In this letter Linus Pauling, the world's preeminent physical chemist at the time, suggested a meeting with Heidelberger
to discuss Pauling's ideas about the chemical structure of antibodies and the location of the sites at which they bind
to antigens Pauling had developed. His hypothesis was published as "A Theory of the Structure and Process of Formation
of Antibodies" in the Journal of the American Chemical Society 62 (1940), pp. 2643-2657.
Number of Image Pages:
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1940-04-03 (April 3, 1940)
Reproduced with permission of Oregon State University Library, Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Antigens and Antibodies: Heidelberger and The Rise of Quantitative Immunochemistry, 1928-1954
Letter from Linus Pauling to Michael Heidelberger (June 21, 1940)
Letter from Michael Heidelberger to Linus Pauling (July 1, 1940)
A Theory of the Structure and Process of Formation of Antibodies (July 27, 1940) (in The Linus Pauling Papers)
I am looking forward keenly to seeing you in New York, some time between April 12 and 17. My wife and I are interested in
the theater, and our evenings may be pretty well filled by going to plays, provided that we get tickets. Would you be free
during the day some time in this time so that I could come and talk at length with you about serology? We are leaving on
Sunday but an air mail letter mailed on Thursday should reach me, or a 1etter may be addressed to me at the Commodore Hotel,
New York City.
Since talking with you at the Mirsky's I have written out a rough account of my ideas on the structure and formation of
antibodies, and have made a number of predictions on the basis of the theory. I told Dr. Sabin and Landsteiner about them
when in New York in March, but since I was in town only from Saturday morning at 9 until Sunday at 5 I did not have a chance
to come to see you. Please let me know what time would be most suitable to you for me to visit you.