Original Repository: Stanford University Libraries. Department of Special Collections and University Archives. Paul Berg Papers
Reproduced with permission of Paul Berg.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Research Support as Topic
Protein Synthesis, Tumor Viruses, and Recombinant DNA, 1959-1975
May 25, 1970
I was so taken by the little brochure you sent me describing the Industrial Affiliates Program of the Departments of Chemistry
and Chemical Engineering that I am very much tempted to see if we can't organize something similar for the Department
of Biochemistry. There are obviously a large number of candidates who could be looked to for some support of the kind of program
our department operates and,
therefore, I wonder whether I could take advantage of your expertise in this area to get some help. I think the contacts we
should try to develop first would be with pharmaceutical companies: I have already had some discussions with someone from
Smith, Kline & French and since I know Arnold Welch at Squibb, I think I could approach him on this matter. However, there
are, I would guess, many other potentially interested companies but I don't how the appropriate people to contact and
it is there you could give me some advice.
The reason for thinking in terms of pharmaceutical companies is that I see it as in their self-interest to want to support
basic research in a number of selected university centers. In the past, when the Government was funding research at a high
level, there was no need for commercial outfits to supplement that effort. They reaped the benefits of the research going
on in universities. Now that the level of funding by the Government is reduced, there is a real danger of drying up those
sources of basic information which the pharmaceutical companies depend upon.
It seems to me, therefore, that they have some obligation to take up some of the slack caused by the loss of Government funding.
I realize, of course, that they can't support all of the research that was previously covered by Government funds, but
there are certainly kinds of support which cannot be obtained through research grants but which are absolutely essential for
the successful operation of departments like ours (i.e. renovation funds, seed money for supporting new faculty, etc.). It
is in this area that an Industrial Affiliates program seems to play a key role. In any case, any advice or help you could
give me would be deeply appreciated. I would be glad to get together with you, perhaps sometime at lunch, if that's possible.