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James I. Garrels Protein Databases, Inc. Collection

Identifier: JIG

Scope and Content

These papers consist primarily of printed materials including newspaper clippings, annual report selections, and information related to the formation of Protein Database, Inc. The collection is broken down into four series and 15 file folders covering 1983-1989.

The material has been divided in 4 series:

  1. Series 1: Protein Database Inc., Stock Transactions, 1983-1989 - Four folders
  2. Series 2: Subject Files 1984-1989 – Six Folders
  3. Series 3: Reprint by Others, 1985-1989 – Two Folders
  4. Series 4: Clippings, 1984-1988 – Three Folders


  • Creation: 1983-1989


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Some restrictions apply, see Archivist for details. Access is given only by appointment, 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Use Restriction

Archival materials must remain in the archival reading area. Item duplication is to be done by archivists. Fees are applied to copies made. Digital photography is permitted by users. Due to the very fragile nature of some materials in this collection, some are available through photocopies; others must be used under the supervision of an archivist.


Dr. James I. Garrels received his B.Ss in Biology and Physics from the California Institute of Technology and his Ph.D in Biology from the University of California, San Diego. From 1978 to 1995, Dr. Garrels was Director of the QUEST Protein Database Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY, where he pioneered new methods for large-scale protein separation and analysis. In 1978 the QUEST (QUantitative Electrophoresis Standardized in Two Dimensions) computer laboratory was installed on the top floor of the Carnegie Library.

Dr. Garrels was a founder and CEO of Proteome, Inc., a successful knowledge company that provided comprehensive annotation for newly sequenced genomes, including the human genome. Proteome was a leader and innovator in the field of scientific curation. Its premier product, the BioKnowledge Library, set the industry standard for proteomic databases. Dr. Garrels pioneered the field of computer-assisted scientific curation and developed key information processing technologies used in this effort. In 2000, Proteome, Inc. was acquired by Incyte Genomics, Inc. of Palo Alto, CA.

Dr. Garrets is currently the CEO and co-founder of Garbrook Knowledge Resources, Inc. Garbrook was formed in 2005 to provide a one-stop source for scientific, technical, business and economic knowledge about issues of major societal importance.

Dr. Garrels has numerous scientific publications and presentations in the fields of proteomics and genomic information analysis.


1 Boxes


The James I. Garrels Protein Databases Inc. Collection contains materials related to James Garrels and his work in the formation of the company Protein Databases. Garrels was a Senior Staff Scientist and director of the Quest Protein Database Center for two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and computer analysis at CSH from 1985 to 1995. His group developed the QUEST Protein Database Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY. This was a leading-edge facility in a field that is now called proteomics. The papers consist of printed materials, annual reports, clipping and subject files related to the formation of Proteins Databases

Arrangement Note

Material was kept in its original order in file folders.

Historical Note

Cold Spring Harbor’s relationship with biotechnology has included not just collaboration with outside corporations but the entrepreneurship of its own scientists in establishing their own companies. The first such company, Protein Databases Inc. (PDI), officially began business operations in 1984, although the planning and start-up of the company went back several years. PDI was based on work in 2D gel electrophoresis by two scientists, Robert Franza and Jim Garrels. Franza came to CSHL in July 1982 for the specific reason of working with Garrels. He and Garrels had discussed the potential marketing of the latter’s work in 2D gel technology. The goal was not so much to make money as to ensure that the technology was widely available to other researchers. In July 1983, the two scientists began to look for venture capital. One company that expressed interest was the major Manhattan firm Alan Patricof Associates, Inc. Franza, a year earlier, had been introduced to Alan Patricof, who then introduced Franza to Alan Schwartz of Bear Stearns, with whom Franza became friendly. Bear Sterns agreed to capitalize Protein Databases, Inc., with $1 million. Protein Databases, Inc., a protein separation and analysis company later acquired by BioRad, Inc.


These materials were given to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library and Archives in July, 2012 by Dr. Garrels. Accession No. 2012-042.

Related Collections

Other collections within the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives related to biotechnology include the Charles Weissman Biogen Collection, the Walter Gilbert Collection, James D. Watson Collection, Sydney Brenner Collection, Norton Zinder Collection, Audio Visual Collection, and the Meetings and Courses Collection.

James I. Garrels Protein Databases, Inc. Collection
Finding Aid Prepared by Clare Clark.
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives Repository

Library & Archives
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
One Bungtown Rd
Cold Spring Harbor NY 11724 USA