Join us for Peter Manu's keynote address at the New York Academy of Medicine Third Annual History Night.
The Birth of Cell Biology: George E. Palade at Rockefeller Institution, 1947-1953.
The Romanian anatomist George E. Palade (1912-2008) arrived in New York in 1946. A chance encounter with Albert Claude led a few months later to his appointment as a volunteer research assistant at the Rockefeller Institution, where he learned ultracentrifugation and cell fractionation from Claude and George Hogeboom. The group disbanded after Claude left for his native Belgium and Hogeboom transferred to the National Cancer Institute in 1948. During the same year, the Rockefeller Institution purchased its first electron microscope and Palade joined Keith Porter in using the instrument for the next decade. A mano a mano featuring Palade and Porter unfolded and ended with Palade’s discovery of the ultrastructural and functional properties of ribosomes in 1951-1955. The breakthrough signaled the birth of cell biology and was rewarded with the Nobel Prize in 1974.
The presentation will follow this fascinating chapter of the history of science through administrative and scientific records obtained by us from the Rockefeller Archive, Sleepy Hollow, NY. Palade’s rapid success appears to related to the work of a brilliant, uninhibited mind; the post-war support, through the Committee of Growth set up by the National Academy of Sciences, for technological innovation; the traditions of unrestricted autonomy and acclaim for excellence that permeated the Rockefeller Institution; and friendly competition within the research team.
Peter Manu, MD, FACP
Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry
Hofstra North Shore – Long island Jewish School of Medicine
Adjunct Professor of Clinical Medicine, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Albert Einstein College of Medicine