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Mitchell, Herschel Kenworthy (Biochemist)



  • Existence: 1913 - 2000


Background: Caltech Professor of Biology, 1949-1984; Professor Emeritus, 1984-2000; Caltech Senior Research Fellow, 1946-1949.


Description: Herschel K. Mitchell was born in Los Nietos, California. He received his bachelor's degree from Pomona College in 1936, his master's from Oregon State University in 1938, and his PhD from the University of Texas in 1941. As a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford, he first met George Beadle, whom he later followed to Caltech in 1946. Mitchell began his career working on pantothenic acid and vitamins. He then investigated biological development in fruit flies and microorganisms as well as the problem of heat shock, the effect of brief exposures to heat of cells and tissues.


Collection Notes: Oral history, 1997. A 54-page interview with Shirley Cohen covers biology and biochemistry at Caltech, including work on vitamins and biological development of fruit flies and microorganisms. Includes reminiscences of George Beadle, Henry Borsook, Linus Pauling and others.

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Herschel Mitchell Oral History Interview with Shirley K. Cohen [sound recording], 1997-12-03 - 1997-12-22

Scope and Contents Interview in 1997 with Herschel K. Mitchell, professor of biology, emeritus. George W. Beadle brought Mitchell to Caltech with him in 1946 from Stanford as a senior research fellow, along with Norman Horowitz, Mary Houlahan, Adrian Srb, and August Doermann. The group worked on Neurospora. Mitchell recalls teaching the biochemistry course with Henry Borsook; recalls Beadle's style as chairman of the Division of Biology. Recalls his earlier work on pantothenic acid and folic acid as a graduate...
Dates: 1997-12-03 - 1997-12-22

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