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Oral Histories Programme EMBL-Heidelberg File
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Ada Yonath

In this interview, Ada Yonath from the Weizmann Institute of Science who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009 talks about the development of her research on ribosomal crystallography. Especially her electron microscopy work together with Kevin Leonard and Sir John Kendrew is linked to the EMBL Heidelberg.

Petra Riedinger

In this interview, Petra Riedinger describes her work as a graphic designer for scientists at EMBL Heidelberg since 1976. Petra Riedinger also reflects the evolution of graphic designing she witnessed while working for EMBL. The interview contains verbal descriptions of some of the posters Petra Riedinger designed for EMBL.

Jacques Dubochet

In this interview, Jacques Dubochet who won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry descibes his work as a group leader at EMBL Heidelberg. This interview contains Dubochet's description of the research environment in which he developed cryo-EM sample preparation and vitrification. Furthermore, the interview contains some information about Dubochet's early life and career as well as his assessment of the current state of science, especially with regard to genetic editing.

Nelly van der Jagt

This is an interview with Nelly van der Jagt who worked as a secretary for EMBL from 1975 until 2014. In this interview, Nelly van der Jagt especially reflects her work with four different Directors General as well as changes concerning the general working conditions of the EMBL site in Heidelberg.

John Tooze

In this interview, John Tooze who was the Executive Secretary of EMBO from 1973 until 1994 reflects his work as a scientific coordinator at that time. He especially describes his perception of the foundation process of EMBL, the emergence of its institutional design and his introduction of the EMBO journal. Furthermore, he gives an assessment of the general challenges EMBL had and has to face.

Frieda Glöckner

This is an interview with Frieda Glöckner (born Leenart) who was EMBL's meetings secretary since 1975. In this interview, Glöckner describes how she worked at Brussels since 1970 close to EURATOM and how she perceived the development of EMBL from a project to its foundation in this position. Glöckner also describes the signing agreement of EMBL in Geneva at Cern and the installation of the first buidlings. Beyond that, this interview contains some description of the Second World War period Glöckner witnessed as a child and how she settled up it Heidelberg when EMBL was established there.

Andre Gabriel

This is an interview with the electrical engineer André Gabriel who started working at EMBL Grenoble in 1973. In this interview, André Gabriel explains how, through his contacts to Marc Chabre and Vittorio Luzzatti, molecular biology came to his professional interest. He describes how he witnessed the installation of the EMBL site in Grenoble and of its instruments as well as his impression of the first two DGs, Sir John Kendrew and Lennart Philipson. Besides that, André Gabriel also mentions his move to EMBL Heidelberg where he stayed until 1984.

Ernst Stelzer

This is an interview with the biophysicist Ernst Stelzer who worked at EMBL since 1983 in the physical instrumentation program and later in the cell biology and the biophysics unit. In this interview, Ernst Stelzer reflects how he started his work on confocal fluorescence microscopy, but he also explains his later microscopy and laser work, also connected to specimen preparation. Furthermore, Ernst Stelzer especially describes the challenges of instrumentation, but he also describes how the collaboration with Carl Zeiss in Jena started to bring the confocal fluorescence microscopes as a product on the market.

Paul Nurse

This is an interview with Paul Nurse who had been a geneticist and cell biologist at EMBL, In this interview, Paul Nurse especially reflects the differences between scientific research at universities in general and at EMBL. Beyond that, Paul Nurse describes his impressions of the Directors General Lennart Philipson and Iain Mattaj.

Erich Honig

This is an interview with Erich Honig who was a group leader and the driver of the EMBL in Heidelberg since 1975 until he retired in 2008. In this interview, Honig describes how his job as a driver has developed since the time he started at EMBL. Furthermore, this interview mainly contains general impressions of Honig concerning the working environment at EMBL.

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