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Biographical Memoirs Volume 83 (2003) / Chapter Skim
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Sidney Udenfriend
Pages 270-299

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From page 271...
... At nights he hac! a position with the New York City Department of Health directing other graduate students in carrying out Wasserman tests on draftees for the Army.
From page 272...
... Ochoa left the department after one year, and Udenfriend changed mentors and continued his thesis work with Albert Keston. Together they developed the isotopederivative method for the assay of amino acids and for determining amino terminal residues in proteins (1949~.
From page 273...
... in the Laboratory of Chemical Pharmacology uncler his oIcl boss Broclie in the National Heart Institute, which started in Builcling 3 on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. By the early 1950s NIH hacl attracted a large group of scientists from GoIc~water Memorial Hospital, in aciclition to Shannon en cl Broclie.
From page 274...
... unfortunately the last time that an NIH builcling was namecl after a scientist en cl not a member of Congress. Of the more whimsical talks on this occasion Hans Stetten compared the Shannon building at NIH to the CNS with numerous afferent en cl efferent channels, which Shannon successfully controlled in spotting action potentials amidst
From page 275...
... laboratories en cl at the same time respecting their integrity en cl inclepenclence was Shannon's style, en cl therefore, "The style is the man." Hans Stetten later became the first chair of the Scientific Advisory Board to Uclenfriencl at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology. The transition of pharmacology, based on physiological evaluation, to a science basecl on quantitative analysis using exact colorimetric, fluorescence, or raclioactive-isotope methocis gave Broclie's laboratory the title " chemical pharmacology" en cl goes back in part to investigations by Uclenfriencl with Keston and Velick.
From page 276...
... as substrate, but upon purification the enzyme, callecl aromatic amino acid clecarboxylase, was shown to be able to clecarboxylate not only 5HTP and DOPA but also tryptophan, tyrosine, and phenylalanine, although to a lesser extent. By ~ 953 it became clear that serotonin biosynthesis involvecl two steps, hyciroxylation to 5HTP en cl clecarboxylation to serotonin.
From page 277...
... with quartz optics that not only extenclec! fluorescence assay into the ultraviolet region but also permittecl one to change both the activation en cl fluorescent wavelengths to achieve increaser!
From page 278...
... Continued studies in this area will yield additional information on the basis for mental illness. The aciage "Transmission is as important as discovery" couIcl be appliecl to the time that Uclenfriencl spent as a graduate student with Ochoa in the Department of Biochemistry at NYU Meclical School in 1946.
From page 279...
... Years later, in 1975, at a Collagen Symposium at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, Uclenfriencl fancily remembered these early events in the collagen saga that was completer! by Darwin Prockop, another of Uclenfriencl's students.
From page 280...
... to which we will return subsequently. There is a similarity of this Wieland-Udenfriend system with the requirements of proline hyciroxylase for alpha-ketoglutarate, ferrous ion, ascorbate en c!
From page 281...
... Using as substrate 5-tritio-tryptophan, 4-tritio-5-hydroxytryptophan was formed with little release of tritium into the meclium (1966,3~. To strengthen the case for a postulated arena-oxide intermecliate3 Donald farina, a chemist in Witkop's laboratory, synthesized benzene oxide, and naphthalene I,2-oxicle, using the synthetic methods of Emanuel Vogel, the pioneer in the arene oxide field.
From page 282...
... Greengard studied the uptake of tyrosine in the rat brain, a beginning that he gratefully remembered when he received the Nobel Prize in 2000 for extending this initial interest in the brain to highly refined receptor studies. The fact that Marshall Nirenberg, who received the Nobel Prize in 196S, remained at NIH after his initial experiments in the early ~ 960s that cracker!
From page 283...
... Weissbach remembers clearly when Uclenfriencl callecl a lab meeting to tell us that there was a chance that Nirenberg wouIcl leave NIH unless he hacl more space to continue his experiments: "We all agreed to cooperate, en cl soon thereafter Nirenberg's group mover! into the space we macle available.
From page 284...
... Unlike existing programs at most pharmaceutical companies this institute wouic! not be product driven but function much like the intramural NIH, with the scientists having direct If
From page 285...
... From this brief casual discussion at a social gathering arose the concept of the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology (RIMB)
From page 286...
... quickly. Within months Udenfriend obtained commitments from a number of young NIH scientists, including Herb and Arthur Weissbach, Nathan Brot, Sydney Spector, Sidney Pestka, Ronalcl Kaback, en cl Aaron Shatkin.
From page 287...
... to the National Academy of Sciences en cl at one point the RIMB hacl seven members of the Academy, inclucling Severo Ochoa, Bernard Horecker, en c! Allan Conney, among a staff of less than 30 scientists.
From page 288...
... always consiclerecl the in viva ramifications en cl attempted to unclerstancl how proline hyciroxylase was involvecl in collagen synthesis and how tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine beta
From page 289...
... During this period his love en cl knack of cleveloping assays lecl to the use of fluorescamine as a sensitive reagent for the assay of amino acids, peptizes, en c! proteins (1973~.
From page 290...
... - -a ~ - -a Like the other scientists at the RIMB, many of them younger aciclitions to the staff, he was looking forward to productive years at the Roche Institute. However, HoffmannLa Roche, although one of the major large pharmaceutical companies in the world, was facing financial constraints that were initially apparent after the expiration of the Valium patent in the early 19SOs.
From page 291...
... By December 1995, about a year after the initial announcement of the closing of the RIME, most of the institute staff hac! left.
From page 292...
... Uclenfriencl was an outstanding researcher en cl teacher but perhaps his greatest contribution to science was in establishing the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, en c! cluring his tenure as director, in creating one of the outstancling inclustry-supportecl biological research institutes in the woricI.
From page 293...
... at the institute, scatterer! throughout the worIcI, who remain to this clay a living reminder of the Roche Institute.
From page 294...
... Udenfriend leaves a scientific legacy that includes close to 500 publications en cl major contributions to the fielcis of analytical biochemistry, fluorescence, hyciroxylation reactions, serotonin en cl norepinephrine biosynthesis en cl metabolism, collagen biochemistry, encephalins, amino acid transport, and protein anchoring to membranes. Although research en cl not formal teaching was the focus of his career he trained clozens of postcloctoral fellows, through his university appointments at George Washington University, City College, en cl Columbia University, among others, he trained a large number of graduate students.
From page 295...
... was held atRochein April 1972 with Udenfriend presiding and pointing out that as early as 1947, E Boyland, who was present, had postulated arene oxides as reactive intermediates in the metabolism of polycylic aromatic substrates, an immense area of research for the carcinogenic effects of tobacco smoke and benzopyrene keeping investigators, such as Harry Gelboin (NIH)
From page 296...
... II. Products formed by reaction of substrates with ascorbic acid, ferrous ion and oxygen.
From page 297...
... Requirements for a-ketoglutarate, ferrous ion and ascorbate by collagen praline hydroxylase. Biochem.
From page 298...
... Simultaneous incorporation of i8O into succinate and hydroxyproline catalyzed by collagen praline hydroxylase. Biochem.


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