Oral Histories

Interview of Sidney Roberts

UCLA professor of biological chemistry.
Subtitle:
A Scholar for All Seasons: Academic Scientist, Senate Administrator, and National Consultant
Topic:
UCLA and University of California History
Science, Medicine, and Technology
UCLA Faculty
Interviewer:
Hathaway, Neil D.
Interviewee:
Roberts, Sidney
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Language:
English
Copyright:
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Abstract:
political pressure on universities exerted through grants; preferential enrollment; Corinne A. Seeds University Elementary School; the Academic Senate's Committee on Academic Freedom; studies diet and brain function in rats; research on the pituitary gland; measuring metabolites; studies the role of diet on activity level; brain metabolism; the Laurentian Hormone Conference; research on the lymphoid system; Horace W. Magoun and John D. French; arteriovenous studies; centrifugation of brain tissue; finding radioisotopes which can enter the brain; the role of neurohormones; research on genetic control of cell function; studies the production of steroid hormones by the adrenal cortex; Margaret A. Slusher; attempts to measure adrenocorticotropic hormone; development of radioimmunoassay procedures; conducts assays on blood; the role of adenosine triphosphate and cyclic AMP; the hypothalamus; the body's diurnal rhythm of adrenocortical secretion; Roberts serves on National Science Foundation review panels; the National Institutes of Health (NIH); evaluating grant proposals; NIH study sections; site visits; serves on the executive committee of the Division of Biological Chemistry of the American Chemical Society; the influence of private industry on professional associations; evaluating the dangers of chemical and radiological hazards; Roberts's editorial positions; his efforts to publish his discovery of dopamine in the cerebral cortex; wins a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship to spend a sabbatical at the University of London; learns new methods of electrophoresis; London Hospital; the UCLA Division of Radiation Safety; European scientists and science funding; Roberts's research on hypothalamic hormones; the Ciba Foundation Symposia; adrenocorticosteroids; research on brain neurotransmission; chemical messengers; the physiology of memory; the physiology of addiction; how chemical impulses are translated into neural impulses; dopamine's function in transmission; deleting calcium enhances neurotransmission; psychotropic drugs; the effect of LSD upon the brain; protein kinase A; protein activity in neurotransmission; investigates protein synthesis in the brain; the impact of phenylalanine deficiency or excess upon the brains of rats; ribosomes; Claire E. Zomzely; injecting rats with amino acids; amino acid disorders; the brain's use of amino acids; discovers that lysosomes liberate ribonuclease; diagnosing and treating phenylketonuria in human infants; the blood-brain barrier; the brain's activity in producing messenger RNA; developmental aspects of transcription; how protein phosphorylation alters translational mechanisms; searching for proteins which trigger phosphorylation; ribosomal RNA; activating phosphorylation with cyclic AMP; isolating and synthesizing the active proteins; searching for proteins at the postsynaptic synapse; protein transport in the cell; neuropathways; the ribosomal S6 protein; the biochemistry of intelligence; genetics and intelligence; miscegenation; the possibility of gene therapy; Roberts's unpublished manuscript, "The Genetic Load: It Is Later Than You Think"; public opposition to eugenics; the mutation rate among human beings caused by radiation; Roberts's research and writing on Henry VII; how sex hormones shape sexual development; preventing genetic defects by birth control or gene transfer; the continuing risks of environmental contamination; the emphasis on AIDS research; the rivalry between applied and basic research; the evolution of the Brain Research Institute; the effect of wine on tissue metabolism; science reporting in the popular press; honors Roberts has received; Emil L. Smith; John G. Pierce; Elizabeth F. Neufeld; UCLA's future.