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Harvey Itano Papers
MSS 0226  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Biography
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Related Materials

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Harvey Itano Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0226
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla, California, 92093-0175
    Languages: English
    Physical Description: 3.8 Linear feet (10 archive boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1946 - 2000
    Abstract: Papers of Harvey Itano, American biochemist and pioneer in the study of sickle cell anemia hematology. The collection documents Itano's research on sickle cell anemia disease and his work in the field of molecular medicine focusing on understanding of genetic and molecular basis of blood pathologies and hereditary diseases.
    Creator: Itano, Harvey A.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The papers of Harvey Itano, an American biochemist, document his pioneering research on sickle cell anemia and his work in the field of molecular medicine focusing on understanding of genetic and molecular basis of blood pathologies and hereditary diseases. Well represented in the papers are his laboratory notebooks and reprints of his journal publications. Of special interest are notebooks documenting his electrophoresis experiments that led to the discovery of a slight difference in electrophoretic mobility between normal and sickle cell hemoglobins and allowed him to explain the cause of the disease on a molecular basis. Also included are correspondence files with his colleagues in the field of molecular medicine, especially letters from Linus Pauling dating from 1946 to 1986.
    The papers are arranged in five series: 1) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) NOTEBOOKS, 4) WRITINGS BY ITANO, and 5) MATERIALS RE: LINUS PAULING.
    SERIES 1) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS
    The MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS series comprises materials providing biographical information and contains curriculum vitae with a list of publications, biographical forms, and articles mentioning Itano's work.
    SERIES 2) CORRESPONDENCE
    The CORRESPONDENCE series documents Itano's communication with colleagues in the field of molecular medicine. The materials are arranged in two subseries: A) Chronological Files and B) Alphabetical Files.
    A) The Chronological Files (1969-1986) subseries primarily contains outgoing correspondence sent from Itano's office to his colleagues and professional journals.
    B) The Alphabetical Files (1946-2000) subseries contains correspondence documenting Itano's election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and American Chemical Society, nomination to Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Achievement Award, letters from Linus Pauling, and correspondence with scholars who wrote about Pauling.
    SERIES 3) NOTEBOOKS
    The NOTEBOOKS subseries documents Itano's laboratory experiments and is arranged in five subseries: A) Composition Notebooks (1948-1986), B) Electrophoresis Experiments (1952-1953), C) Green Notebooks (1954-1969), D) Black Notebooks (1959-1976), and E) Brown Notebooks (1961-1962).
    SERIES 4) WRITINGS BY ITANO
    The WRITINGS BY ITANO subseries comprises of reprints of his journal publications. Also included is a copy of his Ph.D. dissertation and a few typescripts.
    SERIES 5) MATERIALS RE: LINUS PAULING
    Announcements and broadsides of events dedicated to Linus Pauling and photocopies of newspaper and magazine articles discussing life and work of Pauling.

    Biography

    Harvey Akio Itano was born on November 3, 1920, in Sacramento, California, the eldest son of Masao and Sumako (Nakahara) Itano. Itano attended University of California, Berkeley, and graduated in 1942 with highest honors in chemistry. Due to President Roosevelt's anti-Japanese campaign following Pearl Harbor, Itano with his family was sent to the desolate Tule Lake camp. While in the camp, Itano kept applying to medical schools throughout the country. With assistance from the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council, Itano was released from the camp to attend St. Louis School of Medicine. In 1945, Itano received his M.D. and continued Ph.D. studies at the California Institute of Technology in biochemistry where he studied and worked with Linus Pauling.
    Itano is known for his pioneering work with sickle cell anemia disease, the topic assigned to him as a Ph.D. thesis topic by Linus Pauling. Sickle cell anemia disease is a hereditary disease commonly found among people of African descent. Itano tried several different physical and chemical methods to distinguish normal hemoglobin from sickle cell hemoglobin and finally he was able to demonstrate the difference by using electrophoresis. At that time, electrophoresis was a new technique that allowed researchers to separate molecules according to their electrical charge and Itano found a slight difference in electrophoretic mobility between normal and sickle cell hemoglobins. That led to understanding that patients with sickle cell anemia have a different type of hemoglobin than healthy individuals and thus a cause of a disease was traced to a molecule. Later, this inspired Vernon Ingram's seminal discovery of a single amino acid difference between normal and sickle cell hemoglobin and allowed him to explain a hemoglobin abnormality by an alteration in genes. After completing the project, Itano continued to work in the field of molecular medicine and published extensively about genetic and molecular basis of other blood pathologies and hereditary diseases.
    Itano was awarded Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry (1954) and Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Achievement Award (1972) for his pioneering work on sickle cell anemia disease. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (1979), American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1998), American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biochemistry Society (London), Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, and Alpha Omega Alpha.
    Itano is professor emeritus in the Department of Pathology at UCSD and resides in La Jolla, California.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Preferred Citation

    Harvey Itano Papers, MSS 226. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 2004

    Related Materials

    Harvey Itano Personal Correspondence & Memorabilia, MSS 755. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Itano, Harvey A. -- Archives
    Pauling, Linus, 1901-1994 -- Correspondence
    Biochemistry