In view of the deadline, I hope you will accept, and can read, this manuscript.
Helen was a graduate student in Genetics 25 years ago when we were at Madison. I have only sketchy records, and I have barely
followed her professional career in the interval; but I will do my best to be helpful to her and to your search committee.
I am sure you can readily get more documentary material from UW/Madison.
I do enclose a few documents from the limited file I do have.
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She came to my lab at Madison very well recommended by H J Muller and F. Haurowitz -- their letters are enclosed. T M Sonneborn
noted that her course grades were less than perfect but all her references took note that she was heavily burdened with financial
In my lab I found her to meet the most positive expectations of her former teachers. She worked hard and intelligently. But
the problem I recommended for her turned out to be very messy -- in fact it has not been resolved to this day! It concerned
claims by Larry Weed that Cu plus plus induced (not selected!) small
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colony variants in E. coli.
We were not able to come to a clear conclusion whether the asserted phenomenon claimed by Weed can be elicited in a way that
makes it amenable to investigation. Not a felicitous choice [?] of a thesis problem!
Helen worked in my lab, I believe from Sept. 1952 through June 1955. At that time she married Dr. Aleck Bernstein, a postdoctoral
visitor from London and joined him upon return to England.
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You must be well acquainted with their further careers, and of course with the unhappy fact of Aleck's death.
I had and have high regard and expectations of Helen but I doubt if I can add anything from my ancient recollections that
would be nearly as important as your more recent experience of her work and personality. Our own paths diverged in 1955 but
I, and the truth, would be offended if that were given any pejorative implication.