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Archive of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Fonds P-BIR - Max Birnstiel material

Identity area

Reference code

DE 2324 P-BIR

Title

Max Birnstiel material

Date(s)

  • 2015 - (Creation)
  • 2002 - (Creation)
  • 1966 - 1986 (Creation)

Level of description

Fonds

Extent and medium

2 boxes.

Context area

Name of creator

Birnstiel, Max Luciano (1933-07-12/2014-11-15)

Biographical history

Birnstiel was born to a Swiss father and a Brazilian mother in Brazil on 1933-07-1. His family moved to Zurich, CH, when he was 5.
Between 1952 and 1959, we attended the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich). There, he studied botany under the supervision of Albert Frey-Wyssling. His doctoral thesis, awarded in 1960, was entitled: "Über das Redoxpotential lebender und absterbender Pflanzengewebe (Tabakverbräunung)" (DOI: https://doi.org/10.3929/ethz-a-000150890).
Between 1960 and 1963, he carried out a postdoc with Professor James Bonne at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California, US. Following this, he moved to the University of Edinburgh in the Epigenetics Research Group in the Genetics Department, having been recruited by Conrad Waddington. By the time be left Edinburgh in 1972, Birnstiel had become a professor.
In 1972, the University of Zürich offered Birnstiel a position in the university's Institute of Molecular Biology II. (The Institute of Molecular Biology I was, at this time, headed by Charles Weissmann.) Birnstiel would stay at the institute for 14 years before moving to Vienna, AT, in 1986. There, he was the founding Director of the Boehringer Institute of Molecular Pathology. He left the Institute in 1996 to return to Switzeland, where died of complications of cancer in 2014.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

This material was transferred to the EMBL Archive in 2018 by Max Birnstiel's widow, Margaret, née Chipchase.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The papers contained in this fonds provide an in-depth insight into the scientific career of Max Birnstiel, starting with his work on the isolation of the gene, which he was the first to achieve. The first paper in P-BIR-2 explains how this was achieved and what makes a gene, and P-BIR-7 provides an overview of gene isolation.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

The majority of the material in this fonds comes from academic publications and is therefore subject to the reproduction conditions of the journals of publication.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library and Archives hold several items and letter from Max Birnstiel, including correspondence with James Watson, Sydney Brenner and EMBO members. As of 2018-10-18, these are available here: http://libgallery.cshl.edu/items/browse?search=Birnstiel+

Related descriptions

Notes area

Note

The material has been annotated on loose sheets by Margaret Birnstiel before the material was transferred to the EMBL Archive in 2018. These notes, marked [MCB 2018] by the EMBL Archivist, have been left with the original archival material.

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Description control area

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Dates of creation revision deletion

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Accession area

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Physical storage

  • Box: Box 85
  • Box: Box 86