Dr. Gergely was born and raised in Hungary, and earned his MD degree at the University of Budapest in 1942. It was there that
he first met Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, who became head of the university's department of biochemistry in 1945. After earning
his PhD in biochemistry at the University of Leeds, Gergely emigrated to the United States in 1948, where he obtained a position
in Szent-Gyorgyi's laboratory at the National Institutes of Health. He has spent most of his career in Boston, at the
Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and at Harvard Medical School.
In this interview, Dr. Gergely reviews Szent-Gyorgyi's years at the University of Budapest in the mid-1940s, as well as
his own, and Szent-Gyorgyi's decisions to emigrate to the United States. He then describes how his career path in the
United States led to permanent positions in the Boston area, while Szent-Gyorgyi found real happiness conducting independent
research in his own institute at Woods Hole. Dr. Gergely describes Szent-Gyorgyi's evolving research interests, from muscle
to quantum physics, and its application to biology (the "living state") and finally to cancer. He also discusses Szent-Gyorgyi's
work ethic in the laboratory, his dedication to science and personal independence, and his flair as a lecturer and teacher.
NOTE: An index to the transcript is located on pages 26-27.
NOTE: This interview is part of a series of NLM oral histories conducted with colleagues and friends of Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
Number of Image Pages:
28 (1,714,107 Bytes)
2004-06-21 (June 21, 2004)
Interviewer: Kinnane, Adrian
History Associates Incorporated
Reproduced with permission of John Gergely.
The National Foundation for Cancer Research, 1973-1986