Letter from Jorge E. Allende, Hermann Niemeyer to Marshall W. Nirenberg
Allende and Niemeyer invite Nirenberg to participate in the Interamerican Council for Culture's Multinational Training
Project for Biochemistry, created by the Organization of American States. A handwritten addition to the letter suggests that
Nirenberg's presence as visiting professor would be invaluable for starting new programs in countries such as Argentina,
Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, and Mexico.
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1969-02 (February 1969)
Allende, Jorge E.
Nirenberg, Marshall W.
National Heart and Lung Institute. Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics
Reproduced with permission of Jorge E. Allende.
Beyond the Laboratory: Professional, Personal, and Political Life, 1967-2002
The Interamerican Council for Culture, created by the Organization of American States has approved a project to develop basic
and applied biochemistry in Latin America, as part of the broad Regional Program for the Development of Science and Technology.
The countries Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela and Mexico were recognized to have nuclei of trained biochemists actively
doing research. Biochemical centers in these countries, therefore, were named "Responsible Centers" and were given
the task of training biochemists from other countries of the continent.
In Chile, the Instituto de Quimica Fisiologica y Patologica of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, was selected
as Responsible Center, and myself, Hermann Niemeyer as the Responsible Director for the operation of a Multinational Project
with special responsibility towards training people from Bolivia and Peru. In addition, two Active Participating Centers (Department
of Biochemistry of the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy, and Department of Chemistry of the Faculty of Medicine) will collaborate
in this endeavor. The following committee elected by biochemists from Peru and Chile will advise the Responsible Director
in the operation of this project: Drs. Jorge E. Allende (Chile, Secretary), Alberto Cazorla (Peru), Osvaldo Cori (Chile),
Frank Marcus (Chile) and Marino Villavicencio (Peru).
The approved project includes the participation of Visiting professors from the United States and/or Europe. These professors
would stay in the Responsible Centers for variable periods (one to twelve months) according to the arrangements that can be
made and the requirements of the project. During this time, these professors will participate in training courses on a college
or advanced level, and will collaborate and advise in the research activities of the existing groups.
The approval of the Regional Program occurred this past December and this did not give us enough time to contact with appropriate
advanced notice the people who might possibly be interested in participating. We hope, however, that some of our colleagues
might accept to come during 1969. The summer months of the northern hemisphere coincide with the middle of our academic year
during which there is a month of winter holiday and therefore would be ideal for the training of advanced students.
The visiting professors would receive their passage and US$ 1166 a month to finance their stay in Chile. When the stay is
of six months or more, extra funds are provided for transportation of one accompanying person and of personal effects.
We would appreciate it very much if you would consider the possibility of participating in this program this year or in the
following years (1970 and 1971). In any case, please inform other members of your Department and advise us if any of them
would be willing to come.
When we have an estimate of the people that in principle are available to participate, we will extend the formal invitation.
The selection will be based on our current teaching schedule and the funds available. We are including a form in order to
facilitate the arrangements and programming of activities. Please do not hesitate to request any further information that
could help you to make a decision in regard to your participation in this project.
Thank you for the attention that you could give to this letter.
Jorge E. Allende
[Handwritten note:] Dear Marshall:
It would be wonderful if you could come even for a short while. Your presence here could really help us to start this program
right. Best regards to Perola and the friends in the lab