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The Joshua Lederberg Papers

Letter from Joshua Lederberg to Robert H. Alway pdf (160,065 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Joshua Lederberg to Robert H. Alway
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (160,065 Bytes)
1958-09-26 (September 26, 1958)
Lederberg, Joshua
Alway, Robert H.
Stanford University. School of Medicine
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Lederberg Grouping: No Epoch
Box Number: 5
Folder Number: 22
Unique Identifier:
Accession Number:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Academic Career, 1925-1999
SubSeries: Stanford University
SubSubSeries: Department of Genetics
Folder: General Correspondence, 1958-1959
Memo: From J. Lederberg, Dept. Genetics
To: Dean Always
Bethesda, Maryland
September 28, 1958
Dear Bob --
I'm out here for a couple of days at the NIH study section in genetics. Fred Stone, as you probably know is head of the Division of General Medical Sciences which is in charge of training grants and similar board programs. He buttonholed me today with a rather startling proposal. (Has he already contacted you about this?)
In a few cases, NIH has experimented with programmatic grants. These have not been widely advertised and, by and large, the administration is uncertain about them but they would like to experiment with them from time to time. He was suggesting that Stanford submit a package proposal for research and research training in genetics, as a new departure that might short particular enthusiasm. To start the ball rolling, he suggested that I write a letter, cleared through your office (or vice versa) that might then be the basis of further negotiation. He seemed to imply that this should embrace our programmatic needs in genetics and should in no sense be restricted to my own personal or departmental program, but rather be construed as "Genetics at Stanford" or at least "Genetics at Stanford Medical School," though this would plainly center on the genetics department.
I took the liberty of explaining to Stone something of our organization and to stress the fact that Stanford had taken something of a gamble in the hope of getting specific harder support for the genetics program. I did not think it likely that you would want to foreclose this possible solution to the problem. This was a brief conversation and there are some features I would want to clarify
perhaps by telephone. I will call you, or wait for the converse, after a convenient interval during which you might have formulated a reaction.
While Stone stressed some breadth in the proposal, I believe it might be premature to open questions that might disturb existing arrangements for geneticists in other departments who may be quite content as they now stand. We can consider later (and will have to) what relationship (if any) Janofsky and Pulems in Biology, Dale Keiser in Biochemistry, and sections of Goldstein's and Kaplan's activities should have. But I think this occasion does bring to a focus what parallel developments there may be in the clinical departments, especially Pediatrics. It seems to me this would be a golden opportunity to finance a position for say Boston Childs (or anyone better if we can think of someone) if this is still a direction that would be open. And such a counterpart might well strengthen the appeal of the whole package. At the very least I could hope we could give assurances that funds for an appointment at some level in some clinical department would not go wasted (Psychiatry? or Medicine? in place of Psychiatry).
To change the subject somewhat, I know that you have a committee looking into Surgery and I would like (very much, for the moment) to put Walter Burdette's name on the table. He currently holds a similar position at Utah. He may already be well known to you; howbeit I will be collecting some more information to form a considered opinion. I know he was highly sought after at Wisconsin but not successfully.
Joshua Lederberg
P.S. You won't be able to read this anyhow but could I have back a thermometer and a copy of the receipt) of that to remind what I health with [?]
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