle Administration. Records, 1916-1968 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn University of Chicago. Office of the President. University of Chicago Office of the President, Beadle Administration records 1916-1968 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
referencedIn William Shockley and eugenics collection, 1965-1970 Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers, 1910-1994 (bulk 1922-1991) Oregon State University The Valley Library, Special Collections
referencedIn Lee A. DuBridge papers, 1932-1986 California Institute of Technology. Archives.
referencedIn Spicer, W. E. (William E.),. William Shockley and eugenics collection, 1965-1970. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn California Institute of Technology. Division of Biology. Papers, 1936-1984. California Institute of Technology, Caltech Library
creatorOf Dodge, Bernard Ogilvie, 1872-1960. Bernard Ogilvie Dodge records, 1901-1957. New York State Historical Documents
referencedIn McClintock, Barbara, 1902-1992. Papers, 1927-1991. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Brauer, Jerald. Papers, 1925-1999 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Robbins, William Jacob, 1890-1978. Papers, 1898-1974. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Beadle, George Wells. Papers, 1908-1981 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Schultz, Jack, 1904?-1971. Papers, 1920-1971. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. 1921 - 2008. Audio Recordings. 1945 - 1965. Atomic age answers. No. 19
referencedIn Roe, Anne, 1904-1991. Papers, 1949-1971 (bulk). American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Max Bergmann papers, [ca. 1930]-1945, 1930-1945 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Barbara McClintock Papers, 1927-1991 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Jack Schultz papers, 1920-1971, 1920-1971 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Hutchinson, William T. (William Thomas), 1895-1976. Papers, 1912-1976 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Anne Roe papers, 1949-1974 (bulk), 1949-1974 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Beadle, George Wells, 1903-1989. Letter. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
referencedIn DuBridge, Lee A. (Lee Alvin), 1901-1994. Papers, 1932-1986. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Bergmann, M. (Max), 1886-1944. Papers, [ca. 1930]-1945. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Norman Wait Harris Lecture Series, 1906-2007 Northwestern University Archives
referencedIn University of Chicago Service League. Records, 1897-2007 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
creatorOf Beadle, George Wells, 1903-1989. Papers, 1961-1978 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
creatorOf Beadle, George Wells, 1903-1989. Reminiscences of George Wells Beadle : oral history, 1963. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Harlan, Jack R. (Jack Rodney). Jack R. and Harry V. Harlan papers, 1905-1985. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
referencedIn Brauer, Jerald C. Jerald Brauer papers, 1925-1999 (inclusive) University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Alexander Hollaender Papers, 1955-1974 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, 1668-1983, Bulk, 1750-1850, 1668-1983 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn University of Chicago. Service League. Records, 1897-1994. University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Harris, Norman Wait, 1846-1916. Norman Wait Harris Memorial Foundation lectures records, 1906-1972. Northwestern University
creatorOf Beadle, George Wells, 1903-1989. Papers, 1903-1982. Iowa State University, Parks Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Agassiz, Louis, 1807-1873 person
associatedWith Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820 person
associatedWith Bass, Lawrence W., (Lawrence Wade), 1898- person
associatedWith Beadle, Muriel person
associatedWith Beadle, Muriel. person
associatedWith Bergmann, M. (Max), 1886-1944. person
associatedWith Boas, Franz, 1858-1942 person
associatedWith Brauer, Jerald C. person
associatedWith California Institute of Technology. Division of Biology. corporateBody
associatedWith Cattell, Jacques, 1902-1960 person
associatedWith Cattell, James McKeen, 1860-1944 person
associatedWith Cohn, Alfred E., (Alfred Einstein), 1879-1957 person
associatedWith Cooper, Thomas, 1759-1839 person
associatedWith Coues, Elliott, 1842-1899 person
associatedWith Cuvier, Georges, Baron, 1769-1832 person
associatedWith Dakin, H. D., (Henry Drysdale), 1880-1952 person
associatedWith Darlington, William, 1782-1863 person
associatedWith Dibner, Bern, person
associatedWith Dodge, Bernard Ogilvie, 1872-1960. person
associatedWith Dubos, René J. (René Jules), 1901- person
associatedWith DuBridge, Lee A. (Lee Alvin), 1901-1994. person
associatedWith Edison, Thomas A., (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931 person
associatedWith Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955 person
associatedWith Everett, Edward, 1794-1865 person
associatedWith Fitch, John person
associatedWith Flexner, Simon, 1863-1946 person
associatedWith Genth, F. A., (Frederick Augustus), 1820-1893 person
associatedWith Gray, Asa, 1810-1888 person
associatedWith Greeley, Horace, 1811-1872 person
associatedWith György, Paul, b. 1893 person
associatedWith Harding, Warren G. person
correspondedWith Harlan, Jack R. (Jack Rodney) person
associatedWith Harris, Norman Wait, 1846-1916. person
associatedWith Hollaender, Alexander, 1898-1986. person
associatedWith Hutchinson, William T. (William Thomas), 1895-1976. person
associatedWith Landsteiner, Karl, 1868-1943 person
associatedWith Langmuir, Irving, 1881-1957 person
associatedWith Loewi, Otto, 1873-1961 person
associatedWith MacInnes, Duncan Arthur, 1885-1965 person
associatedWith McClintock, Barbara, 1902-1992. person
associatedWith Newcomb, Simon person
associatedWith Newton, Isaac, Sir, 1642-1727 person
associatedWith Northrop, John Howard, 1891-1987 person
associatedWith Osterhout, W. J. V., (Winthrop John Van Leuven), 1871-1964 person
associatedWith Pauling, Ava Helen person
associatedWith Pauling, Linus Carl, 1901- person
associatedWith Poinsett, Joel Roberts, 1779-1851 person
associatedWith Rittenhouse, David, 1732-1796 person
associatedWith Robbins, William Jacob, 1890-1978. person
associatedWith Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. corporateBody
associatedWith Roe, Anne, 1904-1991. person
associatedWith Rous, Peyton, 1879-1970 person
associatedWith Rush, Benjamin, 1746-1813 person
associatedWith Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, 1793-1864 person
associatedWith Schultz, Jack, 1904?-1971. person
associatedWith Seybert, Adam, 1773-1825 person
associatedWith Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866 person
associatedWith Spicer, W. E. (William E.), person
associatedWith Spicer, William E., collector. person
associatedWith Stern, Curt, 1902-1981. person
associatedWith Stevens, Henry person
associatedWith Sully, Thomas, 1783-1872 person
associatedWith Thomson, Charles, 1729-1824 person
associatedWith Uber, Fred Murray, 1905- person
associatedWith University of Chicago corporateBody
associatedWith University of Chicago. Board of Trustees. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Chicago. Office of the President. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Chicago. Service League. corporateBody
associatedWith Urey, Harold Clayton, 1893-1981 person
associatedWith Van Slyke, Donald Dexter, 1883-1971 person
associatedWith Waksman, Selman A., (Selman Abraham), 1888-1973 person
associatedWith Waterton, Charles, 1782-1865 person
associatedWith Wayne, Anthony person
associatedWith Weaver, Warren, 1894-1978 person
associatedWith Zuckerman, Harriet A., person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Central America
Subject
Nobel prizes
Teosinte--Research
Scientists--United States
Science--Societies, etc
Nobel Prize winners--Biography
Chemists--Interviews
Corn--Origin--Research
Political refugees
Scientists, Refugee
Research
College presidents--Biography
Biochemistry--United States
Grasses--Research
Chemistry--United States
College presidents--Interviews
Jewish scientists
Occupation
Interviews
Biochemists--United States
Function

Person

Birth 1903-10-22

Death 1989-06-09

Americans

English

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