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The Salvador E. Luria Papers

[Proposed budget and microbiology program for 1960] pdf (2,273,357 Bytes) transcript of pdf
[Proposed budget and microbiology program for 1960]
Luria joined the faculty of MIT in 1959 as the head of its new program in microbiology. These were the drafts of Luria's budget and program plan for his first year.
Number of Image Pages:
7 (2,273,357 Bytes)
Date Supplied:
[Luria, Salvador E.]
Original Repository: American Philosophical Society. Library. Salvador Luria Papers
Reproduced with permission of Daniel D. Luria.
Reproduced with permission of the American Philosophical Society.
Exhibit Category:
From Phage to Colicins, 1945-1972
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Drafts (documents)
Physical Condition:
Series: Subject Files, 1938-1990
Folder: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1960-1986, n.d.
Proposed Budget
January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1960
Senior staff, microbiology (summer salaries for visiting professor or staff member) $4,000
Instructor, 12 months $9,000
Technical Assistant $4,000
Secretary $3,600
7% charge for fringe benefits for instructor techn assnt, secretary $1,100
= $21,700
Training stipends
Senior postdoctoral fellow (1) $7,500
Postdoctoral fellow (1) $4,000
Predoctoral fellows (2) $5,000
Teaching assistant (1) $1,800
= $18,300
Permanent equipment
Warburg manometer; fraction collector; refrigerated centrifuge; counter and scaler; colorimeters, other $26,000
Consumable supplies
Glassware, chemicals, radioactive tracers, animals $8,200
By trainees $900
Other expenses
Tuition and fees of predoctoral trainees $4,500
Office supplies, telephone, hourly help, books and journals, publication costs (trainees) $2,000
= $6,500
SUBTOTAL $81,600
Indirect costs
8% overhead (excluding $26,000 for permanent equipment) $4,448
TOTAL $86,048
1st additional year $65,000
2nd additional year $65,000
3rd additional year $65,000
4th additional year $65,000
I. Proposed Program
A. Purport: We are organizing within the Biology Department at M.I.T. a teaching program in Microbiology aimed at fulfilling what we think will be special needs of microbiologists in the next decade. We wish to center our teaching and research training around the concepts of cellular physiology and molecular organization of the cell. Assuming that the task of biology as a science is to explain the organization of living matter at all levels (molecular, cellular, organismic, phylogenic, we propose to develop the structural and functional approach emphasizing simplicity and unity of pattern rather than complexity and diversity.
We plan to introduce the student first, in a generalized way, to the properties and functions of living matter - composition, energetics, nutrition, growth, regulation, reproduction, and variation - and then to present groups of organisms as illustrations of the problem of maintenance of biological organization under specific evolutionary circumstances.
This approach is suitable for the training of microbiologists who plan to use microorganisms for the solution of basic biological problems. It is also especially suitable for introducing to modern biology persons whose basic training has been in physics and chemistry, as well as for giving basic training in molecular biology to persons already trained in medicine. It makes it possible to utilize as training materials, for complementary purposes, both true microorganisms and animal or plant cells handled as microorganisms. The recent work of Eagle, Puck, and others has provided tools for utilizing this newer aspect of microbiology; yet, metazoan cell microbiology has seldom been made an integral part of the teaching of microbiology in the way we plan to use it because of traditional separation of interests and because microbiology has seldom been utilized as one of the main areas for training biologists.
We expect that joining into a common teaching program the study of true microbes and of metazoan cells cultivated in vitro will do justice to the heuristic value of microbial studies in biology and will also dispose of optimistic over-simplification. Feedbacks between the study of microbes and the study of isolated cells from multicellular organisms should be mutual and equally beneficial.
Experience in some departments has shown that students trained as microbiologists by a program centering on molecular biology and cellular physiology can later master easily the applied areas of microbiology without need for extensive formal training in those areas.
The proposed program requires a great deal of emphasis and preparation in basic science. M.I.T. should provide a most favorable environment. Coupled with strong programs in molecular biology, enzymology, genetics, and biophysics, this teaching of microbiology should provide a group of trainees equipped to teach cellular biology as well as microbiology and to apply the methods of cellular biology to the study of problems such as cancer, cellular immunity, and virus research.
B. Training Plan: Training in microbiology at M.I.T. is just beginning so that we start with a clean slate. We plan to establish as basic courses:
(1) Microbiology (prerequisite: General Biochemistry) covering the composition, energetics, nutrition, growth, variation, and cellular organization of microbial cells, especially bacteria.
(2) Experimental Microbiology: A laboratory course on the manipulations and measurements proper to microbiology; including isolation, cultivation, analysis and functional studies on bacteria, other microbes, and mammalian cells in vitro.
(3) Microbial Physiology: The study of cellular functions, especially growth, biosynthesis, metabolism, permeability, regulation, and sexuality as revealed in microorganisms and other cells studied as microorganisms.
(4) Microbial Genetics and Virology: The study of cellular genetics and of viruses in relation to cellular heredity and cellular function.
Courses (1) and (2) will be open to advanced undergraduates; the other courses, as well as seminars and research courses, will be for graduate students only.
The teaching of these courses will be done by a staff consisting of three senior professors, plus one or two junior staff members. There is being established a Committee on Microbiology, consisting of the microbiology teaching staff plus other members of Biology Department, including at least one member from biophysics and one from biochemistry. This Committee will organize and supervise the program of the trainees.
We propose to provide training at the predoctoral and postdoctoral levels. The predoctoral trainees, graduate students with presumably various backgrounds, will receive training in mathematics, physics, chemistry, genetics, cytology, biochemistry and biophysics, in addition to microbiology. Emphasis will be more on thorough training than on speed of obtaining a degree. Postdoctoral trainees will be encouraged to come not only from microbiology and other areas of biology, but also from medicine, physics and chemistry. We especially hope to include among the postdoctoral trainees several medical graduates, who which to pursue a career in basic microbiology applied to medical research.
Since biophysics, biochemistry, cytochemistry and molecular biology are all located In the same Department, and since the teaching of microbiology is being undertaken as part of the Department's integrated program, our trainees will have the benefit of a first-class setup in basic science applied to biology. They will have intimate association, advice, and supervision from leading experts in various fields, for example, Professors Buchanan, Hall, Levinthal, Rich, Schmitt, and Sizer. In fact, we hope that our trained microbiologists will be equally at home in all aspects of molecular biology.
Our trainees will take part in the teaching program. We expect all predoctoral trainees to spend went time as teaching assistants in microbiology, while the postdoctoral trainees will cooperate in the supervision of graduate students and in advanced teaching programs.
In the first year, we should probably have only two postdoctoral and three predoctoral trainees supported by the training grant. Other graduate students and postdoctoral fellows will be supported as teaching assistants, research assistants, or research associates. In following years, we plan to expand this training program to support additional trainees. The sum requested specifically for trainee stipends in the following years will be $30,000 (not including tuition).
II. Staff and Facilities
A. Staff
1. S. E. Luria, Professor of Microbiology
2. B. Magasanik, Professor of Microbiology, starting 1/1/60
3. Associate Professor of Microbiology (to be appointed) starting July 1, 1960.
4. Instructor (to be appointed), starting January 1, 1960.
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