Oral Histories

Interview of Sidney Roberts

UCLA professor of biological chemistry.
A Scholar for All Seasons: Academic Scientist, Senate Administrator, and National Consultant
UCLA and University of California History
Science, Medicine, and Technology
UCLA Faculty
Biographical Note:
UCLA professor of biological chemistry.
Hathaway, Neil D.
Roberts, Sidney
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
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.