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Hamilton Smith, 2006-03-03

 Item — Multiple Containers
Oral History | Hamilton Smith
Oral History | Hamilton Smith

Scope and Contents

Hamilton Smith, microbiologist and Nobel Laureate, is interviewed by Mila Pollock and Jan Witkowski, on March 3, 2006, at the J. Craig Venter Institute, in Rockville, Maryland.

Hamilton Smith discusses the following in his interview: Scene 1. An early interest in science -- Scene 2. From medicine to molecular biology -- Scene 3. Post-doctoral years with Mike Levine: P22 and the Int gene -- Scene 4. Arrival at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory -- Scene 5. The search for restriction enzymes at Johns Hopkins -- Scene 6. The 1978 Nobel Prize -- Scene 7. Memories of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory -- Scene 8. Memories of Jim Watson -- Scene 9. Jim Watson: personality and influence -- Scene 10. Rich Roberts -- Scene 11. Sharing scientific data, now and then -- Scene 12. Matt Meselson -- Scene 13. Dan Nathans -- Scene 14. On being a terrible lecturer -- Scene 15. Meeting Craig Venter -- Scene 16. Sequencing Haemophilus influenzae at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) -- Scene 17. Appreciating Craig Venter -- Scene 18. The future of genomics


  • Creation: 2006-03-03


Conditions Governing Access

Portions of this collection have been digitized and are available online: Select tapes have been digitized thanks to support from CLIR Recordings at Risk Grant awarded in 2021, these tapes are available for research online via our Oral History Website and in person at CSHL Archives. Please contact CSHL Archives with any questions regarding availability.

Biographical / Historical

Hamilton Smith is a U.S. microbiologist born Aug. 23, 1931, New York, N.Y. Smith received an A.B. degree in mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley in 1952 and the M.D. degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1956. After six years of clinical work in medicine (1956-1962), he carried out research on Salmonella phage P22 lysogeny at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1962-1967). In 1967, he joined the Microbiology Department at Johns Hopkins.

In 1968, he discovered the first TypeII restriction enzyme (HindII) and determined the sequence of its cleavage site. In, 1978 he was a co-recipient (with D. Nathans and W. Arber) of the Nobel in Medicine for this discovery.

He is currently the Scientific Director of Synthetic Biology and Bioenergy Group and Distinguished Professor at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland.


2 Cassettes (Camcorder footage) : MiniDV - CSHL1155, CSHL1156

1 Optical Disks (Talking science with Hamilton Smith) : DVD ; 86 min.

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English