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Doolittle (Russell) Biochemistry Laboratory Records
MSS 0077  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The records of Dr. Russell F. Doolittle's biochemistry laboratory at the University of California, San Diego include notebooks related to the first determination of the complete sequence of amino acids in the human fibrinogen molecule, paper files for the amino acid sequences contained in the protein sequence data bank called NEWAT, as well as other research, correspondence and Protein Society files.
Background
Dr. Russell F. Doolittle, professor of biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego, headed a campus science laboratory that conducted research in the evolutionary and structural aspects of proteins. In 1979, Doolittle's laboratory successfully analyzed the structure of the amino acid sequence for the human fibrinogen molecule. During that study, ten to twenty postdoctoral, graduate and undergraduate researchers worked to pull apart and analyze the amino acid sequences in the alpha, beta and gamma chains of fibrinogen. Doolittle adapted a peptide synthesizing machine to break apart peptides and employed an amino acid analyzer to identify the sequences. The peptide synthesizer, which was the second peptide synthesizer ever constructed, was modeled on the prototype designed by Bruce Merrifield, then of Rockefeller University. Merrifield was later awarded the Nobel Prize for the design of the machine.
Extent
99.0 Linear feet (83 records cartons, 37 archives boxes, 16 oversize folders and 1 art bin item)
Restrictions
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.