Papers of John S. O'Brien, UC San Diego professor of neurosciences, internationally known for his discovery of the genetic
cause of Tay-Sachs disease and his development of screening tests for the disease.
John Smith O'Brien was born in 1934 in Rochester, New York. He attended Loyola University in Los Angeles, then earned his
M.S. in physiology (1958) and his M.D. (1960) at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. After graduating with academic honors,
he was a postdoctoral fellow at the City of Hope Medical Center at the Department of Biochemistry in Duarte, California. O'Brien
was recruited to the UC San Diego School of Medicine in 1968 after six years as a faculty member at the University of Southern