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An unexpected benefit of my career in biochemistry has been travel.
– Paul D. Boyer
It wasn’t until late high school and early college that I gained enough size and skill to make me welcome on intramural basketball teams.
Mountain hikes instilled in me a life-long urge to get to the top of any inviting summit or peak.
This led to the discovery that long chain fatty acids would remarkably stabilize serum albumin to heat denaturation, and would even reverse the denaturation by heat or concentrated urea solutions.
The excitement of vitamins, nutrition and metabolism permeated the environment.
I am told that I had a bad temper, and remember being banished to the back hall until civility returned.
During my early years at Minnesota I conducted an evening enzyme seminar.
I participated on debating teams and in student government, and served as senior class president.
If our society continues to support basic research on how living organisms function, it is likely that my great grandchildren will be spared the agony of losing family members to most types of cancer.
The Brigham Young University (BYU) campus was just a few blocks from my home and tuition was minimal.
Family trips to Yellowstone and to what are now national parks in Southern Utah, driving the primitive roads and cars of that day, were real adventures.
In marked contrast to the University of Wisconsin, Biochemistry was hardly visible at Stanford in 1945, consisting of only two professors in the chemistry department.
Concentrated serum albumin fractionated from blood plasma was effective in battlefield treatment of shock.
More by example than by word, my father taught me logical reasoning, compassion, love of others, honesty, and discipline applied with understanding.
I have a tendency to be lucky and make the right choices based on limited information.
It was always assumed that I would go to college.
The experience reminds me of a favorite saying: Most of the yield from research efforts comes from the coal that is mined while looking for diamonds.
The war project at Stanford was essentially completed, and I accepted an offer of an Assistant Professorship at the University of Minnesota, which had a good biochemistry department.
The geographical isolation and lack of television made world happenings and problems seem remote.
Her death contributed to my later interest in studying biochemistry, an interest that has not been fulfilled in the sense that my accomplishments remain more at the basic than the applied level.
A painstaking course in qualitative and quantitative analysis by John Wing gave me an appreciation of the need for, and beauty of, accurate measurement.