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Edward Shorter "The Health Century" Interview Collection 1986-1987
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The collection consists of unstructured interviews conducted by Edward Shorter in preparation for his book The Health Century (1987). Interviewees include industry representatives from companies such as Merck, Pfizer, and Bristol-Myers, and NIH institute leaders. The NIH interviewees explore the early history of NIH and its predecessors the Hygienic Laboratory and Bureau of Biologics; early leaders at NIH, their personalities, and leadership qualities; scientific controversies such as the Cutter incident and SV40 and their impact on NIH; changing nature of scientific research at NIH; recruiting and training young scientists; important contemporary research such as AIDS and cancer drugs. The corporate interviewees explore more technical aspects of drug production; the history and importance of specific drugs to their corporations; the nature of risk taking and leadership needed to support basic research in a corporate environment; how success and failures shape the drug industry; regulatory and patent environments; recruiting and training young scientists.

Shorter's book explores the incredible progress of medical science since 1945 with the U.S. leading the advance. The book contends that America's world predominance in medical research was the result of a unique cooperative synergy between academic medicine, private sector research, and the NIH. At the time, Shorter was part of the faculty at the University of Toronto. The book project was part of a larger NIH centennial project, the records of which HMD possesses in a separate collection.

Institution: Pfizer. Topics: entering into the field of recombinant DNA research and molecular genetics; recombinant techniques used in oncology; oncogenes; research efforts; using small biotechnology companies as part of research strategy; tPA processing technique for generating protein treatments; strategic drug production directions; developing a competitive edge; in-house scientific culture; benefits of being a multi-national organization; understanding patient/physician and basic science needs; different focuses/importance of British pharmacology versus work being done in the U.S.

Institution: NIH/NCI; Bristol-Myers. Topics: Clinical trials development; MOPP/POPP Hodgkin's disease treatments; leukemia; chemotherapy; Vincent DeVita; Gordon Zubrod; Howard Skipper; cell kill hypothesis; Tom Frei and Jay Freireich; NCI cancer screening program; Platinol; leadership figures; coming to Bristol-Myers; commercial industry research approach; entry into biotechnology; interferon failure; non-approved indicator drug use.

Institution: NIH/NIAID. Topics: immunology as a recent newcomer within NIH 1960s-1970s; historical connections between NYU and NIH, Shannon, Benacerraff and predecessors; coming to NIH after Jonestown Flood; training program evaluation; Maurice Landy; reasons for growth of immunology at NIH since 1972; four areas of interest: basic immunobiology, genetics and transplantation, allergic diseases/hypersensitivity responses, immunodeficiency and autoimmune diseases; senescence; shift from humeral immunity to cellular immunity; T and B receptor cell discoveries; transplantation; histocompatibility; Zinkernagel-Doherty concept; isolating and characterizing T cell receptor; hybridomic technology; monoclonal antibodies; custom designing therapies; AIDS research

Institution: NIH/NCI. Topics: immunologists as musicians; coming to NIH, Dave Rall, pharmacology; Hodgkin's disease research; role in war on cancer; Yarborough Commission; Mary Lasker influence; developing research agendas, Friday seminars, oncogenes, molecular biology, supercomputers; an independent NCI; entrepreneurial corporate culture of NCI; personal success developing Hodgkin's disease therapy; human tumor cell kinetic studies ; MOMP chemotherapy program; Freireich's influence; adjuvant therapy

Institution: NIH/NCI. Topics: Initial work at Bureau of Biologics and personalities; influenza; SV40; polio vaccine; Cutter scandal; William Sebrell, James Shannon, Joseph Smadel; holding back her polio vaccine research; move to cancer; Sarah Stewart; family and educational background; University of Cincinnati; Carville Leprasorium; starting at Hygienic Laboratory in 1937; tumor virology work with Stewart, Ludwig Gross; SV40 Sabin vaccine controversy again; William Sebrell's leadership; war on cancer; gender discrimination; culture of lab work

Institution: Schering-Plough. Topics: Interferon development, failures and prospects, leading Schering into 21st century biotechnology; incorporating new science into traditional pharmaceutical business practices; organizational change; long range planning; acquiring DNAX; old management style versus the new; impact of Robert Luciano; coming to Schering; buying Biogen and getting Inerferon; why devoted so much to developing Interferon, its strategic role in transforming the company; tour and narration/descriptions of production facility and production processes;

Institution: NIH/NIAID. Topics: beginnings of the AIDS crisis; immunology; modernizing basic and clinical research approach; inter-institute cooperation; personal relationships; family life; work habits; human B cell cycle; AIDS treatment drug testing; AZT

Institution: NIH/NIAID/Laboratory of Clinical Investigation. Topics: educational background; comparing British and American immunology status in 1960s and in 1986; area of specialty: immune complexes and how they work, immune complex disease, compliment system, lupus, nephritis; NIH's background being modeled after Rockefeller Institute; need for combining clinical practice and research; NIAID lab organizational structure, he's administratively responsible for the ward; current clinical protocols for their AIDS patients; personal impact from treating AIDS patients, dedication and bravery of nursing staff, traits of the PHS worker; new basic science investment

Institution: Ortho Pharmaceutical. Topics: HIV/AIDS treatment; Thymopentin; Thymopoietin; OKT-3; monoclonals; research philosophies NIH vs. industry; problems inherent with drug development; tenure at Johnson & Johnson, Sloan-Kettering; immunobiology

Institution: NIH/NHLBI/OD.Division of Research Grants. Topics: Personal background, eduction, PHS Commissioned Corps; starting at NIH and heart institute in extramural research and training grants, working with Paul Dudley White and his personality, James Shannon personality; biggest challenges and opportunities for cardiology in 1955, Shannon-Hill-Lasker-Fogarty power nexus, Mark Lasker's role and influence; biggest breakthrough's at NHI during 1950s, pharmacologic therapy, hypertension drugs, cardiac surgery; greater investment in basic research, bridging basic research with clinical practice; NIH skill at recruiting best of young scientists and training rigor; personal training and research on arteriosclerosis, Irving Page, failed national diet heart study, coordinated work with food industry to change fat and lipid make-up of commercial food products, can diet modification change heart health; rapid decrease in incidence of heart disease and stroke.

Institution: Merck. Topics: Beginnings with Squibb; moving to Walter Reed with Joseph Smadel; desire to focus on vaccine research, not industry; discovering SV40 in Salk Polio vaccine at Merck; Bernice Eddy's work; discovery of adenovirus, developing a vaccine, and beneficial impact for the military; tumors as cancer causing agents; why he came to Merck, Vannevar Bush, solving 1957 Asian influenza pandemic, becoming "Mr. Vaccine"; contributions to basic science at Merck, vaccine's he developed there, first purification of interferon through viral induction, abandoning interferon research, cancer immunology and etiology, relationship with NIH cancer programs; discovery of oncogenes as new era of modern science, molecular biology, genetics; pioneering polysaccharide vaccines;

Institution: NIH/NIGMS. Topics: Personal and educational background; difficulties of Jewish woman getting into medical school; experiences at Tulane; motivations and influences for becoming a pathologist; husband's entry into PHS as life-changing event, coming to NIH to do monkey brain pathology after Salk polio vaccine Cutter Incident, developing new polio vaccine testing standards; SV40, Bernice Eddy and Sarah Stewart; turn to viral oncology; moving between FDA and NIH and becoming an administrator; the spirit of NIH; James Shannon and NIH growth; university/NIH researcher recruiting pipelines; personalities at start of NCI; overview of NIGMS programs, as only an extramural operation;

Institution: Pfizer. Topics: biotechnology/bioengineering; fermentation; discovery of non-steroid anti-inflammatories; research approaches to invention; changing incentives for healthcare delivery and impact on new drug research; industry consolidation

Institution: Merck. Topics: Mevastatin/ML-236B; Sankyo Co.; Merck's unique dog model; fermentation techniques; discovering Lovastatin; Compactin problem disputes at Sankyo, FDA approval

Institution: CEO of Schering-Plough. Topics: Biogen/DNAX acquisitions and workforce integration; interferon development and production; patent agreement with Roche; importance of investment in research; pressure on research divisions; leadership style

Topic: Shorter led on guided tour of labs used to manufacture monoclonal antibodies, thymopoietin, and OKT3; descriptions of equipment, processes, chemistry

Institution: NIH/NIAID. Topics: Educational background; coming to NIH from NYU in 1968 with Benacerraff; how immunology is taught; influence of NYU programs and people associated with its importance: McCarty, McCloud, Thomas, Stetson, Green; Benacerraff's lab coming to NIH; Michael Heidelberger; importance of music and NYU lunches for collaboration; importance of professional meetings, events from 1960s and 1970s Cold Spring Harbor and International Congress of Immunology meetings, Niels Jerne, Burnett; Paul's scientific work at NYU: T cell recognition of antigens, cellular collaboration in the immune system, T-cell and B-cell histocompatibility; Benacerraff's personality and background ,working in his lab; major developments in immunology: gene cloning, receptor cells; how NIH labs operate; current research with B lymphocytes; importance of basic science; NIH bureaucracy vs. academic world; recruiting and retaining young scientists

Institution: NIH/NCI. Topics: Personal background; wanting to be a scientist; joining PHS/going to medical school during Korean War,always wanting to join NIH and finally got a position at NCI in 1955; diagnostic pathology resident at Clinical Center and viral cancer/tumor pathology research; working with Sara Stewart and polyoma virus, SV40; general status of viral theories of carcinogenesis at NCI; importance of introducing the inbred mouse model; Stewart and Ludwig Gross mouse leukemia virus transmission discoveries; Stewart's personality, scientific acumen and bona fides; Bernice Eddy; polyoma virus controversy; Hilleman and Sweet at Merck, Sharpe and Dohme; competition with pharmaceutical companies, corporate research profiles and leadership of Roche, Merck, Squibb and their contributions to basic research; NYU's influence on history of modern biochemistry, Benacerraff, Heppel, Ira green, Bill Poland, Kornberg; NIH as a world center of virology; Huebner, Ender, Habel and how their labs operated, big vs. small science; rise of cancer immunology and molecular genetics; early history of NIH beginnings, Sebrell, Smadel, Shannon, Dyer; Salk vaccine controversy and NIH purge; NIH stewardship and growth under Shannon, Lister Hill, John Fogarty; impact of politically mandated or targeted research such as war on cancer; AIDS research

Institution: University of Cincinnati. Topics: How NIH became involved in polio research; 1950s Bureau of Biologics as controller of vaccine quality, Dyer wanting to keep polio research at National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis; political influence of Basil O'Connor wanting to get Salk vaccine to the public as soon as possible, raised expectations led to cutting corners, insufficient experiment data; Eddy reported finding live virus in Cutter monkeys; Salk asking his vaccine to be destroyed, lack of large-scale testing; Salk, WHO, and Soviet Union testing in 1959-1960; Lederle Laboratories vaccine testing with PAHO, their claims that it was successful; Salk's independent tests showed it was improperly attenuated; compromise made, setting production standards, getting vaccine produced by Pfizer; SV40 discovery by Hilleman at Merck, discussions about it within Division of Biological Standards; relationship with James Shannon and his personality; influence of the Lasker Foundation, Alice Fordyce

Institution: NIH/NCI. Topics: Educational background in microbiology, immunology; recruited to NIH by John Maloney in 1973, cancer virus program; reverse transcriptase research; looking for viruses in human cancer; downfall of the virus cancer program; Bob Gallo; return to animal models; rise of monoclonal antibodies and hybridoma technology; Hilary Koprowski influence on his work; how his lab started using biopsied breast cancer tissue instead of cultured tissue as revolutionary; relationship with Malloy pharmaceuticals company, aiding their commercial ability to make biologicals, interactions between NIH and private industry; legal ability to consult with private industry; people who've left NIH and why; why he stays at NIH, still the center of power in the biomedical community; NIH bureaucracy, budget, retaining young scientists

Institution: Schering-Plough. Topics: Interferon development; difference between working at Schering and NIH; FDA drug approval process, regulatory environment for risk-taking corporate industry; forecasting future applications for Inteferon, monoclonal antibodies; Schering's anti-cancer drug program, lymphokines; migration of young scientists from NIH to industry instead of academia; technicalities of production and patenting and speed to market competition; comparisons with Hoffman-La Roche; importance and quality of Schering's research operations; AIDS drug research, AZT, collaborations with NIH; history and development of alpha interferons, Spiegel/Stupak partnership, management tensions; competition between industry, NIH, academia

Institution: Hoffman-La Roche. Topics: 1930s educational background, studying in Vienna and Zurich; last visit to Poland Christmas 1938; Nazi occupation, anti-semitism, violence against him and his family in Krakow, gets job at La Roche in Basel 1940; Barrell and Bobst leadership at La Roche; first research projects, riboflavin, Xenical; move to Valium started with benzodiazepines and other compounds similar to chlorpromazine; clidinium bromide, self-testing at home; benzodiazepine work going nowhere but one test compound later showed tranquilizing effects, by accident turned out to be a new compound -- Valium; synthesizing analogs Librium and Diazepam and their chemistry; corporate climate after valium discovery; Mogadon, Klonopin; Chlorpromazine and antipsychotics; his unorthodox testing processes; cultural impact of valium; more Nazi impact on family, concentration camps, hiding with Catholic friends, fleeing Poland

Institution: NIH. Topics: Educational background; work at Columbia University, influence of German refugee biochemists and German research traditions, Hans Clarke; circle of New York institutions: Rockefeller, NYU, Cornell, Columbia; coming to NIDDK in 1959, research atmosphere of the time, how the labs operated; Arthur Kornberg, Leon Heppell, Bernard Horecker; Marshall Nirenberg and Severo Ochoa DNA race, energized entire campus, wasn't just Nirenberg's lab doing all the work; his work at Columbia with radio-labeling protein, Schoenheimer and manic depression; labs at NIH doing the most important immunologic work: Gallo (interleukin 2, AIDS); Waldmann (anti-Tac); NIH's Nobel Prize history; Carleton Gajdusek's research; William Sebrell and Joseph Golderberger and origins of NIH; Salk polio vaccine and SV40 controversies, Bernice Eddy, Joseph Smadel, Ruth Kirschstein; influence of Mary Lasker, Alice Fordyce, Margaret Sanger; testifying before Congress; James Shannon's personality and political skills; opinion of the war on cancer, strategy of targeted research programs; impact of AIDS; family genealogy; current work starting the NIH museum and history office

Institution: Merck. Topics: ACE inhibitors, Vasotec; chemistry of thiol compounds; renin angiotensin system; historical importance of 1975 Gravas paper to hypertension research; Enalapril vs. Captopril, market share competition with Squibb; Sweet's history in cardiovascular field at Merck, Cleveland Clinic; Merck's strong position in the field

Institution: NIH/NIDDK. Topics: Educational background; Harvard, Columbia, Yale as centers of American biochemistry; Baird Hastings, DeWitt Stetten; first job as PHS Commissioned Officer in 1943 on board Coast Guard cutters; beginnings of NIH research community with Heppel, Horecker, Kornberg; lunch time seminars process; research environment in academia; anti-Semitism and war years, impact at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, why so many top biochemists came to Columbia; Southern gentleman culture at NIH cultivated by Sebrell et al; abolishing industrial hygiene division; approaches to developing talent at NIH; opinions on various personalties through early NIH history, Severo Ochoa; why so many top scientists from the northeast came to NIH during post-war years; Ochoa and Nirenberg rivalry; Maxine Singer and Arthur Heppel; importance of letting good scientists have the freedom to do good work

Institution: Bristol-Myers. Topics: How most new drugs are discovered by industry and not by academia; how hard it is to go from a lab to mass production, huge risks involved; industry involved in basic research to understand the underlying mechanisms of diseases, Bristol Myers on verge of breakthroughs in cancer research and infectious disease, genetic engineering and microbiology, receptorology, cell biology; where does this leadership value-set come from; importance of academia for new research, keeping pace with academia; movement towards creating interdisciplinary research teams hastens discovery and bringing drugs to market; is Vita a leader or a manager; comparisons with Smith Kline approach;importance of his Hungarian culture, working solely in pharmaceutical industry, Italian influence taught him tolerance and flexibility; future of biotechnology; interferon gambles at other companies, betting on monoclonals and oncogenes

Institution: NIH/NCI. Topics: Family genealogy; first interests in becoming a scientist; interface between basic science and clinical medicine; getting his start in immunology, intestinal lymphangiectasia research; collaborative culture of NIH; human suppressor cells discovery and research; molecular biology of immunoglobulin and T-cell receptor genes and interleukin-2 receptor to understand cell malignancy/leukemia, method for defining clonality as diagnostic tool; interleukin-2 or T-Cell growth factor and its receptor; anti-Tac; future research goals for transplantation, diabetes, aplastic anemia, IL-2 receptor, translational medicine; AIDS research, T-4 cells

Institution: Sharpe and Dohme; Western Reserve; Squibb. Topics: Educational background, family genealogy; getting started in pharmacology with Carl and Gerty Cori in St. Louis; leaving Western Reserve for oncology program at Sharpe and Dohme, impact on career going to industry vs. academia; politics of pharmacology and Cori's research; difficulties of protein research; status of drug companies and industry research in 1940s, Merck, Sharpe and Dohme, Lilly; starting a research division from the ground up at S and D; becoming research director based on his discovery of Sulfamerazine; drug advertising culture; clinical application of sulfa drugs during war years, North Africa; cephalosporin drugs at Squibb; intricacies of patent rights framework in England vs. U.S.; pernicious anemia chemistry and research at Western Reserve, folic acid, B12; leaving Western Reserve for Yale, appropriate methods for teaching medicine, changing medical pedagogy; collaborations with NIH, extramural research; World War II military service, filariasis research; consulting for Upjohn, politics of biochemistry vs. pharmacology; azauracil azauridine research, cancer research, working with Cal BioChem and NIH, application for psoriasis, FDA denied approval, politicized

Institution: Pfizer. Topics: importance of information sharing in science, even in industry; human dimension of drug creation, bringing non-steroidal anti-inflammation research to Pfizer with Joe Lombardino in 1962; major arthritis treatment regimens and drugs during 1960s, human element of understanding the systemic disease as new piece of corporate strategy to strategically develop other drugs and therapies, commercial viability of that approach; discovering oxicams, Feldene and its pharmacokinetics; FDA approval process; human clinical trials process, setbacks; story of first Feldene patient; Lilly's failure with Oraflex; risk factors associated with drug development, technical and psychological impact of failure for a company; marketing of Feldene helped open up basic science knowledge of disease; Feldene's commercial competitors; dosing regimen and effectiveness; Feldene's sales success; Sidney Wolfe campaign against Feldene, public's fears; decline of steroidals in 1960s due to toxicity; other therapeutic uses for prednisone

Institution: Smith, Kline, French. Topics: Rhone-Poulenc corporate culture/character; joined company in 1952 just before getting chlorpromazine license; discovering its antipsychotic characteristics; history of other companies being offered chlorpromazine; internal skepticism and difficulties of developing the drug and antipsychotics as a business area in general, commercial viability of antipsychotic marketplace in 1950s; story of its first experimental use, demonstrable effect led to formal trials; becoming a major commercial success in 1954, how it changed Smith-Kline into a major corporation, personalities associated with marketing and licensing; more historic background about Rhone-Poulenc's origins